A few weeks ago, Bonnie Ruberg wrote about a few gripes with Google Lively's user interface and chat system; Mark Young, the user experience designer for Lively, quickly got back regarding the complaints and the two shared an interesting little Q&A on future plans for making Lively more user friendly. On the topic of what bits of the interface are still being tweaked, Young had this to say:
Everything. Much of the GUI is not as complete or polished as planned in designs. Room creation/publishing/decorating could be a lot easier than it is now - we're working on that. Social functionality needs to be built out further - finding friends and inviting friends should be easier and more productive. There are some aspects of the client that limit how flexible it is as an element of web design - we would like to have it be more malleable in the hands of web designers.
There is a big demand for the ability to create content. We have a tool that our artists and partners use to publish content after its been exported from off-the-shelf DCC tools like Max, Maya and SketchUp. The publishing tool needs a redesign and documentation before its ready for public consumption. However, UI design and development for that is a simpler task than ironing out the policies for user-generated content.
Ruberg's initial complaints centered around Lively's lack of support for cybersex, but she coyly notes that "Earlier conversations with Young may or may not have involved interface design changes specific to cybersex, but since Google has no official statement on sex in its virtual world, those comments will have to be left to your imaginations ...".
Q&A with Google Lively's User Experience Designer [Terra Nova]