https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassicSteven

Please stop changing the rules

I understand that language-learning is the top goal on here, and that the gaming aspects are only to help facilitate that.

I was amazed when I first started on Duolingo how many people were leaving the site because of changes to the gaming aspects. I thought that was dumb. Now, I think I completely understand.

Please stop changing the gaming aspects every few months! For almost a year, I used the experience levels as a motivator. I was bragging to my friends on Facebook about those accomplishments. Now, I can't even find my own levels on "Your Profile". And the scoring keeps changing. Bonus points are here one month, gone the next, and back a couple months later, and gone again...and back again. Testing out goes away. Now we have "leagues".

I lost my momentum and my streak in this last major change. You can be all idealistic and say the I should have been motivated by the learning, but you know, that's why I didn't make much progress until Duolingo came along.

I understand the impulse to constantly improve. But a little consistency and less upheaval could go a long way toward improvement on this site.

July 22, 2019

82 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1Edle

No use to complaine here, DL staff don't read the discussions. I also don't like the never ending "improvements".

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshSellsGuns

IIRC the founder himself said that the worst advice he ever got was to listen to his userbase. Straight up admitted that he doesn't care what we think lol. We are screaming into the void, fellas.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas_

Because how people act (i.e. their actions on the platform) is much more revealing that what a few complain about. If a change increases engagement overall, why should they roll it back because it pisses some people off?

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alphabeta

Yep. The antithesis of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexnb33

Take my lingots good man

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassicSteven

I think they read these. Some arrogant guy got on here and cried "tinfoil 25s" and there was all kinds of upheaval in response.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMira_

They read it and occasionally they change things but most of the time they don't.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

Put it this way; this is the only universal forum for students to express their opinions. I think here lies the way to be heard if not listened too.

What I dislike is the message board system that favors the decimation of new discussion which occurs at about the time America is in school.

A change for improvement?

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

They actually do read the discussions, but they don't care what people say no matter how many people say something because they just decide out of nowhere that their changes are beneficial.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive146660

Or they have usage analytics that probably serves as a solid source of data showing how people actually use the app. And they factor that into their decisions.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshSellsGuns

"Data without context is meaningless." Wonder when that mantra will catch on. God knows I'd like it to.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive146660

You'd be lying to yourself if you think they don't know their context.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

That may be, but they didn't START this to MAKE MONEY they started it because they want everybody to do languages. Once the site catches on the vultures gather and corrupt the original intent with nasty ugly lucre

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

Yep, this.

I much prefer the idea of them using metrics and usage data than basing decisions on people complaining on the forum.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMira_

Yeah but like... IDK I'd like to be able to see the metrics, you know?

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive146660

Unfortunately, due to the competitive nature of software, this would mostly just strengthen the competition which is why they'd probably never release it even if it were anonymous data.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dinska

What if they only care about growth and don't much care about longtime users? We can only tell by how they develop the site.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susu581980

I was a long time user and was getting really bored. As disconcerting as some of the changes felt at first, overall I am happy with them. I have even gotten used to leagues.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samuel356333

I agree. Casual suggestions are one thing but the type of complaining a lot of people do is unnecessary.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toggitang4

Well... staffs usually don't care to see these posts 'cause they probably seen enough of this.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff_Grundman

You have to understand that your goals and Duolingo's goals are not the same. You are here to learn a language. Dou's goal is to attract and retain users. Teaching language is only the bait, not the goal. They make changes, they observe users behavior, and they retain or revert changes based on user retention. Changes that may be irritating or disruptive to some users will be retained if they add retention overall. Complaints, and even effective teaching, will be ignored if the metrics say more users spend more time on the site.

Knowing this, all I can say is keep trying to find a way to make the site work for you. They're trying to grow a business, it doesn't change the fact that we're here to try to learn a language. Duo is still a useful tool, even if it is annoying at times.

Also, duome.eu still has all of those bragging stats. Go to https://www.duome.eu/{your profile name} to see where you're at. My daily routine is study on Dou, check the Duo discussion threads, log into Duome to bask in my progress. Then I go work in Memrise.

Good luck!

