A new look and feel comes to the skill tree!
Over the last month, we've been testing a clearer way to structure the learning progress on Duolingo. We found that this new design improved the user experience according to our metrics, so today we switched all user accounts to it. It'll take a second to get used to, but we think it's ultimately a better way of understanding your language learning progress, and equally as fun.
So, what's new?
We now structure the progress in horizontal rows. When every skill in a row is completed, the row becomes unlocked. Before, we had lines between skills, and these lines lead you to unlocked skills.
For most people, this change is purely cosmetic, but a few of you may notice that some previously locked skills are now unlocked.
Why did we do this?
Most importantly, the old tree design was confusing to some language learners on Duolingo, so we settled on an easier way to display progress. In over a month of testing we saw people progress through the new trees more than through the old ones.
A second reason is that we're launching the Duolingo Language Incubator next week, a new way for the community to add languages. Here's our recent announcement about it: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/868354 As the community starts adding languages to Duolingo, we want to make it as intuitive as possible. We believe that arranging skills by rows is much easier on the course creators than having to add complex dependencies between the skills.
To (language) infinity and beyond!
This is my impression, just so that you have feedback you can use or ignore, not some kind of demand or "I will leave if you don't..."-threat:
Perception: I like all kinds of diagrams and maths and computer science, so of course my rational conscience knows that there is absolutley no difference between the tree and the row structure, but my feeling brain says it's more boring now. The vertical lines felt like "flow" compared to "steps" now. Steps seem more exhausting. At the same time, now I am somehow walking "down" instead of towards.
Structure: The tree reminded me a lot of old computer games and made it feel more like something fun. We use similar things at university and I do that with my students as well: The more structure the plan has, the more I associate it with a landscape or a playing field like... well, like in lots of games. You want to fill the bar, you want to get to the castle, you want to unlock all the three doors to open the fourth...
Simplicity: I understand the simplicity argument, but I think that it backfires. Giving something some artificial but easily handled difficulty adds to the fun: Whenever people do something really boring, they start making up rules about it to make it a bit entertaing (Only step on the black tiles, Divide and Conquer work, Get "there" without being seen, How long can you hold your breath...) So while I am "bored" with "just go one step a time" I am a bit more "entertained" by "follow this graph".
I couldn't explain myself any better, instead I'll just second this very well explained opinion.
That said, I understand that no diverging/converging lines would indeed make it easier to understand for some.
I agree. The tree system would have seemed more useful if the contents actually built in aggregate, but it's a little misleading when it's like "You must learn animals to unlock adverbs" and then the adverb exercises have nary an animal in sight.
This is just awesome. It's only my third day on duolingo, but I'm pretty amazed how you treat your "customers" and what you really do for the people. One can clearly see your philanthropic point of view. You have been creating a very important project and I'm going to spread some words in my circle of friends so that more people from Germany can contribute (duolingo is not that well-known here). Thanks a bunch and I'm curious how you're going to improve the site more and more!
I miss the old tree system; it was much more interesting, gave different options and a sense of flowing (growing?). The new system just feels like a (boring) set of building blocks. PLEASE -Please can I have the option to go back to the old system. I liked it and it felt intuitive. This apart the site is terrific.
I definitely agree. Perhaps the new system could be the default one, and then each user could have the option of reformatting his own progress chart to the old-style tree if he so desires?
Sorry, I have to add myself to the choir of those who don't like it. I liked the previous layout much better. Now it seems so sterile, bland and uninteresting. The feeling of "unlocking" a new skill has diminished, now it just feels like plowing through any textbook.
Please, let us return to the old layout. It was a much beloved part of the duolingo feeling for me.
So much is happening at once, I feel as if I don't spend every second of my time until Oct. 9th on here, I'll miss out on something! This is sweeeet!!!
P.S. I really like the "To (language) infinity and beyond!" Is that a new motto? ;)
I like the old one more, can there be an option in the settings to change it?
