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Onboarding, or improving the new user experience


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3 minutes ago, RowanMinx said:

The only reason I even mentioned it was because it didn't sound very professional and if I had been reading it myself as a newbie, I'd have wondered who the heck they had writing these things and if I should take the seriously.

That's what I thought when I read it. It's poorly worded and that makes it a huge turn off. I have the feeling English isn't the writer's native language.

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8 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Way back in ancient history that is exactly how the Gauntlet (as we used to call it) was set up. You had to complete a tut before you could move on to the next. LL needs to go back to that.

Ah yes, the New User Experience from sometime after I'd joined, The Atoll NUE.

Some existing users that went to test it said it felt too much like an MMORPG New User area ... and they were quite correct. Such a system gives the wrong impression of Second Life.

Sadly Orientation Island Public no longer functions the way the 'original' Orientation system functioned (from when I came to Second Life and many others before me) and is now a ghost of its former self. That said, I'd still push for something similar to be brought back.

Present the information, give a few examples where applicable and then at the end send the new User off to get additional help if they need it.

Heck, the system then was two step even! Orientation Island followed by Help Island. You had to opt to teleport out of both of them before you were properly on The Grid and there was no way to return to them - hence the Public versions (and back then there was only one Help Island Public).

Of course back then Linden Lab had Mentor program whose members could access the new User isolated areas to help out so New Users had a bit more of a chance to get actual help if something confused them early on. This role is now filled by various other groups for after the NUE is completed and some are a bit ... snarky with their information, as seen earlier in this thread.

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I have a partial solution in regards to onboarding and bringing back mentors.

1. You sign up and in sign up,  you check Yes or No on a drop down menu would you like a Personal Mentor? checked Yes

2. The new resident logs in and mentor is already added as friend, who can locate them on map

3. The new resident is invited to a new resident location (3rd Party Viewer or other Trusted Group Locations that have linden blessings)

4. The new resident has a new friend and mentor to help them through the hardest times getting them on there feet.

5. The mentors would likely be former mentors or other residents vetted by the lindens or those they trust..Mentor would get a premium account with free linden home and small monthly stipend.

Yes it would take some extra coding but it's very doable even on the lindens budget.

 

Edited by Sassy Kenin
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7 hours ago, RowanMinx said:

It can be daunting seeing a wall/page of text.  I also realize insisting someone complete one task before moving to the next may not be the answer.  Do they have videos along with text at the help areas?  Seeing something being done is often much easier to learn than reading about it.  Even if the video is in English, those who speak another language could see it being done.

when there were inworld tuts, like in the Help Island sandboxes, there were videos that showed how to do some things. Mostly made by Torley Linden. Quite a few of them are now embedded in the Knowledge Base articles accessed from the pages of the viewer help system. And vids also made by others. Like the Getting Started video accessed from within the viewer: menu Help \ Quickstart.

a upside of viewer based help over inworld location help is that viewer based help can be accessed from any location. A downside is that this can be a solitary experience which doesn't always work for people who learn better in a classroom/group environment. And is often best to direct these people to resident-run inworld classrooms of which there are a few

if was up to me, then on the Help menu I would include: Inworld classrooms...  Which would open a webpage containing a list of map teleport links to resident-run classrooms

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Alternately, Sassy, they just reinstate the original program - with a few more rules added in to sate those worried it could be 'abused' to funnel New Users to specific shops/clubs (yes I just rolled my eyes there) - so everyone can be helped if they so desire without needing extra steps and without any sort of "incentive" for the prospective Mentor.

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21 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Alternately, Sassy, they just reinstate the original program - with a few more rules added in to sate those worried it could be 'abused' to funnel New Users to specific shops/clubs (yes I just rolled my eyes there) - so everyone can be helped if they so desire without needing extra steps and without any sort of "incentive" for the prospective Mentor.

Linden have re-instituted a mentor programme in part.  Some of the Linden Social Islands are restricted to new residents and mentors only. @Lindal Kidd is in the mentor group for this (White Tigers as I remember) Lindal might come by and tell more about it

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9 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

Linden have re-instituted a mentor programme in part.  Some of the Linden Social Islands are restricted to new residents and mentors only. @Lindal Kidd is in the mentor group for this (White Tigers as I remember) Lindal might come by and tell more about it

Unfortunately the use of such "Third Party" groups does not constitute any sort of re-institution of the original program, which is what I was suggesting.

Such an initiative is something somewhat different, with the onus for "quality control" being on an End User instead of a team of Lindens - as was the case with the original program.

That lovely Island - Footsie - in the Pooley region was the HQ for a few of these overseeing Lindens and where a few did their initial interviews with prospective Mentors. Mentioned for historical reference.

ETA: That's not to imply that a newer program might well work out better than the original did, I'm simply talking from my own experience. and no, I would't sign back up if the old program came back - I have far less patience these days.

