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A little feedback on the new design

After using the new interface for about half an hour, I had a few things I wanted to mention.

Change is good. I like that all three platforms look the same. Although the colour scheme on a bigger screen makes me feel... uneasy.

Feedback is good too! The feedback in the practice mode is almost invisible. Before it was plainly below the answer (and colour-coded). Now it's hidden (and obscured) underneath the giant clock.

Feedback on multiple choice is just as difficult to see. Not sure if this is something you are intending to change, but it's not easy to tell how wrong I was: Multiple-choice.

The timer can't wait to finish. Before, in the event of no connection, the timer would pause. Now, it appears not to. Although that may be as a result of the 'first question bug' others have reported.

Gender selection is cool for one word answers. It feels more intuitive :-)

The discussion is still around! After the practice ends, previously the discussion vanished. It appears to stick around now, which is wonderful. I can keep reading about why I failed so miserably.

Stats are also good. Although I can't find the stats on the main page, without doing an actual lesson. Is this intentional? Before I would always attempt to reach a particular number of coins daily (or at least fill my coin stack). Now it's harder to check.

Skills are not full, and yet they're golden. Not sure if a bug, a result of the move from Vocabulary, or simply an extra stage of 'perfection'. Update: This appeared to be fixed for a bit...

Level 25 is broken I noticed this on the Android app as well. The bars for level 25 all shoot off the edge of the screen. It seems thoroughly confused by my mastery :-) Level 25 (broken)

Nice work as a whole. I hope my feedback is helpful.

As an aside, I didn't want to comment on the 'Redesigning' thread because of the number of things I wanted to mention. And the inability to select what updates I get from the thread.


Editing posts Editing in the new interface is much nicer. I'm just hoping for a few controls now, e.g. inserting images or formatting.

Also, would it be possible to have a 'save' button at the bottom as well as the top? The editing screen opens (for longer posts) at the bottom of the screen.

Update: I am having difficulties editing this post in the new layout. The whole screen goes semi-white but no editing box appears. Had to find the old layout before I could make this update.

Article selection Has it changed? I just had another question asking me to write 'das Opfer', but the article was in a selection box. Neither numeric keys or up or down arrows were allowed. Moreover, the articles were invisible (white) until hovered over.

I cannot open 'alerts/notifications' in the new interface. Doesn't appear to be working in the old, either for some reason. Update: Appears to be fixed.

Results page is blank. I know I complained about my Level 25 bar spilling everywhere, but this just looks like I failed :-( Empty results

Friend trees. Are we not allowed to see our friends' progress any more? I tried viewing one of my friend's profiles and was shown their stream. I couldn't find how to view their tree. I, for one, enjoy the competition. Even if it is against someone far more fluent than I :'-(

January 21, 2014



It's very bright. I was online when you did the switch over and when the new layout came up, I felt my pupils constrict. For a site that people are going to spend hours staring at, a Pure Brilliant White background with a neon blue banner isn't the easiest combo on the eye. Maybe tone the white down a few shades? I know it's a strange bit of feedback, but I think a white website is like staring at a lightbulb. Failing that, maybe add customisable skins to the store! Oh, and I can't do paragraph breaks while I'm commenting any more.


Lol Yeah I was in the middle of a lesson when the new layout popped up and that white screen punched my eyeballs


Punched in the Eyeballs is right!! I wish they at least made skins so you could choose not to rend your maculae into shreds.


You know...skins would be a SUPERD idea. Customize your background from a few selections


Harsh, but made me laugh ;-)


RIGHT ON! I said that when the beta testing was going on in one of the discussions. The colors are tooo bright!


Very hard on the eyes! Ouch! And too much scrolling needed.


Hi rocko2012 and everyone that find the default Duolingo color scheme is too bright, I have just released Duolingo Dark 2 for the new Duolingo design. More details on: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1853274


I feel like I'm staring into a hospital.


Thank you for this. We will work on all of these issues!


Your attention to your users is commendable :-)


That would be really appreciated! Your work on DL is very commendable. Please just bear with our grouching and help us out! THANKS!


I second the concern of friends' skills trees. This was a vital part of using DL with my students. I can see what lessons they are in, progressing to and struggling with. Please bring back the skill tree for friends :)


The only big issue with the re-design for me is that when I go to a topic I have previously completed, but now needs revision, there are no longer any progress bars under the individual lessons. So how do I know which are the lessons where I need more practice?

In the past typically there would be some lessons with all the bars still full, and some with one or two missing. Because of that I knew which lessons to do, and got the satisfaction of restoring a full set of bars. Now when I revise a lesson nothing changes at all.

This is very de-motivating. Am I expected to do all the lessons again every time a topic goes to 4/5?


Yes, I also miss the opportunity to go have a look at the weakest words before starting the review -- to sort the vocabulary by strength before starting a review lesson. IMO this "mini review" before the lesson helps strengthen longer term recall. I doubt enough people were doing this for there to be any data on whether it was effective, though.


