We present lessons learned from developing Alice, a 3D graphics programming environment designed for undergraduates with no 3D graphics or programming experience. Alice is a Windows 95/NT tool for describing the time-based and interactive behavior of 3D objects, not a CAD tool for creating object geometry. Our observations and conclusions come from formal and informal observations of hundreds of users. Primary results include the use of LOGO- style egocentric coordinate systems, the use of arbitrary objects as lightweight coordinate systems, the launching of implicit threads of execution, extensive function overloading for a small set of commands, the careful choice of command names, and the ubiquitous use of animation and undo. Copyright ACM 2000.