Can we have 6 months without changes
I’ve been a Duolingo user for about 6.5 years now. Big fan of the platform. I’ve rarely, if ever, complained. I became a Plus user when I could afford it because what I get from the platform is invaluable. I’ve stuck with you guys throughout ALL your major updates. However, recently I logged into my account and found that units that were orange are now gold. It seems that the orange level has been shortened. I think most users would welcome this change, but for me it’s yet another destabilizing update. Just when I feel like I’m getting in a good rhythm and found a good structure to how I’m moving through the tree, some new change happens. In the last big change I had to restart my French tree even though I’m fluent, and I grinned and bared that. Same goes for the previous change before that.
I understand tech companies get in the habit of iterating and optimizing, but at a certain point you have to draw the line and just. be. done. You can’t keep optimizing for the sake of optimizing, especially design changes and point changes. Seems like a waste of resources. There needs to be a certain point where Duolingo is the product it’s meant to be vs in a constant state of iteration, especially because when it comes to learning consistency is key and having a stable learning environment is integral to being consistent.
I understand you want to increase engagement, but perhaps use another KPI to measure success. Long term usage is a greater testament to the platform’s success. The purple/blue/red/orange tree change was a way keep advanced users engaged, and I commended that, but perhaps start thinking outside the tree. You’re doing great with podcasts and stories. Events could be scaled to provide more people real life practice. Re-engage advanced users by inviting them to ladder, I.e. learn a new language in the previous language they learned.
Improve by adding more languages. Scale by finding other revenue streams, but, PLEASE leave the learning structure alone, by all means.
If you could choose how fast you got updates, that would be nice. Let me explain; there would be a few categories. Here are my ideas:
Snapshot Club - Get all the new and unstable updates! For those people who want to be ahead of the curve and see all the new stuff, but don't care if it is buggy and not very good.
Normal - The default setting. Get updates after the snapshot club has tested them for a while but before they are rolled out to everyone.
Holdouts - These are the people who get updates last. They know that the updates they get are the best and have been tested a lot.
How does this sound? I think the same kind of system is used on Minecraft and I almost never hear update complaints there, except bug reports (if those even count).
Edit: Feel free to suggest more ideas!!
That's not a bad idea in all reality, though I doubt it would be implemented.
that's right. they should put a bandaid on the cut, not poke it. (sorry for the figuritisim.) Also, 5 seconds would probably be better. (not to complain)
I suspect that having been here for so long, you know the score. We can only keep learning and adapting. Be well.
The only constant on Duolingo is change. I suppose another is the opinions of the users.
Here's the thing: courses are built by volunteers. They're maintained by volunteers. Not enough people realise that it seems. If you're bilingual in a language not taught yet and one that can be taught from and you're competent at building a course from scratch? Please apply to build one if you have the time!
As for redesigning and restructuring the trees... Recently Spanish, French, and German (from English) went through some changes now that they're more aligned with the CEFR standards. Other language trees are restructured due to user complaints about how something is taught or a need for more vocab/grammar/skills. Contributors listen to user complaints (as opposed to devs, who do but they rarely take them into consideration due to the forum users actually being a loud minority) and use them to restructure their courses in order to give the people what they want.
You can apply to be an event host and have a meet-up in your city (or one close by)! You can encourage other users advanced in a language to further their skills in that one by learning another from that language (restrictions apply)!
Edit: I will add, OP, that your frustrations are completely understandable. Sometimes the changes seem redundant. It would be nice if with some they gave a bit of warning so users could prepare (such as some crown levels being shortened) and not thrown completely off-guard when they log in one day to find their tree almost completely golden.
as a community especially PLUS members we have the right to complain about the small tweaks constantly, the French, Spanish and German course no one is complaining about and people are happy it has been aligned with the CEFR standards. duolingo should understand the size of the trees and when you have to start over because of some changes that wont bring the course to b2 it gets annoying
That's understandable. I get frustrated sometimes when a course gets updated and I lose progress (still trying to re-finish my Japanese tree) but I can't help that you chose to pay for an otherwise free service. I've been going at this for almost 7 years (much like OP) so I've seen changes made.
