Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

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Allen Partridge
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Allen Partridge »

My take is perhaps a little different.

I'd suggest we start with 'What makes Kitely special?'
People who've come in are looking for basic info.
They probably want to spruce up their avie.
Meeting people and creating something are two good things to contribute to ongoing involvement.

So I'd say, keep it 'small' and 'simple' is the best possible idea. It should teach the Kitely differentiators without 'overtly teaching.' For example, a simple, well designed, responsive NPC to greet and welcome, answer questions, and deliver basic information alongside a summon button or group help button - Send an IM to a mentors group for example, could do wonders. Perhaps a couple of simple interactive options - click through guides or play through game / training experiences.

I actually think freebies can and should be handled elsewhere.

Kitely's Differentiators:
Smart Money
Kitely is priced by minutes you spend in world - usually about 20 cents an hour (and some worlds are free.)
You are in Charge
Get your very own sim for free and do whatever you like with it.
Share, Swap & Sell
List the things you create on Kitely Marketplace - the virtual marketplace that serves all grids

I know that my list above might be contentious, but - hey, that's the point of discussion right? So assuming it's somewhere in the ballpark, then the initial landing should at minimum do the following;

1. Greet people and help them with some simple mechanism to talk to mentors.
2. Encourage loitering by giving them a task to complete - find x, y, z to earn your Kitely Wings (something like that.) Add some chairs to encourage old timers to hang out.
3. Provide simple - 3 or 4 '10 word' slides, that outline each topic above. Use easy to follow descriptions and helpful illustrations.
4. Help people figure out how to shop and find sims in Kitely - clarify that it's done from the web
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Sherrie Melody »

Allen Partridge wrote:I actually think freebies can and should be handled elsewhere.
That's a good point. There are lots of worlds devoted to free things, like all the Linda Kellie based ones. Though, it wouldn't hurt to put a few of those is a newbie notecard.
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Ada Radius
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Ada Radius »

If no freebies, then maybe teleports to them.

I was impressed by OSGrids current welcome sim - I had about an hour to get in, get my viewer configured, get my av dressed to a director's specs, and get ready to do a show, and I found everything I needed fast. Well designed streets and every shop the same so I could kind of scoop through with my camera, pick up boxes and folders, and then head over to the sandbox to get set up. Most of the freebies up there were for merchants to advertise, so I was collecting landmarks to their shops as well. Nice mesh shoes, and a couple of decent wigs, two things I don't have any interest in designing myself. Just enough shrubbery to make it a pleasant space, and very few build textures - I wasn't aware of any viewer side lag. I hadn't thought of setting up shop iOSG until now, but seeing this, I might.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Ilan Tochner »

I was asked about various DOs and DON'Ts for creating low-lag worlds so I created a short (non-exhaustive) list here: http://www.kitely.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=579

It should come in handy when building the new world.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Sierra Jakob »

What Do Visitors Want at the Kitely Plaza?
Noobies want to feel welcomed as part of the family. They want to feel safe, wanted, and informed.
Established members are looking to be involvement in the community—they are generally looking for more advanced information & often for people. Here are some of my own thoughts on how we can use the Plaza to meet these needs.

People arrive at the Plaza with a certain amount of energy to burn. The Plaza design can determine whether they spend that energy spinning their wheels--or building community.

Landing Point
The Landing Point is the most import place in Kitely Plaza. For the Noobie, arrival at the landing point is by necessity an abrupt arrival. Psychologically, therefore, it needs to be a space, where the individual has a moment to take a breath and get oriented. The landing point should feel peaceful, spacious, calming, and inviting. It should not be crowded with objects or information. Allow the individual to get their bearings and move forward when they are ready. At the same time, the individual should be able to get visually oriented from the landing point. There should be an obvious structure to the area, with a few clear sections of interest--that can be easily explored in the first visit. The Established Member, upon arriving at the Landing Point in the Welcome Area, should feel a sense of pride—that this is a Kitely Show Place--that they can be excited to invite friends and acquaintances to Kitely, knowing that with their first arrival in Kitely Plaza, they will be impressed. There should be a large, clear gateway, visible from the landing point, just beyond the welcome section—beckoning to these more advanced citizens.

Text Info
Display of Information is critical. It makes sense to present information about Avatar operation and socialization in world. Placement of text information is critical. No one likes to be bombarded with information without warning. Therefore, information at the landing point should be sparing—limited to instructions about, for example, how to walk to a nearby area with more detailed info. That way, “info saturation” is a voluntary experience, and the individual has time to adjust. Info should be well organized, easy to view, and concise. Wading through new information can be quite fatiguing—so efficiency means the user gets what they need and is willing to use the system repeatedly—staying involved.

Tone
Kitely Plaza should be beautiful and pleasant. New Comers should feel immediately that this is a place in which they would enjoy spending some time. This encourages community involvement.

