Linden Lab revamps new user experience – Social Island and Learning Island


This week Linden Lab has added two new regions called Social Island and Learning Island for new users signing up to Second Life.  The former Destination Islands and Welcome Islands are no longer on the grid. It seems Linden Lab has revamped the first hour experience by changing the look of the setup install process and new user regions. There is more to see on Social Island and Learning Island but there is still no information on getting started in Seoond Life like the old orientation islands/help islands.

Map of the new Social Islands and Learning Islands

Social Island and Learning Island map

New SL setup preview

Second Life setup

If you click the Advanced button you can change the installation folder and now there is a tick box if you want for Second Life to start up after installing. It now gives you a tutorial on getting started when installing which is rather neat.

Second Life setup

It will now download the latest SL viewer for you which is good so now you just need to log into Second Life with your username/password then accept the terms of service box. Wooot!

First Preview of Social Island 

When you first arrive on Social Island you will start on a beach on a island surrounded by the sea. Then you have to follow the path up the mountain to teleport to learning island. No information on getting started in SL anywhere.

Learning Island

Walk through the gate to automatically teleport to learning island.

Learning Island

First preview of Learning Island 

Once teleported from Social Island you will arrive at the welcome point. Again nothing to explain the basics of Second Life.

Learning Island

Walk along the path to the destinations area to teleport to well known locations across the grid. Other things to see on Learning Island: Tiki Beach, Lighthouse, Hot air balloon, Quiet Isle, The Cave Club and Club SL.

Learning Island 2013

What do you think of this latest revamp of the new user islands ? 

18 thoughts on “Linden Lab revamps new user experience – Social Island and Learning Island

  1. beladona Memorial

    They can change the physical settings, but the one thing that would enhance the newcomers’ experience would be to bring the SL Mentors back! Not only did we enjoy helping, but it was totally without cost to LL except for recognition….

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  2. Kylinn

    Why no instructions on the basics, practice moving and so on? And what the heck is the point of Social Island if it’s just a gateway to the teaching-less Learning Island? If they’re not going to teach newbies, they should give ’em all lms to places like Cadedon and White Tiger Island which do still have teaching paths and mentors.

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  3. Daniel Voyager Post author

    I don’t get it either, Kylinn why there is no information at the rez point etc.

    * New setup screens – its very nice!
    * Social Island – a place to meet other new residents and wonder where to go next I guess.
    * Learning Island – neat places to visit and a hub to teleport to well known locations

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  4. Lindal Kidd

    Looks like still another FAIL in LL’s never-ending attempts to get Second Life to explain itself. Learning SL is not an easy or an automatic process, and it usually takes at least a little assistance from a real person at some point. That’s why staffed learning areas like Caledon Oxbridge University and White Tiger Help Island are so useful and so important.

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  5. Dahlia Jayaram

    That large, barren rock with a bland beach sure doesn’t look very inspiring, informational or welcoming to me. I hope Linden Lab at least takes the opportunity to teach newbies how to walk so they can make it up that path to the teleporter! Clueless new first-time users need all the information they can get in the very first moments and location when and where they arrive…more than later and somewhere else. LL’s inability to credibly think fully through even basic user experiences by putting themselves into the shoes of new residents never ceases to amaze me. There are so many fine examples of other starting point instructional places such as Haven Helpers and The Inspiring Orientation in Harpers that I wish LL would take their cue from them and incorporate those kinds of experiences into their own planning. But nooooo. Just leave a “Hot Spots” sign somewhere nearby and that should be good enough! Then they wonder why they can’t retain new users past the first week. Well, that’s why! Its called “user experience.” Its a shame that existing residents probably don’t have access to the Learning Island so they can go back to the starting point to more empathetically guide new people into the new world and provide the kind of customer service help that new people would certainly no doubt appreciate.

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    1. Daniel Voyager Post author

      I agree its not very inspiring on social island and its rather empty. It’s much better on learning island for things to see.

      Suggestions!
      * There needs to be information, map and freebies at the start for newcomers.
      * Tutorial on basics of Second Life then help landmarks to visit (HUD would be ideal)
      * Mentors program needs to come back or a resident help program!

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  6. Shug Maitland

    I created a new account today, mesh testing. She came in to one of the old type welcome islands; it looked like most new newbies did. There were a few dots on the map at the new regions so I assume LL is shunting a limited number of signups there as a test.

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  7. Ener Hax (@iliveisl)

    “bring the SL Mentors back! Not only did we enjoy helping, but it was totally without cost to LL except for recognition….” 100% CORRECT!

    i was a legit Mentor for a year and loved spending about 2.5 to 4 hours a week doing it. AND i was paying $2,920 a month in tiers running 19 sims!

    wow, to get paying customers who were trying to make money in land sales to then spend their own time as Mentors showed just how exciting SL was . . .

    getting rid of Mentors was one of a few key things that ultimately led to my complete abandonment of SL – it’s been over two years since i have even logged in

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  8. Grover Caldwell

    Our A&S Wired class “Between Shadow and Light: Co-Mingling in Physical and Virtual Communities” has started up again! We’ll be using the UKSL island for orientation training next week. The UKIT computer lab in the M.I.King Library will host our students as they work together to learn basic skills in navigating the diverse landscapes in Second Life and in respectful communications.

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  9. Zussa Ryba

    We created a helper group consisting mainly of old SL mentors to help at the Social islands, some of us had alts on the Learning islands too (they were ejected after a while…), the trouble is the many anti-helper persons there which are ARed for harrassing us or monitoring chat there.. the group name is Social Island Helpers.

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