I did the exact same thing as well! I miss the individual progress in lessons and vocabulary too and was one of the reasons I kept coming back to the PC version even though I started using the mobile version more.


Yes, I miss being able to practice single words!


I agree. This is very frustrating. I had a long break in my duolingo-life, and now I am redoing all previous lessons, but I can not see which one I have already done, because there are no signs for each lessons anymore.


Hi realhun, did you start back on Jan 1st like me? I had been on a two month break and was faithfully going through the topics doing the lessons that had progress bars missing. I know that I needed to do it this way,. enjoyed the feedback of the full progress bars, and I was really going well until today, but this has been a real setback for me. Just doing the practice mode hardly seems worth while and I fear that all my good resolutions will be lost. What is the point on wasting my time going to the bottom of the tree if I will not have really learned anything? There is no bigger waste of time than taking short cuts with language learning that mean that you do not really learn anything.


I think you are expected to click "Strengthen <insert skill name here>" that appears on the right underneath the skill portrait.


I used to much prefer to do the lessons which had gaps in the progress bars again properly, rather than do the tests. I am really disappointed about this. To me taking the tests seem like a short-cut to "progress", which in the long run does not work.


Yes, I know what you mean. This is one of the reasons I used to avoid using the iPhone app when I began using Duolingo again after a couple of months off.


I miss the owl draped in a flag at the bottom of my tree... I worked so hard to get it!


I'm sure this will be an unpopular comment, but I shall give it anyway. The removal of features and redesign of the interface is not "good change." Change for the sake of change is rarely a good idea. I wait as patiently as I can to see what they will do to improve the user experience in the coming weeks (days, I hope) but right now I am rather disappointed. I used the vocab tab on a daily basis for my own reasons, as did many, and now it's entirely gone. Yes, it's been said it will come back in some form, but why push the new site when one of the most important features hasn't been implemented? For a while now, I have avoided using the app because of these changes; now I cannot avoid the new layout any longer. I'm left wondering who is designing all of these completely unnecessary changes, for they are not improvements. Duo was great how it was. The UI was one of the things that made so many of us fall in love with it in the first place. New Duo, new layout, removed features -- why all of the unnecessary and often bad design changes? I kid not when I say if I could have back the Duolingo I joined half a year ago with the press of a button, I would.


There's a reason for change, even if it's difficult, and often slow to perfect. While there are clearly some losses in features, the team has made it clear they intend to look at all the things we have pointed it out.

You should give it time.


I agree wholeheartedly....bring back the old format, why change it when there was no reason


I just discovered another great improvement. It looks like you can no longer accidentally leave a lesson. It now asks you and warns you that your work in the current lesson will be lost if you persist. (I don't know how many times I clicked on a link in a discussion, forgetting that it would abort the lesson.) Thank you Duolingo!!!


This is definitely a great improvement. I have navigated away from the page many times by accident.


I am an avid user of Duolingo and I have convinced more than 50 people to start using it... but the changes today made me sad. There is essentially nothing new, only things we lost.

1) I know they said the vocabulary page may come back. I used it everyday, and finding out it does not exist anymore was a huge setback on my learning of French and Spanish. I remain hopeful it will return soon but since they have to find a better way to integrate it, my fear is that they will never find this way, or be busy with other things, and this feature will be lost forever.

2) The new fonts are so bad to read, they almost chose Comic Sans.

3) Everything is so large and spaced out, and the excessive need for scrolling is really bad, even in the lesson I sometimes have to scroll down to click on the Discussion button (I'm on a 15.4'' laptop). On my main screen I can see only 5 (!!) lessons out of the French tree. It made me sad that the mobile version became standard and not the opposite, the once much more complete desktop version, but probably I am part of the minority.

4) The multiple choice questions are much worse too, as the colour when the mouse highlights an answer is the same as if the answer is selected, and no indication is given on which options we chose wrong. Hope this gets fixed soon.


Also, when we commit a typo, we can no longer see the correct spelling, only that we had a typo.


Yes, I had a typo message but it was obscuring the typo so I didn't know what the typo was. Ok, seriously, I still don't even know which word was wrong.


I'm not a fan of new words being in yellow/orange text on a white background. The black-on-yellow scheme they had in the old interface (if I recall correctly) was more readable.

Also, it just told me to "Pay attention to the accents" but didn't tell me what the correct accents were. :-/

Having to scroll down the page of lessons in a big skill to see them all also doesn't seem like an improvement over the old version where you could see them all without scrolling. The pie chart is nice but it could probably be smaller and not use up a third of the screen space.

On the plus side: It looks pretty. Also, I'm a fan of the overall strength meter next to the "Strengthen skills" button.


Can't stand the new layout nor the lack of former features. Please bring back the old one.


please bring back the old format, it is clearer


Drop-down boxes appear to be broken. This is in Chrome on Windows 7, and happened last night as well during a lesson:

Drop-down box


Yes, same here (chrome /7) and drop down was sluggish but it did work eventually.


