Duo, please announce significant updates
Around half a year ago my french learning tree changed en mass without prior notice; suddenly I lost a big part of my progress. A week ago the number of lessons per skill on higher levels were reduced without prior notice.
In both cases I was totally surprised and confused. I had to search for an explanation and found it. In the first case it was a major alignment with the CEFR-system described in this blog post: https://making.duolingo.com/how-are-duolingo-courses-evolving. In the second case it was a change described by this forum post: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33937433.
My request: please notify us before any significant changes like the ones described above. I propose that you use a popup in the app to inform about coming changes. Actually you did this when removing the clubs and introducing the leader boards. This was perfect so why don't you use the same system for all changes?
Thanks for an excellent language learning app, I am a big fan!
A simple "What's New!" link at the bottom of the front page shouldn't be that hard for DL to manage.
Yes, agree, something simple like that, or something that pops up when starting the app.
Some of us don't use the app, so I want to add my voice to having the same thing on the website for desktop users!
The problem is, Duolingo like to do A/B tests and what may be a huge update for one person may not even be experienced by another person.
I agree it is like cold water in the face when you log in and find major changes.
Yes, I have been thinking about those A/B tests, and I understand the purpose and that transparency could reveal too much information. Anyway, if you as a user notice a change (which I think most users do) it would be nice to have a place where you could go and get some kind of information. This should be a personal place somewhere in the app where you could read a personal change log (personal since some users get a change while others not due to A/B tests). Duolingo does not have to be super specific about the purpose of the change, but they could at least write the obvious (the visible change to the user). This would save a lot of time for many users and also take a way the need for tons of speculative threads in the forum.
This became a long reply :-) basically what I am trying to say is that users will notice changes and it is better with official information on some basic level than user confusion/frustration.
But then if it was a good/interesting test, people would be disappointed when half of the people or less get it, and the others don’t.
I think that not understanding a change may affect the results as well. In my opinion it's better to tell about the change to avoid confusion. It can be a vague description, something like "Today we are changing the number of lessons per skill to improve the learning results".
But... in an A/B test, the system necessarily knows which users use which version. It should be very simple to only display update news to users that will get the new version (if you even want to warn in advance; otherwise you simply inform the users that have just now gotten a new version).
I do not know why you were downvoted. I have upvoted you and given you a lingot.
If we're lucky, they wait until after a change has been made before announcing it. Many times, they don't even make an announcement at all.
If you follow the following link from your comment:
You can see this has been brought to Admin (Duo employee) attention.
That discussion has so many comments that it is hard to search and easy to miss one.
The same please_announce_changes wish was brought up by StevenWath:
I know that you started testing this a while ago because people were posting about it in the forums because they were really confused by the change.
It would be really helpful if you notified people when you were making changes so they don't freak out about it. And I mean notify them promptly instead of waiting a week or two to announce it.
It was answered by HelpfulDuo:
(Admin / employee of Duo)
Thank you for this note, this is something we'll definitely take into account!
Just thought you'd like to know that Duo is now aware of this being an issue.
Will they eventually decide to announce more of the changes in advance?
We can hope.
Thanks for the update. Good that others are pushing for this as well. Let's hope that Duo will act on it.
You are writing like you expect an answer from Duolingo. Forget about it, they never answer users' concerns in the forum.
Then I hope they at least read it and take the proposal under consideration.
Agreed - I too have been totally confused by significant changes for which there is absolutely no prior notice. Please can I appeal for advance notice and explanation. Thank you.
Duo does extensive A/B testing on all changes they make and that does not work with pre-announcing changes.
Its taken. a. long time for someone to speak up a about this my φίλος. I hope more people like you say these things. Props to you man. Have a lingo, heck, have them all.
I totally agree, I am a big fan of Duolingo. I also took the changed tree as an opportunity to practice more. Anyway, I would prefer to be informed up front, because then I know and then I can continue without annoying questions.