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassicSteven

Hey, I'm still here because I want to learn the languages. I'm just saying that it might help their retention to be a little more stable.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff_Grundman

Rest assured they are tracking that question very carefully.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NegoXing

"Retain" is exactly what they are not doing, seeing that long time users have stopped using this platform because of updates. And, Duolingo has not reversed updates, despite complaints and loss of long time users. Perhaps, these new features are recruiting new users and of course increasing the amount of time users do spend using the platform. Duolingo still wins.

As for myself, I ignore the league system, but I do like to keep myself in the Ruby League. Doing at least one level a day keeps me in that league. Really, only thing I care about in features is the streak count because that is my motivator to keep using Duolingo every day.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MooO0O

So I guess if we don't like how the site is changing we can blame the users. Duo is interested in the bottom line. If we only use Duolingo to learn instead of to use it for it's gaming aspects and don't hang around for too long in the discussion area, maybe they will respond by adding more helpful educational content. Maybe the way to go is, do enough exercises so you can learn efficiently, ignore the leaderboards and discussion, get in and get off as soon as possible and don't keep checking in periodically throughout the day. Pick a time and stick to a schedule.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7.J.7

Well, but think about what you just said - that our goal is to learn a language, and theirs is retain users. Well, if they want to retain users, they should listen to all the users who are being driven crazy by the constant changes - because those users will leave, and that is contradictory to their goal of retaining users.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff_Grundman

Duo is aware of ever existing user that returns, every new user that logs in, as well as every click and every page view of every user new and old. If an existing user takes a break they know how long that user has been gone. They will often roll out a change with part of the user base and compare the new version's user behavior to the old version's user behavior. In short, they know, precisely, whether or not a change is, over all, driving away users.

I am sure that they spend some time watching the forums as well, and have at least a pretty good idea of what conversations are happening here. They have rolled out some changes that annoyed me, and that I have complained about on the forums, but they know that I come back and work my tree every day, and that is what really matters to them. Meanwhile I am, little by little, learning French, and that is what really matters to me.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

Thanks for explaining this so clearly. I often wonder why this understanding isn't just automatic for everyone that is using such a wonderful and free site. Lingot for you.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassicSteven

I think this is rather like "new Coke" back in the 1980s. Sometimes it is better not to "improve" an already beloved product.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bahalam

I absolutely agree with you. Duolingo keeps going through a lot of unnecessary changes that fade users' accomplishments. It's so discouraging. Maybe it was good for business and the general user loyalty. Maybe they don't care about their alumni. I may be too harsh but I am really disappointment. That's all.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

The only constant in life is change

Duolingo like all websites change constantly. Just got to roll with it or quit.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe962504

There's always someone who uses cliches.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

Early bird gets the worm

Second mouse gets the cheese

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

One of the reasons cliches exist is because they are generally true and therefore over used.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMira_

I mean they get you somewhere without you trying too hard--

Honestly, in forum comments, it's totally fine and good, just in literature not so much.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

One of the reasons cliches exist is because they are generally true

Saying 'the only constant in life is change' is less like the other proverbs you quote in that it's merely a way of avoiding having to express any opinion of the pros and cons of a given change. It might well be true, but it is trite and adds nothing to the topic. You could use the same line in response to practically anything under the sun.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

The main complaint I saw the OP making was about change itself, and less to do with any specific change.

That they were getting annoyed by the changes and improvements. That they wanted duolingo to slow down so there is more stability.

So I think my comment was on topic.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

The OP was very specifically complaining about changes to the gaming aspect. The point of having a gamified system is to allow people to feel motivated within that system. Changing the system too frequently demotivates and disengages the users of it.
No-one wants to play a game in which the rules arbitrarily change halfway through: this is the whole point of games and their rules.

The OP was not venting vague, philosophical angst about the arrow of time, but making a specific and valid criticism about how DL's changes to its motivational system are undermining its effectiveness.
An empty cliché that essentially says 'today is not exactly the same yesterday' is of no relevance at all to the crux of the point being made, other than being trivially true for absolutely anything.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshSellsGuns

No man, no. This is something that is entirely preventable. Would you say this about global warming? "Ah man don't worry about melting polar ice caps, the only constant in life is change. Polar ice caps will melt just roll with it." Uh no. This is a defeatist attitude and part of the reason why Duolingo walks all over it's userbase like a Great Value brand rug.

it's ironic you say "roll with it or quit" when rolling with it is quitting.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

The problem with your comment is changes on duolingo benefit some people or are preferred by some people. I can’t think of a single change duolingo has made that was universally hated

But global warming is pretty universally bad for everyone. Also it results in death, while duolingo changes don’t.