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4 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Unfortunately the use of such "Third Party" groups does not constitute any sort of re-institution of the original program, which is what I was suggesting.

Such an initiative is something somewhat different, with the onus for "quality control" being on an End User instead of a team of Lindens - as was the case with the original program

am not sure there was any quality control by Linden staff of the Second Life Mentor programme. Not in my experience if it there wasn't. Linden used to provide stuff like islands and parcels and similar resources but pretty much all the helpy content was provided by the mentors themselves and shared with each other. A bit like the sharing of content by the Moles today. There were the regular inworld meetings with the Linden's responsible for the mentor group, but the meetings were pretty similar to every other User Group meeting in their structure, content and conduct

tbf to Linden, they did try to put some structure in place circa end 2007 and early 2008 at the behest of then senior serving mentors. Like the 6 months rule (account can't be a Second Life Mentor until 6 months inworld). Then also the probationary status for newly accepted  applicants after the introduction of the 6 month rule. Probationers who had to be certified by a existing Second Life Mentor after spending some time with that senior inworld.  Then there was the big cull of inactive mentors circa 2009. Up until the eventual demise of Second Life Mentors as a thing when Viewer 2 came out

in practice there is no real difference between groups like White Tigers and Second Life Mentors. Same people doing today what they have always done. The badge over our heads doesn't really change anything. We are knowledgeable or we are not. We are good at imparting this knowledge to others, or we are not 

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On 10/3/2020 at 7:52 PM, Mollymews said:

the exit sign used to give a Landmark to an Infohub when these style of Help Islands were in the on-boarding path - not since about 2008.  The path was [ Starter/Welcome island ] > [Orientation island] > [ [Inworld Infohub] or [Help Island > Inworld Infohub] ].  The green exit sign at the Help Island would give a Landmark to a Infohub

the Orientation islands also had two Exit boards at the end of the path.  One board would give Landmarks to Infohubs. The other board would give Landmark to Help Island.  Can see these in the Temple at the end of the path on Orientation Island Public (dunno if they still work tho)

when Linden  Experiences came then Landmark boards got obsoleted and replaced by Portals

a thing about Orientation and Help Island Public is that they weren't directly in the new resident on-boarding path. To get to them people had to either find them in Search or World Map. If they did this to get there then they could exit/go somewhere else doing the same thing

the onboarding Starter/Orientation/Help islands were closed  to all except new residents (until they exited to the Inworld), Second Life Mentors and Linden staff. In the heyday of new signups 2007/2008 there were 22 Linden dedicated onboarding paths. And when they used to get full (which they did often in those days) then the overflow were dropped straight into the Infohubs

They should put back the system to send people to infohubs. That's what they are there for. There are the Resident-Developed Linden Hubs (about 12), which some of us worked hard on. Why not use these resources? They are there. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 1:23 PM, Sassy Kenin said:

I have a partial solution in regards to onboarding and bringing back mentors.

1. You sign up and in sign up,  you check Yes or No on a drop down menu would you like a Personal Mentor? checked Yes

2. The new resident logs in and mentor is already added as friend, who can locate them on map

3. The new resident is invited to a new resident location (3rd Party Viewer or other Trusted Group Locations that have linden blessings)

4. The new resident has a new friend and mentor to help them through the hardest times getting them on there feet.

5. The mentors would likely be former mentors or other residents vetted by the lindens or those they trust..Mentor would get a premium account with free linden home and small monthly stipend.

Yes it would take some extra coding but it's very doable even on the lindens budget.

 

For near minimum wage an hour LL could have two moles mentoring in the on boarding process and people.  They are already vetted, under NDA and not going to cause drama or griefing.

low cost, easy to implement and most importantly they can help users stick by having live human interaction of a positive nature,  from the moment they accidentally take off their clothes and wonder why their middle parts are transparent.

Wikis and walls of text work for some.   Videos work for others.  But having a human there talking to new sign ups, who “shepherd” those users through the daunting situation with the frankenmesh stuff through to finding communities to join...

 

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
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18 hours ago, Mollymews said:

am not sure there was any quality control by Linden staff of the Second Life Mentor programme. Not in my experience if it there wasn't. Linden used to provide stuff like islands and parcels and similar resources but pretty much all the helpy content was provided by the mentors themselves and shared with each other. A bit like the sharing of content by the Moles today. There were the regular inworld meetings with the Linden's responsible for the mentor group, but the meetings were pretty similar to every other User Group meeting in their structure, content and conduct

tbf to Linden, they did try to put some structure in place circa end 2007 and early 2008 at the behest of then senior serving mentors. Like the 6 months rule (account can't be a Second Life Mentor until 6 months inworld). Then also the probationary status for newly accepted  applicants after the introduction of the 6 month rule. Probationers who had to be certified by a existing Second Life Mentor after spending some time with that senior inworld.  Then there was the big cull of inactive mentors circa 2009. Up until the eventual demise of Second Life Mentors as a thing when Viewer 2 came out

in practice there is no real difference between groups like White Tigers and Second Life Mentors. Same people doing today what they have always done. The badge over our heads doesn't really change anything. We are knowledgeable or we are not. We are good at imparting this knowledge to others, or we are not 

