Thursday, March 01, 2007

Six Things I'd Like to See in Second Life

I believe Second Life could become a huge thing in the next year but it has a ways to go. Some things I'd like to see are listed below. If these things exist I just haven't found them yet. Some of these are user issues and some are up to Linden Labs to fix:

  1. A recommendation engine
    If this exists I haven't seen it. Let users rate places and let editors make recommendations. I can never seem to find any good places to visit. I think tagging might help as well.
  2. Better in-world retail stores
    I've visited the Sears, Circuit City, Dell, IBM, and a car manufacturer's site (don't remember which). None of them offer much in the way of product selection or information. I understand it will take some time and proof of concept, but at this point it's just a few products with links to the company's Web site.
  3. Better object interaction
    There are a lot of objects throughout Second Life but not much interacting with them. For instance I'd like to pick up a ball and throw it. Or could I climb a tree? Could I pick up a product at Circuit City and examine it more closely.
  4. A better inventory system and interface
    The interface for SecondLife is quite daunting. Some things are intuitive, like walking around and even flying to an extent, but to do anything more than that takes patience and time. Finding and using objects you've picked up or purchased means navigating a giant tree structure that I really don't like. How about thumbnails?
  5. A better map
    Look to Google Earth for ideas. The current maps look straight out of Intellivision.
  6. An In-World Browser
    I'd rather stay within second life and browse Web content. I'd like to see Linden Labs create a pop-up in-world browser. I'm sure some good designers could figure out a way to make it usable, readable, and non-intrusive.

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