That's wrong. Being a Plus member doesn't give you any extra-special complaining privilidges. I think that is a snobby and self-entitled attitude. As for complaining in general, yes, of course, anyone can complain if they wish, but, personally I am so sick of hearing the non-stop complaining....if you guys really find Duo that terrible, go and use one of the other zillion apps out there for language learning. As I said, I do understand that anyone has the right to complain, but, geez, there's already about nine zillion posts on the discussions complaining about this, yet people are constantly starting new posts on it, and it clogs up the discussion forums. No app is going to suit all users. Some like the changes, some don't. I don't get why the people who don't like the changes say things like 'these changes are awful!' - well, no, they're not, it's just that some will like the changes, and some will not like them; they're not inherently good or bad, it is all about personal preference, and if you don't prefer it and it bothers you that much, I honestly don't get why you don't simply find an app that you do prefer. Expecting an app to suit you exact preferences is ridiculous, and entitled. It's not all about you. Not trying to be rude, just calling it like I see it.
Well, this is a be-itchy, moaning, and even insulting comment complaining about complaining.
Just calling it like I see it...
Being Plus members gives those who chose it not only the right to complain (as we all have) but the right to withdraw their monetary support at any time. After all, it is no longer what they were paying for now.
If it's all about "personal preferences" then why doesn't Duo allow us to set our preferences? And, not force us to make choices such as not being able to follow anyone else if we do not want to participate in the leagues?
If you do not like the complaining then scroll on by. Or find an app that doesn't allow user voices to be expressed. That is your right...
Thanks Little Tatws. I for one love some of the recent changes. I am not fluent in French and so I've found the new lessons very valuable in my learning journey. I'm looking forward to the new German content because although I finished my tree, I found the grammar very challenging. I think the new content will help me understand the grammar.
I do find it frustrating when my routine is disrupted (like the introduction of crowns) but I remind myself why I'm here - to learn. Duolingo is an amazing resource and I especially value the volunteers who answer questions and the supportive forum community. I think it is important to remember that there is no way to please everyone.
As for me the enhancement I would suggest to the staff of Duolingo is to allow customization. It would be great if you could set the level of error tolerance (ie if I wanted to focus on accents, I would set the system to mark the response incorrect if I didn't include the correct accents.
And thanks to you Tatws for your volunteer efforts. It truly takes dedication.
"the forum users actually being a loud minority"
This is a very good point and why I keep banging on for the 'minus five and die' rule to be scrapped. The forums aren't supposed to be a club for the 'popular' posting 'popular' views with the occasional graffiti post mixed in.
The more diverse people there are using the Duolingo forums the more chance there is of nudging Duolingo.
I feel like (speaking as a loud minority member now) the minus 5 rule should be taken out. Perhaps pushed back to 10 or even 15? Or maybe replaced with the like/dislike system and users are held accountable because it's no longer anonymous. It'd help with users who downvote just for the sake of it, but I'm certain it will never happen.
Maybe there'd be a larger user base on the forums if it were given mobile access (as in, on the app). I know several people who exclusively use the apps and didn't know there was even a forum function.
Marcus. It's very easy to re-upvote. I often do this with good posts.
How? By definition we have already spent our upvote in initially 'liking' a thread?
No rule compliant post should ever be hidden regardless of popularity imo. Maybe the rules need looking at?
What is a good post anyway - why should the aforementioned popularity in a virtually closed shop be the decider?
I have yet to see a good post get a Fiver
Songve, there have been many. Here is one I posted as a DailyRescue on the DailyDuo Open Thread. It was at -7 when I did it.
Maybe the post itself is not brilliant but I had never seen the topic myself, and the answers were good and genuine and when we vote down posts to be hidden like this one was we are also hiding the comments and that's not fair to everyone's time & effort either.
I've posted several DailyRescues that were all -5 or lower.
I have yet to see a good post get a Fiver. One I did I figured I'd get a Fiver and did, but folks upvoted it back into view. If anyone has a good Fiver post on their Follow list, I would be willing to click on the link and upvote it.
Thank you for explaining this...I had a post deleted because it got voted down -6 in about 10 minutes...I asked what I thought was a totally honest question. It felt as if I were a child in the classroom asking a legitimate question and yet all the teacher told me was "THAT'S STUPID" and then ignored me. I think the whole down vote is rude and makes people not ask legitimate questions. Just my opinion.
