Saturday, June 27, 2009

Demo Dunces

Written 24 June, 2009

Demo Dunces

Most hair makers (and increasingly, more shoe makers) are providing demos for their products.

It’s good for customers because they’re able to see how the hair actually looks and determine whether it works well on their avatars.

It’s good for hair sellers because clients are more likely to make a purchase after viewing a demo than if only a sign had been available.

Demo hair typically has a good-sized prim of some sort that floats above the wearer’s head. It’s far enough above the hair to enable a prospective customer to get a good look at herself or himself, and obtrusive enough to stop any but the least socially and morally uhconscious person from actually wearing hair with a big hovering demo sign.

Potential thieves can’t remove the visible prim because the demo hair is set no mod. While no-mod demo hair is a pain for those (like myself) with big heads because it can’t be resized to fit, most hair can be positioned so the biggest-headed wearer can get a good idea of how it will look. Sometimes, however (perhaps because the maker builds to fit his or her own avi), the hair is just too big (or too small) to get a good idea how it will look.

For this reason a few hair makers provide several sizes in their demo packages. This helps—but sometimes it’s still not adequate to give me an idea of how I’ll look in the hair.

Some hairmakers will set a portion of the demo hair to some psychedelic texture that would further inhibit wearing the hair. This is acceptable to the consumer— if only a few strands are so tweaked— but some merchants go wild and tweak 2/3 or 3/4 of the strands. This lets the wearer make sure the hair suits the shape of their head and face, but he or she gets no real idea how the hair will look.

Increasing numbers of merchants are selling their hair no mod with included resize scripts. This fairly well sucks, as it’s important to be able to adjust individual strands to get them out of your ear or widen a strand to cover a bald spot. Resizing does absolutely nothing to fit the hair to your oddly-shaped head. For this reason, and because all those scripts in the hair can be incredibly laggy, I and a lot of other people absolutely will not buy no-mod hair.

Lately some hairmakers have been getting cute with their demos (see the photos). Yes, it’s funny for about five seconds—but it’s absodamnlutely impossible to get an idea how the hair will look. You guys are screwing the pooch. People will resent your stupid demos and a lot of people who might otherwise have bought your hair won’t. Me included.

Come on, you hair makers. How many people do you see walking around in demo hair with big boxes over their heads?

Sure, people will wear the demo for an hour or two as they evaluate it and maybe show it to their friends, but I just don’t see a plague of demo-wearing avatars, even at the newbie areas. You guys are trying to fix something that ain’t broke, and pissing your customers off as you do it.

Maybe you should find something better to worry about. Copybots, maybe? Content thieves, maybe? And maybe, maybe, giving people reasonable demos so they can decide whether to buy your hair.

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