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Introducing flair to the discussions

We want to make it easier for you to see what other community members are learning on Duolingo when you are in the discussions. Now, next to each learner's username in a discussion, you will see tiny flair icons telling you more about that person.

Each icon represents different accomplishments: language(s) and level, streak or how many days in a row you have used Duolingo, and community moderator status (the green 'M').

Let us know what you think!

May 2, 2013



It's a great idea, but I find it visually overwhelming. Wouldn't this be better suited for a mouseover?


I agree with Christian that it is somewhat overwhelming. A popup on hovering the avatar would be great.

Other suggestions:

  • It would be really great to add a "Native language" field in Settings and display the native language of the poster as well. Seeing that Christian is Level 12 in German is confusing. He is a native German speaker and that's what counts the most. I even think that the level for the native language should not be displayed in discussions at all.

  • Is the streak really important to show it in discussions? I thought it rather something personal to motivate us, not to share with everybody else.

  • The M for moderator could have a popup like "Community moderator" for users that don't know that. Also, this symbol is ok if you hide the flags to the popup, but now it is lost in all those colorful flags - Christian who learns 5 languages is a good example of that.

  • Is it really important to see the M in discussion list like this: http://i.imgur.com/KB97m4h.png? I don't think my moderator status is relevant there.


I agree that the flair bar looks very cluttered. It's not a nice design like the rest of the website. I do like the idea of displaying this information though.

On olimo's idea of not displaying the native language I would like to counter that it might be neat to know so maybe make that flag stand out. I like the idea of putting all this information into a hovercard like on Facebook or with Gravatars.

TLDR: Interesting change but it needs a better design.


I mean, there is no need to display Duolingo level of a user's native language because it has nothing to do with his/her skills in this language.

Here's what I mean: http://i.imgur.com/ZKbh2ik.png. German is Christian's native language, so it is not important that he is Level 12 in German on Duolingo. It is much more relevant to show he is a native speaker.

Christian, I hope you don't mind - you're such a great example! :-)


I agree with all these points, either go back to the green star, or hide the flags for mouse over and keep the M as it is.

For the streak, I think it can be useful to know people's activity on Duolingo, but it's not a critical information, so it could be in the user's profile.


Agree with all the above. Btw, here's a discussion I started 4 months ago about displaying the user's native tongue, which is, as you pointed out, far more relevant than this flair stuff. Duolingo staff, we all really appreciate the effort, but please keep in mind users' goals!



I agree, great idea but way too much flags in the discussions. Makes me dizzy ;-) My suggestion: show the user's native language and maybe the moderator 'M' and leave the rest for a mouseover action. BTW: the new way of indicating moderator status is much nicer than the old one.


What's the purpose of showing that someone's a moderator? Indication of Power? Friendliness? Shouldn't everyone be expected to have moderator qualities anyway?


All the extra power we have is the ability to delete comments. We use it to clear the discussions from spam and nonrelevant comments.

Apart from that, knowing that a person is a moderator may be useful because it means that this person was chosen by the team for being active and helpful in discussions. Of course it is no 100% guarantee of anything as we are all people, but generally you can count on moderators to be helpful and trustworthy.

See also: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/304702


Yes, a mouse-over would be a great idea. Otherwise, great feature, Duolingo!


Yes, I totally agree. It's very distracting, but at the same time, it is nice to be able to see that information. Showing it on a mouseover would be a perfect solution.


I agree! It would be great for a mouse over! I also find it visually overwhelming so I think that mouseovers would be best for most of the other users as well since it would be easy and not too overwhelming. I also agree with olimo. It would be great for a native language! I would love that! They only problem i could find with that is if the native language isn't a language available. I also agree with the streak. Is it REALY necessary? The M is another thing I agree with.


Looks great!! Lots of bling is always a good incentive and helps bring out the inner child ;-)

Although, Aussies, Brits and Kiwis should be allowed to chose our own flags for English!!

Or better yet, you could have "I want to learn Aussie mate, I know American" lessons. That way you could get flags for both Australia and the USA. The animal section would be really good. For example, translate into American, "Struth, the bloody shiela boomer did me a bingle in me ute'! Correct answer: "Dang, that there big old lady kangaroo made me have a darn accident with my pick-up"!.