"I think the whole down vote is rude and makes people not ask legitimate questions. Just my opinion."
The minus five and kill rule turns the forum into a popularity contest. A race to the lowest common denominator.
Just to be clear they aren’t deleted, they are hidden. If you follow it it will be on your followed tab.
I think the downvotes are more like a student being told to be quiet after asking a question that was asked 5 mins earlier.
Check your followed tab, post the link here if you can.
"Just to be clear they aren’t deleted, they are hidden."
I think, to be fair, most of us have twigged this already. No one can see nor contribute to the thread unless they had already seen and elected to follow it. To 99% of Duolingo students, in hiding it, the thread might as well have been deleted.
Thank you :) Yes I know I can follow it but it's gone from the list. BTW, I did search and I didn't see anyone asking my question...also sometimes when you search it's not always fool proof. Thanks for asking about the link but I am sure no one really cares...if we had a way to private message (like I do on other sites) then I could do that and we could remove many of the posts here that annoy so many. Thanks for being concerned and kind.
I don't see this Followed tab, even on the web version.
I was trying to find a thread and it didn't turn up, even though I was using search words that were practically unique. If that's because five people down-voted the thread, I'd have to say that this rule sucks. It was a particular thread about Spanish language music. It shouldn't be hidden. Hidden is tantamount to deleted.
I wrote a post about adding a custom daily goal. Now I can't find it. (I know this is a little off topic, but bear with me) Was it deleted because it was A: redundant B: downvoted because I asked people to not be rude and downvote things "cause they can"? Answer: no one knows. I wish there was a history for the posts that you write so you could keep track of them/know if(and why) they are deleted.
Scutigera I'm commenting here for lack of space. Songve may say "I have yet to see a good post get a Fiver" and be perfectly truthful.
What they are not saying is that they have never seen a rule compliant post that someone else might think good "get a fiver".
I'm sure no one intended it though design though the message board imo favours the frivolous or the popular. It's a shame for it may have an open look though is actually quite narrow in outlook.
There are times a casual visitor must think the board must be so quiet. In truth threads have been "Fivered" or students put off after their first post was consigned to the grave.
@uphilldweller: I am not interested in the who of this all. Those who downvote because they judge for everyone else that no one else should see something know who they are.
I have downvoted some posts. Those that say "hi" and nothing else; those that are entirely incomprehensible (quite a few of those actually); those that are posted repeatedly in a row (computer glitch somehow making several copies of the exact same post; so upvote the first, downvote the other copies); those clearly in the wrong forum (ie: German question in the PT discussions) after they have been alerted to move it yet refuse; and of course those who are insulting and even impersonating other users; plus all the lingot posts.
On the last two I also try to bring it up to a mod. It sure would help if we could contact the mods directly but that is one of the benefits of the DailyDuo Open Thread is that we can bring these things to their attention fairly rapidly and it is dealt with quickly.
But, this is a revolving discussion board. What was accessible without scrolling through miles/kilometers of unending scroll one day may be impossible to find on another. People say to use search but search is entirely unreliable (and impossible for those threads that have been given the -5 kiss o'death). It was only recently that we could filter out all the posts from all the other Duo forums when we are in a particular forum (for instance, even when I was in the PT forum I would get Norwegian results along with every other language in a search; now that is fixed, yay!). Well, I could go on about the limits of the search function both on Duo and via Google. As far as I know there are no accessible instructions for how to do an effective Duo search.
Given that it is a revolving discussion board though not everyone sees the same post over and over. Some people only visit the discussions once a month or once a year, or only have just found out there are Duo forums. Some stay away because they feel hostility radiating from the answerers. Others only visit when something changes to try and understand or to be sure it's not a glitch in their hardware, their browser, their internet, their mind.
I think those who see every single post might benefit from finding some other places on the internet to interact so their time on Duo is more fresh when they are here. But, we (including me) get into our ruts. You know, we just do not want to change...
What I try to do with repeat posts is answer like I would like to be answered. That's what we can do for another human in this world who hopefully will pass that kindness on to someone else and in that way it might come back to us eventually. I do not worry that the poster did not follow all the unwritten rules not established by the forum regulars.
"I wish there was a history for the posts that you write so you could keep track of them/know if(and why) they are deleted."
What and ask anonymous downvoters to justify their actions? Good luck with that.
