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Lindal Kidd

Experiments in the New User Experience

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This might be of interest.

When you first sign up for SL and log in, your avatar appears on "Learning Island".  After you explore there, you come to a portal that teleports you to "Social Island" where there are more "getting started" tutorials.

There are actually about a dozen identical copies of Learning Island and Social Island, and when one starts to get crowded, new arrivals get sent to one of the less crowded ones. 

Only actual newcomers can get to Learning Island.  Once you leave, you are an "experienced resident" and cannot return. 

Up until recently, everyone could visit any of the Social Islands.  Like the older Help Island and Infohubs, this resulted in these areas attracting griefers, scammers, and troublemakers who like to shock or take advantage of new, inexperienced residents.

That is still true, mostly.  But LL is experimenting, trying to improve the new user experience (and thereby improve retention).  On one Social Island, only newcomers can visit, just like Learning Island.  They have to find out stuff for themselves, but they won't be bothered by the riff-raff.  On another Social Island, members of a trained mentoring group may visit, and offer assistance to the new residents.  This is similar to the old LL Mentors program, but the mentors are a resident-run group.

In another experiment, there are two or three different versions of Learning Island/Social Island.  There's a Romantic one, and a Science Fiction one, and I think another one, but I don't recall its theme.  Anyone can visit these regions.  I haven't seen any newcomers there, so I don't think the automated intake system is using them, people have to find them on their own.

Kudos to LL for these experiments, and I hope the data gives useful results that lead to improvements!

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1 hour ago, Lindal Kidd said:

On another Social Island, members of a trained mentoring group may visit, and offer assistance to the new residents. This is similar to the old LL Mentors program, but the mentors are a resident-run group.

Interesting, and possibly a good thing. What do we know about how this group is managed?

1 hour ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Kudos to LL for these experiments, and I hope the data gives useful results that lead to improvements!

Do we know that they are, in fact, producing data from this?

It would be interesting also to do "exit interviews," but that of course is probably beyond the resources of LL (although one can imagine a pop-up window that asks for comments). The initial experience can be a complicated one.

BTW, Lindall, a brief anecdote. When I created my alt Laskya in 2013, she ended up at a Social Island (I guess it was?) that featured a mentor by the name of "Lindal Kidd." I didn't want to bother her while she worked with real noobs, but I did IM her (you) to let you know who I really was (i.e., Scylla).

You never responded. Laskya left Social Island feeling snubbed and unloved, in tears. AND NEVER RETURNED because of how terrible this particular mentor had made her initial user experience.

I hope you're happy with yourself.

 

ETA:  LOL

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It's ok, @Matty Luminos. This did happen, but I'm of course joking about my response: I wasn't actually upset, because I recognized that Lindal was, in fact, busy helping (as she always does) people who actually required her assistance.

And Laskya is still very much around.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

You never responded. Laskya left Social Island feeling snubbed and unloved, in tears. AND NEVER RETURNED because of how terrible this particular mentor had made her initial user experience.

I hope you're happy with yourself.

Yeah, Lindal. What she said!!

I never returned.

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Oh my gosh, I MISSED you!?  I am SO SORRY!

No, I don't know how they're collecting data.  The mentors are being drawn from White Tiger Mentors, the folks who run New Resident Island.  Treacle Darlandes is the group leader.  You have to take a brief orientation class before you can be added to the "Social Islands Guide" group.

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Being new is such a hollow experience, unless and until someone takes you under their wing...........was how I found it.

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1 minute ago, BelindaN said:

Being new is such a hollow experience, unless and until someone takes you under their wing...........

I keep trying to take in new people but they keep escaping >.>

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11 minutes ago, BelindaN said:

Being new is such a hollow experience, unless and until someone takes you under their wing...........was how I found it.

Believe it or not, it was that way from 2004 to 2009, which was the last year I created an alt.

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32 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Oh my gosh, I MISSED you!?  I am SO SORRY!

Oh, don't be! I was merely a little disappointed I didn't get the chance to say hi!

Although Laskya may be less understanding, of course.

34 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

The mentors are being drawn from White Tiger Mentors, the folks who run New Resident Island.  Treacle Darlandes is the group leader.  You have to take a brief orientation class before you can be added to the "Social Islands Guide" group.

I have absolutely no reason to believe that anyone who'd voluntarily undertake this kind of thankless work for free is anything other than genuine, friendly, helpful, and philanthropic.

BUT . . . I can already hear the complaints about favouritism, cronyism, corruption, venality, etc. Are they doing anything to, I don't know, make this more transparent, so as to forestall those kinds of complaints?

I have to say that I think this is an excellent idea. I've never really understood why LL disbanded its own mentors program.

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4 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I've never really understood why LL disbanded its own mentors program.

You answered your own question.

4 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

favouritism, cronyism, corruption, venality, etc

 

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3 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

You answered your own question.

 

Perhaps. I know very little about that program, and not much about why it was shut down.

