Redesigning Duolingo for the web
For the last couple of months, we’ve been hard at work unifying the design language of Duolingo. As many of you know, we’ve been testing a redesign of the website, and I’m happy to say that according to all of our metrics this redesign performs better than the old one. So, starting today and continuing over the next couple of weeks, we will be upgrading users who still had the old design. I’m also happy to announce that with the release of this new website design, all of Duolingo’s platforms now have the same look!
We didn’t just unify the look, but also some of the features. You’ll notice for example that your weekly progress (the coin stacks) is now represented as a graph in lesson end screens.
One thing I’m sure some of you will miss is the vocabulary page. After a lot of testing, we found that in its current form it wasn’t helping you learn a language faster or stick with the language you are learning longer. Instead, it complicated our system by adding another layer of information that wasn’t well integrated. We went one layer up and instead of "word strength" you’ll now see "skill strength" in a lot of places.
That being said, I can guarantee you that in our efforts to bring all of you the best learning experience, we haven’t seen the last of the vocabulary page. We still believe that learning a language largely depends on having a huge vocabulary, and once we come up with a good way to integrate it across all platforms it will come back.
I hope all of you like the new look :) If you have any specific questions or feedback, just post a comment here.
PS: I would like to thank our moderators and the whole team at Duolingo for their continuous testing and all the feedback they gave on the redesign. You rock.
While I appreciate that a community this big will have diverse opinions, and there will always be a significant minority who hate any change. I also understand that the Duo team works hard, and I appreciate the platform, but I'm really not a fan of these changes. I've taken some time to look around, so it's not a knee-jerk opinion.
First, the direction that the design has gone in is somewhat childish. The colour scheme, icons, and owl avatar are very, well, they remind me of teletubbies. The large buttons seem meant for children, or possibly seniors with ailing vision. I feel like this app isn't meant for me anymore, I feel like it's more appropriate for my 3 year old nephew...it really does look an app directed at pre-schoolers. There's a way to make it fun without making it juvenile!
Second, since the bars have been changed to swirls, and the lines tying lessons and units together makes it seem more jumbled and less linear. I got a real sense of where I was going with the lines, and I felt it helped motivate me. Now it's just a bunch of floating balls and unconnected lessons...Making the lessons look like paperwork? Sooo demotivating. Nobody likes paperwork.
Those aren't the only motivational aspects you've removed. Those little trophies at the end were cool! I felt a real sense of accomplishment, silly though it seems. And I loved my gold coins in a little stack! Points doesn't have the same motivating value as a PILE OF COINS, know what I mean? Brings out the Smaug in us. It's also harder to see our progress in the level, where it used to be quite central. I like having a lot of access to my metrics, and I suspect others are the same.
Third, I'm not super happy about the removal of the Vocabulary section, I used it way more than the lessons, but I do understand how that if your metrics indicate a problem, you gotta do something about it. As a language teacher who knows the value of a glossary, I gotta say I hope you make it a priority to revamp it soon!
I agree. While I dislike the new colour scheme my major hate is the HUGE icons with large amounts of padding around them. It hinders accessibility because I cannot see as much information on my laptop screen. The most obvious thing they could do to fix this is to make the icons and fonts small but still large enough to read, pretty much how it was before the changes. Seriously the top navigation bar is nearly an inch thick!
It looks like it's been designed for a fat-finger friendly touch screen user. However on my laptop I'm basically left looking at the world through a keyhole.
Change is good when only if it is justified. These changes bring no benefits that I can see.
Yes, each element is too big. Using a 13" laptop, I'm typing into the bottom half of my screen during the lessons and review. Clean is good, but unifying the product design across platforms doesn't have to mean cloning it. What works for an iPhone doesn't really make sense on a laptop or desktop computer.
Also, I can't wait for the vocabulary function to return.
Windows 8 is horrid and Microsoft hateful for the stupid changes they've introduced and then failed to fix the bugs. To me the Windows 8 changes are so awful that DL's changes pale in comparison. I've been a vocal critic of DL, but, with some reservations the new DL is not that bad. It is much faster and there is some logic in the simplification. I like DL and will continue to support and use it. Just fix the fonts!
I agree with this. I also have a small screen and I just tried doing some practice and had to scroll up and down all the time to see what's going on and be able to do the exercises. I also use Duolingo on a tablet and this kind of design works there, but it seems very inadequate to me on a laptop screen.
I'm on a macbook, and I'm finding this as well. They should ideally have complimentary themes that fully utilize the capabilities of each platform.
While on my 22" desktop screen the huge size of icons isn't as problematic as on smaller screen (I seriously can't imagine using it on 13", not to mention 10" or 11" which are pretty often found in netbooks and super-light ultrabooks), the super thick top bar seems really over-the-top (pun intended). If it has to be so thick, why don't give us an option to move it to the side? On panoramic screens there is huge amount of unused space on the sides of the screen!
I just started using duolingo so I don't have the experience of saying "it was better" or "it was worse" before.. but I can say I have no idea what anyone is talking about with the 'huge' icons or 'childish' website. I think it's great. I have a standard laptop and have zero issue with the size of anything on the site.
Perhaps it's a bit silly looking at times, but it's fun and interesting and not boring. If you want a boring language learning tool use Rosetta Stone.. that is the dullest most uninteresting language software I have used yet.
I also just finished in-class French studies recently and some of the best teachers I had over the course of a year were the ones who managed to keep the learning fun.
A question for designers: HOW are we supposed to compare our incorrect answers with a correct ones if they appear on different sides of the page? What's next on your redesigning to do list - move the correct answer to a completely different page or maybe create a hide and seek game to see it?
Just going to repeat an opinion of must of the users: aggressive, eye hurting colors + childish (instead of clean, but cute) looking page + unnaturally expanded pages full of empty space = ZERO USABILITY.
I'm sad to say it, but now I would never recommend this page.
I was reading your post and nodding my head. As a fellow language teacher, I agree. My students will be a lot less likely to use this now. They compared their little pile of coins daily. They used the vocab list. It was useful having the corrections right under their wrong answers. They will not like this new look. Very disappointed, and I would like the option to still use the old design. (Even if you can't bring the vocab list back.)
Here, have a few lingots. I can't agree more with you! This new look is the most horrible change that Duolingo EVER suffered. How could you do this to us beloved creators of the site we all love :'( ? And do you know what the worst thing is? That they can't admit they FAILED. They continuously ignore the voice of the community and push through these undesired and, let's be honest, useless changes. They are so proud of their work they can't see that it is severely flawed (if not entirely).
I really love Duolingo, it has changed my whole life. And the thing I used to love at best was is its flexibility towards public opinion. This made Duolingo such an amazing and lively product, because it really WAS a democracy, or kind of one. I know this as I tried other dumb and worthless internet "products" (rather crap) like LiveMocha or Busuu, or (the worst of all) Memrise, and these weren't open for changes at all! They didn't/don't have discussion boards, we don't know their owners (unlike here, where all of us knows that our beloved Luis is the CEO).
Once, I got really angry with the crappy Busuu course, that I wrote an e-mail to them, in which I described all the flaws of the course I had encountered and gave possible solutions to them. And their answer? A few minutes later I got an automated message with some random and useless text saying "thank you for your feedback, blablabla etc.". Now, years have passed since then, and the same problems still occur over the Busuu course. This is the point where I say, Busuu is a stubborn product and will soon disappear because of its stubbornness.
But Duolingo is different, it is a modern, liberal product, open for opinions and ideas! Or maybe, it is not? In the past few months several ideas have been thrown back or simply haven't been even noticed! Just think of how many times we've asked them for a minimal amount of grammar, and still there's no grammar help. Think of incubator languages: so many languages have been asked by its native speakers, often by whole teams made up of 4-5 enthusiastic users, and still, they put in languages like Korean or Indonesian, which can't make progress despite all efforts (please don't take this as an offense against these people and/or languages, instead it is a criticism of the system).
And now think of this current topic: The top comment shows the real public opinion, and there is no, not a single comment coming from anyone from Duolingo! They ignore these messages, they don't care about constructive criticism, no. Ahhhh, these things make me unbelievably fed up...
Nitram15 - we take into account feedback and spend a lot of time communicating with the community. We also test all of our features before fully launching them. We did this with the redesign and had community members test. We see every one of these comments. We are not ignoring you- I assure you :)
Thank you Kristine for your kind and quick response, filled with hope!
You have to understand though that we, the users can't really see any consequences. These tests are not open, you ask way not enough people, and this should change. I know you wanted this to be a surprise, but in my honest opinion it's better to have a polished change that everybody expects and satisfies most people (not everybody, of course, because everybody will never be happy about changes), than having a rushed, unpopular "surprise" that annoys people..
p.s.: Have some lingots Kristine, and tell your team not to be way too sensitive about their work! ;) Cheers!
I think we kind of did see this one coming. (At least) most of us knew that the Duo team had changed the app's look. And we've heard from Luis that they were planning to unify the look across all platforms.
Your honesty comes directly from your heart and you are right in every single point, even though I would not criticise them too much. Everybody makes mistakes - sometimes huge ones - and they often comment on things and opinions. On the other hand, you are right and I really hope they take the opinions serious.
Oh, thank you :) I wouldn't criticize them so much if they didn't deserve it. They are an astonishingly hard-working, precise team, with great and innovative ideas. We can't let them to do negligent work, can we? They built themselves an image of being dependable people by caring about their users. This is a rare and unique thing on the Internet, and it's especially rare and unique amongst language learning tools' developers. It would be utterly sad if they let this uniqueness of theirs simply pass...
I agree 100% about the "motivational aspects" (penultimate paragraph). Those are all small things but they keep me going !
hear hear! 100% agree with Arya.Stark. Also, I would like to see my friends' trees. And i havent seen the weeping owl anymore. I don't like these changes at all!
I really miss the progress in the level. The total amount of exp I have is really meaningless to me (why would I care whether I have 2000 or 22000?), but when it's shown as something like 432/700 to next level, it gives a short-term goal. The progress bar to the next level is still there, so I can see if I'm getting close-ish, but it's easier to hit a goal when you know exactly how far away it is.
Thank you! That's very helpful. But as it's not exactly intuitive, I wonder if it's possible to add that back in?
by far this is not a top priority question, just a curiosity: when I enter this particular discussion, firefox freezes and I get a script error report and the option to stop the script. It's not happening with the other discussions. Just curious as to why that might be if you happen to have any ideas. (I'm on Win7/Firefox, entering from Gmail notification.)
I'm not experiencing that on my Firefox, but it might be due to this thread now accumulating over 500 comments. I'll look into it and see if I can somehow reproduce - thanks for the report.
yeah i hope i dont update;i like simple. to me, the colours are too bright (and im a kid) i like the old version
Hi, I agree with Arya.Stark the new look is childish - many colours and everyone is at very high saturation; everthing is now so enormous that is makes me feel overwhelmed and it made me to change the zoom in the browser (but the skills' icons are still big).
I also found werid and confusing leaderboard's menu where under labels "this week" "this month" etc. is something what looks like a bar but it is just some kind of button's active state indicator (it can be seen in many other places like activity page and friends column and it is somewhat confusing and irritating).
I really like the idea of given users the ability to choose sking they like.
I agree. The old UI was one if the most intuitive websites I've ever used. Duo seems to have gone the way of Microsoft, trying to fix things that aren't broken. Luckily, and unlike Microsoft, DL listens closely to their users, so there's still a change of this being changed.
Agree. I have an old small laptop and I feel like I have to scroll for hours to get somewhere! (and it also lags while scrolling)
Remember when they introduced skill decay? Suddenly it was too hard to keep your entire tree gold; cue endless complaining. Or last time the look of the tree was redone - people hated it, thought it was illogical or ugly, swore they would never use Duolingo again. But the site has kept growing. These changes have been tested, and in the long run they worked, so stick with it (and wait for the few bugs to be ironed out) and you might come around.
I work with children all day. I don't want to come home and stare at what looks like a leapfrog clone.
I love the childishness of it. Power Engineering is not that childish of a career path and it feels sooooo good to come home to this mellow and goofy environment so my mind can just melt into relaxation while I learn new languages.
And losing motivation in learning a language because the lack of pictures of imaginary coins and trophies isn't childish? :)
It's turned me off, and I know I'll have trouble convincing my teenage students to sign up for duo with this new look. I think you can be goofy and fun with a clean, uncluttered look without it looking like it's made for children. Like I said, it lost a lot of its streamlined feel with the removal of the connecting lines, and the new giant round icons. There's less of a sense of progression. It used to feel like a contest or a challenge, and it's lost that. I can see large icons working well for a touch screen, but the aesthetic doesn't translate well to a desktop/laptop. I get that with big fat fingers on an Iphone or Ipad you need big bubble buttons for ease of use with a fat finger, but it's unnecessary and looks a bit bloated on a laptop/desktop. Perhaps if they scaled down the size of the icons so you can see more of them, it might look a bit better?
I'm having a hard time understanding how you can relax and mellow out when the blue and bright white background are stabbing into your cornea ;) It so bright, I can't stay on for very long anymore. Perhaps if they released different skins or offered the option of a more muted colour palate, that might solve some people's criticisms?
In my opinion it won't only be teenage students who won't be keen to sign up. I teach mainly retired adults and have recommended this site to about 100 of them. I am just waiting for the next time I see them to hear how many are signing off. I totally agree with your comments and just find the whole thing a lot less user friendly and a lot less motivating. Also on a personal level I have some eyesight problems with the colour scheme. I will be waiting to hear from the students who have been using Duolingo regularly before I recommend it to anyone else.
OK, it's hard to discuss tastes, but the new design drives me mad today. I work on a new laptop with 1366x768 resolution and it seems to be not enough for the design. I had scheduled to spend half an hour at the site, but I simply can't. Duolingo, like so many other websites, tries to replace good design by something even better, but instead it fails. I think immediately after changing the design the users should have a clear way of expressing their opinion not through a forum but through a sort of satisfaction questionnaire form. I'd bet that the results would be quite bad...
I agree. I am using 1440x900 ... only 50% of the screen is actually being used. The windows appear to be very small. Plus the colours makes it hard to read for a longer period of time.
I'm also frustrated by this new design and am not sure if I'll now continue. I'm having no end of problems with this new design, and don't feel the draw I used to feel towards Duolingo :(
The ironic thing here is that when I started Duolingo in its original web version I thought it was almost too childish-looking, which was the one thing that almost made me not sign up for it in the first place. Hopefully most people signing up for this are the younger people who won't be turned off by the juvenile-looking design scheme.
hopefully the adults who have already signed up will be hooked on it by now and realise the potential of the exercises and language training ... never mind the appearance ...
It's gone from a lush green colour scheme to a clinical/corporate blue that slaps you in the face. The new look is flashy and probably appeals to the marketing people at duolingo, but it doesn't bring any benefit to the users.
Why try and fix something if it isn't broken. I do appreciate any performance and bug fixing though. This is very welcome.
The screen of the laptop that I'm using is engineered so well that the image is crystal clear even at the lowest brightness, which is the setting I have it at, so to me it's not bright at all, just pleasantly goofy :)
And plus, at least now the "Simpson's-esque" UI matches with the redunkulous sentences that we're assigned to translate ^_^
Perhaps that is the problem? Maybe it was developed on/designed for a retina screen, so it's like eye-sandpaper for those of us with older screens while it's making people with fancy displays cry with delight? I'm switching back and forth between facebook (also blue and white) and this, trying to figure why this palette fatigues my eyes more than that one. It might be the bright green and blue? I'm finding myself squinting on this page, but when I flip to facebook, I feel my whole face relax. Anyone else find this as well?