What happed, where is the old tree?? The old tree was much more intuitive and motivating. You had the impression that you could reached the end via different ways. That you could choose you own path.
Hmm...I'll have to try it a bit before I officially form an opinion, but I can definitely see how it has lost the fun sense of "gaminess" -- like before you were leveling up along a path, which provided a lot of motivation.
Perhaps when I get used to it I will change my mind!
Old tree or new tree Duolingo is simply AWESOME and a God-send to people with hectic lifestyles who are still keen on learning/practicing other languages; so here's a big thank you from my part, simply.
looking forward to the amazing change on Oct. 9th.You guys are awesome!!! 到时候我会添加中文课程！
I've been one of the unknowing testers for the new skill tree but I started with it so I've never used the old flow chart skill tree. This is my perspective to those who are complaining about the new system being more confusing than the old method--I think you're missing the forest for the trees (pun intended). Having had a good bit of experience with various types of flow charts, I can tell you the new version is indeed a flow chart, too, just with a single linear progression down the center of the chart, with the progression line intentionally LEFT OUT, and no diverging/converging branches.
At each stage of progress, you have a branch with one to three (Spanish version, anyway) skills on it that must be completed before you go the next stage, similar to some of the multi-skill loops used in the old chart. As with the progression line, the branch lines are left out, but they are implied, just like the unseen linear progression line discussed above. You can imagine they are the horizontal lines separating each stage if you wish.
Therefore, I recommend that you give it a shot for a few days and you'll find that it works basically like a regular flow chart, just linearly without diverging branches, and most likely, will end up finding that it's functionally very similar to the old skill tree flow chart that you're used to using.
Yeah, there's not much difference between the new and the old tree. I had the old tree, but I had compared my tree to the new tree when the new tree was in testing, and they follow almost the same path. It's primarily a visual difference that is easier to understand.
I think you worded it perfectly :) Those who don't like it SHOULD give it a try before complaining. Don't forget, the most important thing here is to learn languages, so even though the design is different, the lessons are still the best out there. The staff here have our best interests at heart--that's why they're constantly making new improvements. Even though the design before keeps you motivated, if you REALLY wanted to learn a new language, then it shouldn't matter to you too much, because no matter what you'd have the motivation to learn.
I must admit I was kind of surprised when I opened Duo and saw this totally new design staring back at me, but I think it's neat. Neat as in cool, not neat neat, even though it IS neater. Lol.
What's there to try in liking the layout? We don't say it doesn't work. We just say it's not as appealing as the old. Of couse I will work with the new one, since my plan is to learn Spanish, but it lost a little bit of the fun which was the reason I choose duolingo to learn with in the first place. I liked working with the old tree better, as did obviously a lot of other users, so I think it is appropriate to give feedback to the duolingo staff. They worked hard obviously with the intention to make things better, so it is only fair to tell them if I feel it actually got worse.
Sorry, I wasn't thinking. Of course there's nothing wrong in giving your opinion about something new.
You startled me for a moment there, because I feared I had to complete my German tree for the fourth time due to added lessons. :P
Me too- I saw that my French tree had changed but was happy to see the trophy still there. I was also sad to see that I'm still somewhat attached to my trophy, since I decided to try very hard to detach from them, as they can be taken away at any time. For some reason I don't object at all to tree decay, maybe because it's such a good metaphor for what really happens if you don't practice.
Haha, I know the feeling. Sometimes it feels kind of compulsive to keep redoing lessons to make my tree as golden as possible. :P But then again, whatever helps me get my practice on...
What happened to my trophy? I like the trophy at the corner of my lesson when I finish it, compared to the little check mark that's there :(
I totally agree! I really enjoy learning with Duolingo and I would like to say thank you very much to the people who work hard to make this site so great! I actually don’t mind the change in structure although admittedly I did have a brief knee jerk reaction when I first saw it. However it is more simple (almost feng shui) in appearance and I agree it will be easier to add skills at a later stage. What I will miss though is winning trophies at the end of a completed skill as I found it really motivating when I looked back at my trophy collection! It was a competition, a game and I had won! Ticks unfortunately remind me of tests. Would it be possible for the ticks to be changed back to trophies again?
