This weekend it appears Linden Lab are bringing in new residents through the new Welcome Island in Second Life when using the default Second Life viewer. For many years when new residents join they go through Learning Island and then the Social Island. The new user experience has been completely been revamped with a new layout and a new Welcome Island Guidebook.
I decided to join Second Life today under a new account and see if the lab have started to roll out the new user experience. I was amazed to arrive at the new Welcome Island as I thought it was still being tested / QA.
Welcome Island is open to new residents joining Second Life. The Welcome Back Island appears to be open to the public which is the same layout as the Welcome Island is. I would imagine in the weeks or months ahead the lab will add a whole lot more Welcome Islands on the grid. Keep a look out just in case.
Once new residents log into Second Life they will now arrive at this starting point on the new Welcome Island. The new Welcome Island Guidebook will appear on screen where they can get started going through the basics of Second Life. The Welcome Island is split into many areas with free gifts, seating areas including a new bar and more. See the snapshots below.
I have to say the Welcome Island new user experience is alright compared with previous versions of the new user experience the lab have rolled out. This version is faster for sure and is mainly focused on the new Welcome Island Guidebook rather then going through different physical tutorials.
I just wonder how many new residents will stay with Second Life after finishing this new Welcome Island. I think that more improvements could be done like more tutorials to interact with, a huge map of Second Life with key landmarks to visit, support resources and more.
Let me know what you think of this new Welcome Island experience in comments.
Linden Lab are currently working on the new user experience for Second Life at the moment which will be rolled out in the months ahead. All new residents joining Second Life today still go through the Learning Islands followed by the Social Islands. Soon new residents will most likely be sent though the new revamped Welcome Islands.
The new Welcome islands came online on 27th June 2021. I would imagine the lab will add a big cluster of these Welcome Islands at some point in the near future near the social/learning islands.
At first glance there new Welcome Islands main areas seem half the size of the current Learning Islands/Social Islands. I suppose the good thing is that the tutorials/orientation there will be pretty new and updated. At the moment there appears to be three Welcome Islands (Welcome Island, Welcome Island Build and Welcome Island QA). The Welcome Back Island region is linked with the Welcome Islands. These are closed to the public as the lab are testing them currently.
The New Welcome Island Guidebook
The new Welcome Island Guidebook is available to view by using the default Second Life official viewer (126.96.36.1990520) which is apart of Viewer UI Project now. The new Welcome Island Guidebook covers the basics from how to move your avatar & camera, how to use nearby chat, IM and voice, interacting with objects, changing your avatar, avatar attachments and finding places to go. There is the ability to click next or back when going through the guidebook sections. There is a small toggle in the top right which brings up the Guidebook Menu to skip whole sections. There is a clickable image to return to Welcome Island which is not working yet.
The new Welcome Island Guidebook has alot of useful pages to click through with updated screenshots of the UI and the basics. The lab have not released any ETA for when the new welcome islands will open to new users.
New User Experience In 2021
My New User Experience Back In 2006
I remember when I signed up to Teen Second Life back on 31st October 2006 when I was 16 years old and I had to go through TG orientation island. After that I was teleported straight to the welcome area (Lewis) where I started my virtual adventures. There was actually a few Teen Help Islands back then but they were never really used/disabled access.
The starting point back then was through Orientation Island 5 and the Orientation Island TG was used as a overflow region. The TSL Volunteer Island was used for a few years for the TG mentor program but then the program was closed down. I know many started on Orientation Island followed by Help Islands then after that landing on various welcome areas across the main grid. Tutorial Island is still open which is a copy version of the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives.
TheNew User Experience Today
I know many started on Orientation Island followed by Help Islands then after that landing on various welcome areas across the main grid. Today there are just two existing Help Island Public regions which are open to everyone to revisit if they wish. Orientation Island Public is still open today which is near a welcome area called Waterhead.
Over the years the lab have rolled out many different new user experience regions from Help islands, Greeter islands, Discovery islands, Learning/Social islands and now with the new Welcome Islands launching very soon. Some methods have worked during the past 18 years and some have not worked well.
I think having a Welcome island is definitely a good thing for new residents joining Second Life and I hope at some point the lab will bring back the mentor program revamped.
I will post more soon about the new user experience when further developments take place.
It looks like Linden Lab have revamped the Second Life Join Page today and it looks very good at first glimpse. I really do think this revamp will now improve the new resident experience going forward along with the new themed learning islands which include many cool genres like sci-fi etc.
Part 1: The classic and fantasy avatars are now shown under a drop down menu on the left hand side with the sign up details on the right hand side of the page.
Part 2: Once you click the Create My Account button you will be taken to the next page where you can select your membership level either Basic or Premium with the experiences you can expect for each.
Part 3: The final page says “Your account is activated” and “Your avatar is waiting for you!”. You can now download and install the Second Life viewer and start the great adventure.
What do you think of the new Second Life Join page ? Please share your views in the comments section below.