I also am using a new laptop, but Duolingo is horrid now for me (and no doubt others) too!
My eyes hurt too. I can't spend few minutes here, not mention to complete the lesson.
I have tried to give the new setup the benefit of the doubt, but I find the overall look too intense for my eyes and awkward on the screen (I have a laptop). It is hard to go back through the sections for strengthening now that I can't do it lesson by lesson. Duolingo was something I did for the pure enjoyment of it, but now I have to make a real effort to sign on and get through a session.
I'm an elementary school teacher, so coming home to more bright colors, overly large font/boxes, juvenile displays, etc. is a big show-stopper for me. Shame because I just recently started using the site again after over a year or so, when French was still in Beta and had more kinks than I was willing to tolerate...
I'd imagine that people with young kids feel that way too! I'm so sick of eye-jarring colour combinations. I've just come back to check some messages, and I already want to navigate away. They seriously have to tone down the colour combos at the very least. EDIT: I just did a 'strengthen skill unit'. It looks like it's taken out of grade 4 textbook or those 'jumpstart' or 'leapfrog' books. The big fat textboxes, the little tips at the bottom with that clock, doesn't it remind you of those 'extra help' books or apps you can get to teach kids addition or their abcs? So off putting. I just let my time run out because I didn't want to look at it anymore.
TOTALLY AGREE with every point you've made here. Design IS childish and looks like something you might have seen in the 1960's-1970's. The previous tiered layout was soooo easy to follow, and I really liked to compare my day-to-day progress in terms of those stacks of coins. The bar chart (so far) is just confusing. And I thought the Vocabulary section was a tremendous learning aid. Change IS good, but even better when it's actually an improvement.
Wow - I picked a good day to dive back into DL after taking some time off around the holidays. I really love the new look, but the lack of the vocabulary page is a real downer for me. I was one of, apparently, those few that used it heavily for studying / reviewing between doing practice sessions / lessons. I also relied heavily upon it for gauging my progress and identifying parts of my vocabulary that I needed to work on (as an example, I frequently scraped the various sorts into spreadsheets for my own purposes). My fear is that a new vocabulary system will not be prioritized very highly, and will eventually be scrapped entirely in favor of some other feature that needs developer attention. I hope that's not the case, and encourage you to ensure that it becomes a reality sooner rather than later.
I'll try to adjust, but the removal of the vocab page is really off-putting. Of all the changes made in the year that I've been using the site, this is one that I will have a very hard time getting over.
I agree that the lack of vocabulary is a real downer. The vocabulary page should have been left there until there was a new and improved version. Granted it may not be perfect but some people still need it and taking it out makes it harder for some people to practice their language skills...
I concur strongly with what you said about the vocabulary page. For someone like me, there are times when I have the time and can go through the lessons and do a lot of other things like immersion, but there are other times when I have so little time, and all I wanna do is just come it, go to the vocabulary page and strengthen weakest words so as to keep my tree in shape. NOW I can't do that again! :(
The global practice that was formerly on the Vocab page (Strengthen weakest words) is still accessible through your sidebar in Home (Strengthen skills). If you want to practice/strengthen individual skills, you can do that through the skill page (also in the sidebar) by clicking "Strengthen <skill name>".
Strengthening a "skill" is one thing, but what if I just want to strengthen individual words? Or just look up a word and see examples of its usage? Or try to find a word that I learned a few lessons back - which lesson was it in? Or find all the words I know that begin with "C" for revdolphin's tongue twister challenge?
Sorry, I want my vocab section back. It could even be community-sourced, just bring it baaaaaack. The owl isn't the only one who can cry! :-(
I agree; the individual word practice was useful. If there was a word that had various meanings or tricky conjugations that I couldn't quite figure out, just practicing that word was very useful.
I too will miss the individual word practice. However, no use complaining as I am not a metrics and hence will be ignored!
Exactly this right here:
"what if I just want to strengthen individual words? Or just look up a word and see examples of its usage? Or try to find a word that I learned a few lessons back"
How could anyone on the design team think it was a good idea to remove what is one of the most important tools in the box?
"They're learning a new language... let's take away their access to the vocabulary!"
I will miss the overview of vocabulary also! Not only the whole overview, but also the overview for each lesson...
It was so nice to see which words I have not practised for a long time, which words I do not know perfectly...
Please, give it back at least to PC-version!
I agree! I also miss the vocabulary page! I had so many uses for it that really helped me get through the most difficult lessons!
What happened to the crying owl anyway? I didn't see it last few times i messed up a lesson...
My learning still is very similar to AyePete's, and I until now (I still have the old style) I rely heavily on "strengthen weakest words". Is the new global practice based on some algorithm assessing which skill needs to be practiced the most? Or is it random?
If the former is true, I have only minor issues against the new design (childish look etc.), and most of them might fade away when I get accustomed to it. If it's the latter, I need to invent some manual practice system for my use, to ensure I practice what I need the most - which would be a major downgrade.
When I click on the "strengthen skills" link all I get is a choice b/t timed and untimed practice. And, I can't find the option you are talking about re: clicking "Strengthen <skill name>" - you make it sound like there is a choice b/t different skills, but I can't find it. Help
You need to click on the skill you want to strengthen and there will be a button tostrengnthen it.
yeah, I just feel bad for vocabulary too, I have special notebooks for vocabulary and I'd copy many words into it from "vocabulary" section, now it's like, I have to repeat the words only when I open new lesson which will take +1000 hours than just open vocabulary part. Hopefully, when the Duolingo team puts it back in function, it will have genders and both singular and plural form of nouns for example.
can we switch back? the old setup was much more appealing. I feel like a child with all these cartoons.
You say that like cartoons are a child-specific thing. Lots of adults watch cartoons, including myself. I love bright, clean and colorful aesthetics.
Edit: Thanks for the downvotes, adults.:)
wouldn't it be nice if everyone of us could use the interface that each one of us likes the most?
UPDATE: There was a bug that affected a good fraction of all the users that we switched. This bug prevented people from being able to complete lessons, but it has now been fixed. We are deleting all the comments related to that bug in this thread so that the discussion can be about the redesign and not the temporary bug. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.
I really do love the update but there is one small bug I noticed -- When you get an answer wrong and you click on the "Discuss sentence" button, it brings up the discussion window (as expected) but you cannot scroll on it. Clicking on the second generated scroll bar for the discussion closes the window (as if you clicked out of it).
You're right. It's like that for me too. I'm used to just taping the window and using my keyboard to scroll. But, if I try to use my mouse to grab that scroll bar, it closes out of that mode. Thanks for pointing this out!
I found a similar issue in that when I click on a discussion during a lesson it will often load in the middle or at the bottom rather than at the top. I suspect it's using the placement of where I was when I finished looking at the previous discussion (if that makes sense).
This happens with me too! I haven't tried it in the last couple of days because I've forced myself to always scroll to the top before closing the discussion. I agree that it seems to be opening in the place where the previous discussion was closed. It's incredibly annoying!
I'm really not a great fan of changes and flashy designs, but I must admit the new design is really great. And there's one thing I really love about the new design : it's fluid. No more lags of several seconds between two questions. Good job!
Yes, I love the smooth, fluid movement between questions! It feels more satisfying.
How about the vocabulary? Will be there a link to the vocabulary on our main page? I liked to strenghten my abilities in just some words that I thought difficult.
About the update - NICE WORK. The design is awesome and much more atractive.
I had the redesign this morning and I liked it, but now my interface has reverted to the old version of the tree...Does this mean the bug still isn't fixed?
Well, I seem to still have this bug, because I just got the new design tonight, and every time I use it I have at least one "check" button that will not work.
I tried it again and it did work this time. It failed the first 2 times.
This is happening with me too. I have tried refreshing the page, restarting my computer, and have tried Chrome (Version: 32.0.1700.76 m) and Firefox (Version: Unknown.)
Will suspend judgment on the new design until I have spent more time with it. HOWEVER, the problem of not being able to complete a test without the system "hanging" (that last O in Duolingo just keeps spinning) is NOT fixed on my Windows 7 laptop, and now all discussion of that issue seems to have been deleted. Works fine on Android phone and Windows 8.1 tablet, but not on Windows 7. Please check this, as Windows 7 laptop is my primary means of accessing this program, and w/o full functionality, I will drop it - irrespective of design.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "page freezes"? Is the spinner in the 'o' of the duolingo logo in the top left corner moving? How long do you wait on that page for? What browser and version are you using?
Happens for me with Windows 7, Chrome browser (not Canary). Works fine on Windows 8.1 and Android. Yes, O keeps spinning and page never advances to a score, completion message, main menu, or next activity.
wait! this JUST happened to me again. It was at the end of an Italian lesson. I stopped waiting to see if it was going to give me my alotted (sp?) points. I can't say it happens regularly but enough to make me weep out loud sometimes! ; (
Why not move it instead of censor your userbase to hide your incompetence?
With such a large community of users you undoubtably get a few lose screws commenting. Your team is NOT incompetent. Change always upsets the cart, so to speak. There are some functional aspects that have been removed either purposely or not and hopefully, you'll review carefully the opinions of the less emotional commenters.
It does, however, lead to your knowing that a lot of people are experiencing the problem.
You didn't answer my question - why not move them to a separate discussion rather than try to sweep things under the carpet?
Turkeyphant, you turkey!!! Give these guys and gals a break. There are always a few glitches when changes happen. Have a little patience! Or start a new discussion to let off steam if you want.
I disagree - if sufficient testing is done, there are not always major glitches that cause people to lose progress and the entire functionality to break. I would start a new discussion but my posts have been removed.
Luis, I would recommend not wasting your precious time with negative people like that, out of over 20 million people you're bound to get a few who are going to end up being a negative nancy.
You made a tough decision and most of us trust your vision and direction.
Just wait! DL is trying their best to make improvements on their website. You should already be thankful that you can learn free languages on here! This update has only just come out. DL has already improved greatly!
HEY! man, can you try a little politeness or civility? Even just for the sake of being civil? I think what you should be giving is constructive criticism, and not anything else. I mean, look how your comment has gotten bombed!
I'm sorry - I thought I was offering constructive criticism such as a) test changes PROPERLY before rolling them out, b) consult community before making changes, c) don't remove functionality when "improving", d) make it up to users who lost work/streaks, e) give people warning to save comments before unilaterally deleting.
From my perspective, I'm not sure there's anything suggesting good faith, politeness or civility about this particular reaction to all those pointing out the bug.
censoring would be Luis not even mentioning there was a bug in the first place, and just getting rid of the comments. Instead, he stated there was a mistake by them, that it's been addressed and has now been fixed. This is not censorship, it is housekeeping.
You must live in a privileged world if that's your definition of censorship...
I do not think that this was a good decision. Pretty much the opposite. The following may seem too harsh, but I think I speak from experience and that you've made a mistake that needs correction soon.
I am a software developer, and in the last 10 years, my experience is that any changes in the UI are very sensitive, and the potential for driving users crazy is really high. With every radical UI redesign, you risk alienating a core group of frequent and conservative users. Keeping them happy and giving them the ability to switch back to the old UI should be the very minimum. Rightly or wrongly, users perceive the UI as part of their life and changing it under their hands is like taking a pet from them and giving them another one.
This top-down change has more red flags. Duolingo isn't a Microsoft project, it is a crowdsourcing project, and the users are supposed to have a say before something is forced on them by the powers-that-be. Legally, you have all the rights to do so, but by doing this, you inevitably create the feeling of "What else are the big bosses up there going to ram down our collective throats?" This is probably not what you want.
The very idea of unifying the look-and-feel across platforms is shaky, because the target group on a PC is very different from the target group on iPhones. The former includes a lot of 35+ people, who are more resistant to change, do not like the "bright colors and playful icons" approach and will not start liking it just because they won't have any choice.
But the functional changes, they are really the epic fail. This is straight out of Dilbert, with all the right buzzwords: everyone goes mobile - we must go mobile too - we must unify the look and feel - but what with the pesky features that we do not have mobile yet? - well, kill them all, right? - so what that a million people use them - they will have to adapt, progress is progress.
And it is not just the relatively cosmetic things, even though these made Duolingo what it is. Removing the vocabulary training tool? On a website dedicated to learning languages? WTF. What kind of groupthink produced such a decision? Every random stranger in the street would tell you that this isn't going down easily with the users.
Come on, Luis, you're a very smart guy, I admire you for what you've achieved, but the more I wonder: can't you see just how wrong it is? It isn't just about personal liberty and core principles of crowdsourcing, but about the pragmatic question of efficiency as well.
My trust in good judgment of the management wasn't really destroyed, but it was eroded. For the first time since I logged in (admittedly, just a month ago), I do not feel like recommending Duolingo to anyone, and even though I am not going away, I started wondering whether the competing systems treat their users with more respect. I don't go here for the zero price tag, but for the atmosphere of cooperation, and this has been damaged, no kidding about that.
Sorry, but apparently the changes are a go, and they're only going to respond to posts that agree with it. Even if you've made mountains of sense.
I need my vocabulary. For pronounciation, practice, recordkeeping, control, pride, sense of accomplishment. I'm going into minimal mode while I wait for it to return.
I couldn't agree more and thanks a lot for writing it in a mostly neutral and not insulting way; some people seem to be very, very harsh. I share your point of view regarding everything mentioned, but I also have to say that we should not forget the positive changes and the new site runs much better than the old one. Personally, I think that the biggest mistake is removing the vocabulary tool and I simply have no idea what they thought - hopefully they just didn't think about cost efficiency and nothing else...
I'm also pretty much dissatisfied with these changes, but not recommanding Duolingo anymore is mere nonsense, too, because the site is still very good (except the non-existing vocabulary list).
The good news is that Luis and the whole Duolingo staff are self-referential and take their community very, very serious and I'm sure they learn a bit from this.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I just gave you a lingot because you have an impressive 115 day streak! Oh, and also because I can't believe the vocabulary tool doesn't exist any more... :\
I couldn't have put it better. Unfortunately not many will see this comment as it's so far down the page.
I'm also a software developer. At my workplace we never take away features the customer relies on and plenty of testing is done before anything is released.
As there are different users with different needs we don't try to unify the user interfaces for touch and desktop.
I think management have let their visions go to their head and lost touch with reality.
Thanks so much for your comment on the new-look Duolingo, I totally agree with you! I seem to now be constantly reporting that things are going wrong or not working at all, is there any use doing that? It seems Duolingo don't care how we feel!!?
Would it be possible to see the weekly progress graph also in the profile, instead of just in lesson end screens, especially when xp's are also earned by translating and checking sentences in the immersion section? It was really motivating to see those coin stacks get higher, and presenting the progress with a graph is even better idea. However, it would be good to be able to check the graph from the profile. Also, it would be nice to be able to see a longer streak, two weeks maybe, or even a month... maybe in the future?
I had the same issue, but I just realized that a green check mark appears over the flame icon at the top right when your streak is safe for the day.
I'm going to miss the vocab section. I hope it returns someday. I used to use it to drill the most common verbs. I had a list of the top 50 and used to go through them. It was so useful in that respect, because you could search for the word and then have all the different versions (past, present etc) come up together. Will have to find another way to do that now.
Nooo, I preferred the old design! The timing couldn't have been more appropriate. I was in the middle of copying down vocabulary from the vocabulary page into my notebook. Suddenly, the page refreshed into the upgrade. No more vocabulary page. Any ideas on how I can learn the vocab?
I don't mean to sound ungrateful - just stating my opinion. I still love using Duolingo!
