Is the new web-design affecting your learning?
I am finding that I just don't want to spend much time here, looking at the screen for very long. All week, people have been complaining about the bright background and instead of changing that, they make the fonts smaller.
The thing is, if I don't want to spend time on the site, then I'm not learning as much and I'm not looking at the pretty ads. Lose-lose as far as I'm concerned.
Others have complained about the childish look and the need for sunglasses. I agree, but the new design is affecting my learning in three other ways:
1) The progress bar on each shield is much harder to see now. It used to be a thick line that started at the top of the circle and went clockwise. Now it's a bright yellow line that starts at the crown (4:00) and goes around. That means that for the first few lessons and the last few lessons in each module, the progress is obscured by the crown itself.
2) When you finish a lesson, you used to see the daily progress meter advance. Now, once you've finished your daily quota, it's a solid color and you don't see any motion. That's not the end of the world, but I definitely the feeling of progress I got by seeing the meter go around and around.
3) The colors of the shields on the tree are overwhelmed by the white space and the yellow progress ring. It used to be that you could instantly see how far along the tree you were at a glance. (E.g. if the tree is a third orange and two thirds red, then you're a third of the way to your fourth crown.) Watching the tree change color used to be a big psychological reinforcement. Now the tree is all white, gray and yellow, with some splashes of color to indicate advancement. The information is still there, of course, but the psychological impact is gone.
Good graphic design makes things easier to use, more pleasant to look at, and instantly informative. On all three counts, the new look is a dud. The site still works, but it's not nearly as fun. I spend as much time being angry at the site as thinking about grammar, and that's definitely not good for learning!
Reply from my stance: 1: I never really noticed it. I only notice when there is a long lesson or I keep making mistakes. I guess it is just not a big factor to me, but I can see why it may be for others. 2: On the mobile edition, the progress meter still advances. I see this on the computer too. I know it happens on mobile, but I have not been using computer edition that much lately. 3: I agree that there is too much white space. It feels all loose and it needs to be more compact. I like the ring, though, because it makes the daily progress bar and the lessons match, which looks way better in my perspective.
I see why people do not like the new design. I am personally okay with it though. Thankfully there are replies which explain why they do not like it though, with detail, and this post pointed out things I did not even notice were happening.
It depends a lot on what platform you're on. I mostly do DL on my laptop connected to a 19" monitor, where the white space and bright colors are blinding, the progress meter doesn't turn, and the colors that mark the level of achievement get overwhelmed by the (often meaningless) symbols in the middle of the shields, the bright yellow progress circle, and the white space. But yesterday I did some lessons on my phone. On that small screen (where you can only see a little piece of the tree anyway) the color scheme seemed perfectly reasonable, the progress meter worked, and the childish graphics didn't look nearly as stupid.
My takeaway is that the new scheme is NOT a dud pure and simple. It may be just fine for a phone! Still, it's a dud for a monitor. The real problem is the decision to have a single look for both the app and the website.
I use Duo on my phone in Chrome with the brightness turned all the way down (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) and the brightness is a huge problem. The app might be better, but that's not feasible for me. The screen size is not the issue in my case because my phone is smaller than most.
That makes sense. I mostly work on a tablet with a 10.5” screen. I generally choose to work in browser mode instead of using apps because so many of the apps have been optiimized for use on a hand-held phone (portrait mode), rather than tablets.
Phone users usually prefer to grip their device by its narrow side, making portrait mode their natural preference. but the larger size and weight of a tablet makes it easier to hold with its longer axis balanced along the forearm (or when setaed, as if it were a laptop) making landscape mode the natural preference for tablet users.
Apps tend to be optimized for phone users viewing in portrait mode, whereas websites tend to be optimized for laptop and desktop users viewing in landscape mode. Trying to shoehorn a portrait design into landscape mode, or vice versa, without taking into account the difference in proportions (size and shape) of the individual design elements (including the white spaces) demanded by one versus the other, is bound to leave a whole bunch of users with a bad experience.
1) On my tablet the cartoons now take up almost half of the vertical screen space. This makes them overwhelming and obnoxious, rather than helpful.
2). The working space (Q&A) is tall and narrow. It leaves approximately half of the screen width of this section as excess white space, with the text shrunken to the verge of unreadability in order to confine it to just a small space in the middle of the screen.
well I don't really get it because all I see people complaining about is the brightness of colors and the "childish" overall look. If someone dislikes it because it's confusing or takes away certain advantages compared to the past layout then they have a point I guess, otherwise it seems fine to me.
