A look at the new V2 log-in screen

As has been widely reported, Linden Lab have updated the Viewer 2 splash / log-in screen with version 2.8.1.

The new screen, available in both Basic and Advanced modes is a completely new, and interactive layout which may well encourage newcomers to SL to explore and take a dip in things – and could well help users who are logging-in specifically to attend an event to get to it from the off, and without having to log-in to home, or somewhere and dig-out a landmark.

The new screen features 5 distinct areas:

  • The Editor’s Choice: twelve images of locations within Second Life
    • Use the left / right arrow buttons below and to the right of the images to page through them
    • Hover the mouse over an image to display further information about it, including an option to set it as your current logging-in point when you click on the log-in button
  • The What’s Hot Now bar which features eight “pages” of four destinations apiece that are proving popular
    • Locations apparently selected on the basis of the number of avatars currently in attendance
    • Page through the list 4 locations at a time using the left /right arrow buttons
    • Hover the mouse over a location for further information and the option to add it as your Start At point when you log-in this time
  • The Destinations bar
    • Multiple pages of destinations in Second Life sorted into categories which can be selected from a drop-down list (see image above)
    • Page through the list 4 locations at a time using the left /right arrow buttons
    • Hover the mouse over a location for further information and the option to add it as your Start At point when you log-in this time

To the right of these are two text areas drawn from the same feeds that server your dashboard at http://www.my.secondlife.com:

  • An Upcoming Events feed which lists the current events listed in your dashboard and which can be paged through using the left / right buttons. Clicking on an event does two things:
    • Displays a pop-up with further information on the event
    • Updates your Start At location to deliver you to the venue when you log-in (a warning that this has happened is also displayed in the pop-up)
  • A Blogs Feed that features all current LL blog entries found on the dasboard, but without any streaming into familiar categories (“Featured News”, “In-world”, etc.). Clicking on a blog title open-up a pop-up window and displays the blog entry in a scrollable format (below).

Overall, the new approach is a nice idea. Were I to pick any issues with it at all, it would be:

  • The lack of any Grid Status display – that there is none is utterly and completely short-sighted; if there are issues in-world, people have the right to know before money or goods are put at risk through asset server errors and suchlike. Yes, it may spoil the nice shiny hue to SL, but not including such a listing and ensuring it is updated ASAP a problem occurs is a pretty glaring omission – as Rodvik, if you’re reading this and given your promise to get better notification of issues and problems out to users, this oversight needs fixing
  • The lack of any info relating to current and 60-day logins is also unfortunate, and one has to wonder at the logic behind removing it.

Overall, and interesting approach lacking a couple of features, but one that may encourage people to start exploring more, and help newcomers to seek out places of interest and potentially avoid getting unpleasantly dumped into one of the many (un)welcome areas within SL.

Update

At SLCC 2011, Brett Linden, Managing Editor at the Lab, reviewed the new log-in screen, commenting that it is currently “version 1” and the Linden Lab would like feedback on it in terms of how people are using it, information displayed, etc. Brett and the Editorial Team can be contacted at editor@lindenlab.com.