Second Life

800,000L UI Design Contest: Update & Judges Announced

I recently launched a contest to design a “newbie-friendly” version of the Second Life client. The intention of this contest is to generate ideas, discussion, and to perhaps facilitate the actual creation of a new client to help remove one of the several barriers to new user orientation and to reduce the learning curve.

I’ve been really excited about the response to the competition.

I’m also pleased to announce four of the panelists who will judge the entries, namely Vint Falken, Keystone Bouchard, Eristica Strangelove, and Ordinal Malaprop.

I’m so excited to have these shining lights of Second Life join in evaluating the entries. I’m reserving the right to add another member to the judging panel but I wanted to announce who’s on board as of today. The judging panel represents, I think, the very best of Second Life and will no doubt not only be fair in evaluating entries, but will help to deliver on the promise that the contest is meant to spur discussion – in addition to choosing the winning entries, their insight will help to contribute to this wider debate.

Questions and Answers

Now to answer a few questions that have come up via e-mail, the blog, and in-world conversations:

What do we mean when we say the design should not “invent” new features?
To be absolutely clear about this: there is NO restriction on what features should be embedded in the design. However, features that would require SERVER-SIDE coding are not allowed.

What does “design” mean?

I will leave it to the judges to evaluate the quality of entries. However, the intention here is not to code a viewer, it’s merely to submit design concepts for a new viewer. The level to which these designs are completed is at the discretion of each person entering. As I said to someone, you could sketch it on a napkin and submit THAT: if the idea is powerful enough, that might be a better entry than something that’s a art directed “skin” of the current client.

Why aren’t we involving the Lindens?

Gwyn pointed out that Linden involvement is useful, especially if we hope to get their attention for the best ideas that come out of the competition. I think it’s best that Linden’s role be passive – this is our world, our imagination after all. :) However, Linden is well aware of the competition. Based on feedback I’ve had, they’re as curious as I am about the outcome of the contest. I won’t put words in their collective mouth, but they are well-informed and supportive.

How do you submit entries?

Entries can be sent to myself via e-mail or in-world notecard. My e-mail is at gmail: dusan.writer.

Deadline Reminders
- Submit no later than 11:59 PM (2359hrs) SL time June 29, 2008
- Announcement of finalists: July 6th
- Presentation by finalists to judging panel: July 12th
- Winners announced: July 14th


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