by: Ilya Vedrashko
Chris from One-to-One Interactive writes in with a new report that compares corporate professionally-done (and often committee-approved) builds in Second Life with player-made stuff. Even if you think Second Life is sooo 2007 but are interested in interaction design in general, take a look.
Among other findings, there's this gem about how the biggest sim is not always the most popular, and for the reasons that are familiar to architects and urban planners but not necessarily to software designers [emphasis mine]:
"Corporate builds are sprawling virtual landscapes that distribute users throughout multiple locations of activity. Visitors to corporate builds were likely to interact with the content alone or with one or two friends. In contrast, user builds focus visitor activity into a few key areas. As a percent of overall land, user-created builds devote 40% less space to dedicated social areas, such as clubs and dance floors, than corporate builds. The limited social space in user-created builds encourages residents to collect into more densely populated and socially active areas, discouraging resident sprawl. Visitors to user-generated builds were more likely to be in groups of 10, 20, or even more. Second Life is ultimately a social world; social interaction is the primary activity among its users, so spreading users apart amongst well-produced buildings, spaces, and activities is self-defeating."