Discussion section needs improvements
First of all thank you to the Duolingo team for the great site and being involved. I have found this site really helpful and fun for learning. I was interested in hearing the community's opinion on how the discussion section works. I have been browsing the discussion section more often these days and feel that it is difficult to navigate.
- One often finds repeated discussion about the same topic. It might help if there were FAQs or sticky posts to guide new users like me. Not only it will reduce the unnecessary questions and suggestions, it will also reduce the workload of the moderators.
2a. There is no easy way to look up old discussion apart from trying to search for them. And then once in a while you find a good discussion and only way to keep track of it by using your browser bookmarks.
2b. And while one can follow a discussion there is no way to see all the discussions that are being followed. This means you need to go back to creating the bookmarks for those discussions.
I am not saying that creating bookmarks is tiresome or wrong, but I feel that if a feature is already there, it will be helpful if we could use it. Yes, one can comment on the discussion and it will show up in the activity list, but browsing the activity list is tiresome esp. if you are not sure how long back you commented on something. In fact, it might help if there was a better way to browse the activity list.
- With the new design we have lost track of discussion sections for individual skills. Although I am guessing that will be back in due time.
Sometimes I feel I am doing something wrong. How do you browse/use the discussions?
I agree, it could definitely use some work. In fact, another user suggested the same thing just a little bit ago in their own post. My personal beef with the discussion section is the search function. When doing a search, if you click on a result and then try and go back, it takes you back too far and you have to do the search all over again. Can be quite cumbersome.
Agreed. Unfortunately they only have two categories for discussion on duolingo. "Duolingo" & "troubleshooting"... and I don't think troubleshooting is public.
They should add categories Improvements, Random, Heart-warming, In-the-news, etc and let people view by category. That way discussions like yours won't get drowned out.
Troubleshooting is public.
I'm not a fan of the many category idea. It makes it too difficult for moderators (or anyone else) who may want to scroll though what's going on in Discussion. Plus, I can't imagine how many wrong category posting that would occur. Currently, there are only three places to post something (General, Troubleshooting, Language Specific), and things still always wind up in the wrong spot.
Thanx Wazzie. Part of the problem with things landing up in the wrong place is the design of the "New Discussion" box. You should have to go to the place you want to post in order to post, not change a combo-box (which nobody will do).
The problem here is that Duolingo is software and people are suggesting things, but it is drowned out because it isn't treated with enough granularity.
Consider Google's Android enhancement/defect issue tracker. http://goo.gl/ZoTK6
Here I've listed ALL outstanding issues with Android (the whole platform) sorted by number of votes. This means I can get a feel for how important my issue's relative standing is in the community.
By the way, Android dwarfs duolingo in terms of number of users, so this approach clearly works at scale. Immediately I can tell if my issue is a duplicate of another one on that system. So people can speak about stuff in one organized place.
(The components section would be akin to category on that tracker).
I can't seem to search at all - the instant I put something, all discussion threads seem to become non-existent :/
Definitely agree with this. The Duolingo team seem to be actively engaged with users via the discussion forum which is a really good thing, however it would make things easier for everyone if the forum was a bit better organised. For instance, there is no category for discussing the Duolingo app, rather than the website. Nor are there clear categories for bug reports and feature suggestions - the latter is a particular oversight given that there do seem to be a lot of useful suggestions from active users on the forum. Sticky threads and a more powerful search would be useful too.