Hi Duolingo everyone.
I would like to apologize for being so negative in my comments sometimes. When Duolingo first did the new website update I was so irritated by many of the terrible changes that I experienced, and the consensus on the forums was that these changes would likely be permanent, that I made a handful of negative comments on the forums.
Regarding some of these changes, I said that I'd be eating my foot if these changes were in fact temporary and would be fixed sooner or later. So here I'm doing a bit of cautious and mostly-preemptive foot-eating. Delicious...
Bit by bit, I have noticed that some of the bad changes are being fixed, and some old problems are also being fixed. I'm not embracing the new site changes completely, I'd say the jury is still out on whether Duo is heading in the right or wrong direction. The app seems to still be a mess (but I don't use that and I have no stake in it). But seeing some small improvements that I have seen is giving me hope and patience.
So I'm gonna stop making negative comments and just ignore the urge to post on streams where I only have negative things to say (that applies to the conlang communities on Duo too, I'm just gonna ignore y'all from here on out =D ).
KoleBowman, that is sweet of you. =] We are sure you know it is difficult to keep everyone happy at all times (although we would love to), and I sure know it is hard not to react sometimes. However, I also know that more often than not, messages directed at us (negative or positive) come from a place of love for Duolingo and the ways things are. We want to know what you think. It helps us become better. When you think about it, we all want the same thing: for Duolingo to be better at teaching, for more languages and exciting features to be available, for more people to get access to language education, for Duolingo to thrive and be around for a long time, and for everything to be at least 10x cooler than they currently are... on all platforms. And I think we can get there together—the support of passionate volunteers, staff members, and learners makes it all possible. Thank you.
I will still continue to give feedback, I just mean that I will frame my comments more positively rather than over-the-top negatively as I did for a couple of days after I got the the new update. And if in a specific moment I can't do that, I won't comment at that time.
That is not what I thought he said...
We will of course continue trying to make the Duolingo experience better, and everything the community says is super important. I personally read most threads here and we take what you guys say into account in every single one of our decisions.
DonFiore, please understand that we have to take community thoughts and data into account. And we do. And keep in mind that users in the English-language web forum do not reflect 100% of our community, and we are constantly trying to balance what everyone asks for in all channels with what brings better results for motivation and learning.
I was referring to the previous paragraph.
The reason it would be hard for us to change our mind from app reviews now is that we've been testing these changes for the last 8 months and so far the metrics indicate that they in fact increase user retention.
I do understand that you have to balance between what everyone asks but I would be surprised if this aversion to punishing us for making mistakes with material we have never seen before was something that was specific to English speakers. Yet for some reason I'm not as surprised if it's specific to forum and web users. To me it still smells fishy that 3+1 hearts per lesson were bad and users were dropping, but 5 hearts altogether and an arbitrary time limit suddenly increases user retention. I just don't see how that's supposed to be the case.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about our concerns, btw, we (the English-language web forum) have been missing that.
Have you considered that perhaps it was your earlier comments (albeit negative) were instrumental in fixing the bad changes and problems? I understand you might not want to portray yourself as a complainer but I thank you for always telling it like it is!
I appreciate what you are saying and the value behind it, but in a completely literal sense, the answer is no. Because the things that were fixed that I was hard-core complaining about probably couldn't have been achieved from start (deciding to fix it) to finish (implementing the fix) in the time between me doing so and them being fixed. So basically some of the things that got wrecked by the new site write-up seem to be temporary problems associated with the write-up process that may be getting fixed or even improved. Having a lot of crappy changes at once without guarantee that any would be fixed felt in the moment like Duo hated us, and that's why I was being so negative. But bit by bit I am seeing that Duo didn't in fact hate us, so I feel like I shouldn't have reacted exactly as I did and won't fall into the same trap again. I am now holding my judgement as to whether the new web update is good, bad, or terrible, until I stop seeing these little improvements trickling in and can evaluate it for what it is.
And I don't plan to stop voicing my opinion if I don't like something, I just plan to not post ridiculously over the top negativity the way I was. I'm not talking about changing what I say or don't say, more how I say it.