Probably they work only when you have the old version. I have the old version and the links work.
Can you please bring back the vocabulary page ASAP??? We need it to be able to review specific words that we have a hard time with. Also we need to be able to listen to how the words sound. It's really hard to do audio exercises without being able to listen to specific words because sometimes I don't always know what the voice is saying and need to do some thinking to figure it out. Granted there are other synthesizers out there but they're not in the same voice so that's not a perfect substitute. Don't get me wrong, the redesign is great but without being able to easily review vocabulary, the new design just isn't as good as the old one in my opinion.
I want the old interface back, it was a lot more legible than this one, it made sense. I was looking at my levels and they were complete, now they show as "strength 3/5" or something. I know how a start up functions and how and what it delivers, but some changes really are unnecessary.
Please no! Old UI was so beautiful and uniqe. Now it look like every other flat simplified website. Please give us an option to stay with old UI - let us allow to choose it somewhere in settings. It cant be that hard. Don't make us happy with force.
Hey! Redesign is absolutely great. I think you will get used to new environment. It have some bugs, but... i hope, will be fixed
Hey! Do you remember time when people have options, settings and skins to choose? I do.
I can pay 76 lingots to get my old interface back. That's all I have now. If it's not enough I will bring more lingots! : /
Why have you REMOVED useful features like the ability to see your friends' trees?
You're right on that. Seeing your friend's trees and posting on my own stream is one of the things I miss the most. I hope they'll add it soon, because I love the new layout! It's beautiful and different! :D I completely love it!
The new design looks great. However while doing lessons i need to scroll down to see the corect answer and it is a little bit impractical. Reducing the size of the page helps but i would expect the page to fit the browser just right so i dont have to change it's size every time i want to do some lessons.
Even though I don't have to scroll down to see the answer, I would prefer it if the answer was directly below what you typed in like it used to be. Where it is currently makes it a little bit hard to find and also makes it so there are no alternate translations like there used to be. Perhaps I'll get used to it. Other than that, great job Duo team, it looks great!
I agree with this so much. I don't need to scroll to see the answer on my screen resolution, but I feel that it really breaks my flow to have to keep looking somewhere else. Why not just have the answer up next to the answer you just typed in, like before? You don't have to look away or anything. (Though, I definitely wish there was a lot less scrolling on the main page... icons seem much bigger and I don't really know why?)
Wow just got updated to the new design here. It looks a lot more modern I guess but a little less obvious on what is going on? I guess I mean that it is not as easy to navigate the lessons (don't like scrolling). Graphics look nice and shiny though. I will miss the vocab page!!
I have to say that although it looks flashy and cool, I don't quite like it because its less intuitive... and too white... some grey areas aren't visible and I have a feeling I don't see everything... and I miss some numbers - like if I'm at level 10 I'd like to have back the number that represents progress to level 11, how much points I have left and so on... also I don't see numbers in leaderboards...
I agree completely. I don't care much about a "cool" design look with new trendy graphics. Simpler is not always better. The design team should have given careful thought and done thorough testing before removing useful features and releasing software with so many problems. Particularly annoying is the inability to test the strength of individual lesson sections. I do this all of the time when I want to strengthen skills learned earlier. For example, I want to improve Household, but there are 6 lessons, and there is no way to know which ones need the work.
I really miss being able to see which lesson I need to strengthen. I know I can see my strength level overall for a section, but I liked being able to go to a specific lesson that needed reinforcement And I liked that "tree"!
I agree with Bunny, but, overall, I have to say that for a FREEEEEE program, Duolingo rocks!
Although I'd like to see some tweaks, I agree that having access to Duolingo has been a great experience. I joined an Italian club so I can test out my comprehension. I'm not the only member of the club that uses Duo.
Maybe this is all a plan. Remove features and offer a paid product to monetize the large userbase.
If you scroll over the progress bar, you should be able to see your current XP in your level and how much XP you need to reach the next level.
I agree, I want the old Duolingo back that used to work really well AND looked good!! :'(
How can I see the number of points I earned today in the new design without having to do a lesson? (Like the "Weekly Progress" in the old design)
After fine tuning the Coach feature on the iOS apps, we'll likely bring it to Android and the web. That will really improve personal/daily tracking, it's like the Weekly Progress tab on steroids.
Cool, thanks. It'll be nice to see all three platforms get more in sync again. Any idea when that might happen?
We like to test features and fiddle with them before permanently adding them to the service. I know it sucks that platforms can get out of sync, but it's easiest to just test on one platform at a time.
I don't want them to be in sync. I don't want big fat finger icons on my desktop or lots of small icons on my android.
Feature parity is good. But taking shortcuts to achieve it just sucks. The old website was reaching the point of being polished. Probably for portability reasons the old version has been thrown out. The new version might require less manpower to maintain but it's just the jack of all trades, master of none. I want the desktop website to be designed with desktop users in mind, and likewise the android/iphone apps to be designed with fat fingers in mind. Abstracting this difference into a single look and feel does not work!
I know it can't be good reading this if you put in the hard work for duolingo. It just seems like the users have much different goals to the designers, developers and marketing folks at duolingo. Surely someone tested this website on a normal laptop before rushing it out for release right?
I agree with you on things like the size of the icons. The icons in the tree are definitely too big and spaced out in the new web version, so you can't see as much of the tree at once, and you have to scroll too much to find a lesson.
I was more thinking about things like the coach that is only on iOS, and the Christmas, Idioms and Flirting lessons which are only available on the web. It would be nice if the features where kept in sync while using designs appropriate for each platform.
I understand, I guess it would just be less noticeable that they were out of sync if the website got new features first since it can be accessed from any device. I have a laptop and Android devices, so now I've lost the simple way of checking my weekly progress. Well hopefully the coach will be available everywhere soon :)
I agree. The reason I know how much to do each day is because I look on my weekly progress bar -- now I'm not exactly sure how to determine how much I've done, or how to stay on track.
Please put back the "vocabulary page"!
It was useful to review the words learned :(
I found individual strength meters for each lesson very useful and engaging. Are they coming back someday?
agreed! I was just revisiting duolingo and now I cant tell which individual lessons I need work on, and which I've done! Very frustrating. :(
That is a big issue for me. Before today I could see which of the lessons in each section were weak and do them. I quite like the look of the lesson page with the details of the words in each of them, but not knowing which to revise make things a lot more difficult.
Cosmetic changes to design are something I will get used to, but taking away a really useful feature is a disappointment.
First, I want to say how much I love DuoLingo and that I appreciate the Duo team and all the hard work they put into this site. I recommend Duo to pretty much anyone I encounter who expresses interest in languages. Thank you for all you do!
That said, heh, I think the new design seems juvenile and is actually unpleasant to look at -- to the point where I don't even want to finish this comment and just want to navigate away from the site :(
I did a run-through of a lesson before writing, just so I got a full taste of the re-design, and the fact that I can't even see if I got the answer right or wrong, or click on the discussions for the question, without scrolling down is very irritating. [ETA: I see Luis said this is being fixed. Thanks!] Also, after I finished the lesson, the completion page (where it tallies your hearts/points) was blank, and it just immediately flipped to the "You can now read blah% of articles".
As others have mentioned, I miss the vocab.
Also, I was hoping the re-design would mean a faster load-time for my home page -- or any of the pages, really -- but this design is taking probably five times as long to fully load. And I'm not able to scroll smoothly through my whole tree. The page sticks and then jumps. Hopefully that's just the result of it still being tweaked?
I agree with others that the new color scheme is too bright and glaring, even with the brightness of my laptop screen as low as it can get. Perhaps an option for a muted color scheme would help. I find the childishness of the new scheme irritating as well. More importantly, I am having a harder time reading the words in the lesson--there is a lot of white space but the text itself is too small, and I really can't read the buttons that have the different accented vowels. Yet if I zoom the screen in to be able to read better, I can no longer see translations or correct answers on the same page without scrolling. Similarly the "tree" icons are so big that not many fit on one screen anymore. (I still miss the old ones connected by lines, honestly.)
I too miss being able to look at my coin stacks--I could get used to the graph, but I would like to be able to see it other than at the end of a lesson. I also like being able to see my friends' skill trees.
Second that, the redesign by itself is ok, but changes in functionality are annoying. And TOO much scrolling, both in the lessons and the tree (it seems never ending!). Also I want to able to see my progress (coin stack or the current graph are both ok), seeing my progress is a real motivator and also helps me keep track if I have done lessons today in all 3 of the languages I'm learning. Also an option for an alternative colour scheme would improve things.
Edit: and kudos for the "o" loading bar in the logo, very nice touch.
Is there anyway to switch back to the "old" view? It seems like it was easier for me to see my progress in each section at a view. The new site is very pretty though :)
Looking at the new layout, it's not at all visually obvious that I'm supposed to be doing something with the lessons that I haven't touched yet. They're just icons, but since they have no bars at all that could be full or not, they kinda look... already done. They're just not gold. It seems intuitively like they ought to have the semi-circle of bars next to them (used to indicate strength on the completed lessons) to make it obvious that there's something there to be done.
Other than that, I'd say that I think the layout is an improvement, but the visual style is... ick. Very unpleasant to look at for me.
Maybe you could consider making 'skins' or 'color schemes' for the site as something that would be valuable to offer in the Lingot store. I'm not talking about anything drastic. You could have everyone on the site keep the same overall layout, and just offer the option to purchase slightly different color themes. Sort of like going into the MS windows settings and telling it you'd like a different theme.
Just wanted to add that it looks less-bad when f.lux kicks in (a program that shifts everything on your monitor to be slightly warmer/more red, which is supposed to be less harsh to your eyes in the evening). It still doesn't look GOOD, but it helps.
Not having the vocabulary page really stinks. I hope it come back again unharmed. And I loved being able to study one word. Not a happy carrot.
As many of the other users, I miss the vocabulary, but not so much the tab, which contained too many words. I actually miss to see the words I learned in a specific lessons, because I am used to check the word list of the lesson I took yesterday or a couple of days ago, to check if all the words are ok. I would like to see at least those small lists restored.
Thank you so much!
Are the trophies done away with or did I lose mine somehow? And is it really not possible to see others' skill trees to see how they're doing or am I missing something I should be seeing? I really loved being able to see others' progress. It was such a great way to encourage oneself to continue on because the coins don't really tell much...(not to mention having the extra incentive to keep one's tree nice and gold in case anyone happens to stumble across it).
What about others' trees? I agree with Elizabeth0 that seeing my friends' trees encourages me to keep competing with them and to keep my own tree all gold. It also allows me to see what my friends have learned so far and I can talk with them about it offline.
Alright, thanks! And is it true that there's no way to see other people's trees?
Yes, I also missing have the chance to have a look at my friend's trees. That is a pity, because, it challenge me to have my tree on shape and very gold. I hope you can take it back. Despite that, like it a lot the new look. Thank very much Duolingo team (sorry my english)
I already sent this as a suggestion but might as well post it here: the new layout looks cool and all but seems a bit too bright, kinda bothers my eyes. And not all elements on the screen fit neatly there without having to scroll (like when I anwser a question and get it wrong: the correct answer is pushed below the screen). Haven't had much of a chance to look around at the other changes yet. It would be nice to have the current skill level shown along with your avatar on the top bar.
Yeah, it's bothering my eyes too! I didn't notice it til just now, but you're right.
Sorry but I think that the new design is really horrible to the point where it makes me want to not use the website any more. it is childish, garish and oversimplified. I thought that it looked perfect before and now using the website to learn french is actually quite distressing. Please, please make it look more adult, restore the lines between the lessons so you feel like you're actually progressing, get rid of the nasty rounded font and the painfully bright colours. Please.
Exactly this. Before the interface update I actually thought that this website was the nicest looking and had by far the best and easiest to use interface I've ever used online. I loved every single bit about it. Now it is too bright, too childish and and it has lost all its compactness. Now this website doesn't give me any vibe of a "well-designed" site, just my two cents.
`I completely agree. I'm one of those "seniors with bad eyes" and I appreciate the clarity of the new design, but if your audiences isn't children it's pretty off-putting. Language study should be fun, but this is like making adult learners sit in children's furniture when they take adult ed courses! Plus, the bright contrasts are hard on my eyes, even though the images are bigger and clearer.
The print - from a tablet, which I always use because my laptop is too old and slow - seems quite a bit smaller to me, too.
Hi Sorry but the new design just kicked in for me too. I can't find the vocabulary section - it doesn't seem to be there at all and I use it a lot to revise vocabulary and strenghten words. On the English - French part when I finish a practice exercise there is no summary of "you strengthened the following words" which I also liked a lot and studied. On the English - Italian part I can't get past the first question every time I try an exercise it blocks. Sorry again as I know how much work has been put in to the redesign but I DO NOT like it at all. I have recommended DUOLINGO to a huge amount of people over the last two months (I am a language teacher) and I know a lot of them will be disappointed like me. Bring back the old platform !
I miss "you strengthened these words" too, but I suspect that's a temporary bug because I saw a blank screen where the summary should've been.
The top post specifically says they deliberately eliminated the Vocabulary section because they didn't feel it was integrated enough to the overall experience to offer any value. They're looking for better ways to integrate it.
I cannot understand why people want to ''redesign'' something that already works.´
The new redesign has only carried troubles and buggies
PLEASE RETURN TO THE OLD VERSION !!!! IT WORKED !!!!
rule number one: "do not fix it if it works", in particular when it works GREAT! I am very disappointed
Couldn't agree more. In fact, I could hardly bring myself to do a couple of lessons today. Totally demotivated - by all those PhDs with not an ounce of common sense between them!
It is not the PhDs, it is the designers. But I hope one day they understand that not everyone in the world is an Austin Powers fan.
I also dislike most of the new changes, but in fact the sites runs much faster and more stable than before and this is wonderful. That's why I would put a huge questionmark behind your sentence since they made the design worse but the functionality better in my point of view.
Total agreement ! It was an excellent site. Today is the first day since then end of October that I haven't recommended the site to anyone. It is also the first time that I have not been really motivated to do any exercises. I will force myself to do one this evening to see if there have been any improvements since this morning.
Please, Duolingo, for God's shake, do not hire more designers! Their job is to create top of the edge designs, but are you 100% sure that this is what is needed?
I would also like the return of the coin stacks to the main page (even behind a clicky like it was, or even a bar graph because the line graph is kind of tricky to read), the return of the intra-lesson progress bars to see what sections of lessons need to be repeated (especially useful if you've fallen behind and need to repeat lessons to make them gold again), and the return of the little trophies. Maybe it's childish, but like others have said those little things are all motivating to show us how many points we've been earning, what we need to work on, and the small thrill of getting a trophy. The little graph at the end just isn't quite the same. Also, I can only see maximum four rows of the new circular icons on the home page, so there's so much scrolling to get to the bottom, and I'm only halfway done with the tree. Also, with the multiple choice it was a lot easier to figure out the translation when the choices were underneath the question rather than next to it, but maybe that was intentional.
So, as much as there are nice features with the new design, like an easy link to the lingot store, a number of the motivational and informational features were taken away. It's easy to get used to new graphics, but I'm concerned about the functionality.
