New Destination Islands added to the new user experience

This week Linden Lab have renamed Welcome Islands to Destination Islands as part of new user experience changes to Second Life. Linden Lab have rolled out many different versions of help regions over the years to help new users in Second Life.

These new Destination Islands have a new feel to them when you first arrive. Destination Islands are Linden Realms themed and it seems the experience is even more simple than before. There are 24 Destination Islands which I believe new users are now being sent to.

There are 7 portals and when you walk through you will be automatically teleported. Once you leave Destination Island you cannot go back and the teleport says its failed.

Here are snapshots from Destination Island. As you can see the edge of the central hub area is surrounded by green Linden Realms trees and water.

Destination Island arrival where you have to choose from different destinations on themed boards. To visit you have to walk through the portals to teleport to the Second Life destinations. This is the first view new residents will now see when they log in for the first time in Second Life however there doesn’t seem to be any help tutorials on the island which is rather alarming.

A snapshot from above showing a massive Second Life hand and portals in the middle of a green jungle of trees.

Try it out if you are interested in exploring Destination Islands.


35 thoughts on “New Destination Islands added to the new user experience

  1. I guess this is something where our feedback is really not wanted. Without a “Destination Island Public” I would have to create 7 alts to explore the island itself and all 7 destinations.


  2. ok… i see a trend in SL’s approach to the new user experience. the trees are a good observation, Daniel. it sets the tone for the entire experience. i see a trend toward simplification which is good, but hopefully the amazing details of the Second Life communities won’t get lost in all the pathways being created.

    I remember vividly the thrill when I logged in for the first time in 2007. It was pretty impressive to me, but when it came to finding a place to go and start learning I really felt lost. Some of the places I got directed to were often unsupervised, noisey, hostile places.


    1. Thanks Yordie for your comment. 7 options is a starting point but there should be more destinations to pick from and tutorials to help get started. If nothing gets changed then the experience for new residents will be worse than ever before.

      I went through orientation island back in October 2006 and it was good to know the basics of Second Life but on these new Destination Islands there is nothing.


  3. Interesting, if one tries to fly off the edge of the sim they are teleported back to “ground zero” and given the message “You have been teleported by the object ‘Out of Bounds’ on the parcel ‘Destination Island.’ And several attempts to fly away in any direction, including UP ejects you from the region. And Despite the message that one can’t return to “repeat the tutorial” when trying to teleport back, there aren’t any tutorials, as you observed. I watched people wander about aimlessly wondering what to do. I wound up at pretty randomly, it seems.


    1. That’s not good and that should not happen I think. The lab needs to go and look that issue. I think many newbies will get lost and most likely quit faster than in previous years. Changes are needed ASAP!


      1. I’m sure everyone involved in the project has already been either laid off or re-assigned. Newbies will need to file a JIRA and wait some months before it gets a looking at, at which point older resident ‘attitudes’ will be blamed and the thing just shut down rather than tweaked. 😉


  4. I just tried it, I choose furry bunny av, but rezzed as nekid ruth. Then after relogging a dialog asked if I wanted to be male or female. I choose male and my avatar was the default male av. Behind me was a an avatar only showing shoes and another few nekid ruths.
    I saw the exciting portals and went through the RP one and was tp’ed to an empty zyngo place.

    The user experience still leaves much to be desired.


      1. And perhaps be more concerned where the destinations goes. If I joined sl and choose RP and ended up on some game sim with free zyngo, spooders and free L$ I would quit and think it was all a scam 😀

        You need to have been in SL for a while before you know that only half the places in search are scams hahahahah


  5. Hopefully I can publish a blog post soon that shows some of the decisions and design process behind the island 🙂


  6. I believe that the Destination you go to is randomly selected within the group for the theme of the portal you’ve chosen. This has several bad consequences. First, you have no idea where you will end up. Second, if you started with a friend, you are almost certain to get separated by the portal.

    Another massive Fail for Linden Lab.


  7. Make a weekend roadtrip and this happens while I’m away…

    Will have to go check this out.

    Hopefully an improvement – but will reserve opinion until I see it.

    They need to have something going, and the more something, the better.


  8. One thing to take note is that this is 2012.

    People who have not or cannot use a basic game interface to move around are getting rare now.

    I recently sat over the shoulder of someone logging in for the first time on my recommendation of SL over IMVU. and moving about or talking were not their concerns.

    All they wanted to know was how to get a house to start decorating, like they could any of the games from Zynga.

    When I told them to have the house would cost buying one… they gave up. Not because of user frustration with the system – but because the SL business model is outdated for current trends where the house more or less comes with the avatar.


  9. The success of these could and should be measured with some simple A-B split tests.

    Siphon off X% of new logins to A, and Y% to B, and so on to cover your bases, then look at the metrics for retention, shopping, conversion to premium, and so on.

    – Routinely darn in marketing and other use-case testing environments.

    Could be done with these new Destination islands paired off against the old methods, and against any other options they wished to test.

    If your marketing people respond with ‘what’s A-B split testing?’ fire them.


  10. First it was linden operated welcome and help islands with information rich displays. The tutorials were too long for most people and since there were insufficient mentors to help, newcomers gave up never to return.

    Then it was community gateways fed by the WEB site letting newcomers select their interests. Those were fairly well run since the owners operating the gateway had a strong incentive to retain people interested in the new arrivals. They worked well from the communities perspectives but they did not increase overall retention rates. They were summarily dismantled after estates spent a *lot* of money setting them up.

    Then it was back to linden welcome areas, no help island, a quick set of posters, a teleporter and whoosh! the ill prepared newcomer went off to the few ‘authorized’ destination spots to drop into every predator who wanted a piece of your virtual ass-ets.

    And now, it’s cartoon-like simplicity, a harsh treatment of wandering newcomers, and no assistance. Fail.


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