Thursday, March 6, 2014
Why SL GO Was Doomed to Mediocrity
I created this comic a while ago about companies who simply port web apps to mobile devices, rather than redesigning them as native apps. But it sums up my take on SL GO, OnLive's port of Second Life to browsers and mobile devices. They've simply duplicated the desktop interface and added some tablet-friendly navigation and camera features. The problem is that an interface that is already cluttered on a large desktop monitor becomes a mine field of extraneous floating menus obscuring the screen. Worse yet, any time text input is required, a huge chunk of screen real estate is covered by the virtual keyboard. Any competent designer could have predicted that a direct port of a desktop application to mobile devices would end up being kludgy.
A better approach would have been to do a complete redesign for mobile devices, starting out with limited functionality that really nailed the mobile UX. Then, using their theoretically agile methodology, they could have added new features incrementally, based upon the priorities of their targeted customers.