I can appreciate the desire to make all the different version look the same, but not at the expense of functionality. I dislike the pastel colours, they are too white and I have lowered my screen brightness to compensate. I dislike that the level indicator on the individual lessons is gone. It is still there on the different subjects but when the level drops on the subject there is no indication of which lesson you should be practising. I dislike that the subjects are long and narrow. That might look fine on an ipad in portrait mode but it looks stupid on a widescreen monitor. Some programmers are doing amazing things with CSS and actually allowing the content to stretch to the edges of the screen. </sarcasm> I dislike that the Lingots store is now floating in mid air in the corner of the lessons screen while Activity has been promoted to the top menu. I dislike that the weekly progress is gone. Yes I did read that I get a graph at the end of the lesson but this means that I have to do a lesson to check how many lessons I did yesterday or on Sunday. I dislike that when you click on a subject, and then click the back button on your browser it goes back to the top of the list rather than where you were looking. So you have to scroll down again.
So, what do I like ?
I'm actually reasonably hard pressed to find anything that I do like that has been 'improved'
I like the new lesson boxes with the way the words to be learnt are displayed. I don't mind some of the rounded corners on the boxes, but I think the design has gone too far in the direction of Apple et al.
So, after 160 days straight of French lessons since I started, I am considering not coming back to Duolingo. This isn't purely because of the redesign, but it is the last straw.
I get frustrated with duolingo putting new sentences in to the spoken questions that I have never heard before. I get frustrated by the fact that the hover words don't always help you to translate the sentence. I am very disappointed that the half hearts are gone. Clumsy fingers in English and suddenly I've failed the lesson. I get frustrated by the lack of lessons before the quiz. Give me some vague notion of what you are going to be asking before throwing me in the deep end, especially with some of the more abstract stuff.
Apart from all that, I do think that Duolingo is a good way to learn a language and I am actually amazed that I have stuck with it as long as I have. And my French has definitely improved.
I have a very similar 'last straw' feeling; after the twin frustrations of witless edits of good translations and random downvotes in immersion, and the persistence of errors and missing translations in the lessons, now my eyes are hurting and I can't practice the weakest words that I choose. I'm back today because I'm sick in bed, but I'm not sure I will stay addicted in future. I'm very sad about it, because I loved it here. :(
When I started on Duolingo I loved the way that I could look at the tree and quickly get a grasp on where I was on the map. That easy read to determine progress was something that contributed to keep me going.
The most appealing thing about the program was that the information itself was chunked in an easy to grasp manner and easy to retain.
IMO, the new design takes that idea and extends it to the point that the chunked information no longer holds together. It's just a disparate set of buttons that are larger - forcing more scrolling which takes a longer time to determine where you are in the newly "perceived as larger" learning path.
Chunking is only useful if it's exploitable and the new design gets further away from that than is comfortable (at least for me). Other folks may be more readily able to bind the parts together. But, I'm neither brilliant or young so perhaps my difficulties with the new design are something that folks could, quite legitimately scoff at as an outlying complaint. Even the new icon barometer swirl seems like a distraction.
I was sad to see the hover on the sections is gone - that was a great terrific way to get a head start on the next lesson before you even clicked on the link.
No vocabulary page? I understand that you are working on another solution.
Hope that that the team will reconsider the design and recognize that while the larger design might make things easier to navigate - it does so without regard to the bigger picture of learning. Particularly for us slowpokes.
Hope this helps in some way. While my feedback isn't glowing I have to thank you for putting this together.
Agreed. The best language research is useless if it's imbedded in a user-hostile interface.
ALL the High Fives Duolingo Team! xD
I take a lot of time to adjust to rapid change and usually feel grumbly until I do. So, when I first saw the new design, I went into shock. Looking back it felt like a LOT of change all at once and I was super jarred. (A lot of features that were missing back then are here now though). But, to do the feedback reports, moderators had to take a really good look and actually explore each area of the website, one section at a time. It quickly became apparent just how much more intuitive the new layout is! And just having a solid look at things quickly kindled my appreciation. So, I gotta say it, I'm in love with the new layout! (And I also feel a lot of empathy for folks like me who struggle to adjust to change.)
So, if anyone out there is like me and sours instantly amidst rapid change, I encourage you to go tab by tab, piece by piece click on things, look at the layout, and get familiar. This new layout has a lot to offer. It's sad to see that a few familiar pieces are gone, like the coin stacks and the Vocabulary tab. But, overall we've gained a lot!
Super kudos to the design team (thanks for that blue link in Immersion xD), everyone running logistics, Kristine for handling (the endless pages of) feedback and getting everything where it needed to go, all of the moderators who joined in with the feedback reports, and the 10% of users who were helping to test it out!
PS I was especially happy to see the Sections area redesign in the Discussion forum. It'll be much easier for new users to find most of the other discussion forums this way. :D
I HATE the new look Duolingo, now I'm only here for a short time before getting so frustrated with thinks not working, missing and also looking so childish too!! Makes me angry that they think they're Facebook (Fascistbook), but this is NOT a social network, it's supposed to be a learning tool that worked well before this ridiculous change!!
Panda, as your friend I am going to ask you to calm down. I agree that the changes are not what I would have chosen and in my own comment I have told them exactly why, but I also thanked them for the effort even though it had an adverse affect on some of us. You are upset and I understand that, but you are forgetting that the Doulingo team is only trying to help, with a community this large it is a struggle to make things meet the standards and needs of all the users. By all means tell the team what you would prefer they change, but do not lose sight of the fact that they are only trying to help. Please take a moment to consider what I have said and keep in mind that I am only telling you this because I am your friend.
I don't know you, but I still think it would be a shame to lose you over this. I was seriously thinking about leaving when they took away half-hearts, because that mattered very deeply to me. If you can bring yourself to do it, it would be awesome if you stuck around at least a few days longer while they patch the bugs. I don't know how long it will take them to get some of the features back. I'm not sure which they plan to restore, but hopefully they'll pick things that will make things better for you and other users who are frustrated right now.
This. I also have a lot of trouble with change, and difficulty with visuospatial information. I get overwhelmed easily by visual data, and if it changes unexpectedly, oh man. Rough weather on the horizon. I think a big part of the reason I took to this so quickly is that it looks very similar to the iPad app, which I've used a few times. I'd already had a chance to get used to the visual style. If I had not, I'd probably be pretty irritable for a few days.
I love the redesign. I think it looks great and is easy to understand. Go figure, the one time I like a new interface, a lot of other people find it confusing. There are still things that unnerve me a little, such as the slight transparency of the top bar. It will be interesting to see whether I still care about that in three days.
It would be hypocritical of me to tell anyone to just get over it, or to try looking at it from a more positive angle. I'm probably the Queen of Same, or at least somewhere in line for the throne. I'll just say that I hope it starts feeling normal again as quickly as possible, unless you don't want it to feel normal. Then all I can say is I've been there and I'm sorry that it's uncomfortable.
I know the feeling, I am standing right net to you in line for the throne. I hope we either adjust or are given the option to go back to the old set up.
I miss the vocab list. It helped my see where my weakness were. I hate the new design it's one of the reasons I used the pc more than my phone. Please bring back word list at least offer it as an option it can be very helpful for some people.
I liked the old look better. I miss the vocab. And I miss mousing over people to see info about them. Also miss how you could press 1,2 or 3 on the keyboard to select multiple choice answers. (actually didn't try this but the numbers weren't there). Overall, it's too white and reminds me of Memrise - and that's not a good thing.
You should still be able to press 1/2/3 on the keyboard for selecting multiple choice answers. Is this not working properly for you?
sorry, i'll give it a try, i just saw that there was no 1,2,3 on the choices.
Is there a way that we can see our weekly progress from the main screen? That's how I check to see how much more I want to do each day -- and I keep myself in check during the week.
The new look is cute, but as many said, too bright on big screen. And I really miss the vocabulary list, I like to review all the words in a list and quickly find out the weak ones. Hope it comes back soon. The new lesson icons is good to touch on the phone but it needs scroll too much on the PC, anyway, it's good to have the same look on all platform.
About the colour scheme. It's not just that it's too bright. Too much of the screen changes when a sentence is completed. The whole bottom third of the screen changes to either red-outlined pink (wrong answer) or green-outlined nasty-green (right answer). I started to feel a bit seasick after doing a lesson, and don't really want to do another lesson today.
This is awesome! I'm so happy to finally hear some news on this. Thank you guys so much!
Edit: I'm in the new interface now; it looks amazing! Great job Duolingo!
How come my trophy for completing the Spanish Tree is no longer there :( I worked hard for that!
I am so sad about this new design. It hurts my eyes, the lesson practice does not fit comfortably on my 13.3" screen, I cannot check my daily progress unless I do a lesson practice, I have no information on the strength of the individual lessons. And the timing of this big change was really unfortunate for me, because I was already growing more and more disgruntled with the uselessness (for me!) of duolingo's spaced repetition system.
I understand, that your goal is to have most people stick with their duolingo courses, and for this you have to listen to your metrics. I am just so very sorry, that according to your metrics I am not most people., and whereas three months ago I was happy to practice Italian as much as I could, today it is just a daily obligation, that I posed on myself, and I just want to get over it as quickly as possible.
My my, now it looks so similar to the mobile app. It's beautiful! :D I love that the letter "o" in Duolingo now acts as a loading notification. Gotta love these fine details.
Few other points, guys:
It seems (sometimes) while writing in the comment box, I can't go to a new line after pressing Enter.
Are you going to bring back those discussions found inside the lessons? I mean the ones after we choose the topic, not those found after answering individual question. Some of them are actually pretty useful.
Overall, awesome job!
The lack of discussions under each lesson is the only thing I have a real complaint about with the redesign. Maybe they've been moved to the general forums?
I hope it's not too long for a revamped vocabulary feature….I used that frequently as a reference. Without it, I'll need to reference another website. Anyone have a reference site they recommend?
Please, I will echo the sentiments that we need a vocab page OR an API to export our user data.
Well as I have already commented I do not like the new layout at all. However as I am really keen on learning Italian I decided to try to forget that and to log on as usual this morning to do an exercise. However at the end of one exercise my eyes are aching. The blue colour makes me see blurred and the words are reverberating on the page. I WILL try another exercise later but if I can't see properly I am noy going to be able to continue.
Old one was much better.. and even faster. Why do you have to change something that works just fine?
I dislike the current changes as well, but the new design runs much faster than the old one.
I am a PC user. It never worked slow for me... Now I feel like I'm using stupid mobile device...
After using the site on my daily visit today, two thoughts come to mind: "change for the sake of change" and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Nothing about the new design seems aimed at helping me learn more quickly or more easily. Please count me among those who preferred the old look, and thank you very much for an awesome resource and learning tool.
I mis being able to practice different sections of the vocabulary such as verbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc, as a group....
Will you be putting back the "fix mistakes"? Hope so. Other wise Duolingo is so great. Can't thank you enough!!
I think this may be a graphical problem for people who have reached level 25 in a language. The bar extends a bit too far:
After finishing a lesson: http://i.imgur.com/q7g7ttg.png
On the main screen: http://i.imgur.com/vpQzECc.png
As someone who is always against changes like this, I dislike the new interface. I'm sure I'll learn to like it soon, or at least get used to it.
I hope you don't get a lot of complaints but people always have trouble with change, which brings me to my problem. I find the new look a bit harder on my eyes. I'm not sure why, as I haven't got the old to compare it to. I miss the coins as well. I generally like change, so other than that I'm happy with the changes, though I haven't tried it out much yet. Definitely harder on the eyes! Thanks for all the hard work you all do. It's much appreciated.
Omg.. What is this? New layout? I am shocked by the sudden change. Such a sudden change. I hate it. Farewell my beloved layout :-(.. I'm here to learn languages.. Not to get accustomed with design-changes! I totally love the old Duolingo layout. It worked perfect to me. I wish I could keep the old one.
No "discussion"?! Enough is enough. I was an entusiastic user of Duolingo. Not anymore. Not at all.
How can I see the daily skill points with the new design? They used to be on the right-hand side as a little stack of coins. I know they show up at the end of a lesson, but I was just wondering if there would be a way to keep that graph permanently on the right-hand side of the screen?
I simply hate it.
Colours are too bright and page design feels really childish.. Daily progress of me and my friends is gone, and it was very motivating for me as I tried to keep up with my friends.
Not to mention that vocab is gone.
Seriously, if this was how duolingo looked when I saw it first I probably wouldn't sign up.
DISAPPOINTED WITH THE NEW DESIGN. The text is too small if I want to have the whole window fit on my screen. I agree with most other criticisms made here regarding other visual aspects of the redesign. There are enough substantive changes that should have been made instead of concentrating on the visuals, which in my opinion are worse.
I appreciate what you were TRYING to do but you failed horribly. Not only is it childish but it is to big and to bright it is hard to look at for a few SECONDS forget for the minutes it takes to do the lessons. The set up of the lessons is to big and much harder to follow than before. The lack of the 'web' connecting the lesson tabs makes it hard to follow and the icons themselves are difficult to look at. The subtle lush green, medium print, symetrical set up, and 'web' among other things made Doulingo easy to look at and enjoyable. Now it is VERY hard to look at and it is no longer fun to use. If we have to have the new set up at least give us the choice under settings to personalize our home page and use the old set up.
I've read a lot of the comments, pro and con. I will add mine because I would really like to see you succeed. Bottom line: I don't like the look or feel of the new site and I will use it less as a result. The changes remind me why I switched from busuu to duolingo. For starters, the icon colors are painful to the eyes, the size of the icons don't work well on a laptop (and barely work on the 23" monitor I use at home) and the icons themselves don't convey useful information. Coupled with the information content changes, like losing the vocabulary list and not seeing wrong and correct answers side-by-side, and the site is much less useful for intermediate level learners like me. The net result is a less useful, hard to use product with less functionality.
Now my rant. User interface design should be in the service of conveying information and in support of site functionality. Dumbing down the look and feeling of the site - I am sorry but I can't think of another phrase that better conveys my reaction - to look more like iOS 7 - at the expense of its usefulness as a learning tool seems shortsighted. Moreover, removing functionality that worked for users, like the vocabulary list, because it is hard to maintain (as was described on one of the company posts) may be expedient but myopic.
I like Duolingo and I am rooting for your success; I wouldn't write all this otherwise. In the end, I think that the focus on focus groups has caused you to lose sight of two important principles: customer loyalty is built on increasing functionality over time, not taking it away, and good user interface design won't win customers but bad design does lose them.
I just refreshed a lesson in the new interface. It seems that sentence translations are no longer given after you answer the verbal questions, either correctly or incorrectly. Is Duolingo moving towards immersion learning? I know there's a huge pedagogical debate about this, but for what it's worth, the translations were critical for building my vocabulary and my knowledge of grammar.
ETA: I did another practice round, the English translations and corrections were there. And now I'm in the old interface again. Must be busy at Duolingo HQ right now!
I was in the middle of work on individual words on the Vocabulary page when it disappeared! I like much about the new design, but will be on tenterhooks until you bring it back in some improved form, as your message indicates! Let me assure you that access to specific words and their different versions, as well as conjugation of verbs, has been an essential part of my duolingo study! Make bringing the vocabulary list back a prioity, please!
Yeah I agree with you. The vocabulary list was one of the best things and priorities to my learning.
I hope it is only a bug or something that they will improve in the future, and bring it back to us.
There have been enough comments about it here that it seems like it will come back, hopefully improved. But actually I had no problems with it as it was. Used it regularly. I think it is important to keep our comments and our wishes positive!
Hopefully they will improve it. It was so good to train conjugations of verbs and you could just pick up a word to reinforce your abilities. Well, as you said let's to keep our wishes positive. hahaha
Thanks for your comment.
The vocab page is missed by many of your users. Is there any way you can bring it back. I know you said it is being worked on, but can you give a specific date for the new vocab page? Also, not being able to have the screen that came up before the lesson from the last interface is a big frustration. I was able to see what words I was going to study, how to conjugate, and practice that single word. This is not much of improvement. I do not mean to be harsh, but it seems that you have replaced actual useful content with pretty pictures. It feels insulting that this would be perceived as an upgrade. I enjoy the site and will continue using it no matter what. I thank you for your hard work and efforts for this free service.