I do however to this day miss Spike Linden :)

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34 minutes ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

I do however to this day miss Spike Linden :)

I miss Vektor Linden and I'm probably only one of two people left in SL that knew Vektor much less where he came from. 🤔

Edited by Silent Mistwalker
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On 10/5/2020 at 3:23 PM, Charlotte Bartlett said:

For near minimum wage an hour LL could have two moles mentoring in the on boarding process and people.  They are already vetted, under NDA and not going to cause drama or griefing.

 

 

I have to disagree about the moles they are mostly store owners and well known creator's themselves who use mole accounts as contractors for linden lab..I would say the majority's of those builders want to build and might not have the time to hold others hands all day.

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On 10/5/2020 at 4:23 PM, Charlotte Bartlett said:

For near minimum wage an hour LL could have two moles mentoring in the on boarding process and people.  They are already vetted, under NDA and not going to cause drama or griefing.

low cost, easy to implement and most importantly they can help users stick by having live human interaction of a positive nature,  from the moment they accidentally take off their clothes and wonder why their middle parts are transparent.

Wikis and walls of text work for some.   Videos work for others.  But having a human there talking to new sign ups, who “shepherd” those users through the daunting situation with the frankenmesh stuff through to finding communities to join...

 

I'd rather have paid and trained staff rather than the Mentors' system which is vulnerable to corruption.

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1 hour ago, Sassy Kenin said:

I have to disagree about the moles they are mostly store owners and well known creator's themselves who use mole accounts as contractors for linden lab..I would say the majority's of those builders want to build and might not have the time to hold others hands all day.

It's not like their Mole wages are so high that they would turn down this opportunity.

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9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I'd rather have paid and trained staff rather than the Mentors' system which is vulnerable to corruption.

 

9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

It's not like their Mole wages are so high that they would turn down this opportunity.

 Your a smart business woman..lets  add up the costs!

4 week day employees + 4 weekend employees = with 1 backup employee for a total of 9

Two employees on a 1st shift and Two employees on 2nd shift with both 12 hours....2ndlife is global we have residents in all time zones to be fair it must be 24/7.

California minimum wage is $12 an hour plus add in San Fransisco cost of living to bring it up to $15 an hour( these are still poverty wages as the cost of a small one bedroom apartment in that area is around $2500 a month and a gallon of milk at $7.99)

$5400 a week then add in required Social security and insurance by employer + other state requirements that balloons up near 8K or Monthly around 30K or Yearly around $360,000.

As for the Moles who are contractors who pay their own tax's and have to pay for any health benefits full cost anything less then $25 an hour is losing money and likely not even breaking even at the end of the year in regards to californium wages and the added penalty of the silicon valley.

The solution is a community effort run by the community as its not economically feasible now as it might have been 10 or 15 yrs ago for the lab to pour money into a program they already stated does not boost the numbers for retention.  your arguments would have had a better footing 7 or 8 yrs back I agree with them and they are good intentions but we live in a post-sansar existence and its economic aftermath on our little world

 

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i read somewhere on here previously that Linden Support are trialing an AI to handle commonly asked questions

this may be a way to go, in addition to all the current ways, for people who prefer interactive/conversational help. At least with some of the questions typically asked by new people

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7 hours ago, Mollymews said:

i read somewhere on here previously that Linden Support are trialing an AI to handle commonly asked questions

They have one. It's available in support chat. It's not very smart. It's just a query engine hooked to a small FAQ. One step up from "Press 1 for sales, press 2 for support..." You have to have enough traffic that the same questions come up regularly, and then provide enough answers to cover them. LL doesn't really have the volume of query traffic to justify the effort. That technology is for places that get thousands of questions per day.

Those things get much more useful when they know more about the customer. Those are the ones that know what your credit card balance is.

(I've played around with open source RASA a bit. That's a chatbot engine.  I loaded it up with the GTFO FAQ. It works, but isn't that useful. You need a really thorough FAQ for those things to work, with questions ranging from the more general to very specific.)

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On 10/7/2020 at 1:10 PM, Sassy Kenin said:

 

 Your a smart business woman..lets  add up the costs!

4 week day employees + 4 weekend employees = with 1 backup employee for a total of 9

Two employees on a 1st shift and Two employees on 2nd shift with both 12 hours....2ndlife is global we have residents in all time zones to be fair it must be 24/7.

