New web layout and the Russian course.
With the new web layout that was changed for the Japanese and Korean courses there is more room under the boxes. I suggest to Duolingo that they add the Cyrillic alphabet to the Russian course. This will help learners who have computers that do not switch easily between an English keyboard and Cyrillic keyboard. This would be especially helpful as the course no longer allows learners to choose between showing the words in Cyrillic or the English keyboard type.
By "computers that do not switch easily between an English keyboard and Cyrillic keyboard" you surely mean one of these
I think they might include one of the available virtual keyboards, though. It does not make sense to code your own keyboard when others have done it for you. Anyway, I think you would have a better chance of reaching one of the developers if you posted your suggestion in the general discussion. Duolingo staff likely has zero presence in the Russian discussions.
No, my computer is only 11 years old and though I added the keyboard, to actually see the characters I need to "show keyboard" and the virtual keyboard is always in the way and makes it harder to work the lessons. With the special characters already available on other languages, I think they should be able to give Russian learners a chance for ease of use, now that the layout may support it. Thanks for your suggestion on changing location, last time I did so, I received a 404 error when I did and couldn't find my post.
There's always Russian keyboard letter stickers. If that doesn't work for you, practice Russian typing outside of Duolingo.
There'd be nothing easy about having to click every individual letter in order to type something!
Staring at virtual keyboards and the like never did do it for me. Get the stickers or a dual-labeled keyboard, and if you'll have a solid start on touch-typing Russian in a couple hours. In no time you won't need them anymore.
These are all great suggestions and I still think Duolingo can help learners by having the alphabet under the box like they do for other languages in case options like those suggested aren't available to the users. Other sites do.
I think it's much more likely they'll enable tile-clicking as an answer-entry modality (allowing a choice of free typing) as they just did for Japanese and Korean. Shows up in the same part of the screen as you propose using for letter keys.
I think I will change my suggestion then. As they have updated the special characters for other languages, I think Duolingo should now add the Cyrillic characters to the Russian course and any other languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet to ease the use for users that don't have easy access to them on their computer systems. Thanks for the comment.
Maybe I should clarify. My "tile-clicking" I meant they have whole words available to click (like in the app), thereby avoiding typing.
I'm not sure how your current proposal differs from your original one, but I think the underlying issue is that for probably 99% of users, it's possible to enable a phonetic keyboard, which they'll be able to use pretty much immediately, in less time than it would take to enter even a single sentence by clicking individual letter buttons.