Hello! I've been testing the new layout. It takes some getting used to, but so far, so good! There's a few things I miss:
I wish I could see other people's trees (or rather, levels, now). It was fun and encouraged competition, which I always thought was a big sell for Duoling. Indeed, the weekly progress remains, so that you can compare yourself to others. The tree would be appreciated, as well. :)
Discussion for skills. Before, I opened the Idioms skill and could see the discussion on the main page for it, for instance. Now I can't do so anymore. I give Idioms as an example, because it was very useful to see the whole list of idioms before practicing the skill. I'm sure it's helpful for other skills, too.
The multiple choice questions worked better the way they were. You could see at a glance which options you'd missed. Please bring back the previous format if possible.
There's also a couple things I would fix:
Please make the greys darker. I'm squinting at my screen like Fry from Futurama!
Could you make our weekly progress (the graph) more accessible, rather than only visible when you successfully complete a lesson or practice? I have troubles completing practices sometimes (I am learning a language, after all) and I'd like not to have to wait until I'm successful.
You're working to restore the vocab section, so I won't say anything other than I hope it gets here soon. :)
I like that the new design allows you to see how many lessons there are in any skill, even if we haven't gotten to that row yet. It also makes it clearer what the skill teaches the user. This seems a little dumb, but I like that the userpics are bigger now, too. The new design looks more streamlined and game-like, which is according to Duolingo's goals, so congrats! :D Thank you for your hard work.
I miss being able to see other people's trees, individual lesson strength levels, and the daily coin stacks for the week the most. A redesign is one thing, but why did so many features from the previous design have to disappear?
edit: @Tyrannogina: I just noticed the disappearance of discussions for skills and lessons. I'm very hopeful that it will be reintegrated into the new design.
The new design is terrible, looks like it is tailored to an elementary school crowd. I agree 100% with everything Arya.Stark said, she put it very well. Bring back the old design and let me feel like an adult trying to learn a new language.
I have do admit that I am also one of those guys that do not like the redesign. The top comment already mentions that the design appears childish in some extend and I agree to that. I could live with the colour scheme - the changes are not unnerving. But what is unnerving to me are these huge bubbles that represent the lectures (or "skills"). You mentioned that you want to unify designs. I have never been using the mobile version of the page or the app (if it exists), respectively, but I assume you refer to those design. While I get the idea to offer the user a unified lookfeel please be aware that not every look and every feel is appropriate for every platform. What I want to say: A user interacts differently with a tablet than with a laptop or a workstation. Therefore, it is justified to follow different design and user interaction approaches. One does simply not need huge icons on a laptop to represent the lectures since the user would not interact with them by touch, but by mouse. Furthermore, these icons waste a lot of space and information is distributed over a larger area. I like it better to have information presented in a compact fashion and I believe that this is true for the majority of users. I really liked the old lecture icons/boxes! They were just good.
The same argumentation can be extended to the lesson boxes: These are too big and for large lectures (e.g. Adverbs 2 in the English - French course) I need to scroll down to see all boxes). I get the idea that you wanted to give additional information which vocabulary was introduced/tested in which lesson. Nice idea, but I suggest that you bring the vocabulary list back (this is a BIG loss) and add an option to practice the word in the associated lesson ("repeat lesson"). Now I can only speak for myself, but I rather practice only weakest words instead of redoing an entire lesson when I just need to practice only one word. Thus, presenting the words associated with the lesson in the respective lesson box does not add a value to me.
Overall, I have the impression you just have ported the lookfeel of a mobile page or app, respectively to the web site. In my opinion this will never work out. At least not without friction. I am afraid you just wasted time and effort on a problem that was not a problem at all: Did users really complain about bad web design? Did they complain about bad usability? What were the issues they complained about? Could they have been addressed with minor changes, i.e. without a complete redesign?
Never change a winning team.
 Things I like. I like that the strike level and lingots are displayed on top and are always visible.
Exactly my thoughts about the attempt to have the same look and feel on every platform. I haven't used the mobile version, but I imagine that a stark white mobile screen would not be nearly as headache-making as it is on a large desktop screen or even a laptop. And trying to use the same layout for both portrait (mobile) and landscape (desktop/laptop) screens doesn't seem sensible at all. On a small mobile device, the eyes don't have to move very far to get from any part of the screen to any other part of the screen, but when using a large desktop screen, it takes effort for the eyes to continually jump from the top to the bottom, not to mention that it sometimes even requires scrolling to get to what's on the bottom of the screen.
I completely understand wanting to have the same underlying engine on all platforms, and if that is what has led to the temporary loss of some features like the vocabulary, I don't mind waiting. And I also understand wanting to have the same basic visuals on all platforms.
But some aspects of the visuals (general layout, colours, button size, maybe even fonts) should take the platform into account at least to some extent.
I have waited for this for a long time. I can't wait to see how it looks and works!
[Edit] I refreshed the page, and it switched to the new interface right before my eyes! Thank you very much!
AGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGA!!!!! Why are you trying to kill my soul? I can understand fixing the things that are broken, but why did you change things that were fine?
And not fix the things that ARE broken, like the many missing and incorrect translations that are still tripping me up after three months despite reports? (and no, they're not my mistakes, it's quite clear from other language sources). I love(d) Duo, but I'm thinking the honeymoon may be over...
Is there a way to see your current strength of each lesson within a category (like the previous version)? That is how I know which old lessons I should retake.
We seem to have lost the ability to strengthen an unfinished skill. I used this every day to practice skills before learning new chapters, and I miss it already.
...Ok, it can actually still be accessed by appending "/practice" to the skill's URL, but still, it would be nice to have the link back on the page!
What would be nice is a page where they list all of the features that they've removed, and say how to reach all of the features that they've hidden.
Can we have an option to change back to the old design? I'm not a fan of the new layout at all.
This design is optimized for mobile devices, people who use mainly mobile devices and the usage scenarios of mobile devices. Usage on a computer screen is IMO completely different.
It's silly that DL should have gone to all the trouble of redesigning the interface without fixing the issue of font legibility. The capital "i"s are identical to lower case "L"s so that "Il" looks totally wrong. We need a decent serif font like Times New Roman.
AGREE!! This bothered me right from the start. There are so many better choices.
Timed practice now contains an animation between two questions. This animation makes me be about 40% slower. It confuses the brain and makes the eyes refocus. Please get rid of it. Thank you!
I appreciate Duo's unceasing efforts to create an interface and delivery style that facilitates learning.
As someone for whom bright colours and 'busy-ness' on a page is fatiguing or even overwhelming from a sensory perspective, may I ask that you consider offering user configurable colour schemes? Muted and unobtrusive colour tones (as my tree is presently) that have a consistent classification work best for me.
I'm not really bothered either way about the new design, but I can't help thinking that it's more important for Duolingo to focus on content (more vocabulary, more lessons, please!) than on design, which seemed to be "good enough" already.
Agreed wholeheartedly. I know the designers and the language experts aren't the same people, but I feel like Duolingo's resources would be better invested in more content-related staff and less design staff. (Also, this font is terrible... why are the ts so small!? Looks very childish... though I suppose that fits with the rest of the new design.)
I do not like the new design and miss the vocabulary section badly. All changes so far have been for the worse.
I must say that I really miss the old design. :( I tend to hold a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude to DuoLingo: I can see the need to fix bugs, but the old design was a lot easier to read and a lot more pleasant to look at. Also, I really, really, miss the option to listen to the sentences in the Immersion section.
If I may suggest, can we at least have the option to zoom in or out on the skill tree? It's a pain to navigate through this one.
I still absolutely love DuoLingo and I will continue to use it for years to come. Just voicing my personal complaints about this make-over.
I agree, I would LOVE it if we could have a choice under Settings to switch back to the old set up. My eyes are very sensitive and the new colors and design hurt my eyes.
First of all, I really appreciate all that you give us for free - it's incredible! This gives you a lot of leeway to make your own decisions I believe, since I'm really just taking advantage of what you built. That being said, I'm delighted that you want to take your users into account, and that you listen to our input.
The first and most important thing first: the colours. However much I love this site, the excessive amount of white is offputting to the point where I'm having trouble looking up at the screen when writing this. It worked for about five to ten minutes, but now my eyes are starting to hurt. (Last year LiveJournal made a similar change to a bit blue and mostly white, with the same results - people had migraines, headaches and eye problems, including myself.) I'm capslocking this because it needs to be seen - THESE COLOURS ARE NOT USER FRIENDLY, rather the opposite.
Secondly, I'd like some of the stats back please. Vocabulary was never that important to me, although I liked being able to see exactly what I learned, but the daily and weekly progress really is. I try to do a minimum of 20 coins every day, and I like seeing at a glance what I've done every day of the week so far. (And I liked the stacked coins a lot more than an abstract amount of XP, even though I'm a gamer :D)
Thirdly, yes, it looks childish now. I don't mind whimsy, but it just looks a little unprofessional. I recently got a smartphone and I have to say I love your Android design, it works perfectly on a small screen. Translated to a laptop, not so much. I don't neccesarily want you to go back to the old angular design, but it did seem a lot more streamlined, competent, and professional than this one.
OK, my eyes are really hurting now so I need to leave.
I still have the old design, and the lingot store is now broken for me. Blanks appear on the cards for heart refill and streak freeze. I tried viewing the page in both Firefox (26.0) and Chrome (32.0.1700.77) and the same problem appears in both.
The tab just refreshed and it looks awesome, thanks so much for all the work you guys do for the community! ;)
I hope the fix includes an introduction of automated QA testing, including regression tests. The practice helps to minimize the sudden introduction of bugs. Combine that with proper UI crowd-testing and you're golden!
There is no longer a number shown next to the bar showing progress to the next level. Could that be included again? I also had two replies waiting for me but when I tried to look at them, they would not display. I'm sure it will all sort out in time. Will be glad to see the vocabulary feature come back at some point. It looks like a lot of work went into it.
About the old design I liked the black bar with the different tabs there, i think it is most formal than blue bar (but I like the integration of the lingots and days). I liked the useful vocabulary page and the weekly progress. Maybe I could get use to the new skills format. The progress bar does not show the missing points for the next level (?) I still can't see the new design, but these are my comments. Good job anyway. PD/ I will miss the gold coins.
You can see the missing points for the next level by hovering over your level bar in your home page.
Can I stay on the old design as long as possible? I really don't want to lose the vocab page.
The aesthetics of the new design are generally good. However, I think that negative space is actually overused - it actually interferes with function on two of the computers I use to access the site, one of which I have to scroll left and right to see the entire page, and one of which I have to scroll up and down just to see the practice questions. This really distracts, especially on timed practice where I have to waste time scrolling before I can tackle each question!
Absolutely dreadful. But there's no point in elaborating, so I'd better just get used to it.
I miss the weekly progress bar. I see that there's a graph at the end of a lesson, but it automatically advanced to the next screen before I had really looked at it.
About the graph, I think the old bar graph (the stacks of coins) was easier to grok than the new line graph.
Suggestion: Can Duo let us give our page the color schemes we like? Like, IDK, skins? Because that "overly bright" factor that others have been talking about is real, and I don't have an older screen. I have a laptop that is a few months old, and it's a Sony, & it's bright, I have the color down way low on this screen because it really is too bright. Giving us controls over the color scheme would be great imho.
Maybe you will find this site useful: http://userstyles.org/ . There one can choose a skin for a certain site or change the look of all the pages in browser. To use a style you need to install a Stylish addon first (it works in Chrome and Firefox, not sure about other browsers). Try searching for "Duolingo" and you'll find some nice styles (that are customizable). Personally I use "Customizable Duolingo Dark" style here and "Midnight Surfing" for other sites.
Please, the vocabulary page was a huge source of help and an excellent study aid, anyone else in favor of bringing it back?
If you read throughout the impressions people wrote, you'll see that a lot of people are asking for the page coming back.
Sorry but just hate the new layout. It's not that I'm adverse to change but I have to say this just doesn't work on any of my computer screens, 5 different one. For example I have to keep scrolling up and down during each lesson as the 'continue' button is below the edge of the screen. Why? what purpose does that serve? The new coin shaped progress icons are simply not as obvious as the old bar ones were and last but not least its now impossible to monitor exactly what lessons in each skill set needs to be strengthened. If this had been the layout when I first came to Duolingo I wouldn't have even bothered to enrol. Now I'm halfway through I will continue but I wont be using the programme in the future should I decide to add another language.
I agree. This redesign has turned what was a wonderfully simple and logical ui design into a frustrating mess.
I'm not going to list all the problems as others have mentioned them, but it really does not work on normal resolution laptop screens.
Please please urgently review what you've done to this site.
I understand unifying the design, and am willing to take a couple hits for that. But I really question a few of your design decisions:
The coin stacks. Without a doubt, one of the most effective motivators for me.
Taking away the vocab page. I'm glad you'll be bringing it back at some point, because good grief, really?
Overall, I think you've achieved the goal of unifying the design but IMHO the price was too high. It's a wash at best, not an improvement.
The principle seems to be: If we can't make a feature work on all platforms, then we won't put it on any platform.
I would like to have a "little trophies at the end", "my gold coins in a little stack"=daily progress, Vocabulary section and larger frame for answers in the lessons. It was very fanny already and very motivating. I am also agree with that : 1) It so bright, I can't stay on for very long anymore. 2) aggressive, eye hurting colors + childish (instead of clean, but cute) looking page + unnaturally expanded pages full of empty space = ZERO USABILITY. 3) There's a way to make it fun without making it juvenile!
I really don`t understand why one already good design was changed to another one?
I dislike the way the answers have scrolled down a bit. I have to now scoll down to look for the correct answer :(
Kind of feels as though you guys have designed this for use on touch screens. The new aesthetic changes aren't all that bad - but I do find them somewhat overwhelming. The bright colours, and the large icons for the lessons with the curved bars and the removal of the tree infrastructure. If they were tuned down; less of the bright colours, the lesson icons made smaller and changing the curved bars to something similar to before, and the re-implementation of the tree I would find it much more usable. Some sites allow the user to personalise colour schemes to the users preference which is something I like to do.
As always, keep up the good work :)
the colours are horrible. you can't really read the answers... who made the design? A kindergarden support group?
I don't suppose there's any scope for bringing back the weekly skill chart at a later date? That's the one thing that's gone that will really lessen by Duo experience - I liked planning how many skill points I was going to aim for each day and rewarding myself when complete.
I also think the whole design is incredibly childish, you can really tell it's aimed at touch screen devices rather than laptop/desktop users, but I'll get over that I guess.
Also, I seem to be having the same problem as other people have mentioned where the continue button disappears once clicked and I cannot complete the lesson. 2/3 lessons today have ended this way. No more Duo for me today I guess..
I find it a little odd that in the previous thread it seemed I was one of very few who disliked the new design and we were being attacked for it - and now the majority dislikes it. On an additional note, and I'm probably the only person who has this problem... Duo gives me a wanring that I cannot access the site unless I update my browser. This makes me terribly sad since I do the majority of my learning at work and we are not allowed to download new software whatsoever (go the government!). Please dont take away the option to use the old version. :(
I appreciate your hard work. I think most people do. It is really impressive that all platforms now operate in harmony and I'm sure this is a big relief to your in-house developers. However, I don't appreciate the childish design, but perhaps you prefer to target a larger adolescent audience. More importantly, I don't like the fact that you removed the ability to correct our mistakes during skills practice. Before we could correct them and be left with half a heart. I learn more when I am able to fix my mistake on the spot. This three strikes and you're out is about as functional as the Fed's three strikes law. You should really think about putting that one back in. Also, I'm amazed that you still feel prefer us to hit the "show my answer" when we do run out of hearts. It's irritating. Of course people want to see their answer. You do this only on the last page. I'm happy you feel the vocabulary has importance and will be reintegrating it back into the application, hopefully soon.
