The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022.
These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. A video of the meeting, courtesy of Pantera, can be found embedded at the end of this article (my thanks to her as always!). Again, the following is a summary of key topics / discussions, not a full transcript of everything mentioned.
February Work Summary
- The Marketplace variants project is now officially titled Marketplace Styles:
- Most of the back-end infrastructure work to support different styles (e.g. different colour variants for an item in a single listing) is now complete.
- The design of the front-elements (as will be seen by users) has now been approved.
- It is hoped that prototyping will be available for viewing (e.g. through the Web User Group meetings) in the “next couple of months”.
- Search Relevance project is now seeing plans being put together, and some of this may be available for viewing at WUG meetings in April / May 2022.
- [Video: 43:59-45:24] Work currently underway is to track the relevance of a given search result (e.g. “user searched for X and gained these results. User then took option Y in that list of results” – where if Y= the first item in the list, relevance can be considered high; if they take the 100th option, then that suggests the relevance of ordering is not as good as it could be). The idea here being to be able to feed this back into improving the relevance of search results.
- Premium Plus – an announcement is expected in March 2022.
- The overall page of benefits has apparently been agreed (no details at present).
- There are still some elements to be finalised (pricing?).
- [Video: 5:00-6:16] Could Marketplace order history be sorted by item cost (e.g. most expensive at the top)? – seen as a reasonable suggestion, and a feature request – BUG-231907 – has been filed.
- [Video 7:04-8:01] Sales tax: a reminder that as per the official blog post on the introduction of US sales tax, sales tax on applicable US purchases will be applied in accordance with local jurisdictional requirements (e.g. state-level laws, etc.). So if your state / jurisdiction does not charge for the sale of virtual goods and services, then LL will not apply it.
- [Video: 8:37-9:39] Marketplace Sub-Brands: following the discussions in the February meeting, a project is now being scoped based on the feedback given. However, the development of any project is unlikely to surface in 2022.
- [Video: 9:55-12:00] The question was asked if LL could provide the means for creators on the Marketplace to run collaborative sales / events – a shared page with links to items the creators participating in the event are including in it. This was referred to as an “interesting idea” and for a feature request Jira to be filed, preferably with some details on how this might work.
- [Video: 14:26-15:00] A request was made for further community categories on the MP. Again, a feature request as been requested.
- [Video: 20:52-22:10] A request was made for sellers to be able to disable customer reviews on the grounds it has become “normal” to see negative reviews. Whether or not this is the case, the majority of reviews are left in good faith, and while it can be frustrating to see negative reviews where the purchaser has failed to try a demo / not read supplied instructions, the view is that disabling reviews is not the answer.
- [Video: 22:44-24:50] The suggestion was made in text later in the meeting to allow up / down voting of comments. However, unless carefully controlled (e.g. only allowing those who have purchased an item to up / down vote), then this is potentially open to abuse as well (e.g. a creator getting all their friends to down vote a negative review – or even one person down vote multiple times). As such, any implementation would require considerable forethought and design.
- [Video 25:09-26:07] Could MP store owner be allowed to include links between their stores and the social media platforms they use? This has been tried in the past, but has not worded out. While there is no objection to trying for a better mechanism again, there is currently no work planned in their area. Again, specific ideas welcomed via feature request Jiras.
- The wiki has (after all) bee updated to HTTPs, and the syntax highlighting issue for the LSL pages has been addressed.
- The Destination Guide is on the Web Team’s roadmap to receive and overhaul / face-lift, but no ETA at present. One of the aims of this work is to make it easier to find places that actually have people in them.
- There was some discussion on the “new” look for Search, with some criticism for the places summary not showing traffic (a location must be clicked and seen in the expanded view to get traffic numbers). However, whilst experienced users find this useful, new users found the traffic reference confusing, and so it was purposefully placed in the expanded view.
- It was again noted in the meeting that LL are looking at the new user experience from “top to toe” – from sign-up through getting in-world to customising an avatar, to finding things to do and people with whom to interact.