No longer upgrading the Duolingo app
Anyone who has been perusing the discussion board recently cannot help but notice an increasing number of threads outlining the extreme frustration that is being repeatedly generated by continually reckless changes to the Duolingo learning experience.
Whether it is messing around with the progress bar, changes to the 'golding' algorithms, the removal of the weekly progress graph, obnoxious A/B tests, the change from lingots to gems or the not-so-stealthy monetisation in all its form, the number of threads expressing dissatisfaction with the manner in which these supposed 'investigative approaches' are being carried out leaves a great deal to be desired.
There's an increasing number of people who have expressed their desire to seek alternatives to Duo and this is completely understandable if they feel their user experience has been eroded or destroyed by the more recent changes.
From a personal perspective, I enjoy and appreciate my Duo experience just the way it is on the iOS app and have no desire to log in one day and find all the parameters changed. I still find it annoying that many months ago the weekly progress graph was removed and despite numerous vocal calls for it to be reinstated, it never was. It's hard to imagine that this change was somehow productive and it's clear from the increasing volume of threads that there's a complete disconnect between the Duo developers and the Duo users.
Quite honestly I am tired of the 'monetisation debate', every organisation across the globe has to balance it's budget. If the Duo interface that we know and love is going to be destroyed by repeated inane attempts to hoist adverts, fees and restrictions on learners, then rather than the slow death of the program that the community is experiencing now (as witnessed by the increasingly widespread dissatisfaction expressed by a growing number of users) then I would rather that a flat monthly fee be imposed to use the program and preserve the learning environment as is, rather than it be changed completely in the name of being supposedly 'free' with many 'interactive areas requiring payment'.
I will be searching for another language program that can provide a stable and supportive learner experience similar to Duo and acknowledge that I may have to pay for that, however in the meantime I have decided not to upgrade my iOS app to reduce the risk that I may inadvertently ruin my user experience prior to finding another, hopefully better, deeper, more considerate learning platform elsewhere.
I doubt that my voice will register at the corporate level but as a strong supporter of the Duolingo learning experience the only thing I can realistically do is to express my opinion here on this discussion board in the hope that a more considered and incremental approach to changes is deployed with the learner regarded as being front and centre rather than as mere 'guinea pig' or 'lab rat' to carry out 'testing' on.
Come on Duo, get your act together!