Theme
A unified theme is restful, leaving the user receptive, and able to focus on what is important. A clean design-using a few textures consistently-puts the mind at rest, and allows the user to absorb information more readily.

Travel
Travel should be a pleasant and easy experience. Even from the Landing Point, it should be apparent that there are clear pathways to get to different places---and that there are different types of pathways that lead to particular sections. For example, using different colored pathways, can make giving instructions to new comers much easier: “Follow the yellow brick path to get to the Welcome Center”. “This white sidewalk leads to free items you may enjoy.” “Follow the red brick path to get to our featured merchants and purchase quality items.”

Consistency over time
The overall structure of the Plaza should be perfectly built from the beginning, and should remain as it is over time. Users who return should already be familiar with structure and be able to easily find locations—not have to search anew. This makes it more likely that people will return, and makes it easier for them to help new comers without actually escorting them. A new “look” can be given to the Plaza periodically by refreshing the texture set used—but the actual structure, the overall design of where everything is should remain the same, because it is serving so many people. People really love it when they can count on you not changing things after they have learned it.

I also worked on a model over the weekend. I'll tweak it a bit before offering a viewing, but stay tuned. ;)
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Graham Mills »

I agree with Rikku. If you want to use a megaregion, don't feel you have to build over all of it. Have woods, fields, creeks and bays and take some of the learning trails down there. That way it's less of a ghost-town and you can always adapt an area or throw up a sky-platform for a training space for classes if and when needed. I've been on grids with community regions devoted to training. They were probably a good idea at the time but they quickly look sad unless you actually have a schedule of upcoming classes. Grow organically.

I agree with most of what Allen said but not the NPC. They freak some people out and potentially confuse n00bs.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dot Macchi »

Here's my take.

Keep it simple, focused and uncluttered -- especially the central link-in point.

Use a single region rather than a megaregion, so that points of interest (or other people) are always close by.

Pathways leading away from the link-in point would take you to:
  • Separate male and female changing areas for quick-fix avie changes using good freebies, with links to external shopping sims (freebie and paid-for)
  • A pleasant hang-out spot for anyone and everyone to sit and chat with friends (a good place for potential mentors/greeters to enjoy while waiting)
  • A travel centre to find new places of interest, perhaps including forthcoming events
  • A learning centre with simple slideshows for key Kitely elements
The other functions served by the current plaza -- showcase, gallery, events place, clubs and bars, training area, meeting area, shopping malls -- can be covered by separate regions, maybe those already created by different Kitely users -- and why not!? There are a lot of good builds already out there. This might be one way to make more use of them.

I've not said anything about style. Rikku's point about a naturalistic setting struck me as making a lot of sense (but texture use would need to be monitored carefully). I also like Allen's Virtually Human structures -- elegant and simple and visually interesting. Could the two style elements be combined to make a classical, ancient garden?

But in that, I am running ahead of the discussion...
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Paul Wilson »

The landing area need to have a place where new users can learn the basic controls of navigating a virtual world (how to walk, look and interact with things). A peaceful natural looking setting is best as user will be familiar with such spaces from real life. This space should be open with long sight lines and distinct architecture visible to the user as this will help the user stay oriented in the virtual space (experienced users have learned to orient themselves quickly in virtual spaces where as new users won't have these kinds of skills).

This space should easily allow users to move from the landing area to a more advanced area that has some freebie clothes and instructions on how to manage their avatar appearance. This would also have more information about the world, such as the various Kitely Plans and such (this would be similar to the current kitley plaza's landing area).

The last section would be the community section where events are held, locations for social gatherings (even a sandbox if it is wanted). It could also include more information about what is happening in the Kitely-verse (public worlds that have lots of people in them, worlds that the community has voted the best of kitley, mentors that are on line, etc).

The idea is that an experienced user could quickly move from the landing area into the community area to participate in community events, whereas new users can be gently lead from the basics to the more advanced skills and then on to community participation. If you look at MMOs (and many other computer games too) this is the same sequence they use to teach new players how to play the game and about the game world.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Dundridge Dreadlow »

I've been standing back for the most part but on NPCs...

Ok, yeah, they can kinda freak people out who are used to deserted, empty places, but with any luck new people will be arriving with no particular knowledge of Kitely type grids. They will come from games which are loaded with NPCs who they can talk to, get quests from and generally interact with. "Real" people are easily distinguished by running around randomly at the places of interest and rushing out of the area. For some people, once they realise it is an NPC, it's a lot easier to relax than it would be around another person who may be watching them be new all over the place.
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Re: Kitely welcome area: What does it need to include?

Post by Constance Peregrine »

Phoneix Dreamscape said she was doing a bit of work with NPCs, someone might try to contact her in this regard...as she is an excellent scriptor I bet she has some good ones or can do some good ones for this.

I think they should be used, personally.
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