Ok, I'm kinda lost, the trophies are gone? Since when? 'Cause I can see them in my lessons. Guess I'm missing something.
when you look at your tree there used to be little trophys where the checkmarks are now. The trophys are still in the lesson, but only if you click inside the lesson. :(
Ahhh!! Thank you so much! i didn't notice, but now that I did...Yeah. I miss them too T.T
I always look forward to updates on this site. I never thought I could ever learn a new language until I discovered Duolingo. Thanks a billion for offering your services for free.. It's truly & greatly appreciated!
I prefer the old one. Can you make the old one optional. I undearstand that the new one is here because of the incubator, but PLEASE make the old one possible, if not for the incubator for the already made ones by duo's staff.
My first impression wasn't very positive - it takes time to get used to this new look. Honestly I miss the old tree. BUT from my experience I know that people are so afraid of all changes (event subtle ones) that they don't want to even try and they are immediately expressing their complaints. The same with Apple products - everybody is always complaining about this and that and later when people are used to this changes almost everybody is praising them as a wise move. I see the reason behind this change and therefore I won't complain. I will give it a shot and after few days I won't remember old tree at all - probably :)
Since you change the tree, I have the annoucement "+1 Notice something different? We’ve added new lessons to teach you Spanish more effectively. Learn more." and the learn more links to this discussion.
So I think the message is confusing and you should change the annoucement for something like "Notice something different? We’ve changed the tree's look. Learn more."
NB: Before someone says it: Yes I know I can hide this message, just reporting to change for other users.
I feel like some people are missing the point with this update. It's not purely cosmetic, it actually opens up the language tree to more choice. In the Spanish Tree where I was at there were only a few courses that didn't require every previous one to be opened. I can totally see why people progress faster this way - it's a greater degree of freedom to select which lesson you'd like to do and the reward for completing a row is now greater too because it sometimes opens up to 3 new lessons. You guys do amazing work. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn for free!
Interesting, this seems better and straight forward, I especially like the notification on top. Is it there to stay, and will it be used for future "official" notifications or it is just a one time deal?
I think it helps when changes affecting learning are highlighted like that so users aren't confused. I also saw that I have new words. An unintended update perhaps?
Hopefully the notification will stay there permanently, and be used in the future.
It's been used for the last few tree updates, so it's apparently here to stay. I agree that it was a nice addition.
I dislike this structure very much! It was very nicely done before, it was the first thing to grab my attention - that game-like, level-up approach! This now is very "back to boring school" look-and-feel. It seems to me that this change was a big mistake on part of intrinsic motivation, or of gamificating the learning.
I can understand that it is not easy to implement course-creation with support for branching, but that is a challenge for you guys! And at this challenge, you failed... You could of also decided to have advanced branching (old style) and basic branching (new... style?). Then for 3rd party content default to basic until you figure out a way to improve it to advanced.
P.S. I was very enthusiastic about DuoLingo and did recommend it to everybody. I don't think that my intrinsic motivation will push me into that direction any more...
So... you aren't going to recommend Duolingo to people now, simply because of how the skill tree looks? Way to be pedantic. What about the quality of the education? You know, the thing that really matters the most when choosing a language learning service. It sounds like if someone were to make a skill tree for a language learning program that you found aesthetically pleasing, even if the education itself was of bad quality, you would still recommend it simply because you like the way it looks.
That may be your personal opinion...but Duolingo did A/B testing and this one was better for the majority.
Personally, I don't like the new style, but I totally agree with Zach. DuoLingo is awesome both ways; this is a really superficial reason to stop recommending it.
I started using Duolingo because of the quality of education, but I started recommending it mainly because I was fascinated with their approach to gamification, especially having recently watched Coursera course on the same topic (+1 for https://www.coursera.org/course/gamification). This was the bonus that made me a strong Duolingo advocate. That might explain to you why this "small" change was such a disappointment for me...