I am wondering, though, what makes this new program different? Or addresses the perception that this is what tends to happen?

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Perhaps. I know very little about that program, and not much about why it was shut down.

I am wondering, though, what makes this new program different? Or addresses the perception that this is what tends to happen?

I was IN the program, and don't know much about why it was shut down!  (Nor, at this juncture, do I want to.  Let's not turn this thread into a rant about the Mentor program.)

I'm not sure I can answer your question, Scylla.  Any group of humans has the potential to mess things up!  The differences, though, as I see them, are 1) the group is much smaller, and most of the people in it have a long history of being mentors, and working with each other.  And 2) It's an entirely resident-run group, no direct LL supervision.  Whether those factors can overcome "favouritism, cronyism, corruption, venality, etc"...I dunno!  We'll have to wait and see.

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When i came to sl it was sink or swim.... the huge grey out building and that wall where everyone sat till they decided to become premium. Now THAT was a learning eperience ,,, lolol   it only took a few weeks to beome premium  ,,, got tired of my avi with the legs somehow getting stuck out the ears ,,,  memeories of days gone by lololol

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12 minutes ago, roseelvira said:

When i came to sl it was sink or swim.... the huge grey out building and that wall where everyone sat till they decided to become premium. Now THAT was a learning eperience ,,, lolol   it only took a few weeks to beome premium  ,,, got tired of my avi with the legs somehow getting stuck out the ears ,,,  memeories of days gone by lololol

That was SL at its most fun. It was scary, too. Most scary fun! \o/

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2 hours ago, roseelvira said:

When i came to sl it was sink or swim.... the huge grey out building and that wall where everyone sat till they decided to become premium. Now THAT was a learning eperience ,,, lolol   it only took a few weeks to beome premium  ,,, got tired of my avi with the legs somehow getting stuck out the ears ,,,  memeories of days gone by lololol

I remember in the early days when SL would conveniently install your shoes and hair in the avi's rear --- for your convenience! :D

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10 minutes ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

I remember in the early days when SL would conveniently install your shoes and hair in the avi's rear --- for your convenience! :D

In the Us, that would be the trunk. In the UK, that would be the boot. 

Unless it's a Volkswagon. Then it would either be the hood or the bonnet, respectively.

I think I would prefer my hair to be installed in the bonnet and my shoes in the trunk. Installing your hair under the hood and your shoes in the boot just doesn't sound very convenient.

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7 hours ago, BelindaN said:

It brings another perspective to "wind in the hair"......;)

*ahem!* HIs name is Wind in His Hair aka Rodney Grant. Didn't you ever watch Dances with Wolves:P

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A few months ago, I created an alt for the first time in years. 

The first part (I'm assuming that was Learning Island) was fine, if needlessly HUGE.

The second part? I guess it's Social Island? I was completely lost. I had no freaking idea what I was supposed to be doing, no direction to go, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to any of it, had no idea what I was supposed to do once I gave up on trying to figure out what on earth I was supposed to be doing, what this HUD thing was that attached to me was, what the not-Linden currency thing was... I just thought it was absolutely unhelpful and nothing a real new user would need in any way, shape, or form. 

There are so, so, so many ways the entire experience could be easily improved to be actually useful. 

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Beth's experience just goes to show that you can't please everyone!

Yes, you are quite right.  Social Island is very "unstructured".  The intent is for people to wander around and discover things more or less at random.  The HUDs have a dual purpose, which may be why there's two of them.  The main one is a way to impart information to new residents (nobody reads signs!  We keep putting up signs and posters and nobody reads them!).  The "fake $L" HUD provides a way to demonstrate one of the most important things about SL...how to buy stuff.  Again, it's a learn by doing thing, rather than reading about it.  These HUDs are one of the first uses of Experiences in SL.

It's possible, but not immediately obvious, to get through Social Island quickly.  Run down the stairs from the arrival plaza, run STRAIGHT THROUGH the little plaza in the center, and continue straight on up the stairs to the Portal Plaza.  But if you do that, you miss all the interesting little side trips, which is why that central plaza is put there to block and redirect you.

The tutorial at Caledon Oxbridge University is much more linear...and one of our biggest frustrations is how many people simply run through it, not stopping to read ANY of the hundreds of posters we spend so much time creating for them.

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The current flavor of the month entrance in Sansar is now  THE NEXUS (which is gorgeous and impressive so that's a good start).  You are asked on first time login if you want to do the tutorial = and of course I did.  You get 10 linden dollars (roughly the same as here for exchange depending on how you look at it -- that STEAM thing).  And you get a non-newcomers jacket.   That keeps you from moving on into the Nexus until you at least know how to walk and wander and teleport within an area.  

 

From there other quests are (or will be) available each with small rewards presumably and kudos points.   Right now the second quest is broken and Agent Forma is SO VERY BORED with no info to give out LOL, but if that works out well for Sansar they might use the same type of entrance experience here in SL. 

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