The problem imo is that rule compliant threads can be hidden due to a lack of popularity. Popularity trumps the rules. Non complient but popular threads take longer to hide because there are reporting, decision and action hurdles to jump.
Often we can't be on Duolingo 24/7 (I, apparently, seem to be an exception as sleep is somewhat of a joke to me) but when we do go through to eliminate spam it's either already been downvoted to death (which means that we have to go hunting for it) or when we do find something, it's barely outside of the definition so we can't technically justify it as spam. Believe me, there are posts that I've wanted to that didn't fit the bill in the spirit (which is what we're required to fill) of the definition of spam.
Maybe if the rule of five was changed we could get to things sooner.
Songve, agree w/heartedly here. You know how I feel about certain misdemeanours:-)
U are a real active learner I could see you under every conversation friend! good job!!!!
The OP seems to e talking about changes in how things are scored, not changes in course content.
For example, volunteers contributed a lot to adding Welsh for English speakers, and how much did volunteers contribute to adding Crowns or switching from number-of-lessons displays to percentage displays?
im learning Spanish and dutch just so i can do spanish for dutch and dutch for spanish learners. im too shy to send un resume
Here's the thing: courses are built by volunteers. They're maintained by volunteers.
Gross. Is it any wonder people hate tech companies?
I have been on German, & French. There are more mistakes on correct answers NOW than ever before. I have put the exact correct answer down only for it to tell me that I got it wrong, & the correct answer was the same exact as what I put. It's quite irritating. Then I can never find a mod when I need one. The few times I have seen mods they were persnickety. Duo needs to make the words larger in the Word-Bank . I moderate other channels, so I don't have time for teeny tiny itsy bitsy touching. I really don't even have time for this post. I must say I used to like how it would say that you need to complete 4 sections & now it's a percentage. Boo. Personally I liked the clean look of ending at level 2 or level 3 or level 4. When it shows that I am partway into a new level it looks sloppy. Most importantly the language needs to be correct.
I concur completely with this post. Changing my tree de-motivates me severely. Shortly after you changed my French tree I was asked how likely I would be to recommend Duolingo to a friend. I gave you a 1 on that survey. Learning foreign language takes time and patience. The comment above is spot on about rhythm and structure, and how updates throw things into disarray. I agree with waitingforgoddot that I am MORE likely to be engaged with LESS frequent updates. If you must make updates, it seems possible to warn us that they are coming. I would ask for a warning months in advance. The shock of having my tree changed was almost enough to make me quit Duolingo. Agree: Less iteration, more consistency.
I was delighted, in the case of Spanish, when the tree was expanded. I'd gone Gold and was revising. I can see that I'd have been less happy had I still been progressing.
It keeps changing. I miss the time when we could directly leave messages with other users.
There was one positive this morning I want to shout about - the dashboard is back!
As a general point I get where you're coming from.
"start thinking outside the tree"... Is this a reference to thinking outside the box? If it is, that is clever.
This is such an apt comment. Have a number of lingots haha. "Long term usage is a greater testament to the platform’s success." Thank you, I said more or less the same thing in a video about the latest update; that just because people are engaging for longer, doesn't mean they are learning better and it doesn't mean they will stick at it. Like you said, you are fluent in French, but then Duo decides, no, you need to practice "Comment ça va ?" some more. Why? Gee, I wonder if it's anything to do with selling more ads to us or keeping PLUS users paying for longer.
As a developer and programmer with 15 years of experience, it is a bit of a waste of resources, or perhaps even a lot. It's hard to say, but yes, they can allocate their resources to what "matters", to what produces more money for them (the possiblity of more users can easily be part of such model) and having rapid design changes is in no way within such scheme. Else, they're just bad at designing from the beginning and that's a whole new can of worms there.
I feel your frustation, you aren't alone, and I'm sure the Duolingo administrative staff would be amazed to realize how many more people are too.
I agree. What I experience with the constant changes is, at times, a change will not be accessable because of a glitch in the program. So it creates limitations for me. Can be somewhat frustrating.
Amen to your succinct and salient points, kinsbird of the owl feather! Except for the thumbs up on Stories, a feature rehashed across multiple courses, your general argument would be most compelling.