California minimum wage is $12 an hour plus add in San Fransisco cost of living to bring it up to $15 an hour( these are still poverty wages as the cost of a small one bedroom apartment in that area is around $2500 a month and a gallon of milk at $7.99)

$5400 a week then add in required Social security and insurance by employer + other state requirements that balloons up near 8K or Monthly around 30K or Yearly around $360,000.

As for the Moles who are contractors who pay their own tax's and have to pay for any health benefits full cost anything less then $25 an hour is losing money and likely not even breaking even at the end of the year in regards to californium wages and the added penalty of the silicon valley.

The solution is a community effort run by the community as its not economically feasible now as it might have been 10 or 15 yrs ago for the lab to pour money into a program they already stated does not boost the numbers for retention.  your arguments would have had a better footing 7 or 8 yrs back I agree with them and they are good intentions but we live in a post-sansar existence and its economic aftermath on our little world

 

No.

Retention has been terrible for the entire lifetime of Second Life, some 17 years now.

In part this is due to the idea that existing customers are enough to onboard new customers.

They aren't.

Trained, paid staff are required, not only to help new customers but keep out griefing and obnoxious wall-sitters.

There's also the plan I've repeatedly mentioned which involves ad boards LIKE WE USED TO HAVE AT TELEHUBS where you can purchase an ad for a limited time so that people looking for "things to do" can click and go some place, whether to live music, shopping, clubs, book readings, whatever.

The paid Linden staff can vet those as well. 

When the Lindens finally deployed a seasoned, dedicated paid professional -- Patch Linden -- and the others who assist him (the Moles) to the problem of increasing premium accounts and making Linden Homes attractive, they achieved their goal.

When the Lindens are ready to achieve retention of others who aren't choosing Linden Homes, and apply staff and serious methodology to the issue, they will also achieve the desired goals.

Forums regs and FIC didn't ask for new Linden Homes. People you don't hear from did. Then after the Lindens launched this initiative, the forums regs followed. You can't always listen to the forums.

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Advertising, marketing, and buzzidioms are so first part of 2020.

SL is for a special kind of person. They aren't always first person shooters, they aren't always stealing cars, they aren't always building cities. Sometimes they are simply an AV in a world that isn't a game. :P

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9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Trained, paid staff are required

Make sure to contact the Lab to get the right mailing address to send that monthly check. I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the community for your outstanding supportive role in donations that will make this happen.

giphy.gif

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On 10/7/2020 at 12:58 AM, Sassy Kenin said:

I have to disagree about the moles they are mostly store owners and well known creator's themselves who use mole accounts as contractors for linden lab..I would say the majority's of those builders want to build and might not have the time to hold others hands all day.

As one of the old retired Moles there is nothing stopping LL expanding whom they contract for user support.  Does not have to be creators....   also Moles tend to be an international bunch so using California wages is a bit of a moot point.

LL benefits from helping users stick.  Many communities already do a lot for “free” so LL (and the new investors) should be looking at quick easy low cost wins to continue the momentum of the past 9 months.    Community programs tend to be far more challenging to manage than your own contractors.

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
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23 minutes ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

As one of the old retired Moles there is nothing stopping LL expanding whom they contract for user support.  Does not have to be creators....   also Moles tend to be an international bunch so using California wages is a bit of a moot point.

LL benefits from helping users stick.  Many communities already do a lot for “free” so LL (and the new investors) should be looking at quick easy low cost wins to continue the momentum of the past 9 months.    Community programs tend to be far more challenging to manage than your own contractors.

OK you and Prok are just preaching  to the choir really. Ideas we all have but they are tone deaf on the issue so i have nothing else to add to the discussion as the choice they made is guess is just something we have to live with even if it's a terrible choice they are holding on to made by lindens who are not even around today.

Personally I think their afraid it would be successful and they would look bad for dragging their paws on the issue for so long.

Edited by Sassy Kenin
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On 10/9/2020 at 11:23 AM, Sassy Kenin said:

Make sure to contact the Lab to get the right mailing address to send that monthly check. I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the community for your outstanding supportive role in donations that will make this happen.

giphy.gif

LL paid top programmers like Jack Linden to work the welcome areas back in the day, when they had less revenue than they have now.

Were you looking to become an unpaid mentor yourself? While they lack pay, they make up for it by steering newbies to the stores and clubs of themselves and their friends.

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18 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

LL paid top programmers like Jack Linden to work the welcome areas back in the day, when they had less revenue than they have now.

Were you looking to become an unpaid mentor yourself? While they lack pay, they make up for it by steering newbies to the stores and clubs of themselves and their friends.

It was my mistake opening up the conversation from my initial post, It's a debbie downer topic. I'd rather instead talk about all the positive and amazing things happening in SL.✌

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