Recently Linden Lab advertised a position for Senior Product Manager. The description for which boiled down to: find a way to keep new residents from leaving. Quite a challenge that, given the steep learning curve of SecondLife. Lots of people have discussed and commented on this, so I’m not covering that in this post. I thought it might be good to see what the current new user experience was like now.
So I created a new account and installed the latest version of the official viewer and logged in.
I found myself on a nice beach location with the usual step-by-step signage to guide you around.
The walkway lead in-shore where there were a few things to sit on to familiarise you with that,also a ride on a giant bat..
When I touch down, next tutorial step was buying and unboxing stuff, both from the Marketplace and Inworld. This is a good addition since Marketplace has a wealth of cheap and free stuff for new residents. However one thing that jumped right out at me here was the Inventory screenshot, all the others were from the Official viewer this one was of Firestorm.
After a short walk I came to the board showing you how to change between the stock avatars, which I dutifully did, a few times.
However, as you may well have noticed, I was still a cloud after walking around for over an hour at this point. It was starting to get on my nerves so I did a login via Firestorm viewer to make my avatar appear. Then back to the official viewer to resume the tutorials.
After a short flight that gave you a nice view of the island I was deposited in an area offering a few free outfits and some warnings.
As suggested in a video linked from a post by Wagner Jame Au, a common question at this point might be “where now?”
Well this training island is part of a small continent of regions that features a number of buildings hinting at the different cultures or genres of activities you can find in SecondLife. However it doesn’t tell you where you might find such places.
Portal Park was shown in the video mentioned above, but there was no such equivalent offered to me at the end of this particular induction. This may well have something to do with the possible affiliation with a land rental company that has a showroom on the continent. Which I was surprised and disappointed to see, but presumably a casualty of allowing third parties to create induction areas.
So the biggest issue I see here is still that of “Where Now?” How can the Lab address this issue without favouring particular locations?
Maybe it could be as simple as adding a step in these tutorials that prompts the user to open the Destination Guide, but I doubt that. I look forward to finding out what the new Senior Product Manager comes up with.