The first thing people see when seeing your proposal for the first time is your title. People who don't even click through to read your actual proposal are going to read your title. That makes it the most important part of your entire proposal.
✓ Write a clear, complete, accurate title.
Your title needs to convey your entire proposal in eighty letters. Your description can be almost 32 times as large, but should only elaborate on your idea. The essential gist of your proposal should be in the title.
Your title should be clear. To that end, unless your proposal asks for a completely new feature, your title should also be a command. Think of your proposal's title as finishing the sentence:
Lindens, would you...?
More specifically, your title should be a full sentence in the imperative mood. Currently titles are often written as noun phrases with no verb at all; that's appropriate when you're asking for a new feature, as that's the name of the new feature you want. However, by itself, that title would leave a reader not familiar with Second Life unclear whether you want the named thing added, removed, or changed.
Here are some recent noun phrase proposal titles that can be punched up as imperative sentences:
- SL IM Timestamps → Show timestamps in IM
- Better lag detection mechanisms → Improve lag detection
- Mouse Look Movement → Allow avatar movement by right-dragging
When your proposal is for a completely new feature, you can use a simple noun phrase. Here are some good noun phrase titles:
- llGetParent() - Return the key of parent object
- Orthographic views for editing
- Animated particle textures
Your title should be complete. While you can say a lot more in the proposal body, all the important parts of your proposal should be in the title. For example, when proposing a new LSL function, your title should be what the new function will do, not what you think that function's name should be. If you can't write a complete title because your proposal has several parts, that may indicate you actually have more than one proposal.
For example, "Clothing offline" is vague. It could mean Linden Lab should require users to wear clothes at all times, with a system of webcams and advanced AI anti-obscenity software. Instead it's a proposal for an offline clothing editor and previewer. A more complete title would be "Allow offline edit and preview of clothes."
Lastly, your title should be accurate. It should say what you would actually like the Lindens to do, or at least state the problem you would like them to solve. "Unmute music" is a bad title when you actually want the ability to mute game sounds and leave music playing; "Allow muting game sounds" is more appropriate. While the distinctions aren't that great, they're important when trying to get your message across in a proposal title.
While it's not fair to judge a book by its cover, people will. People will especially judge your proposal by its title. You should make yours clear, complete, and accurate to give your proposal a fair shake at gathering votes and getting accepted.