This didn't change the gamification of language learning. You're still gaining experience points, leveling up, and moving to the next stage. They tested it and the new version brings more results with their users, so any speculation about what's better after that doesn't even make sense any more.
I agree that learning is the most important thing of learning a language. And that learning is what this should be based around. However, if people think this new design is less appealing to the eye, it might cause them to loose interest in learning a new language and are more likely to give up on it, the visual aspect can become more important than the efficiency of learning.
I personally like the old tree better as well, but the new tree might take some time to get used to / appreciate.
I agree with all who applauded you for continually working on improving the site. Nevertheless, I'll also add my voice to the chorus that this particular change is not an improvement.
I think we should be able to have an option to use the new tree or the old tree, I feel like the old layout gave you a much better sense of progression than just moving down the line.
Well I tested the new design and I saw a lot of people complaining. For me, people are just complaining because they were used to the old style. Unfortunately human beings are just like this, we hate change! C'mon people! This website is free and is changing the world, cut Luis some slack. These people are doing the best as they can to change the world. So let's just lean back and help them by learning languages and translating the world.
Nobody is not being grateful for DL and all the effort the DL team put into this site. By voicing our opinions we are only helping improve the DL experience. For many people, the old tree was simply better because it played a main role in motivating them to keep learning. In the end, everyone on here expressed that what makes DL a success for them when compared to other methods of learning languages is that they stay motivated. Because really if you think about then it's not that the information DL has can not be found anywhere. In fact, many language books probably teach you a whole lot more, and with greater accuracy. People constantly are proving that what they need is MOTIVATION to stick to the learning process. That is what so many other methods lack, and why they may eventually fail. This is why people are pressing on this matter. Because this design change directly affects the most important success factor for language learning which I've mentioned earlier; motivation. I guess many would agree that DL = motivation. So it's not only about "people hating change." Change can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. It's a smart thing to early on recognize when a change's effects aren't plausible. But, maybe giving it some more time, and then re-evaluating is a good idea. After all, less than twenty-four hours have passed since the introduction of the new design.
Cool.:) Thanks everyone at Duolingo for continually improving this great service.
Thank you for all you've done, this site is a blessing. Having said that, the site was perfectly clear and didn't need a new look. The skill tree was better before. Sorry =)
Just to add, I just went through some of my "weakest vocabulary" tests to see what I was most struggling with. I discovered many of the old sentences where I was right, but my answer wasn't accepted - and I'm usually pretty good about reporting problems. I think many people here would appreciate it if you all spent more time looking at our notes and fixing all the myriad little mistakes rather than the superficial things like the skill tree graphics.
We have an amazing team of language experts looking at your reports daily. We improve our sentences based on this feedback all the time. So, keep the reports coming (know we do look at them carefully!). Thanks!
I have received a lot of replies for the suggestions I make in the sentences. There are also many messages from the language experts and community managers explaining that they read all the suggestions, and feedback from the users, but with 10M users it takes some time. Usually they send a notification only when you propose a new translation, which becomes accepted by the system, but it might take a month or even more until the language experts read your comments and decide if it is valid or not...
I agree. I report issues with sentences whenever I encounter them and have received dozens of responses from the Language team. I think they do an amazing job at responding to user feedback. Unfortunately that work is often invisible to many users who mistake not seeing activity for there being no activity.
I mean, I could just start making a list here. I'm going through the Italian course. "Come" means both "like" and "as". So if you fixed that line "They work as clowns" and add in "they work like clowns", you'll be fixing your game and making many people very happy. And "poi" means both "then" and "next". The most frustrating thing about this game is getting an answer wrong when you know it's right. Focus on that.
Thanks for all the hard work that you do to keep us engaged and interested!
Very nice addition. I can also confirm that with the old tree my girlfriend, for example, repeated the same skill a lot of times because she did not notice/understand the relation/dependency between skills.