I'm not trying to argue with anyone who thinks otherwise.. This is just my point of view.
Especially people with glasses and vision imparities and people with sensory issues. Not everyone is as able as Jesus.
I actually do wear glasses (for some reason i cannot reply to the comment under mine [ I think its a limit due to the size of box getting smaller everytime]) anyways, I guess some people are really effected badly by this therefore, maybe duolingo will take some sort of action towards it. I don't find it the disturbing but I guess it may really disturb certain parts of the duolingo community since I've been seeing lots of similar threads about this. goodluck I guess :)
EDIT: after posting this the reply button appeared
It’s not a matter of taste, it’s a matter of being able to actually use the site at all for many people. If the font is so small that they cannot see it, how can they do the lessons. It’s a particular problem when learning a language that uses accent marks over or under certain letters (à á â ã å ö í ì ç etc.)
Hmmm. Maybe. It's definitely a bit harder for me to see things in the lessons.
I have only 90 points so far today and my eyes are already very tired and I'm making many mistakes. This is the first full day I had the new design. Typically I can score many points before I get tired and start making mistakes. For example, yesterday I had over 600. That's not testing out. I can't spend every day getting 600 points--that's about 4 hours--because I have other commitments, but today I'm already exhausted after 9 lessons. So you may be right, but I can't say for sure. There are other variables to consider.
We can control font sizes on various browsers. What I haven't yet found is a font setting (on chrome) so I can get back to the other font. But it's not just fonts. The lack of color differential in multiple-choice questions requires more effort. Also, it's a bit harder to quickly find threads in the discussion. I usuallly tag any thread I post in by upvoting it. That way, if I want to check for a response later, I can quickly scroll down and find the green box. Now, it just shows up as a green number. I can still find it but it takes more concentration and focus to find them while scrolling down.
YES!!!!! I can't look at it. I just did three lessons today and I'm done. It's more than just aesthetically unpleasing. It hurts my eyes. I can't look at it. It's harder to read. Seriously Duo, this is bad. WTH? White background, difficult to read font, super bright yellow. I can't.... I just can't do it. Please fire your graphic designer. Do you even do user experience testing?
I really really can't do this. Ten minutes in front of this and I'm done for the day. What a shame. What a terrible shame. At first when I saw people complaining I thought they were exaggerating, but i ...just...can't... read this.
It did. There's a post that includes a script that allows you to alter your Duo aesthetics back to the old one. Yes, a godsend.
Sadly, the script included in that post appears no longer to work. I was using it myself without problem until today.
I think it worked during the roll-out of the new look because both designs were still technically available. Now, however, the entire site appears to have transitioned to the new design - even the sign in page has now been altered - so it stands to reason the old design is no longer available. It's a real pity as I was very glad of the chance to switch back to the old Duolingo.
Personally, I've found the changed design has definitely affected my learning as it has made the experience of using Duolingo unpleasant and led me to reduce the time I spend on the site. The colours are just too bright now - especially the white of the background. (I don't know if it looks any better on a smartphone as I don't use the app, but the new design seems to me far less suited to web-browsing than the older one.)
OH NO!! WHYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! My only chance of having bearable practice is gone. Thanks, Duo.
I've usually kept my ad blocker off to support Duo. But yeah, I've had it on this website lately.
Yes, the new look is really hurting my eyes.
From the usability point of view (and I am seriously in the IT business...) fonts are too small.
Gray text on white background... I'd fire my designer on sight if he'd made this.
Font size is unbalanced. Big bold font with static text "translate into English" and almost twice smaller - the text to translate.
Lots of free space and... vertical scrolling on mobile.
My use has definitely fallen off. I'm making a serious effort, but I really can't do more than 3-5 lessons a day. Prior to the update I was probably doing 10-20 lessons a day.
I actually like some things about the update, but it really does tire me out a lot faster than it used to.