Nice point! I think there's an inner child in all of us, but that doesn't mean ALL of our achievements need to be shown off for every comment we make ;)


I wholeheatedly support the Aussie idea


I like it, once you get used to it. It is certainly useful to know what language(s) someone is "proficient" in (at least according to DuoLingo's rating system) when weighing up alternative suggestions for translations.

Don't see any point in the "oil drop". Clearly someone is active, or they wouldn't be posting here.

However, I agree that it would be better to know someone's mother tongue(s) as well. You might look at mine and assume my French is better than my English (American?) - quite the reverse, I hope!


I love it, very neat. I personally don't find it overwhelming at all but I have to say I think the big 'M' for moderators may be a step down from their special green circles. That's all, though--love the flags and the streak, especially since I haven't gotten the profile streak update yet.


I actually like the little M, I wasn't too fond of the big green circle... It's a bit weird to have those little flairs following you everywhere, but maybe I'm just too shy :D


I totally agree with you. I prefer the green circle to an M :)


I agree, the M would have been ok if it was the only thing besides the nickname, but with all these flags people won't notice the M I think. The circles were immediately standing out and people would notice it at first sight.


I think it looks great, even though slightly overwhelming at first. But I soon got used to it and the information is really helpful. It's quite motivating to see how others are doing.

I agree about distinguishing the native language in some way.


Lovely, but it's a bit busy. I'd prefer to see the icons under the profile picture instead. That way they wouldn't distract as much with what's written.


Personally not a big fan of it. The 'm' I like, but the rest I find misleading. Many people have a second native language and wont have the flag displayed just because they don't feel like going through the Douling course.. leading to their input being ignored. It's just not an accurate reflection on the users skill.

Other than that it clutters up Doulingo's tidy interface..

And the streak icon makes no sense to me at all. The reminder e-mail I find useful, but this just opens the door to having every stat displayed 'nr. friends', 'post made', 'posts edited', etc.. and I don't think this is the way this site should develop.

tdlr; keep dou minimalist. It's for learning languages, not networking.


One change I suggest is only show the flag and level related to the language discussion forum you're currently in. I only study Spanish and do not really need to know another users progress in other languages.


check out my 18 day streak flair.


Olimo takes you down easy !


This is about to get inflammatory...


I'm glad my previously mostly-pointless obsession with maintaining my streak can finally be shown off :P

  • 2587

You're on FIRE!


This is good but there is still much more important things to do, like for instance the REPORT option on iOS.


I like it.


Any thought to adding (or substituting) a very tiny gold owl to a flag to indicate that the skill tree is complete? Also agree with those who think a poster's native language could be shown. I am so impressed by the number of countries and languages represented on Duolingo!


what´s a community moderator? and also question about you blue circle guys.. haha do you actually work for duolingo or could someone become a language advisor by just being really active and helpful on here in their native language? haha just curious thanks!


The blue circle means the person is in Duolingo team of developers or managers. You only get there by being hired :-) Active and helpful members may be invited to be community moderators. They are not paid. More about moderators here: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/304702


PS: love the lil status bars - it´s motivating! ;)


What are the little orange drops and what does the number next to it mean? Thanks!


This is the so-called "streak". Your current streak is 18, it means that you've been using Duolingo every day for the recent 18 days, i.e. earning at least 1 point a day for 18 days. If you miss a day, your streak will begin anew.


It's actually a little flame. If you set DuoLingo to email you with a daily reminder, it says "you're on fire! continue your streak..." with the flame icon. It seems to confuse everybody who doesn't get the emails though!


I am not much of a streaker (lol) tho' it does encourage me. And I like the little flags, which work well for someone like me doing only 1 language, but for the multi-Duolinguists the flag conga gets a bit long hehe!

Also seeing the Star-spangled banner instead of the Union Jack for English was slightly confusing at first, but I guess it accurately reflects Duo's preferred spelling!


Mm. I am replying to myself - it is not a sign of madness, but an afterthought!

Suggestion to reduce the real estate taken up by flags and flairs: Lighten the colours in them, make them a teensy bit bigger and put the numbers inside the flag/flair (in black not grey).


