Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beta Viewer Part III

As noted in an earlier post, I liked that notifications in the current Beta viewer from The Lab have been moved to the upper-right corner. It makes sense, but in practice it may not be a good idea. Take a look at this picture:

Transparency and size may be issues.
The notifications tend to be semi-transparent and whether they are on a dark background or a light one, they are hard to read. The icons are also hard so see because of their small size. I know that folks will want to see the v1.x blue background on notices. That would be great for high-priority messages like region restarts and such, simply making the other notice windows opaque would be sufficient. I'd like to see the icons for group chats, IMs, and the like moved into the same bar as the Favorites buttons so they could be more easily seen. Some of us have visual impairments (I'm due for trifocals this year) and I don't see much effort on The Lab's part to accommodate folks with special needs.

A nice touch, and obviously one coordinated with the Shop button in the menu bar, is an addition to the Inventory pane: Received Items.

One can argue that having an area just for your Marketplace purchases (and notice that they didn't give it the proper capitalization it requires under standard grammar rules) in your Inventory pane (though items still appear in the Objects folder) is another attempt by The Lab to kill in-world commerce, you have to admit that even without the increasing number of merchants going Marketplace-only, this is a convenient way to keep track on incoming inventory. Now if only all inventory offers could be shown here this would go from a good idea to a great idea. Then have all the accepted offers drop into an "Objects: Received" folder rather like the user-created "Objects: Storage" folder in the pic above. If The Lab did that, it would be one of the protected, un-deleteable folders (like Animations, Body Parts, et al) and we'd know just where to look.

Clearly this is a Beta feature, though, as it doesn't work. I made some test purchases and there is no log of activity in the new section.

Honestly, if I thought JIRA was looked at or acted upon, I'd make these suggestions directly. Hopefully if any Linden who reads this blog likes the idea well enough they'll bring it up at the water cooler or lunch room.

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