My personal opinions aside, as a paying customer AND longtime user, you and other such learners should arguably be heard prominently in DL's ongoing user experience design. While change is inevitable, I do agree that the pace and scope of it here is too frenetic.
Whether We the Longtime Regulars pay our way as subscribers or contribute by other means, we would form a solid, consistent base for the (still) widely beloved platform that is Duolingo, complete with a right to first say in the (re)design process.
From what little I know, perhaps there's been too much focus on potential or "swing" users. If that's indeed the case, here's another avian metaphor: Better a bird in hand than two in the bush ...
I think it's safe to assume the vast majority of users aren't like you (or the OP or me). I'm all for Duolingo focusing on figuring out how best to motivate and teach those nearer the beginning of their language learning / Duolingo journeys. And if that means frequent change, then I say keep at it.
It is safe to assume that most users are like you in that they will not see through Duolingo's agenda to keep people clicking for longer and thus sell more ads.
It seems part and parcel of this manner of thinking to fail to acknowledge the possibility that if people are spending longer they may well also be learning more.
I find it highly unlikely that the vast bulk of users, who probably put in 0-15 minutes a day and probably start registering consistent 0's after a few months at most, are at any sort of meaningful "saturation point" beyond which additional time would fail to yield substantive results.
I agree. The newest update to the browser based version with duo congratulating you every time you get 5 or 10 in a row correct is just annoying... Why would they focus on developing that gimmick when there are obvious flaws in the content of the lessons and tons of languages that aren't available yet???
I completely agree! The recent animation of the symbols in the circles is distracting and annoying, and seems like a change just for the sake of change. Please Duo, make them hold still again.
When the guy smiled I thought I was seeing things. I prefer a still screen. Creeped me out.
Asking duolingo(or any company or website) to stop changing, updating or improving is like asking someone to hold their breath for a week.
Maybe duolingo needs to add an option so you can mark your account to be in the last group to receive updates.
Since they update people in batches it seems. Allow people to to choose to go last.
That way you only get updates that are being rolled out to everyone, not ones that are tested and reversed a week later.
I was wondering why so many downvotes as well. Good news: I upvoted your comment, Bad news you might lose the contest to Songve :)
Bad news, my "fans" may change their vote. BTW, is it common knowledge that one may change their vote several ways? One click to negate the vote. Click the other arrow to change it.
"One click to negate the vote. Click the other arrow to change it."
This is the first place I've been that allows this.
There are XP contests like Leagues. You and I should start a new! improved! contest: Downvote Contest. On this thread I have you beat by 2. Contest ends 5 PM GMT today...good luck and happy learning!
5 PM, I win. Final score is my 14 down votes to your 5. Better luck next time, merkavar.
"Allow people to to choose"
People should be allowed to tailor their experience. The motivational messages and a proper opt out for Leagues spring to mind.
More CHOICES... I am for it!
Edit: I don't use CAPS and bold and italics in the same place unless I really mean it!
If we have 6 months without changes, will we finally have 6 months without complaints?
We might, along with six months of Duolingo not declining in quality and effectiveness
For those who complain about complaints...
"Other language trees are restructured due to user complaints about how something is taught or a need for more vocab/grammar/skills." [Tatws quoted from this thread]
6 months with no new courses in the Incubator? 6 months with no new courses launched? 6 months with no expanded trees? 6 months with no work on longstanding technical glitches / missing features?
I'd say that would be worthy of a complaint or two ;)
A never ending vicious cycle from which there is no escape.
You make too many changes, there's problems with instability and not getting the changes you need.
You make too few changes, there's problems with instability and not getting the changes you need.
Wow, you have a good memory! I forgot I had dropped that idea...but, yeah, why not??
As we have mentioned before, Duo doesn't actually read the forum. So I suggest sending a message to Duolingo via facebook or twitter
at the very least they should have the courtesy to explain the reason for the changes but we dont get even that. in the end it is all about the money
It’s a total turnoff. The inconsistency makes me stressed and I loose the strength to continue. I often find myself using other methods to study. I’ll admit, I’ve been cheating on the great and holy Owl with YouTube videos, Facebook chats, Twitter threads, and more.
I don't mind changes so much. They can equate to increased alertness. I'm just thankful for this free and quite valuable learning venue.
I relate to your post's intention, also a long-time learner. Whenever I've been away from Duolingo or even months of studying a particular language, I'm often surprised by these new incentive-related features you mentioned.
