Second Life Online Marketing, UI/UX and Web Design

Role: Graphic Designer, Web Designer, UI Designer

Linden Lab is a pioneer in online gaming and open world, sandbox-style experiences. With Second Life they helped define concepts like virtual currency and have a unique policy that enables users to own the intellectual property rights to in-world content.

Second Life is a very important part of who Linden Lab is. It is now 14 years old and hosts a large population of users who are very passionate about the virtual world that they helped create and define. The in-world experience works in tandem with, relying on the Marketplace, Destination Guide, Community and most recently Place Pages to make purchasing, learning, communication and discovery easier. Serving an active community of over a million active accounts in this way requires constant updates to the website. As the only dedicated visual designer on the marketing team, design projects are many and vary significantly. I was responsible for projects that ranged from responsive web design to adding visual touches to presentation decks.

Responsive Login & Footer Redesign

The login and footer designs are part of a larger redesign with the focus on making the site responsive and updating the visual style. While the Second Life viewer is an application only available for PC and Mac, the web presence benefits from also being available on tablet and phone browsers. This allows users to continue their interaction with the Second Life community and marketplaces while not actively interacting in-world.

I updated the elements of the login form implementing the evolution of the brand. The UI was redesigned to be responsive, meet accessibility standards on all screens and display a more modern aesthetic.

Second Life Community Header Image

Community Header Virtual Photo Shoot

The community header image was another part of the redesign. Linden Lab transitioned web hosts for their community site requiring an update to many design elements. The site hosts blog posts, forums, support and other important content facilitating communication in the Second Life community.

Design of the new header was initially slated to be a small update requiring compositing a few stock avatars to create a scene. Having seen what they had in mind, I suggested that we would achieve a much better image by having an in-world photographer compose the shot. This was my first in-world photography assignment requiring me to provide direction on concept, avatar design, wardrobe, set design, camera position, lighting and poses.

Second Life Emails Image


Linden Lab continually provides information on upcoming events, offers and updates promoting users engagement. Much of the content in the emails is leveraged in social, in-world marketing and other marketing channels.

I designed emails targeting different user types to announce events, new features and premium benefits.

Several of the emails required in-world photo shoots to create assets. I took this opportunity to learn to shoot photos in-world. Much like the Second Life experience as a whole, there is a plethora of ways to customize your photos. You can change just about everything related to lighting, shadows, color, camera angles, depth of field, filters, etc. There are also techniques to account for lens distortion, posing multiple avatars with one account and other nuances unique to Second Life’s UI and functionality.

Second Life Marketplace Banners Image

Marketplace Banners

Similar to real life, Second Life user’s purchasing habits are seasonally influenced. The Second Life Marketplace requires visual updates to reflect and promote this.

Three Spring themed masthead banners were requested to rotate on the marketplace landing page, two focused on fashion and one promoting home decor.

Second Life "Customization" Animated Ad Banner

Banner Ads

Banner ads are a part of the Second Life marketing ecosystem. Affiliate blogs made a couple banner requests that we readily addressed. Because users engage in with Second Life for a wide variety of reasons, appealing to their use cases can be very interesting.

Family role-playing and avatar customization are two popular motivations for users. I created the banners using two different methods. The family banners are designed using user created photos. I designed the headline treatments and added retouching and visual elements to tell the stories. For the customization banner I created a closed shoot creating the composition by sourcing props, outfits, avatar components, poses and makeup from the Second Life Marketplace and in-world vendors. The final banner is an animated gif that cycles through eye makeups designed and sold by users.


Linden Lab created the ground breaking experience known as Second Life over a decade ago. This infographic shows some remarkable milestones this pioneering virtual world has achieved and offers some impressive numbers regarding how fast it continues to grow. The content is centered around a few primary characteristics of Second Life: 3D objects, virtual commerce and a massive online world. The infographic was used to accompany articles and press releases on various online blogs and news sources celebrating the anniversary.