I have few ideas for how to make the Duolingo experience more enjoyable
Hello, I have a few ideas for things that Duolingo which would, in my opinion, make the user experience more rewarding, without extreme effort.
I remember when I played Sid Meier's Civilisation games as a child how I always loved you could personalise each Civilisation to give its own uniqueness. That's what made me put in further hours into the game, especially if it rewarded achievement. Because of that, I came up with some basic ideas to try and make the learning experience more fun, without, I hope, being extremely taxing on programmers.
1) Once I finished the Japanese tree, I was given a trophy with a thank you. While I liked it, I have a suggestion for how to improve it: have a section on your profile devoted to showing a trophy case, with each completed tree meaning said trophy is put inside it. This would make me able to appreciate finishing multiple trees all the more rewarding, as I could feel like I've accomplished a greater task, as opposed to separate ones which have no affect on the other. A unified trophy case, collecting the achievements in one place, would make me feel more accomplishment.
2) In Civilisation V, every time you discovered a new technology, you received a quote related to the subject, often a famous quote, but almost always interesting. I honestly looked forward to finishing the technology just to get the quote. Imagine if after every topic (or level, if you want to keep the number down) there was a quotation relevant to the topic/language in question. You could, say add Confucius's 'Teach a man to fish' quote to any language's section on 'occupation', or just have many Chinese quotes for each level/topic in Chinese. This would be a great way to also introduce a part of the language's cultures at the same time. I loved just looking at the unique building each language got on the course page: I would love a similar phenomenon to exist in the learning. There are many ways to go about this and I always looked forward to the personality that Civilisation gave it's upgrades, so I think it would be great if Duolingo did it too.
3) Last but not least, make the lingots relevant by buying decorative items relevant to the courses being studied. After a short while, I've found myself overwhelmed with lingots to the extent I don't know what to do with them. If they were still necessary, I'd use Duolingo more to get an advantage. So, what if we bought material relevant to each of the languages? Further to this, imagine we could, in Duolingo, create a 'room' within our profiles that would serve as a reflection of how far we had come. In many video games, once you get a residence, it's often customised in the extreme; something similar can be done here. Get a customisable 'room' (perhaps with the aforementioned trophy case) and have the surrounding decorations be something you buy from the store. For example, you can buy traditionally Japanese, Chinese, German or any other form of dress to put on a mannequin at the edge of the picture, with a painting on the wall from one of those cultures (imagine, say 'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa' for Japan or 'The Birth of Venus' for Italy), with multiple facets all customisable to reflect a place of study. Alternatively, it could be as simple as a poem in each language (eg Dante's 'Inferno' for Italian, or perhaps an extract of the 'Nibelungen' for German, or a Japanese haiku) with the mother language and user language side by side to help us study as much as anything else.
While doing all of this may be impractical, if this was even partially done it would give me much greater motivation not just to continue doing my own favoured languages, but explore languages I didn't even think to explore before.
I don't know if everyone else here would agree, but I know for sure that it would make me feel more motivated to continue going at it.
I agreed with everything you said, they sound like awesome features! I'm especially seconding the lingot bit, it appears as though they're useful for literally nothing except for buying streak freezes and timed drills (and those things basically cost nothing) And in a few courses, bonus lessons. (in only a select few courses, though) I have nearly 2,000 lingots just sitting here.
1) Sounds good (achievements type of thing)
2) Hate it (sorry) - I generally dislike quotes
The 'Teach a man to fish' quote should be: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day (happy for a day), teach a man to fish and he'll ultimately still find things to complain about such as having to work for it or monotonous meals (happy for a little while to then rebel / become unhappy), give a man somebody to blame his ill-being on and he'll become a soldier in your army (long term "happiness" and to become your ally).