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  5. Duolingo Suggestions :/

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

Duolingo Suggestions :/

As many of ye may have noticed, occasionally some great suggestions for duolingo come up in the forums. For example @GregHullender has made a few and they were very popular. My question is mainly addressed to the Duolingo admins. but maybe others could answer it too. Do the duolingo team take user suggestions into account? by the way, this is not meant to be critical but it seems to me no.

March 1, 2015

21 Comments


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

We read most of your suggestions, and try to test out the ones we think will help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

thanks Luis, and i know it is impossible to look ar all the suggestions but it's good to know you guys are trying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Manhattan95

Could we try to increase better communication? For example, you guys could respond to a few suggestions to let us know you read them whether you are in favor or against the suggestion. A few responses would go a long way. And that way if people make the same suggestions or concerns, us users can link them to the right thread.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eri.benevides

Quiero aprender Papiamento, por favor!


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

The CEO of the company posted on this thread. That's pretty good.

I love that people get so excited about this site that they can't wait to share their ideas to make it even better, and I assume the staff feel the same way.

Sometimes people complain here about not being listened to, but I think they expect too much out of already way-above-average-quality (free!) service.

Here are two related things that I argue you should keep in mind:

1) People tend to drastically overestimate how many people actually work at a company like Duolingo (or for that matter, even at "huge" companies like Facebook or Twitter). Yes, there are millions of users, but as of 8 months ago , Duolingo had 32 employees (according to Wikipedia, anyway). Only some of those people are available to implement your suggestions. Even if all popular suggestions were good, they would not have the resources to implement them all.

2) They are a startup company - this means they write a lot of code, with a small staff, quickly. This in turn means that there are reasonable ideas which people bring up all the time which would take a lot of time and effort to implement, relative to the amount of time their programmers have (I would assume being able to fully unify the interface to include courses with different base languages falls into this category). Writing good code takes a lot of time and there are often technical reasons that seemingly-simple ideas are difficult to implement properly. Thus, unfortunately, just being a great idea is not enough to ensure something will be implemented.


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

I wonder this too as I see some obvious (and repetitious ) helpful suggestions going back >1 year like putting gender definite articles with the nouns on the flashcards for languages e.g. German, etc. without any progress. I just use this as an example because even though I have been on duoLingo as short time it seems this suggestion comes up quite frequently and would be helpful. As you mentioned, the suggestions by Greg very helpful.


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

I have observed the same. Our opinions are irrelevant to them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joseramirez1972

Quiero aprender papiamento


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gj4gjfam

I am learnings spanish.

I like to cover up the lesson's written phrase to train my ear to hear the words rather than just read them.

It would be a huge help if you would provide a slow playback option right next to the normal speed playback option so that we can attempt to distinguish individual words.

The buttons need to be a little below the written text so the buttons can be seen without revealing the written text.

I realize that a native spanish speaker can hear a very fast rate of speech and this is what we hope to accomplish.

But as a student, when I'm listening to the automated speech playback for the first time (or even 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time), I often cannot tell where one word ends and another word begins.

Thank you so much.


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

When dueling was introduced there was an uproar, and Duo changed things within a week or two.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

oh fair enough, but have they taken into account any new ideas for things to implement ?


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

I know that Duo has done a great deal of A/B testing, and I would think that many of those tests may have been based upon 'our ideas.' The one time I recall Duo implementing something because they thought it was a good idea was dueling, and that did not turn out well. It may well be that many, most, or all of what we consider to be good ideas are not supported by the data (not a popularity contest based upon a very small, self-selected sample of millions of users) when Duo runs an A/B test. It may be that some of the changes Duo implements are the result of user suggestions that you and I may not be aware of. Just because Duo does not jump on my idea does not mean it ignores or rejects all ideas. Duo walks a fine line between making learning meaningful, gamey enough, challenging, and yet easy enough to keep too many people from quitting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

good point, but i'm sure the duolingo admins. have seen popular suggestions with over 100 upvotes. And if they think the popular idea/suggestion has a fault maybe they could put a comment outlining that fault. Because otherwise many people are going to get mad at the admins. for not implementing this seemingly great idea and "ignoring" them . I know the admins. are busy with other stuff but a bit of communication on the forums would really be great!


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

I think if Duo staff start responding to suggestions, every one of those threads will turn into another looooong, drawn out "conversation." ;) Perhaps Duo would rather ignore users than argue with them. ;) Given that Duo has millions of users, and can A/B test those users, 100 upvotes is not a very big deal. I know people that still can't believe how Obama won the last election because "everyone they know voted for Romney!" ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

oh please don't get into politics.... :D


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

I think a cool idea would be to have an option to create a subset of your own vocabulary words, maybe 5-10 words and then have Duolingo run through the exercises. I find that I retain words easily with Duolingo, so it could be really useful trying to building vocabulary found outside of Duolingo.


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

I would love to see a feature where you can level up. Like when dout gain xp from lessons you can level up to level 2, 3, ect.


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

Just throwing this out there... :) Since many languages use feminine/masculine/neuter gender for nouns.... when learning the noun, (as you do in a new section, usually with a picture and you choose the proper word to match) would it be feasible to add a simple symbol or color dot in the corner of the picture (example: blue-masculine, pink-feminine, gray-neuter) or any standard color (or symbol) in the corner of the picture? That way a learner could fix the gender of the noun in their mind right off the bat. For English speakers, the concept of noun gender is rather difficult to grasp. In almost any discussion of gender nouns it is advised to learn the gender at the same time you are learning the noun. This would possibly be much easier with a simple addition to designate gender at the same time you are learning the noun. It would help visual learners. Thanks!


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

I 100% agree with You. It is kind of hard to memorize the genders, especially in German. There are some tricks on knowing them but they involve the last letters of a word (e.g. a word ending with -chen is always neutral). It would be amazing if they would add what You have said.


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

I've been making personal color coded flashcards to help with this but sometimes it takes a little bit more research like looking at the structure of each example sentence. I love this idea. I think especially, when using the dictionary feature, it should clarify the gender next to the translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G0f68

I would love to be able to search for and chat with people who are fluent in the language I am learning, and who are trying to learn the language that I am fluent in. For instance, I am fluent in English and attempting to learn Spanish. I would love to search for and chat with someone who speaks Spanish and is learning English so that we can help each other develop a better understanding of verbs, pronouns, masculine/feminine, etc. If we were in the same league that would be even better, but either way, this would be invaluable. As long as users could block others that they don't want to speak with, this would be a wonderful learning tool and really make you stand out amongst the other free language app services!

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