You seem to act like your dislike for a feature trumps anyone else’s like of a feature.

Also would going back/reversing changes result In more change, the exact thing you don’t want?

All change is bad because climate change is bad?

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/giordano.a.b

@merkavar It's good to accept change but without becoming apathetic about things, that would be learned helplessness which can present a lot of issues. Otherwise what is freedom of speech for, just to vent our ideas out? No, I think it's because having a conversation can help improve things. By the way, global warming in and of itself is bad but some people don't think it's an important matter because fossil fuels earn money, so some ideas are ignored by those that control those resources. Now I'm all for accepting the present moment and things of that sort, but people try and change things and it's kind of our nature, and even if we do have to relax and let the wind carry us around from time to time, I don't think it's always the best solution.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7.J.7

"Just roll with it or quit". Nah. There are other options. I don't see why you disregard them. For example, if enough users have an issue, and talk about it on the Discussions, perhaps changes will be made my DuoLingo....that's a legit option, so don't disregard it. Maybe "roll with it or quit" works for you, which is fine, of course, but don't push your ways onto others.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

Can you name even 1 change that was reversed because people complained on the forums?

Crowns were and still are complained about, so was the removal of clubs, the complaints appear to have zero impact on duolingo.

The forum users are just a small slice of the duolingo user.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enotsremmah

I really liked the "Club" feature, where you could complete daily challenges... but that's gone. There also used to be a chat-bot on the web version, which is long gone. I feel like a good way to improve is if they'd just keep adding, rather than taking things away after a while. Even if they did it to just the web version, rather than changing the app all the time. I can rarely get the app to work on my phone so I use the website on my phone anyway.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derpyleafeon

Oh that's actually a good idea, though I'm sure there are some stuff they can't just keep due to system fatigue. If there is so much stuff, new users might get overwhelmed. So dropping unused stuff should be done

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan344114

Only commenting to see my scores haha

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Easy-As-Pi

Same!

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tar2014

test

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mihaly_A.Shilage

nice

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe962504

Not really.

I enjoy travelling on planes, yet nothing beats arriving.

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMira_

I find the same true with the whole "the journey beats the destination" thing.

Like... what if the destination is part of the journey? Like what if you're going backpacking in the woods as your vacation? Is the flight to go backpacking really the fun part?

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Words50000

I think the point is to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. When the destination is all you think about you’ll never be happy because when achieve one destination you create a new one and then the cycle repeats.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMira_

It's just one of those proverbs that the like real-life example of doesn't exactly work, you know?

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SiminaDar

I don't know what the leagues are for. I just ignore them.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevanSF

Probably a good idea. Even if we were to figure out the leagues and come to enjoy them, they'd just change them dramatically or take them away altogether!

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Timo-opettelee

Whether it be crowns, levels, streaks or results from the progress quiz, the best stats for me would be the ones that can tell me how far I've come, and how far I still have to go -- and would remain consistently comparable.

The levels seems to be the best indicator for me right now, although I would like Duolingo to create some sort of visual indicator of estimated CEFR-level for the courses that they have aligned with that model.

https://making.duolingo.com/how-are-duolingo-courses-evolving

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanKrig

Joining to that complaining. I am fed up with all that changes. It would be better if duolingo team at least created some voting polls about major changes.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelvin516336

"Now, I can't even find my own levels on "Your Profile"." And I thought I was dumb not being able to find it!

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cathy749922

Yes, dropping the language levels completely killed my motivation!!!

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brenalan

What were the language levels like?