Having been absent for many months I came back to carry on with my course, I was pleased that I was still able to use the old version because it gave me access to all the beginners lessons...( needed to jog the memory) the following day it had changed to the new version and now I can't access the old version to go over the first lessons. On starting the lesson I found it had jumped to a higher level and was giving me content I had yet to learn, the following day I returned and found that it had yet again jumped to an even higher level and was covering things not yet learnt. Has anyone else found this problem?...as it stands I now can't continue this course, surely if it aint broke why fix it!, now if I cant access the first lessons to get to the level I was at a few months ago, then I will be unable to continue my course...:-((......come on duo, get it sorted or lose a student.
I expect you're being hit by two changes at once. One is the new look of the website, which lots of people, including me, are complaining about. The other is the roll-out of the latest French tree, which different people are getting at different times. According to duome.eu, you're now on "tree 12", with 156 skills. (They still have me on tree 2 with 78 skills, FWIW, but that will probably change soon.)
Yes, JanetRober8, that comment was for you.
To get lots of information on your setup and usage, go to duome.eu/ (Your login name). There you'll see everything about the language that you most recently logged on to Duolingo for. In particular, you can see which version of the tree they assigned to you. You can also enter any other user's name and see their setup, assuming they haven't blocked that with some privacy setting that may or may not exist. That's how I saw that you were on Tree 12.
DL does the assigning, so apart from some hacks (described below) there's so way to pick which version of a tree you get. They often do randomized A/B testing of various features, including tree updates. The French situation is particularly messy, with at least three different trees being active at once! After each A/B test, they eventually figure out which version works best and switch everybody over to that. That's what seems to be happening right now in French, with one group after another being migrated to Tree 12, for better or for worse, and a few of us still waiting at the dock. Likewise, the rollout of the new look was phased in over several weeks, with some people getting it early and others getting it late.
As for the hacks, it's sometimes possible to rig the system by creating a new account and signing up for your favorite course under a new name. You wouldn't carry over any credit you accumulated under the other account, of course, but you might get the version of the tree that you prefer, and if you don't you can delete that account and try again. In particular, if you create a class account, as if you're a teacher who happens to have zero students, then you're more likely to get an older version, since DL typically avoids doing their A/B testing on class accounts.
Those hacks are NOT for everybody, and I've never tried them myself, but I've seen a lot of discussion posts encouraging other users to try them.
Oh! ok thanks for the info, it was something I had thought about, making a new account in the hope of getting the old version, what I can't get my head around is how they can jump me to levels higher than I was on, that seems stupid, so how am I to proceed now, I'm sorry if I appear a dim wit but, at 71 it's hard enough to learn without being confused by these changes, in answer to other comments on the new version causing eye strain etc, I agree, this set up has caused eye strain and I haven't used it much because of this tree thing.......anyway I doubt if they will change it back so I'm guessing thats the end of my learning french....many thanks LSadun. :-)
Yes, more than likely I will wait and see what happens, it is difficult to carry on at this level. I tried a new account, believe it or not it did not start me at the beginning as a beginner but at the level I was on with this account, I think I was rumbled, lol. I will wait and see what happens so I can fulfill a life times ambition to learn french. Many thanks for your input. :-)
Thanks for explaining this. I see I’m also on French Tree 12. That must explain why The site seems to be such a totally incomprehensible mess. I had totally completed the French tree, then completed 2/3 of the next one to level 5 (the highest). Yesterday morning all that had been wiped away and I was sent back to the beginning to relearn Basics 1 and the rest of the course showed scattershot achievement levels of from 0 to 2. It was entirely disheartening.
Constant moving of the acievement goalposts, as well as with a ridiculously large amount of white space coupled with smaller fonts, have removed any sense of achievement and made interaction with the site physically painful due to eyestrain, especially for aging eyes that no longer have perfect vision, even with glasses.
Not as much as I thought it would. The font is smaller, and the images more cartoonish, which make things more difficult to see and more jarring to look at, not to mention I'm running out of Stories in French. However, I'm on the app more frequently lately, in part because Clubs are back on my phone. That and the resource links from other posts on the forum have kept me busy enough.
I don’t mind the cartoons (a couple of them have been humourously inappropriate), however they do not need to be so large that they overwhelm the screen and leave little room for the text. If they made the cartoons smaller, perhaps they couldvthen use a larger font for the exercise itself.
Yes. Since when I realised that the old design's tiny faint fonts/diacritics and poor contrast affected my good eyesight (and will affect others' including children's even if they don't realise it yet) whereas other websites didn't,
my number of lessons, here quoted as XPs have dropped, from 400+ or more to 100 then now, with the added brightness etc, to about 10-20.