The screen for the lesson seems alittle bright but other than that it looks great. I'd suggest a darker contrast added

EDIT: There's no continue button in the lessons to move to the next question unless I'm overlooking it


It's that blue. It's a very attractive blue, until I have to look at it for half an hour straight.


I find it terrible, to be honest. My eyes are burning already and I've just seen it. Too bright, too blocky.


For me, there is an issue when you type the comment, the grey words which say, Leave a comment, when I click on them to leave a comment, they actually appear on the message it it messes my comment every time.

Also, because of the way they designed the tree, I don`t want to refresh my tree because the skills look way better in color rather then when they are gold. :(


f.lux helps to make the colors a little less unpleasant.

I'm debating whether to put in Chrome and Firefox extensions to override the color scheme more specifically on the website because f.lux only turns on at sunset.


What's this f.lux business?


It's a piece of software you can install on Windows and Linux that basically keeps track of the time, and shifts your entire computer screen to look a little more red (you can configure how much) between sunset and sunrise.

The idea is that it makes your screen look a little 'warmer' and dampens how much blue light is coming out of the screen. Since blue light is what really suppresses melatonin production, part of the idea is to make it so that using your computer near bedtime isn't as likely to make it hard for you to get to sleep at night.

It basically makes using the computer at night (when there's less competing ambient light) a little more comfortable.

As a side-effect, it also makes the blue on the top of Duolingo's site a little less painfully intensely bright (and softens the whites a bit as well).


That sounds awesome! But I'm on a mac. Sadface.


It's available for Mac as well. Google it, and the official website's the top result so you can sort it from there.


Oooh I didn't know they had it for Mac too. Great!


It's really nice to have in the evenings when I don't keep the room so bright, so that the computer monitor isn't this glaring insanely bright thing compared to everything else.

I don't know for sure that it works in terms of not messing up melatonin production, but it feels more restful to use the computer near bedtime with it on :)


you're right, I do feel more restful, and it's upped my tolerance for this colour combo by about 10 minutes, but I think I'm at about 15 minutes on this site, just answering questions in the discussions, and my eyes are watering and my face feels tense. Ughhh frustrating. Thanks, though, I'm sure it will help on other sites! Lingot for you!


You can also alter it so that the screen is a little less intense during the day (and also then disable it if you need to work with colours).


Did anyone see the weeping owl today? because I didn't. Only saw 3 broken hearts after messing up a lesson.


Definitely miss being able to see friend's skill trees.


I just want to see my friend's trees!


True! I have tried seeing my friends' progress in their languages on their profiles (which I could do before), but now I can only see my friend's activity... Hope they will add that back soon


When I look at a discussion and it is more than the page long, whenever I touch the scroll bar, it drops out of the discussion back to the lesson. Basically I can only see the beginning of longer discussion (This is on a laptop using Firefox.).


It works for me if I click within the discussion and then use the arrow keys to scroll. Win7, Firefox.


Thanks, that seems to be a good workaround.


Thank you! I'd found that I could scroll with my touchpad if the focus was in the window, but the arrow keys are nicer.


The bonus Christmas lesson isn't available on the lingot store anymore. Is this intentional?


About the timer for Timed Practice: it should only run while an actual question is active. The way it is now, after I did something wrong I cannot take time to look at the correct answer, nor can I check the Discussions.


Yeah, where are the stats, the coin stacks showing our daily progress?


In the "Weekly progress" tab.


The daily progress only shows up now at the end of a lesson, as a little line graph. And for me at least, that page only shows for a few seconds, before it automatically advances to the next page.


You can go back to the page that automatically swipes away by clicking the circle tab indicator at the bottom.


Thanks! I would never have found that.


Top right of your language page, where it normally shows the XP, Lingots, Words and Streak; above is a "Weekly progress" tab. It shows the coin stacks I think you're referring to (I wasn't here yet before the format changed).


I just saw the pic below of the old interface and oh, the memories. [weeping owl]


So I still have the old interface? That's weird, just signed up 10 days ago.


You must still have the old interface. Enjoy it while you can.


Perhaps you can post a screenshot? What I understand from your description is how it appeared before the update.


Drop-down lists has bad visibility (browsers: Chrome, IE11). When open - only one option is seen, that was previosly selected. Others are seen when they are highligted by mouse. But even than in Chrome they are blinking.

In general, new design is good, but will it work with mobile browsers? I use one sometimes not to lose new russian-to-english streak


Ditto. Did you report it?


Where is the design-reporting tool?


I think the problem with the tree is that the circle is taking up less horizontal space, yet too much vertical space -- and people are feeling that they are accomplishing less every skill. That's probably why they are losing the sense of progression. I think the designers should make rounded rectangles of the icons that won't leave that much white space. Overall, good work though!


Page down doesn't scroll down the discussion if opened in a practice session.

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