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

I get it though the Language Levels needed fixing to allow for bonus XP devaluation and the earlier 'test out' bonanza. One for the 'Too Difficult' tray.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanDoering22

It changes to regularly. I gave up on Duolingo for a couple of months but now I have come back to it and there is so much that has changed since I left.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neil-VA5WX

Well said! Smaller changes, with some explanations, would be nice. Change is not a bad thing, as long as it's a change for the better. While Duolingo exists to create advertising dollars (and they may use our data for profit too), they'll keep more users if they are careful about HOW they change the site.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dasi_

Agree :). Although yesterday my little one (on her android) showed me all the progress on all my languages that I can’t see anymore, lol.

And contrary to what Luis said in his article years and years ago (which was not entirely true) he does appear, respond & discuss changes—some changes which were made were requested often so I think it’s not entirely true that he doesn’t listen at all.

He just did it about a month ago for someone listing the changes he’d like to see so Luis does appear every now and then...it’s quite possible your voice may be heard instead of lost in the forums.

I also agree with not even understanding some of the changes that go into place. For example, crowns have a little purpose imo. However, I’ve noticed that my lessons stay gold since they were implemented.

It’s nice to see all of my easy lessons that I would not care to repeat again stay gold instead of having to go back and do beginner lessons repeatedly so if the crown system accomplishes that then yay.

Also I’ve already said I’m no fan of the leagues but I can’t stop hearing about my progress getting notifications unless I remove my ability to be seen and see friends some of which are actual friends so I don’t want to do that. Some changes you just have to live with and hope that one day they’ll be useful to you or go away.

Best thing to do is let it out...you have lots of people that agree with you—ignore the naysayers.

Mods often see and recognize the issues if not commiserate but they can’t really do much to change how Duo operates & what changes are made ( that I know of) and Luis lurks around here from time to time so you might be heard.

Here’s to all those that speak up. Cheers

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gatiquo

The site has wrecked my progress and my motivation with it excessive changes and rules. STOP IT!

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sparrowhawk28

I agree with you. I've just set up a spreadsheet so I can see and monitor my levels, and only came on here to check that I'm right!

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronturon

It's good that you're able to write your frustrations, but they don't listen. It seems like Duo's main goal is to help everyone learn a language but it's a business first.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

The core is the key.

If there was one change I'd make it would be to allow the student to redo any lesson.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToriAkai.3B16.

But you can always click practice button....Meaning you can still learn the lesson all over again...

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

Unfortunately this is not the case for at least two reasons.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevanSF

I hear you, man! But as others have said, DL doesn't read these comments and they don't really care what you or I think—they rely on metrics and will constantly tweak the site to try to achieve better numbers in the things that matter to them.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

Never ending improvements is somehow what we humans do. When one is young the NEW IMPROVED is exciting. As one ages the new improved is generally just less malleable to the individual, more expensive, and a huge learning curve to adapt to... Guess which group I am in..... LOL Anyhow I agree STOP UPDATING TECHNOLOGY. Let us be learning and creative with what we have instead of making us all waste time to learn a NEW SYSTEM. Thank you.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IrvingZamora

I do complain a lot about the improvements, but here I still am... :/

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony995332

Focus on language studying. Not points

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astrocat707

What games?

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gail788689

I agree

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin63421

As far as the workability of Duolingo, I agree, but I do wish they would have more variety in the 'games'. I feel like recently I'm just typing texts to translate sentences. I don't find it very stimulating anymore.

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToriAkai.3B16.

I honestly have no problem with all the other changes. I just wish I could see my level though....

July 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derpyleafeon

I found the recent ranking system to probably be the funnest new change in awhile, I honestly want more new ranks, but I get you. If they suddenly dropped my favorite aspect that gets me to study more (ranking), I would feel heartbroken. Also the little tweaks to the scoring is a bit annoying sometimes, but isn't that terribly big of a deal when it all comes down to it. Though blaming the system on you losing your streak is a bit much.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin63421

I wish there would be more things to buy with the lingots. Just some meaningless collectors things so that we actually have something visual to obtain.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RomanticRose

@_@ I'm just starting to use the site again after a long time. Now to see what kind of changes I'm in for.

July 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Turlur

I feel ya. I've dropped this site off and on in the years I've been using it because of random comprehensive changes to the structure and function of the site. I do feel the site is better now than when I started, though.

July 25, 2019
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