As for events, they are hosted by locals like myself and you via announcements and RSVP on the Duolingo website, meeting at cafes, university, wherever. So far I have not discovered if the volunteer hosts get a stipend from Duolingo.
The teams working on language pairs are capable in varying degrees to maintain their push forward to establish, go through Beta, and hatch a language, and correct, and maintain, etc. My head swims when I read the user forum discussions on Duolingo.
I'm impressed how two small teams work. Navajo by students at a Navajo school; Guarani by a handful of locals in South America. On the hand, The Chinese to other Languages has over 5 language pairs going at the same! Spanish, and other Euro languages have been around on Duolingo for ages. So we see the podcasts, and also those have added related language pairs, too.
What I mean to say finally, Duolingo is unlike other language apps, has its users participating upfront creating the lessons. So we see the mess up front. A tweak here and there. Not so for other language apps. So naturally, I think we do get a little shell-shocked making this journey.
what are the benefits of plus version? I dont think I can afford it by the way but im aching to try !
I couldn't agree more with waitingforgoddot. I've only been using Duolingo for 2 or so years (French), but when they changed the learning format I felt like I had lost all of my forward progress and momentum. It was frustrating, and this is why I HAVE STOPPED USING DUOLINGO..... at least for the time being.
Don't get me wrong, Duolingo is a great learning tool/platform, but many people don't do well with change. Why fix something if it ain't broken and why change just for the sake of change? Yes, perhaps the new-and-improved platform is a little better, but can there be a way to go back to the platform you actually started with? Waitingforgoddot has said this much more eloquently than I have, and I truly believe that Duolingo is going to loose many committed learners with the constant changes in their learning platform.
I think they just like experimenting and seeing what people like and don't like. But good point, though. It seems like I'm not getting as much practice time anymore.
I totally understand and agree with you. Most of the changes being made to Duolingo are totally unnecessary. People are losing progress and are about to fall apart. The mode is too bright and people are outraged. And leagues are created and people are upset.
The leagues especially weren't a very good implementation because I think we're going to see a lot of people re-doing Basics 1 in order to advance to the next league. And people are mad because they're having to re-do their entire tree and I totally understand how they feel and I support them and their reasons. In anyways, Duolingo has drastically changed and we just have to wait and see.
Maybe staff will start to make valuable changes and better ones but for now, put your money toward buying a new car and get on with your learning. Best regards/SbC
I'm not a fan of some of the changes either. What I would like are:
*Tips and Notes available in the app even when its offline even if free. (I'm a plus subscriber so I do get the downloaded lessons to practice offline without interruption from ads.)
*Audio with pictures as a default feature. (I am glad to say they are being added to the Korean from English lessons I've already done. Discovered when I was practicing the earlier lessons.)
*I wish more people would give feedback in the lesson's "reports". Having studied several different languages like Spanish and Korean, I know for a fact that the volunteer teams do eventually make corrections and additions like multiple choice audio with pictures. I can imagine how much fun it is for them to wrestle with that work!
Because of all the changes with leagues and such, too much chaos so I try not to pay too much attention to them. I'm very competitive, but my fun is when I can write a sentence correctly without being in Duolingo.
I don't even know what a league is, not do I wish to know. I do know that I am irritated when I put correct answers & they try to say they are incorrect. Let's get it together. I tried to flag & it moved on! Can you say upset? I am on the verge of a divorce from Duolingo... It's tragic. Anyone know a virtual atty.?
No, but feel free to complain as much as possible. Management doesn't read the discussions, so it won't help.
Oh madam I liked your insta page we have got the same goal can you tell me the resources you are using to learn german?
I agree. Unfortunately, the decision makers at Duolingo are on record saying that they do not listen to, or care about user feedback.
Hi waiting ! :-) WOW !!! Congrats on 6.5 years !!! Whoa!!! Me... I am 6.5 days and loving it!!! My humble and sincere comment as a techie is "embrace change". I have learned through daily meditation that there is no advantage to getting upset "when the Universe unfolds changes". It is life. It is reality. Just a little humble comment to you because you are "light years" ahead of me. HahHah :-) With gratitude and appreciation for setting the bar so so so high for the rest of us !!! Juan :-)