I know the duo team has been working so hard on this site lately, that's why I feel kinda bad for posting another suggestion. But I have an idea that I think would benefit everyone. I know Luis is very fond of the minimalist approach when it comes to the web design so those of us who are new to duolingo won't get overwhelmed, but many duo fans have voiced their opinion of wanting more settings. I think there's a way to appeal to everyone. Why not group these settings under three difficulty levels? For example:
Easy/Beginner level would feature: four hearts/half hearts, slowed time during timed practice, slower decay rates, earning lingots is more frequent, lower XP gained (from doing less vigorous work)
Medium/Intermediate would feature: three hearts/half hearts, normal time during timed practice, normal decay rates, earning lingots is normal, normal XP gained
Hard/Advanced would feature: three full hearts only, faster time during timed practices, faster decay rates, earning lingots is more scarce, higher XP gained (from doing more vigorous work), slightly more native to target language exercises (to strengthen recognition)
These are just examples. Overall, I think difficulty levels would allow the duo team to add all the settings that us users crave without overwhelming us. It's great if you want to keep this site simple and game-like. Please let me know what you guys think. :)
If you are given an easy option, what's to motivate people to try the more harder settings?
Self-Motivation. It's the same reason I chose "Proud Mode" on my first time playing Kingdom Hearts. ;)
A lot of people might take the easy way, but I imagine at least some (but hopefully more than the former group) will challenge themselves to Hard Mode. I'm not sure this is a good thing to put into practice; it might make the site too easy and users might not learn as much.
Hahaha! I did the EXACT same thing when I started KH - went straight to "Proud mode" ^__^
That was a concern that I thought of as well. Like I said, it's only an idea. With the difficulty levels it allows Luis to keep the more casual learners interested while allowing the more devoted learners challenge themselves. I'm sure there'll be some kinks that need to be ironed out.
I agree with the minimalist philosophy. We're here to learn a language, and this would be more of a distraction as well as a lot of work for the Duolingo staff. IMO it's best to keep this site as simple as possible, especially for new members.
Yeah I see your point. Adding difficulty levels would complicate things a little, but it would be very helpful in the long run because instead of cluttering the settings page with future updates, they'd be incorporated into the difficulty settings. And that's the real trick when it comes to minimizing. ;)