Worst thing is that practice window is now too big on some small resolution laptops. Now I can't see the bottom area with buttons for discussion and every time I scroll down and go to next sentence, it goes up again. Margin on the top is huge, unnecessarily.
Also, I really need a chart to see my weekly/daily progress without finishing a lesson. Sometimes I don't have much time and I just check if I practiced one language today, now I will be forced to do a lesson.
You can't see which words you peaked during a lesson. Not nice.
And last but not least, the site overally works slower on older devices.
I do not like to new look. The icons are huge, so huge that scrolling down even the lesson icons is labor intensive on a laptop screen. Tighten that up so that one laptop screen has a lot more information on it.
These icons look so childish. What happened to the bit of depth you had with shadowing?
It is difficult to see how far you have progressed through lesson because the contrast of the lines to the background are not strong enough.
Finally, I used the vocabulary tab daily by selecting a section and going through all of the words, thereby increasing my memory of vocabulary words. Put it back please.
The feel of accomplishment is gone. Now it just feels like an insult to my intelligence. I do like how the lesson buttons have a vocab list, but the complete redesign feels goofy and Teletubby-ish.
It just doesn't fly for me, and I want it gone.
(And another comment...) Forgive me if this sounds bitchy or sarcastic - that isn't my intention but I think what I have to say has a high chance of coming off that way. I am wondering if maybe there is something missing from your metrics, if this new redesign outperforms on all of them but so many people are here complaining about problems they are having. It's true that a UI redesign will always get a lot of people up in arms, but it looks like a lot of people here were really attached to some of the removed features and believe they really helped them. I have a hard time believing anyone with a function complaint is wrong or in a tiny minority - so it makes me wonder if maybe there is something that needs tinkering with in the way you measure user success.
The colors are kinda, well, bright, and a headache is in order for me if I use Duo for more than 20 minutes. That's my opinion as well as 1bimic's.
This new layout looks horrible on my laptop. If I get a wrong answer I need to scroll down to see the correct one. If I zoom out, however, the font becomes even smaller and harder to read than it currently is. On the topic of fonts, I really do not like the new one. It is very difficult to read, especially the small "t". This new one seems very comic-sans esque and all-around horrible. I really do not like this new layout as it makes the website look very superfluous and hard to use. I would much rather the previous layout; I really liked my squares. :(
Other people have remarked on the aesthetic problems, and the removal of vocabulary review, but I want to draw attention to one specific problem. Now, when doing a listening exercise where you have to write out a sentence (without translating into English), Duo's suggested English translation doesn't appear as the focus of the page. It now appears too far down to be readily noticeable, and in some cases it has appeared in a place that I can't see without having to scroll down.
This seems like a no-brainer to me, but who on earth thought that was a good idea?
"...starting today and continuing over the next couple of weeks..."
Don't mean to sound impatient, but why so long? Is it because this is such a big update?
Thank you. I just got it and it looks great, but the only thing is that where it indicates my level in Spanish, the bar that indicates the points needed to reach the next level runs past a faded out 26 and all the way to the end of the page. Everything else looks so neat that that kind of sticks out as being a little unaesthetic.
The redesign looks great, but I had all my strength bars full and now all of them are 4 out of 5. Is this a bug or a new way of measuring?
I had the same issue for my Spanish tree, but the site refreshed itself again, and the bars are now fully golden.
Hi all, the new design looks nice, however, now to check the answer and to continue I have to scroll down on page, before all was right at site, no scrolling needed. I will try resizing to smaller print and see if I can get it all on screen without scrolling. I checked and can get whole thing on page without scrolling to (check) but of course print is smaller now, so now have small print or use mouse or two fingers on touchpad on every test, time consuming and painful hands.
I agree. This is my biggest complaint (really tied with missing vocab!). I use a 10in (1024 x600 resolution) netbook for all my duolinging. When using the new format, I have a really hard time 'fitting' everything I want to see at the same time on the screen.
It's a bit er KSII for me, but each to their own. But help! How do I post to the stream? I can't see the option for a new post rather than a reply?
Thank you Duolingo team for the new features. I think the new layout is quite pretty, I liked the new features, though I am a bit sad for the vocabulary page (I used to review vocabulary before practicing). The bigger, yet small issue that I have compared to the old layout, is that it has more contrast, so it looks as if you had to make a bigger effort to focus on the content. When I work with code editors I usually use dark themes, that seems to make my eyes less tired at the end of the day, so maybe with Duolingo it could be the same.
If it's possible, maybe you can find a program to invert the colours on your screen, if that would help.
I miss that one, too. I think it helped to go back and redo (especially if the problem was just a typo).
If we purchased an outfit on the app will that be integrated into the site as well? I much prefer Duo to look like a scholarly gentleman while teaching than a sports coach, and it'd just be a nice bonus if that worked on the site as well! The update looks really awesome (the only thing I'll miss is the trees rather than the levels), and I look forward to being able to see the site keep getting better with age. Thanks, duoteam!
When the coach shows up on the website, he'll be sure to bring his outfits with him.
Ah. Duo on the web is still taking night classes at the coaching academy. He's around a bit, but isn't yet certified as a coach :)
I can't distinguish the accents (aigu, grave), especially when the typeface is blue. The accents need to be BIGGER.
I'm disappointed to see the vocabulary page go away, but it's nice to hear it will come back. I find it really helps me. After I barely get through a lesson successfully, I go to it for those words I have trouble with. My memory is crap compared to what it was 30 years ago.
I do wish that the vocabulary page hadn't been deleted before the problems with word aging that are leading to unwarranted skill decay had been finally put to bed.
Tracing through the vocabulary page was the only way that I was able to identify anomalies that prevent this magnificent system from doing its job properly, and also to practice some words that are not being properly handled by the algorithms.
Now all we will have is a vague 'feel' of when we are being asked repeatedly to practice a word or words that are actually much stronger than others in our vocabularies.
The week view of the daily coin stacks is the other thing I am really missing - this is so much clearer as a record of practice and as a pacing tool than the strangely scaled line graphs, from which all you can get is a vague impression of whether you are doing more or less than a few days ago.
I love duolingo! I've been trying to learn French for many years and this is the only thing I've found that works for me. But, I'm going to miss the vocabulary page :-(.
god aren't they tiresome. can't we have options? like we can use the older one if we want?
I agree with you, but please don't be rude, they were only trying to help.
Most things I love about this design including the colors and overall new look, it really makes things pop and feel less bland, however, I do feel like there should be customization of either small details or the whole page layout for two reasons: 1. to stop the haters of new designs/change 2. I like the look of the new Duolingo, but would want to change one or two things. P.S. Thank you for taking out your own time and trying to make this the best experience for everyone. Sorry for everyone that rights a whole comment of hate right away because they aren't used to it.
I think one of the biggest things people are missing about this new redesign is that it is made to be touch screen accessible. For that, you need large buttons with white space surrounding them and a simplistic UI that is easy to learn yet still functional. Also, DL staff said they wanted to integrate the site and the app more, which they did; a consistent user experience is also extremely important.
All in all, this update wasn't made for the 10,000 of us who frequent the discussions and already commit to learning a language because we have a deep motivation to do so. It's for the other 19,990,000 users who aren't as serious.
Oh, you've redecorated. I don't like it. :-/
My layout hasn't changed yet, and from what I've seen so far I'm very glad it hasn't. To my eyes it looks awful and the loss of the vocabulary tab will be a great... well, loss for me.
Of course, once my layout changes I will have a thorough look around myself, but I don't think I will be able to stick around this platform for very long.
I understand that the team has put great effort into it, and apparently at least part of the users like the new design, which is great. But I'm prepared to say my goodbyes and find other ways of learning languages. Nonetheless I am very grateful for what Duolingo has taught me.
not a fan of the change. I can no longer seen the four bar progress of individual lessons. the design looks like something for pre-k kids and there wasn't anything wrong with the old design. I don't give a S**T if you worked hard or not, I want the old design back. this one is not a good change.
I can understand that the vocab page wasn't helping, but that doesn't mean taking it away will help. I'm not a big fan of the page, but sometimes it really helps to view the page and see the gender of a word or frequencies. Why not just tuck it away somewhere neatly, if you believe it's complicating the system?
My wife and I want to put our votes in to restore the Vocabulary Page until you have something better. Overall, I don't have many problems with the new design. On the other hand, I don't think it necessarily adds much to the design either and resources could probably have been used elsewhere. I am also a software designer/developer and you see this often in the industry. That is, most resources used just to reskin the site while sometimes losing small features in the process. Great amounts of "white space" seem to be all the rage this year. Here is a list of features I would like to see: 1) The option to practice with the microphone on every question. Sometimes, you just want to practice speaking but in a busy or quiet house, most of the time, you can't use the microphone at all. Sometimes it would be nice to catch up. 2) The option to practice listening only. I am finding that my reading comprehension is probably at a 9 year old level while my listening is probably closer to a 3 year old's. Sometimes I would like to practice a skill just listening. 3) Better explanations. I find myself trying and failing as you probably intended but often referring to this guy's site for better discussions of the fundamentals: http://spanish.about.com/od/usingparticularverbs/a/gustar.htm
These are great suggestions! I had always thought of these but never put them in words. If they could restore the vocabulary list either with or without the practice function, that would be of great help (as I have previously explained in another comment)
Not a fan, and I really miss the one or two word practice questions... After reading a few of the comments. I have to agree I may not sick around. Child like is the best description of the new look. Oh well, this has been the first time I have enjoyed learning a language. Now, not so much...
Does anyone still have old user interface? Please backup CSS files and images! We could use it with a proper browser plugin and have the old interface back!
The redesign is simply horrid. It looks like it was designed for pre-schoolers. Why did Duolingo make this step? How many negative comments will it take to get the idea through to the developers that they have messed up big time?
One suggestion to make both parties (those who like the new design and those who don't) happy it that you write a greasemonkey script that the conservatives like me could use. Thus, you could unify the designs (although I still state that this is not a wise decision from a UI developer perspective), but offer the option to get the old look&feel back. At least partially.
I used this approach when lastfm once switched designs. They changed their colour scheme to something pastel as well and moved UI elements around. I was not appealed back then similar I am now by your redesign. I do not want to leave the impression I am ultraconservative regarding designs. I really like redesigns when things are easier to find, beautiful to the eye, or ease interaction in some parts. Unfortunately, I don't feel like that with this redesign.
I would really like to say something to cheer you up since it must be truly devastating to get this load of negative feedback. I really would like. But I can hardly find points that I like better now.
I can only ask to reconsider whether unifying designs for different platforms - that also differ in their way of user interaction - is really a good idea and whether it is really a must.
I kind of get the idea that they get a big load of negative feedback whenever they make a big change, and probably a slightly smaller load when they make minor changes. That said, I don't know if you ever entirely get used to that, especially when you've put so much time and effort into the project.
Is there a place where I can see my daily progress? I mean, besides the graphic showed everytime I finish a lesson or a practice.
About the vocabulary. I have removed numerous words from practice. Are they still removed? And what if I change my mind and want to include them back?
Hallo. I still have the old design. I tried to refresh the page several times but nothing happened.
Only half of our students have it at this time. We'll be upgrading the rest over the next few weeks.
Well, I had the new design, but not anymore :(. Was I somehow put into the half without it?
Same here - I briefly had the new interface (which looked great) and now it's gone. Would love an explanation at least...
We had a bug for a half an hour or so where some people got the new interface before they were supposed to. Don't worry, it's coming.
Thank you very much for commenting this. I felt as if I was the only one without the new design. I can't wait until it gets implemented into my tree. Duolingo for the win!
Could you restore the owl and trophy at the end of the tree to show that I've completed all the sections?
The only thing that I can say is...
"Too much white" xD
Even that, it's an interesting change... but my eyes hurt ~
The new design is okay except for the background color. It is so white/bright on my screen that is it very hard on the eyes not to mention that it is hard to see some the the text and on the fill in the blank drop down menus I was unable to see the choices unless I was actually hoovering over it with my cursor.
Man, it's really beautiful but the vocabulary page is really really really important for us to review the content. Every learning language requires reviewing as part of the process. The learning quiz is good but reviewing the words we just learn shouldn't be take for granted.
Aside from sorely missing the vocabulary page, which you anticipated, a feature I would love to see reintroduced is a display of the strength of each individual lesson within a review. I am often not yet strong enough to review the skill as a whole, and I review the lessons individually according to the yellow bars that alert me to what most needs work. Thanks for listening.
I enjoy the vocab page and was actually sad that it wasn't accessible on the mobile. I think it's great to just see a list of the words that I failed at most frequently.
Firstly I would like to say that I appreciate your work. I understand how hard is, to design new look.
Unfortunately I am, I think one of some users, who don't like so much changes. I prefer the old look of the website, so I would like to ask you, if could you consider creating a button, which will switch between the old look and the new one. I will be so grateful! :) It would be good idea to give to the users an opportunity to use their favourite look of the duo website. It can be useful also in future :) I have also problem with seeing the new website in my notebook, I have to scrool to see the answer while I'm practicing my language, and that's a little uncomfortable (yes, I tried with ctrl "-", but it's making smaller letters, and that's bad for my eyes :p)
So now I can't remove words from practice? I was really getting into that feature. :(
I understand the new design works better but doesn't one of the metrics have to be user experience? I hope you'll bring back the vocab page and especially the remove words feature. I hate having the same word prop up every two days.
Also I just like the old design better...this one seems all blurry. But I suppose I'll get used to it.
It's really annoying to no longer see exactly how many points I need to get to the next level.
I want to echo the comments on the coins. I love (in that drawing unicorns and hearts on my notebook way) the daily progress be that a coin stack or a line graph. I missed it last night with the new design. I also encountered a bug with the cards during lesson refreshing, the "continue" button disappeared, i.e. I clicked once to check and then could not click again to advance to the next card. For a comment for a future design feature I would like to see is that I would be able to "tag" a word for further study within the translation pages, i.e. I come to a word and then highlight it and assign a value. Based on that value duolingo is more likely to show me future articles with that word. I realize I have just asked for an exponential expansion of the database so if that is too much could you send me a pony? with a horn? and a new notebook, my old one is full of drawings.
I only had the new design for half an hour before I got switched back to the old one but these are my impressions and remarks:
I like how it shows loading in the letter "o" :)
I don't like the placement of the flag near the profile picture and it seems now less obvious that it contains a dropdown menu for choosing a language.
Even though only a small percentage of users actually used the Vocabulary page I hope when it is back it will be even better with fewer display glitches and better search engine.
I like how now we have a visual indicator of our total skill strength. But I would also like, along with it, a numerical one (displaying the exact percentage) that is shown upon hover.
I like how we can see which words are being taught in a lesson but I don't like the lack of lesson strength indicator.
Leaderboard looks a bit too bland in comparison to the old one. Same goes for the background.
The title is a bit misleading. I thought I will find my learning history in there. But it is okay.
I find it refreshing that there aren't any reports regarding completion of individual lessons or how many points someone acquired since I am mostly interested in their comments.
