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Some Early Improvements to Usability

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Rodvik Linden

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We’ve been very busy at the Lab since I last updated you in March when we launched the SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes. As BK mentioned today in the Q1 Economy Update blog post, we have seen a significant improvement in new and completed daily registrations when compared to recent months and an increase in new users exploring Second Life. It’s a solid first step and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the changes and improvements that we’ve implemented and a small look ahead.

The Refreshed and Fun Registration Experience
On the registration front, we’re knocking down the barriers that can sometimes prevent interested users from joining Second Life. If you haven’t checked out the Join experience lately, then you definitely should. New users start by picking an avatar in a dynamic, animated interface that immediately draws them in. We’ve also removed much of the non-essential information, that we used to require in the registration flow, to make it a quicker and more delightful on-boarding experience. We’re going to continue to refine and evolve this experience, but it is a big contributor to the 33% growth in new registrations.

SL Viewer Basic Will Soon Have a Wider Assortment of Avatars to Choose From
When we first launched Basic mode, we started with a basic set of human avatars that helped get new Residents immersed in Second Life without having to worry about configuring their avatar to socialize and find cool things to do, in the integrated Destination Guide. But, we know that the beauty of Second Life is the diversity and richness of how we choose to represent ourselves inworld. So, we’re adding 12 animal and 12 Robots and soon we’ll have Vehicles too. Then, we’ll also commission another set of human avatars that represent a wider, more diverse audience.

Have You Noticed the New Dynamic Login Screen?
If you use the SL Viewer, then you might have noticed a change this week. The login screen is one of the most important pieces of real estate that we have to communicate with you. To start, we’ve added announcements and the blog feed. In the future, you’ll see more feeds on that page--like cool things in SL going on right now, highlights from the Destination Guide, and more. So, next time you log in, take a moment to check out the new feeds before you enter SL because you might find some new places to explore or learn about new features or initiatives going on at the Lab.

The Return of the Resident Help Network (RHN)
Thank you to all our Residents who suggested this. For those who might be unfamiliar with the program that began a few years ago, the RHN is a grouping of communities dedicated to helping new users get acclimated to Second Life. The RHN includes over 15,000 volunteers from the following organizations: Help Sandbox, Hobo Helpers, Mental Mentors, New Citizens, Inc., Phoenix Wave Mentors, Second Ability Mentors, Virtual Ability, and the White Tiger Mentors. The program has been in a bit of a holding pattern on the Linden side, while each of these groups continued to do their good work. I’m happy to report that we’re officially bringing back the RHN network and look forward to partnering with these communities and integrating them more tightly into our new user experience.

For those who are wondering why I haven’t mentioned our initiatives on fixing lag, and other updates from the technology side of the house, FJ and Bagman will be updating you on those items next week. In the meantime, thanks to all of you for your continued support!

Over the past few weeks, I have explored cyberspaces, flown aircraft, gone sailing, attended music concerts, made a battleship, attended charity events, and met some wonderful people all within Second Life. I hope to see many of our Residents old and new inworld soon!

Rod


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