Although a supporter of Duo I now learn more through other means and at the moment cannot recommend Duo to anyone.
The new design did not fix the 'tiny faint fonts/diacritics' issue nor the 'poor contrast' issue but made things much worse by the extreme brightness. My eyesight is quite good -please let us not 'blame the bad-eye minority'.
**Night mode is not the answer. Option of old/new is not the answer. Users unawares having their eyesight ruined is (to put it directly) irresponsible design. Doing it right at the source is the only answer.
When I use Dark Reader, for example, not only that their carefully designed aesthetics go to nought, but important learning indicators like which words I got right/wrong in 'Click the microphone and say' are hardly discernible.
I finally broke down and bought myself an Android phone and am using the app because the website has become unbearable. As a result my learning hasn't suffered at all and in fact is moving along faster as the app is definitely easier on my hands and eyes. It was rather expensive though. Not that there weren't other good reasons to buy one. It was probably about time...
It was rather expensive though.
At a conference prior to Duolingo release, the founder talked about the concept of 'for free' so that the people on low income worldwide (and he mentioned 'as if we haven't exploited them enough' or something to the effect) can access language learning.
So solutions such as BUY an Android phone, or pinhole glasses, or computer glasses, or some not-free extension, etc make a mockery of the Duolingo concept.
It is also a consumerism drive of 'OK to produce more plastic, using more energy in manufacturing, and to just collect later rubbish and dump it in another country -just somewhere on this planet'.
With proper 'DUTY OF CARE' for eye health, regarding glare and clear fonts and contrasts, a good design at Duo end will reduce need for users' 'solutions'.
Personally I don't mind the new designs and it has not affected the time I spend on the site. I think the colours are slightly brighter than I personally would use but I think that the effect is to modernise the site. My first feelings on the fonts is that they are easier to read.
I suspect that some of the use of brighter colours is to increase contrast for people who are visually impaired but that is purely a guess
People ask whether both could be retained. The issue there becomes firstly one of double maintenance of the UI and secondly the logic behind what is displayed. In effect it would increase running costs on a free site.
I personally have a slight preference for the new site
i don't much mind the new look but the buttons are not working as well as they were i don't know if i am the only one but ever since the design change any button on the lesson when i press it sometimes needs to be pressed up to ten or twelve times seriously it's like when you press the button it is almost like it tries to drag it and my errors have gone up by like 750% because when you are translating the sentence with buttons it just doesn't recognize you pressed the word i am not sure if it is because the change or that i use this website on my ipad because you can take it anywhere and it makes it so easy to learn but nothing else has changed and no other website has that problem but ever since they changed the design the buttons haven't worked good or even ok and it makes it annoying to do a lesson when you get an error almost every time because it didn't recognize you pressed the or it and it's not just small buttons it's all of them it's just that you don't realize the small words as quick i just hope they fix it soon
The negative feedback over the horrific color scheme has drawn attention away from other changes to the user interface that are not positive. For example, the word blocks in the diagrams can no longer be dragged and dropped to rearrange them. Before, if you left a word out when assembling a sentence, you could simply add it to the end and then drag it into its proper position. NOW -- you have to dismantle the sentence word-by-word in order to add the missing word at its proper place, then RE-assemble the other words. An intuitive functionality that no longer works. That is NOT improvement!
I’ve had the same problem off and on, and yesterday all the sound clips were cutting off part way through. I got marked wrong for a correct transltion of “je suis une femme” because the sound cut off before Duo playedthe rest of the sentence: “et il est un homme.” For the rest of the session I had to replay each sound clip several times in order to hear the entire clip.
I suggest please let's help Duo fix problems, by using Bug Report, specifying device/hardware, OS ver., screen size/type, browser, etc.
(I posted an example, ~Newest, on Duo's announcement thread of the new look, a sticky on Duolingo subscription tab.)
I'm afraid that, after using Duolingo for over four years daily, using all of the languages offered, the difficulty of using this new design has made me not want to use it any more. I have thus far been able to force myself to do at least a lesson a day, but it has not gotten any easier.
A white background is simply bad for the eyes, add to this that many people have the brightness of their monitor set to the max by default. It's like staring at the sun, well, a lighter version of the sun :P.