I miss horizontal lines separating the comments.
suggestions for further development of Activity tab:
links could automatically lead to the comments position in the thread.
information where discussion is posted would be helpful and sorting options according to it.
I like how certificates got their own section.
The general design is a bit childish for my taste but I will get used to it :)
Some practical stuff:
I tried to report a problem in a lesson just now and there was no response, meaning I couldn't type into the space provided. When I tried to add to this discussion thread, I was unable to type as well, so I switched from Safari to Firefox.
It is very difficult to see how many questions remain to be answered at the top of the lesson.
Please forgive me if others have noted these snafus. There are so many responses to read through!
Well I was not a great fan of the old design and I'm glad you've changed it, but there are certain things that I don't like about new layout too. My first and foremost problem is that, everything looks kind of big. My screen resolution is 1366 x 768 and I have to zoom out to 80% in order to use web page effectively. Also I don't like the choice of colors, I think they are too "bright" and tiresome, especially background color of the header.
All that being said, I think duolingo is one of the best projects that I've encountered on the web and I will keep using it no matter what kind of design it will have.
Hi Duolingo Team :) First of all. Thank you so much. I'm definitely gaining on using your classes! I have tried different Spanish lessons online, and Duolingo is without a doubt, the one that work best for me!!! The new design is really great! But I miss to have the words I have learned in each class, in a row where I can go and check them out. I used it a lot, either when in doubt, or just to freshen up, before redoing or testing my skill in that particular class. Also the opportutiny to see all the words I have learned till now, I could use.. But thank you so much for a fantastic site. It's thanks to you, that I slowly but surely is starting to be able to speak and understand Spanish. Gracias ;) By classes, I mean categories... sorry
My two cents,
I recently made it a goal to at least do one lesson a day in all the languages I'm currently leaning. Now I work on Duolingo throughout the day and I might start with Spanish, or German, or French... point being is I now don't know if I've past a lesson or not, in whichever of the languages I'm learning, because of this new redesign, without doing extra work. The world is not going to end, but its slightly annoying to have to do a lesson so at the end I can see if I had earlier in the day already done a lesson, which doesn't matter anyways because by doing a lesson to see if I did a lesson, I've already achieve my goal of doing a lesson rendering looking at the weekly chart at the end, pointless.
Also with the removal of the vocab section, which for me is horrible. I can only hope that it will come back with everything people have been asking for, particularly the gender issue. I would suggest that gender not only be obvious from the main screen without having to go into each individual word page, but that it has its own column and sortable (meaning able to be sorted). And talking about sorting, obviously only if this is feasible/easy, I would like to be able to sort like in excel, to have layers of sorting, so that for example I could look at the vocab section and at a glance, see all the feminine words sorted by word strength. Also number of times I've seen a word should be a sortable columns, as should number of times I got it right,
Otherwise, I like the new look.
I wonder if you guys actualy control for the age groups of the people who use the new design vs the old one, and whether you are even able to. I have a nagging suspicion that that the newer, more easily bored generations that grew up with iphones etc love the change just because it is less boring -- while the older generations miss contrast and outlines or some indication of depth that made it easier for our brains to distinguish stuff from other stuff. And for example if more young people use the site, it would skew your statistics this way.
Concerning the flatness of it all, I wonder who and why back around 2010 thought that a borderless 2D fad in the interface design was a good idea. Somehow I suspect it was the same people who thought removing all text from icons was a good idea, even though years of interface design studies show that mystery meat navigation is not user-friendly.
I don't care much about the outlook, one can get used to it... But I miss the vocab page too. I always did the "strengthen weakest words" when one of my skills started to fade, it made me stay sharp. Pretty please with sugar on the top, bring it back!
Yesterday i was so angry because of this new redesign, today I tried to be more positive... but it is so hard... I miss so many things that duolingo had before. So today I am just sad. Maybe tomorrow.
I'd like to add my 5 cent for returning vocabulary list back. It was really useful and as you see many people are missing it. Also if vocabulary list someday will be back, can you please consider adding following features to it :
1) In addition to seeing all words as a plain list allow grouping them as noun,verb,adjective,adverb etc
2) For verbs show some sign if it's Regular or Irregular
3) Allow grouping the verbs as Regular, Irregular (irregular can have groups as well, according http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_irregular_verbs)
4) Make some nice printing for vocabulary (choose specific words, by groups, all from some topic) for making flashcards for offline learning.
P.S. I'm programmer myself so if there is a way to contribute to your project I would gladly do that.
I am all for change if it makes sense and I realize there's always resistance to it by many folks. However, sometimes you just need to listen to your target audience. Microsoft had tons of negative feedback about Windows 8 during trials and they arrogantly shrugged it off; now look -- HP just announced they're bringing back Windows 7, that's how lame 8 is.
The redesign was too drastic. You removed features that most users liked a lot -- just look at the repeated groans about the removal of coins, the vocab list, etc. And I agree with those saying that it's really too bubbly and childish; it reminds me of the ugly Weather Channel app design. Artists ran amok with this design and got too cutesy rather than focusing on usability.
Could it be that your metrics showed people staying on the site longer because the design is INEFFICIENT and DIFFICULT to use rather than because it was stickier due to improvement? Did you ask?
Thumbs down! Boo!
I started a discussion about "where the owl did go to" earlier this evening. I post my question here, too, because I really like to have an answer :-)
First of all: I really appreciate all the work the duolingo-team puts into this platform. So at this point I will not talk about all the other changes that are allready part of many constructive discussions ;-)
I just want to know what has happened to poor Duo! I don't want to sound childish, but I really like the owl - so where is Duo? Duo does not appear any more, neither when the websites opens nore when someone is out of hearts etc. Will she come back? I wonder, because that owl really helps my motivation (as do the sound effects and the trophys - will the trophys come back?) and - as unlikely it may sound to some people - was one of the mainreasons I fall in love this duolingo.
Please let her come back (soon)!
Thank you again for all your time and energy your giving to duolingo, Belinda
Now that you mention it, I also find Duo very motivating. I really like the new timed practice Duo design. I get a positive feeling of urgency. I think Duo gives just the right sense of personality to the website.
it's funny, it's as if Duolingo is going backwards. It was on version 1.0 when i first discovered it last year, and it's now version 0.3, with all the features that keep disappearing.
I just got the new design and I was pretty impressed, it looks great and is indeed an improvement, not that it used to be ugly, but this is even better! I was a bit confused at first, though, since I was doing a skill and everything changed as soon as I finished it.
Fantastic .. Everything is good .. Brilliant.. thanks for the new re-design
I love Duolingo and this new web re-design makes the experience even better!
Thank you to the Duolingo team!
Wow, I love the design. I'm reading some comments saying it's less intuitive and harder to see what's what, but I disagree. I'm having an easier time visually parsing the site. The only criticism I have is that it uses so much vertical space that it's hard to see much of my tree at once, and I have to make sure my browser window is very tall while doing lessons or I have to scroll. This is not something that's really bothering me. I'm perfectly okay with resizing my window.
I can't wait until the bugs get ironed out. It's so pretty I want to use it even more than I already did. :)
Have a lingot!! :) I can't tell you how much I appreciate this comment amidst all the negativity! I feel the same way as you!! The new design is great!!!!!!!!! I love Duolingo because of how well they listen to their users, but often I feel like people use that "privilege" to trample on them!
Is there a way to view weekly progress other than in lesson end screens? After doing some translations, for example.
The site looks great, but now firefox keeps freezing every time I come to the site or switch pages. Is there a browser that's more compatible?
before there was a yellow line under a skill that sometimes lost a "piece" and that told you where you had to go back to complete it. how is that shown now? why do they say redo?
I miss the tree D: Overall the new interface looks a whole lot better, but the category/topic icons are too big, so there's a lot of scrolling to be done. And because I finished the checkpoints before doing the lessons, I now don't know which individual lessons to do without them being highlighted. So I don't know where I was before... Also, I guess there's no way to post in the stream anymore? I also liked the vocab pages just because high school classes might use different vocab or less vocab. Oh well, it's less practical but everything's 500% cooler now.
update after practicing I've given up on using the lessons. School has mostly gotten me past everything anyways, so now I'm just using the "strengthening" feature to automatically do the lesson. It's so fast though; am I really getting this done?
Also, I too find the icons a little bit childish. It was just the right amount of cute before, but now it seems to be designed for... I don't know, preschoolers? I'm a high schooler by the way, so I count as a "young person" and I while I don't hate the design there really is too much white on white/gray and not enough words.
This looks amazing! Can't wait to have it as well. Thanks for all the hard work you put in. It is nice that everything (will) look(s) the same. It kinda bugged me a bit that it didn't before, haha :)
As always, outstanding work DL team. :) I hope you are not to busy fixing bugs and get some time of to celebrate the work done!
I don't like how the correct answer is so small at the bottome, BUT I AM LEARNING SPANISH!!!!!!!
I think what made the vocabulary page ineffective to some users was the lack of translation on that page for a quick glancing reminder. It showed the user the word, but not what it meant, so it was difficult to use as a helpful resource. Maybe a fun way to create a vocab page could be a users own page which the user builds themselves. This way, the user can identify the word more effectively by being a part of the defining process. It might be useful as a cap review after a user completes each subsection within each section of their tree, as they can add the translation of the words they just learned. Either way, what a great way to learn! I can't wait to see what comes next! DL just keeps getting better! Thanks!
Hey you said the bug is fixed but its not. I just logged in for the first time since the update & I've done 4 practice timed lessons & everytime it stays on the last question once its finished. I cannot progress & when I leave the page to try again I love all the points I would have earned. Please fix this its a real downer. Also on multiple choice answers you can only see the highlighted answer, the other answers don't show. This makes the response time much slower.
I have not been able to move past the first sentence as it would not move on from there..When invited to get people from Face Book to join,I did and then nothing woudl move on from there, Help
Guys i love the new design, but there is one thing that is annoying me.When you take a lesson and progress through the questions, the white progress bars on white background just cannot be seemed.This is also true for Selection Boxes.For instance when you have to select Der Die or Das the selection box appears white as the background. Maybe it's only me, but i don't like that at all.Anyway good job on the new design.
Yesterday night I had the new version. This morning I have the old one. On the new version I could not get inside the lingot store. As a general comment, I think the buttons on the skill tree are too big. Also everything seems too big, too bright, too colorful. But sure I will get used to it.
Dear Marcel -
The hard work done by you and your team is evident. This is beautifully designed, with a consistent look and feel across platforms with (seemingly) increasing features from iPhone-to-iPad-to-web. I've been using the site for about a month and finally feel comfortable to proffer some initial (albeit quick) observations and suggestions:
Same level of features on all platforms: For example, the opportunity to translate an entire sentence seems to only be offered on the web. This would be nice to have on iPad and iPhone too.
Sentence translation before word introduction: On the web version, there are several instances where a word, which hasn't yet been introduced is included in the sentence translation exercise. This isn't entirely bad, but sometimes the word in a Spanish dictionary isn't the word Duolingo is seeking.
Photos of objects: these can be quite unidentifiable on iDevices (and leading to an incorrect answer). Perhaps this is due to "cropping" the photos versus "scaling" the photos as required for a smaller screen.
Typos on iDevices: Attention to detail is always necessary; it sure would be nice, however, to have some sort of forgiveness (or warning) when mistyping answers as a result of fat fingers on a small keyboard. (Shocking those around me with cries of angst from being shortchanged a lingot are my own fault though.)
Consistent progress graph: I love the progress graph (with the blue "high and low" boundaries) depiction on the iPhone and iPad. Why not have this same depiction on the web? I also didn't see the "you need 'x'-amount of points to be on track" from the Owl on the iDevice noted on the web.
No access to Bonus Skills on iDevices: Again, this would be nice to have. Of course, this means expanding the breadth of the Lingot store for iDevices, which are rather limited when compared to the web-offering.
These are of course offered with humility, as I'm very impressed with the complement of apps and web offerings. You and your team have a good thing going. Please hold true to your offerings of "elegant simplicity".
The one thing I would truely deeply and utterly miss is the VOCABUKARY SECTION!
This functionakity is so hugely helpful because it gives you all te information you would nit find in a dictionary, all the information you would otherwise jot down on paper in a traditional language course. I.e. in Italian under the vocabulary enter for 'in' it lists all the various variations and alterations for 'in the' depending on which article follows: nel, nei, negli, nella, nello, nelle.
If there is anything I could wish for (other than a Russian Duolingo course), that would be an expansion of the vocabulary section to include pronounciation, just like in the lessons by hovering over each word, as the pronounciation can change massively from the word stem/base form. And I would like Duolingo to not just use for studying example sentrnces in various skill sets, but to utilize all that I've learned in real world applicatins!
That being said, the Duolingo team have been doing an extremely good job in creating this wonderful language learning platform!
I agree with most of Arya's sentiments (especially the aesthetic ability to view the entire "picture"). I would add to that list of disappointment your removal of the option to view each module within a lesson and to re-take a particular area of need.
New design isn't bad at all. I like it but I think we need better auto fit for smaller screen resolutions. Some of the icons/buttons are to big for my 1440x900. And I'm still waiting for "Tips and notes" for android version of Duolingo. This is very helpful if you're starting new lessons. I prefer mobile version than web app (you know learnig lying on the bed ;))
Am I the only one that still has the old verison? Haha where is this new version
Hi I found the change very welcoming but there is one thing that I did not like about this new interface. I don't see the Discussion tab inside each of the lessons, whereas It previously existed. It helped me a lot in understanding the variation in the language when reading about the discussion among other mature learners. I would love to see it get back so that I get back on my good old learning streak
Prelude: The design is usually the least of my concerns. Whenever a website changes its design, it seems as if it will be really difficult to adapt to the new one because human beings learn in patterns. No one quit Facebook or Twitter after a zillion design changes, I mean, yes, I'm sure some people quit, but the sad story is as long as there aren't any viable alternatives to a website both in terms of people that use it or the functions it offers you, people will stick.
The one thing I like about the new design is that it's much smoother to progress between questions, for someone with an old computer, that saves a lot of headache.
Yet the biggest loss of functionality is the vocabulary list. I had noticed that it wasn't working perfectly, but at least it showed me a list of the words I'd learnt and I could go through the list every now and then. While you are trying to fix the vocabulary function, can you at least keep the list up so that people can know what words they've supposedly learnt and can check the last time they've practiced each word? You don't need to add the "strengthen vocabulary" function, just the list would suffice.
Pleasantly surprised that the new stuff, though a bit shocking, is pretty easy to navigate. I'll have forgotten "old Duo" in no time. The one thing that I'm not so sure I'll adapt to is the new progress graph. Something about the up and DOWN line is less appealing than the stacks of coins that always went UP. I'm at day 130 and was just getting into using the vocabulary regularly (there was hope that I'd finally conquer "haber"), so I miss it and am looking forward to having it return in all its new "betterness." I appreciate that the intention is to improve the effectiveness of this FREE program, and you've probably gotten the message that the design of the page was already fine with current users. Again, I must say thanks to you for all your efforts in trying to make it "better." Shocking, but very exciting!
First thing I did was to diminish brightness of screen: It's really shiny! And like said before, this might be good design for touch-pad devices, but please think of us who use old small laptops! I have to keep scrolling to the bottom of my skill tree, and once I am inside the skill, more scrolling into each individual lesson. I tried zooming out but it makes the letters too small. I hate complaining about website changes, but I know you will read this and take it into consideration somehow.
I don't care about the grammar , there are plenty of other websites and books to figure those things out and it has never been Duolingo's approach, but the problems I see are about usability and functionality.
