On Monday November 22, Linden Lab announced on their blog they had updated the appearance of the search function on their Second Life Viewer.
Our goal was to clean up the interface and provide a more streamlined and user friendly Search feature that maintained all the functionality that we’ve all come to expect and rely upon. Helpful tool tips will guide you in getting the most functionality out of your searches, and will update as we add more options for more sophisticated searches.
Once you’ve begun your search, you’ll find that all the familiar options are still available so that you can refine your search for Places, People, Events, Groups, Land to Buy or Rent, Classifieds, etc. We have not changed the algorithm that our Search feature uses in any way. We have simply tried to present the information in a more pleasing and useful manner.
Trying it out, I noticed some differences right away. The appearance was different, wth larger letters, and fewer names initially visible, just several. Of the latter, one could just scroll down. It was also possible to not just search categories one at a time, but all at once.
Checking one thread on the forums, reception seemed to be mixed with those not liking the change being the more vocal. "This new search page looks like a roll back to geo cities looking websites very very horrible look." "Grade B-, for effort." "I have never understood why the Lindens broke this, and why they couldn't remain happy with it as it was." "The massive space taken up by the SL logo and search area title at the top if the entry page is problematic..." "We are NOT impressed, LL."
Inara Pey would write about the "search facelift" on her blog. She called it an example of "flat design," feeling it was "understandable" if the Lab wanted to make this new search function part of a mobile client. She felt it's home page "looks clean" with "options easy to identify." But there was "A terrible waste of space in the banner area" and the left sidebat tabes were too broad. Of search results, she felt there was "Much better listing layout and improved readability." But on the other hand, "the number of results displayed before scrolling is required is an annoyance, and something of a step back" and "There are also some informational elements lacking (such as traffic)." In the end, her conclusion was, "I can live with the shortfalls and can appreciate the improvements, and will await further changes to see how things fair."
To read the Linden blog post in full, Click Here.
To read the post on the Linden forums, Click Here.