Sitting and staring at a virtual screen wastes time

In a post today titled 5 Reasons Why Users Flee from Difficult 3D Virtual Platforms, “Daisy” at VenueGen suggested that new users might like virtual worlds more if they don’t have to do anything else in a virtual world than sit and stare at a screen.

If a user log into a virtual platform, then has to walk somewhere, they might bump into things, she writes. “Many issues can be minimized by having attendees appear already in their seats.”

(Image source: VenueGen)

But if the only thing that your users are doing in a virtual world is still in a virtual chair and starting at a screen, then what’s the point of having them come into a virtual world at all? They might as well sit in their actual chair and stare at their actual computer screen — saving themselves the time of loading up a virtual environment, sparing themselves the additional download requirements, and saving their companies money.

Instead, they could be using one of the many well-known and easy-to-use Web conferencing platforms like WebEx or GoToMeeting — both of which start at just $50 a month for unlimited meetings.

If all you’re using a virtual world for is to have people sit and look at screens, then you’re wasting your money, and you’re wasting your employees’ time.

There are engaging, immersive uses for virtual worlds, however. They take some creativity to find, however.

Sitting around and looking at a screen is fine if your users are already inside the virtual world, and they’re doing other things as well. But getting into a virtual world just for the screen time isn’t a worthwhile use of resources, and may turn off your end users.

In the interface is so clumsy that your users can’t walk around — improve the user interface. This isn’t a problem just for VenueGen, of course, but for many virtual worlds.

But stripping down the virtual experience to the point that your users are simply sitting in chairs is the wrong way to solve this problem, and may actually prove counter-productive.

Instead of selling your users on the experience, you might wind up facing backlash, as users decide the the virtual worlds are nothing but WebEx with some cheesy 3D graphics added that do nothing but slow down their computers.