Many people, like a lot of introverts, are extra sensitive to it. Personally I can generally handle it but in some cases I'd get painy eyes or headaches, ones that can be difficult to make go away (haven't had these issues ever since I switched to dark themes). Additionally I do notice things like sleeping better ever since I stopped staring at the metaphorical sun a few years ago.
Sharp white and blue light are bad for your eyes and brain, having the potential to cause issues for both. Thus even if you don't explicitly notice negative effects, it's still worthwhile to at least consider it. Once you go black, you'll never go back :P. If you use dark themes for everything for a while and then try to switch back to white there's a good chance that you'll wonder "how on earth was I able to look at that before", with likely an immediate physical reaction like squinting your eyes or whatever else.
Neither does it cause any *immediate* issues for me (apart from an initial little shock). Like 2 months ago I had done a lot of lessons (~3000xp - with some test out bonuses) without using a dark theme (using a different computer) and it didn't cause any issues. The issue being that it *can* and does cause issues sometimes. Preventing is better than curing. I'm also pretty sure that if you'd compare dark vs bright that those who use dark on average learn a bit faster, since even if people don't notice the effects of staring at the sun, it's still affecting them.
I guess my issue is that if there hasnt been much of a change (atleast in my opinion) why is there suddenly a massive outrage over eye health. Where was the concern a month ago or 2 months ago.
There has always been the occasional request for a dark mode and calls for more accessibility issues. But this latest "change" seem to have opened the flood gate.
maybe I should just ignore these posts
No. It has not been affecting like learning. I think what these people are feeling are either A: The Placebo Effect, they read other people having their eyes hurt so their brain is making their eyes hurt too, B: Refusal for Change, they are so used to the old platform they do not want to see it go due to the nostalgia, so their minds are giving them a reason to, or C: They actually have their eyes hurting. If you are for sure neither A or B are true, it may be a good idea to check out other websites/apps with the same format to see if your eyes hurt then. If it still does, you may want to do things like turn the brightness down, which does sound annoying, but if you are on mobile, it takes 10-15 seconds to turn the brightness down, and if you are on a computer, you can just learn the computer shortcut, most computers have one. On the other hand, if you do not like the design, that is perfectly fine, but from what it looks like, you may be in the minority, due to most people being fine with it, who are mostly people who don't use the forums, from what I have seen. But if Duolingo listens they will give an opt-back, for you. But in the mean-time I am going to enjoy the new design :)
It’s the font size which is making it difficult for me. Remember, I’m trying to learn a language that is entirely new to me, so I have no idea what any of the words are supposed to look like or how they are spelled. I sometimes have difficulty telling the difference between an uppercase “i” (I) and a lower case “L” (l). I cannot see the accent marks at all and am constantly getting told I’ve gotten them wrong. I have to go look up the words on another dictionary site in order to see which accents are being used and where they needto be placed. Obviously, this makes the site very difficult to use and impairs my ability to learn. Most other sites make it easy for someone with a touch screen to adjust font size on the fly, but Duo doesn’t. You have to alter your device’s default settings, just to use Duo and then when you’re done using Duo, go back and readjust them to where they were originally in order to have the rest of the sites on line display properly. The people who designed this site have made no effort to accommodate people who are even slightly visually impaired. They are ignoring the needs of thousands of middle-aged and older people whose eyes are weakening, but whose minds are just as active and inquisitive as they were in their teens and twenties.
This isn’t a new problem with Duo. It started with a previous redesign and has gotten worse with each new iteration, despite a number of complaints. It shouldn’t be hard to fix, but Duo just doesn’t seem to be interested in even trying.
The brightness has definitely been affecting my use of Duo. I'm a new user, but I got hooked on it and had been spending hours on it. Now, I do one practice set to maintain my streak.
As for your theories:
A. I was using Duo when it updated and was practically blinded by the difference. As a new user, I'm trying to figure out the Discussion Boards so that I can register a complaint. For me the causality was in the opposite direction than you conjectured. I experienced the problem and then found the discussion boards where others were complaining as well.
B. I've been using Duo for less than three weeks. I'm not sure if that's enough time for nostalgia. There are some other aspects of the new design that I find irritating, but I could live with them if it wasn't for the brightness issue. I didn't notice the other changes until after the shock of the brightness.
C. I am using the browser on my phone and my brightness is turned down to its lowest possible setting.