NEW LAYOUT DISAPPOINTMENTS
I am very annoyed at this new update/layout. It is so big and in your face and hurts my eyes to look at it. There should be an option where you can minimise the screen so that it is actually easy to look at and not so bland.
The design is extremely boring, whereas the old one had colour in it. Now I don't know how many questions I have done in a session or how many I have yet to complete. This really annoys me.
Another change is that the questions seem to repeat themselves sometimes and there aren't as many English to language translations anymore, instead it is always the other way around.
When you get an answer incorrect, the correction at the bottom is super small and I can barely read it. Duolingo should've considered that some people may not be able to read as well as others and may get irritated when reading such massive letters!!
There should be an option where you can minimise the screen so that it is actually easy to look at
There is; you can adjust your browser's magnification settings.
Your other criticisms are valid. I particularly liked to seeing the number of questions remaining in timed practice.
The new layout is a huge disappointment, with numerous blatant problems. I hope Duolingo didn't waste too many hours designing it. Someone on their team should review the work of Edward R. Tufte for good examples of user-friendly design, and share their findings with the other developers.
I agree that the new layout is a step backward, and unnecessarily difficult to look at and work with. It's particularly challenging for the timed practices. I did find, however, that when I minimized the browser window (not changing magnification), it created a window that roughly approximated the old layout's functional size. It still had several of the defects you mentioned, but was much more workable.
In the future, please do not create a new discussion just for your own comment. There are already two other main discussions for this issue. 1. Official announcement, 2. announcement created by general user.
Gathering feedback together into the fewest number of discussions helps to keep the forums less cluttered.
I think about it this way.... if Duo had started off with this layout, and then changed it to the other layout, we would be completely bonkers because we would be used to this and love it. We would probably complain the new design was too jaunty and awful and yugh. That being said, I miss the old layout too. Nothing is ever better than the original.