Recent improvements to home and translations
As you know, we're continually working on improving the site. You may notice a few changes this week, but I want to highlight two of them:
Real-world translations work a bit differently. Previously, you would rate another person's translation using the smiley faces to say whether it was perfect, meh, or bad. Now, after entering your translation you have the option to choose the best translation among a set of three choices. If none of the choices are very good, you can also choose the better one and edit it before submitting your vote. We think this makes grading more effective.
Half of you are seeing a new version of the Home screen with a number of improvements. The three main changes are: (A) there is now a more prominent way to switch languages using country flags; (B) you can now see how far along the tree your friends are in to help you maintain the friendly competition; and (C) we've redesigned the profile pages to help you see your friends' stats more easily.
For those of you who can't see the new home yet, here's what it looks like: http://cl.ly/LNlF
Let us know what you think!
I liked to be able to comment on edits too. I have no idea how the new system works, but I wonder if the edits are even submitted back to the original author. I suspect they just go back into the pool of candidates. If that's true, there's nobody to read the comments anyway. They were useful though. I liked being able to explain why I was suggesting certain changes, and when I got suggestions, I liked to read why the submitter thought changes were in order. That was a pretty good learning tool for both parties (I thought).
I don't know if I miss the comments on edits (I never commented or received comments) but I did like getting the email notification that someone had suggested an edit and then you had the chance to review the edit. That was a great way to learn and continue improving your translation skills.
The new layout is great. I like the fact I can see my own profile page now (the only way I could do that before was to log out) and that I can see where my friends are on the tree. The flags are a nice touch. The translation rating system seems to be an improvement, though during my brief use of it I've twice been asked to rate my own translations - could be something to fix.
One thing I miss is the 'Find people to follow' option, which (unless I'm missing something obvious?) looks to have disappeared. The only way to connect with people now seems to be through Facebook and clicking on random profiles. None of my Facebook friends use Duolingo so I'd be sadly friendless if the 'Follow' option had been taken away earlier. :(
I like what I see, but one thing is puzzling me. When I go to Duolingo through a reminder email, I find tabs for each language I'm learning, as well as my stream, at the top of the language tree. I like this. However, when I hit a specific tab, only that language remains. This stays as the only one, even when I hit home. It's easy to hit the flag drop down menu, but having tabs at the top of the language tree is preferable.
Nice touch; Duolingo is very busy improving its site; I like the "new" real-world translation better than the previous one... I hope some of the users who quit translating are coming back now. The new home page looks neat and leaves a "brighter" impression; Good work, thanks Luis/Duolingo
I like the new translations. The 'perfect, meh, bad' system was OK but a little unforgiving if there was a slight typo or maybe one choice of word that could have been better, but the new system takes care of that. Including comments for the edit would make it perfect for me.
And shouldn't the best translation, even if flawed, be at the top? I'm assuming Duolingo is considering the statistics when determining a top translation (If one translation was picked more, but also offered more, it's not necessarily better - I'm guessing some sort of a pruned weighted tournament ranking algorithm that requests the arcs it needs?).
If they do, the only thing that can be done to improve quality is allowing for more translations of the same sentence.
I really like this change, mainly because of the immediate feedback on translation - even though it's still not as good for me as it was a couple of months ago before the changes, it definitely works better than the grade report thing. One thing though, I was offered my own translation as one of the three to choose from, and I think this should be avoided (I mean, for me it works because mine is really the best translation, but other people may get that too :) ).