Ugh, so ugly and childish looking. Also with every icon so much bigger, we see a lot less info at a time on the screen. I don't know why I'm complaining, it's not like are going to change it back. I do get tired of unneeded cosmetic designs on websites though. Not saying you all didn't work hard on it; I'm sure you did, but it's a lot of wasted effort on superficial changes, however, just like most companies. Boo!
I keep coming back all day hoping to see that Duolingo realizing that they made a mistake and have reinstall the old website... I now have come to the conclusion that you get what you pay for.
I got a nice surprise when I went on duolingo today. I like this new design, but I will miss the old one. And I want the vocabulary to return! I do often check it because I forget some words I have learned, and now I can't do it anymore and it's so sad.
Personally I like the new design, though I'm having trouble with the fact that the 'wrong answer' section often ends up below everything and I have to scroll down—not fun when I'm on a timer and I'm typing as quickly as I can to begin with.
Otherwise, I like the bar graph more than I do the coin stacks. I found it harder to deal with the coins, because usually I couldn't tell how many coins=how many points.
I'm happy that the Duolingo team is trying to improve the site and the minor visual changes don't bother me at all. However I think removing the Vocab page was a mistake. I hear that the team is working to improve the page which is great, but I don't understand why the page has been removed in the mean time. Apart from that great work, the site has really helped improve my German. I look forward to seeing the new and improved vocab page hope it's back soon.
The re-design was originally suited for iOS 7 update, and whilst I agree that unifying the design on all platforms is important, the new web design still looks likes it's designed for mobile devices and not something that's completely optimised for the web.
Also, you're still using the USA flag to represent english instead of the UK flag...
They are also still teaching you American english, not British english. The spelling differs between the two, what is correct in one is wrong in the other. So why would they switch the flag?
Haha! They actually accept both sets of spelling when learning from english to X language. But, I'm not familiar as to which english they teach (although I did expect it to be American English).
Twas just a slight dig at them, haha.
I guess I'm one of the few who actually likes the change for the most part... >_> The one thing I want back though is the vocabulary section. I think it looks cute and polished. Every time a website changes, most people end up hating it for some reason.
Please bring back the vocabulary section! Frankly the design and layout of the page are secondary to having access to look back through the vocabulary I've already learned. I'm not here for the look, I'm here to learn.
Please bring back the vocabulary section! Frankly the design and layout of the page are secondary to having access to look back through the vocabulary I've already learned. I'm not here for the look, I'm here to learn.
Please bring back the vocabulary section! Frankly the design and layout of the page are secondary to having access to look back through the vocabulary I've already learned. I'm not here for the look, I'm here to learn.
I totally understand your effort to be creative in your web design (although there weren't really any problems with the 1st) and that's fine. But I have to admit the removal of the Vocabulary section isn't really a thumbs up in my book........This makes it harder to remember some translations (especially idioms). The skill tree.................silence
P.S. I like to hear the trophy music at the end of a lesson (who doesn't)
How can the new design perform better when to took out the vocabulary page? I used the old page quite extensively and now I have nothing. This has completely frustrated my study of German. When you have a new vocabulary page, let me know so that I can start my study again.
OMG! This is a huge surprise! I didn't expect this change so soon! At least, not today! I love the previous look, but I think I love this one as well. It's really nice! I was reading a discussion, and then refreshed the page and wow! I love it! I'm so excited!! Just one quick question, because I'm new to this, Is there a stream where i can write? I only see the "Activity", where I can comment, but I want to post something in my stream. Besides that question, I love the new design!! :D Thank you so much!
I want to write about how much I like the new design, but I can't figure out how to post a comment on my stream. XD
Yeah, I hope they'll put that feature back. Sometimes I have a topic I'd like to discuss with anyone who happens to be interested. Not everything relevant to duolingo and/or language-learning would make a good forum post.
Open discussions aren't natural when you have to address the first comment to another person. I feel weird jumping into a discussion addressed to someone else. I've done it before, when I was still really new to the site and didn't realize what I was doing. I felt so embarrassed when I figured it out.
I'm excited for this new look. >w< I can't wait to be upgraded myself.
edit: I had the new layout for a few minutes before it pushed me fully back to the old version (even the login screen is the old version now too)
Same here. I tried both Firefox and Chrome (both browsers updated all the way, cache cleared) and I still see the old design.
(Excuse me for my english) Can you add a Tab in every Lesson or levels with TIPS for each new lesson, next to the discussion Tab? For example I only know the English-German language apply this TAB and I think is very useful for every language, and don't mis with the disccusions Tabs, it is for we the rookies in every new language Thanks
New design looks really nice. Thank you so much! One thing that I'll miss A LOT is vocabulary... I use it all the time and find it extremely useful and helpful. I kind of hoped you'll develop it even further by adding new cool features such as flash cards generator, etc. Who knows... maybe one day you'll bring vocabulary back. And better sooner than later :)
Again, thanks for this awesome update! Keep up the great work.
Need to make sure that streaks carry over from the iPad app to the website. My app says my streak is much longer than the website.
Thanks for your continued efforts! It's going to take me a while to get used to this newer and simpler looking design. (It's amazing how much the feel has changed over time even with the core mechanics remaining the same.)
I have to agree with the vocab page, if I really wanted to be able to word salad I'd just turn to a dictionary. The only thing I really ever used it for was when I forgot a verb conjugation method. Perhaps a grammar page would be more beneficial in the long term? (Though it sounds extremely time-intensive so the incubator may be a more viable method of making it...)
Hi, I'm on a Macbook Pro, and the DL on my Google Chrome is not working, although it is for my Safari (on another account). Is there something wrong with my computer? Or has this new look not been updated on Chrome?
instead of changing every half year the layout or the skilltree why don´t you make new stuff for the users like little language based games or videos like extra from channel 4
Overall I like the new design! Everything's pretty well done (good job!) -- except some little things.
The huge, round icons look like they were optimized for touch screens. It also loses the sense of progression. I think rounded rectangles would look better in terms of the web version. And the icons don't have to be that large! It looks sort of weird?
I don't actually know why, but skill discussions are also gone! (No real outcry about this though?) I'm not sure why this happened, but I think that's a pretty important feature to make up for Duo's lack of grammar.
The coin stacks were a huge motivation for me and from what I see in the comments, quite a lot of people! I hope you would consider bringing it back.
The font size during lessons and practice is a little too small. That's a minor adjustment to make.
But honestly the design was a huge revamp and pretty well done! (I've heard a lot about the vocab section, but I don't use it a lot. Still I think it would be useful though.)
[Edit: I forgot to mention the scrolling problem -- but I think it's being fixed.]
I love the clean new look. Now I have the same design on all my gadgets. However, I do miss the vocabulary section, it was a good reference section.
Hi, I find the change very welcoming. But what I do miss is the Discussions tab under each lesson. It was very helpful in learning further more about that particular lesson by reading the discussions from various other mature learners. I don't find the same in the new interface. I don't know if I have overlooked it or something, but if it has been removed , then it is really a Sad thing for many users.
I really want to let you know: I LOVE the new design!!
However, I agree that (a) a pile of coins feels more rewarding than points, (b) the new icons are a bit childish, and (c) the trophies next to the skills were cute - it would be nice if we had them back.
I do like the graph at the end of the lessons (the one that shows the points you've earned throughout the week), though I would be glad if the coin stacks reappeared on the home page.
thanks for all you do :) you guys are awesome!!
I hope I will have this new design as soon as possible as I tried this design in my mobile and it was great!
I really enjoy the design of this website, it really makes you want to learn when you have a nice, entertaining design, instead of the classic text which make it really boring to learn
Happy to read (somewhere - I can't find it now) that the Vocabulary section will be back. It was very usful!
Hello Marcel. I dont like the new look. Very childist. And guess what, I'm still having the same problem that I even reported months ago. I want my English-French and Spanish-French progress merged! Thank you.
There's one missing feature that I haven't seen a single complaint about-- or even mentioned! When you click on a word during a lesson to see its meaning, you don't get the "you peeked!" message any more. That was Duo, "expressing his cuteness," and I hope Duo continues to express himself for a very long time to come.
Thank you, everyone at Duolingo for your continued improvement of a great site. I really, really, am learning German. (I think I'll start Spanish next...)
I'm happy that the Duolingo team is trying to improve the site and the minor visual changes don't bother me at all. However I think removing the Vocab page was a mistake. I hear that the team is working to improve the page which is great, but I don't understand why the page has been removed in the mean time. Apart from that great work, the site has really helped improve my German. I look forward to seeing the new and improved vocab page hope it's back soon.
Is it just me or are the Bonus Skills unavailable for purchase anymore? I bought one before, and that still shows up, but the other one that I could have purchased is no longer there.
Hi immanual.j (I'm sorry, I don't know how to make a u with a long back stem as shows up when I look at your username.)
They are both still showing up for me. Did you scroll all the way through the store to look? And, could you see them both previously? (I know this seems like a silly question, but, I've heard that you have to be at a certain way down the tree to purchase each one. So, I just want to clarify for the sake of troubleshooting this with you :)
On the assumption that it was previously available to you for purchase, the next thing you might want to try is refreshing the page. If you don't see it, then clear your browsers cookies and refresh the page. If after doing that it still doesn't appear, wait5-15 minutes and refresh the page. If at this point you still don't see it, visit the Troubleshooting forum and make a post there. https://www.duolingo.com/topic/647
You'll want to tell them what operating system and browser you're using. (For example, I'm using Windows 7/Firefox. Also tell them which layout you have (New layout, VS previous layout.) If you can add a screen shot, that would be good. But, it is not required.
This is where you can find the Troubleshooting forum in the future if you have the new layout. If you have the previous layout, look to where Sections is in the picture but instead of being there, you'll need to scroll down until you see some miniature flags.
Good luck! ^_^
I've figured it out. It's because 2 things happened:
Previously, the Lingot shop would list all Bonus Skills, even the ones that I was ineligible to purchase, but those had the button greyed out. Now they simply do not appear in the shop until I can purchase them. It's still there when I checked in the lesson tree.
Bonus Skill : Christmas for Italian has disappeared as mentioned by dnovinc above. This was the skill I could previously purchase but now am unable to. This skill has disappeared from the lesson tree.
By the way, my name is just immanuel.j in duolingo, I don't have any fancy u with a long black stem. @_@
Thanks for your help!
Thank you for the update! Also, your "u" is back to being just a regular u. no idea what was going on with that. lol!
congrats guys, i really like the design personally, it looks fun and nice to look at. the only thing needed is the vocabulary section as mentioned above but other than that job well done.
congrats guys, i really like the design personally, it looks fun and nice to look at. the only thing needed is the vocabulary section as mentioned above but other than that job well done.
When I logged on in an old browser I had to revert to the old version, but now I'm stuck with it even on chrome. How do I get the shiny new version back?!!!
I just installed the Chrome extension "Duolingo Vocabulary Manager" and it seems to work really well! I think it's a good temporary solution till Duolingo's next design upgrade.
I just installed the Chrome extension "Duolingo Vocabulary Manager" and it seems to work really well! I think it's a good temporary solution till Duolingo's next design upgrade.
It has "All time" on Android and "This week" on iOS, no idea why. I just open the website on my mobile if I need to do discussions or non-lesson stuff.
Users are usually against changes. It is the same every time Facebook or whatever company is launching a new design/version. After a while everybody is happy and has forgotten the old version. I started Duolingo just before the change and honestly I didn't even notice a big difference ;) Some people pay way too much attention to details and to say they will leave Duolingo for a supposedly childish design is a bit extreme. Anyway this version will be modified sooner or later as always.
The only bad point for me is the removal of the Vocab list. The vocab list is an important tool for language learners and should be offered again as soon as possible with the ability to organize the vocabulary per category, verbs, nouns, theme etc.
I'm rather new to Duolingo (only started 5 days ago), so I have never seen the old platform. However, I think the way the website is now is fine. It does not seem too "childish", nor do the buttons seem too big. It's just the style of the website. However, I do think a vocabulary list as several others have been discussing would be much appreciated.
I am confused. I was Making regular progress going through all the balls. Suddenly the whole page was reconfigured and while there were new categories there were also old categories I believe I have finished. I feel stuck at a lower level than I want to be at. Advice?
I knew this change would come eventually. It helps Duolingo have a uniform look across all platforms. Love the work guys! :)
Are we all meant to see the new design now because I still have the old design?
lucky you! How can I get the old one back? Trust me if you can stick with the old one do.
I've seen the new one and I think it looks really good! Do you want to swap :)
Where can you see individual language streaks in the new design? They don't appear any more when I hover over the streak in my profile.
I don't know if you guys changed back to the old design because if you didn't something's wrong on my end. I tried reloading a couple of times but I'm stuck with the old design. Kinda sucks because I at least wanted to try out the new design just to see what it's like. Anybody else having this problem?
I'm a bit confused as to how everybody apparently thought the previous design was very "adult" in comparison to the new one. They are both colourful and cartoonish and, if you insist, childish. I liked the old one and, while I don't have it for my account yet, the new one looks nice too.
Anyway, I think there is a place for "childish" in language-learning. It is something we all experienced first as children.
I like the change very much, different and good, well happy with it, cant been progress, and they keep trying
It sounds like everyone has got the new design but sadly I have not. I have tried refreshing and rebooting my computer but that doesn't seem to help. Does anyone has suggestions to get the website to the new design? My browser is Chrome, 32.0.1700.76 m
We have not pushed out the new design to all users yet - only half. If you do not have it at this time, you will have to wait till we roll it out to everybody.
It's so much easier to use the website on my iPad. Everything seems to lead faster and work better. Now I don't feel like I need to get to a computer if I want to refresh my Bonus Skills. Thanks!
i need to change my site's design, because the my one don't changed!!! how to change my design ?
Hey, the Duolingo home page looks comepletely different than what you are showing us.
私は今のデザインのほうが好きだな。 というのは、新しいスキルツリーのほうだと スキルの最初のほうで学んだものが小さく表示されてしまっているので 達成感が低くなってしまいそうなことと、 完了したスキルにチェックやトロフィーが表示されていないと パッと見て判断しにくいから。 替えなくて良いよ。
I love the new design, I hope I get switched soon.
thank you! I just redid a lesson in the new design and it is nice clean and restful to the eye. wonderfull, merci.
restful??? You're eyes must not be very sensitive. I find it hard to look at. (This was not meant as an insult though it might have come across as one.)
try puting in minigames i mean it fun at the start but it gets kind of boering
I like the new layout. I don't think it looks kiddish and I think the design fits with the game like approach of Duolingo. I rarely used the vocab page so I don't miss it. I just click into the strengthen skills button and that works fine.
Great design. I love it. The only thing I miss is after I finish a lesson it kind of just stops. I used to always throw my hands in the air when I heard those horns!
And where did the vocabulary go?
Right?? It's really beautiful!! I don't understand the complains (I mean the complains about the new look, not the constructive ones.)
GREAT, I WILL LOVE NEW DESIGN, AND THANKS FOR INCLUDING VOCABULARY AGAIN. Furthermore, i would like saying that i hope avery beautiful new duolingo award when you finish the units
Where is the vocabulary button? I need it. There is nothing in my main page. Could you indicate where it is?
Wut new design, i still don't know where is the vocabulary page, can u please tell me, thank u
My notes show that I needed to practice Medical 1,2,3,5 and 6. Looking at the new version I find all sixx sections "ticked". Strength indicator: 5/5. No indication that section 6 requires urgent attention. Individual word strength gone - and now this confusion. A great improvement - not! But as long as the Metrics are happy - who cares!