"Dynamic User Interface" - the benefits


Last night at the alpha meeting I raised the concept of being able to move windows outside the main window and the benefits this would bring, especially to people with multiple monitors, but to others too.

I noted that there had been a great amount of interest on this topic in SL. What I had not looked at at the time was Firestorm’s DUI (Dynamic User Interface) “April Fool” video, which turns out not to be an April Fool at all but a proof-of-concept.

The video provides a lot of the rationale for a “DUI”-based viewer and notes the extremely high level of interest in this functionality in SL.

I think this would be well worth considering. Here’s the accompanying Firestorm DUI article:

Hope this helps!


You seem to have part of this functionality now. When I minimized the main viewer window, the chat window stayed up.


That’s really interesting it reminded me of when I moved to second life from Mirc chat. I thought it annoying that the chat interface was all in the way of the world view, In Mirc which admittedly was text based chat the friends list and everything was separate but still in the window Firestorms DUI reminds me a little of Winamp.


Thanks for the link, @Elrik_Merlin – request noted!

In general, we’re going to do everything in our power to keep users immersed in the 3D view, and that will inform most UI decisions. Obviously we’re still doing a lot of experimenting now, so this is a good time to offer arguments like this.



Excellent! I tend to think that being able to get the subsidiary windows out of the main viewing area contributes to immersion for conventional (non-headset) viewers, especially those with multiple screens. There seem to have been a great many calls for this in SL for this very reason, and I am not surprised - the video goes over this ground very well with visual examples.

If it can be done, the ability to have the sub-windows either locked inside the main viewing window or floating anywhere you want them would seem to cover all the bases. I can see that users without multiple screens would not enjoy needing multiple clicks to bring a sub-window into visibility. So a mode switch would be ideal.



An idea that comes to my mind is that if you do this, it would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut to make keyboard navigation a bit easier. A key to tab through each panel. Like, hitting tab might put the chat window into focus, then hitting it again might bring the inventory panel into focus, then hitting it again might bring the main 3d interface back into focus.