Level failure too abrupt and other things
I've been using Duolingo for a couple of weeks now and think it's an awesome learning tool. I do have a few suggestions/complaints, of course!
1) On the website, when you lose all your hearts the crying Duobird appears just as you starting to read what you did wrong. This is very annoying. The Duobird should not appear until you hit continue - just like on level success.
2) I discovered Duolingo via the Apple app store so I did not bother with the website until a few days ago. Big mistake! The web experience is so much richer. Particularly when you hit a DuoWTF! The per phrase comments are invaluable for shedding light on those crazy phrases. It would be great to have phrase comments in the app even if they are read only.
3) One of the exercise types on the app, which is thankfully not present on the web, is the word drag and drop. I hate it. It's so tedious and frustrating to have to hunt for the right word all the time. Let us turn it off or give us a box so we can just type the answer.
Thanks for all this feedback! So to answer the first question: The crying Duo does appear, but in the upper right there is a 'show my answer' button that takes you back to the last question that you got wrong. We'll be adding more of the functionality you see on the site to the apps. As for the third piece of feedback, that's currently how we have designed the app and lots of people really love it. We'll take your suggestion into consideration though! Keep the feedback coming!
Glad to hear you are keeping this. I'm one of the folks who likes the feature. I much prefer it to typing a long sentence. :)
Mostly you don't have to worry about gender and declension so in that respect I would agree it's easier. I fail a lot more levels on the web site than I do on the app, that's for sure. I guess it's meant to be a kind of half-way house between multiple choice questions and full on free-form writing. But for me, who is hopelessly impatient, I just want to communicate my answer in the quickest way possible, get feedback and move on to the next thing. Clearly a lot of people do love the feature but a little check box to turn it off would make the learning experience better for everyone. :)
Just one last comment from me on point one because I think it's the most important thing on my list and the other thing has had most of the discussion. :) I was aware that you can click the show last question button. But imagine that you just started reading a sentence in a book and then a delinquent toddler comes over and slams the book shut demanding attention. Annoying, right? That's the feeling I get when the crying Duo appears.
I agree with you on number 1 and 2 but I actually like the drag and drop exercise on the mobile app.
I like the drag and drop (you don't have to drag anyway, just tip on the right words in the right order), since I don't have to type long sentences this way, I hate typing on the phone.
Yeah it's not so much the drag and drop as the figuring out the precise phrase they're looking for and then finding each word in order. I'm using an iPad rather than a phone so it's much quicker to simply type an answer in. I'm not saying take it out altogether but just give us the option to turn it off, like you can turn off the speaking exercises. :-)
You don't have to find the exact intended phrase, any combination that is right will do. In Spanish, I often skip the personal pronouns or change the word order so that the capitalized (first) word is somewhere in the middle and it gets accepted, too.
1) are exactly my feelings. That unpleasant ending, especially when I lose my last remaining heart on the very last question, really motivates me not to embarrass myself by doing silly mistakes :)
I definitely vote for the first one, however I have no experience with the app so I'm not entirely sure about the others.