This is actually really nice.


¡A mi me gusta! ¡No lo cambies! ;-D


I find it very odd that the US flag is used to represent English. I have only ever seen the Union Jack used to represent English in such a fashion, and it makes much more sense; the English language originated in Britain.


I need a flag decoder.


For me, I like friending people who I know are active so I can keep track of things going on through my stream without a lot of work. Having the flair helps locate active members to help my learning experience.


I think all this is a retrograde step, especially rmoving the green star. I liked the green stars for moderators. Can you put them back?

The green star, you see, marked the moderators as being similar to Duo employees and that was nice and appropriate because they really do make a great contribution. You have downgraded them, and that is bad.

It seems to me the Duo team - all very young as their Mexican photograph shows - are listening too much to their own ideas and not enough to what their users say.

By the way what is the little blob for?


I think we should probably be grateful to them for listening to their own ideas - otherwise we wouldn't have this site, which I think is really excellent. That doesn't mean they shouldn't listen to us of course, but they have the wider picture.

I think the little blob shows how many days you have worked on the exercises without missing a day.


I think you're right about the green star.


I like it very much!! .. :-)


It might be possible to put the level numbers on top of the flags. Maybe use white lettering so it shows up on the German flag. Or maybe make a font with flag colors on it. Brazil might be tricky in that case.


I am sorry to say I was just about to email you to let you know that I find it very distracting. Before I could see the comment and nothing else, which is what I am interested in. If I want to know what other language(s) the other participants are learning I can always click on their names. I am not that nosy and I am in favor of a simple use of the real estate on websites and do not welcome too much distracting information. But I love the way you are always trying to improve things at Duolingo. Keep up the good work.


Very cool, I like it.


I like all the bling - let it hang out there! No its not confusing and no its not cluttered, but yes it is encouraging. Go for it the way it is - that's my five cent's worth!


I like the idea... but for people who accidently did a lesson in another language (I did this when Portugese was in beta) or people who started doing a language and no longer want to do it, this can be problematic. I am under the impression that people will be able to delete languages in the future, so hopefully this will be a non issue soon :)

Edit: When this post went up I noticed that I only see the DE flag here. Nice!


Mouse-over needed, otherwise, hard to understand what the numbers stand for

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I think a mouseover would be better. I find it distracting, and perhaps intimidating to be working with someone who may be doing several languages or have a very long streak in the language I'm trying to learn.


Said the person with a streak of 114 days.


I, personally, like the flairs, but perhaps we could have the option to choose which we shared? For example if I were in the Spanish forum I could check a little box that said 'spanish' and then my french score would not show up because I didn't check the box because I felt that it was irrelevant, however, sometimes I would like it to show my french in the spanish forum because I am extrapolating from my french knowledge which is vaster than my spanish (not that it shows on duolingo yet haha).

I also like the option to be able to hover over the flairs and it will tell us what they mean, that way people would be less confused about the flames and the mods, or if they don't know a flag.

Also like the idea of having a native COUNTRY shown, especially for the spanish forum. I want to learn Castilian Spanish as best I can and to do that you have to rely on the forum a bit more.

I really do quite like them, though. :)

*Also, I dislike how the streak has to be in the same language. I had a much longer streak, but I did not realise that if I only practised spanish one day and then only french the next that my streak would reset. That seems odd to me.


I love the way it is now, don't change it : ) I'll actually add more medals, ribbons, achievement kudos and any kind of additional badge which will made people eager to earn :P I for first want a moderator M, all the flag possible and more near to me. Fry & Bender.


Mmm.. why my comment got lost : / ?


None of your comments seem to be deleted so I assume there was a connection problem on your end or on the site when you submitted your comment.


The comment section organizes comments by your rating. Since some people have a net negative on their comments, your new comments end up somewhere in the middle of the thread. Ctrl + F, search your name.


If I made a comment when I was at level 3 and now it says I'm at level 14, it gives my comment too much credit.

So I think it should show the level of the person when they made the comment, not currently.

Or better, both, like "3 (14)", with the level at the time of the comment being shown first, since that's the important one.

(I think it's fine to show the current streak since that has nothing to do with our ability.)

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