spidergram toolThe spidergram grew from a specific need of mine. I was working in SL with a student who has many of the symptoms of dyslexia and who wanted to work on planning for a large essay she had to submit for assessment. However it has now been updated in response to requests: read on below for more details.

In real life, when working on this sort of thing I use a two part planning process, spidergrams to start to get ideas down and linked, then we go through the spidergram and put the material into an order so there is a plan of the sections and how to move between them.

Of course, IRL, this is easy... pen and paper and off you go. In SL, it took about an hour to generate and test the code, but actually, after that it worked very smoothly and the addition of the third dimension and the ease of making hundreds of colours definitely adds something to the tool.

Usage is simple - the idea is to make it easy to use as always, but especially for this tool where the users should be focussed on their planning activities rather than how to use to tool! The instructions are hopefully easy to read and understand.

Despite the fact the tool was clearly, in my mind, NOT designed as a detailed display and storage tool, it was a minimalist planing tool, the number of users and casual observers that assumed it would also give them notecards and link to webpages was insane. So - now it does. Still keeping the simple interface of course, but with added functionality, and a new "lock" function that I added after seeing how often spidergrams got accidentally edited into meaningless messes after they were built. It also offers a verbal rez mode: you simply say the colour of a ball with this admin option turned on and the ball will rez for you.

I am gradually moving my product help pages and support pages to a wiki and Get Satisfaction respectively. The Spidergram and data-display tool now has its own help and instructions page and its own customer support page.


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