I find that I rather dislike the new look, as it just feels like step by step, and considerably less interesting. Furthermore, the change seems to have screwed up practicing for me as I'm getting words from lessons I haven't completed yet (I hadn't finished families yet plenty of words from those lessons started showing up)
Can we have an option to go back to the old tree? This is way too bland, the old way was much better, at least to me.
I have to say that I much preferred the old look. Like others have said, it gave more of a feel of progressing through the language. Mind you, progress is becoming more difficult as the sentences that I'm learning become increasingly nonsensical.
I'd be lying if I said I like this more than the old layout, but I'll allow some time to see if it grows on me. And if people found the old tree branches confusing, then learning a new language is definitely going to be extra frustrating for them.
I agree. The new layout does look very bland. I liked the flow chart look of the last design and it made it more like a choose your own adventure!
I too preferred the old layout, it gave you a stronger sense of structure and I didn't find it confusing at all.
I'm sorry, but I prefer the old tree layout because it seems more intuitive - as some of the other commentators have said, it allows you to see how far you've progressed.
The Language incubator is an awesome endeavor by the Duolingo team and if the simplified tree is the price to bring that to life, go for it. Specially if the testing showed more users are able to learn better with it.
With that in mind, I still must say that I REALLY loved the old tree view, which gave a real feel of playing a game. So, for my constructive criticism, if there would be an option where I could change my Linglots for an "advanced tree view" or a "game tree view", you could get the best of both worlds. Leave it as an option and make me "work" for my preference of an advanced view.
But most importantly, keep making Duolingo awesome!
As many others have said, the new tree is very bland. It reminds me of the layout of educational software you may use at school. Designed by adults who have no idea of what their younger demographic like. The other tree was simply nicer to look at. You wanted to work harder and follow those lines down.
I understand that this was implemented because of the language incubator. But why couldn't Duo have kept the classic design for the original trees? I guess they want everything to look the same. Duo was always going to do something like this as they have to accomodate people uploading their courses.
The concept of 'progress' cited here is flawed to me too. How do you measure progress? By how fast people finish the tree? Finishing the tree does not mean you have learnt the language, if you finish it really quickly and cannot remember anything. It is better to take it slow and constantly practice words you have learnt, to keep them in your longterm memory.
Duo is amazing, but that doesn't mean we should not be allowed to criticise it. It comes across as somewhat sycophantic, when some people say how great everything is and get mad at people for not having an 'everything duo does is great' mentality. To keep Duo great people have to be allowed to say when they disagree with a decision.
I don't like the new tree, but it is not massively different. I think we will all just have to get used to it.
Thank you so much! I love it! When I first saw this design in one Spanish's user, I didn't like it. For me, at least, it was a little bit ugly. But now that I have it, I don't know why, I'm excited!! :D
Just an idea, I think if you left align all the modules it would be easier to look through lessons visually
Hmm, I quite miss the old tree style, though I do admit that this new one is clearer.
I really like it. It's easier to see where I am and what I have to learn until the next step.
Thank you duolingo! I speak spanish, anda took a course of english when I was young. Now I'm learning french, but as If I speak english... I'm waiting for the update to october... To be able to learn french from spanish!!! But I think the change is great , and I continue learninig!!!
Although the layout is pretty bland, I agree with it because it does seem easier to arrange the lessons in row format.(ps. hoping to add Filipino as a language :D)
Totally with you with Filipino! That's my next priority when it comes to languages, besides French.
No me gusta. I liked the challenge of unlocking certain skills based on obtaining skills. It took me forever to complete past tense verbs and such, but when I completed it, I felt victorious in moving forward. Entonces no me gusta.
It's sad that my skill trees are no longer trees and look more like disjointed bubbles. There isn't a sense of progress anymore, nor a sense of achievement that you get from unlocking a new branch. There are, in fact, no longer any branches.
This change was not well thought out from a learner's perspective.
"Why did we do this? Most importantly, the old tree design was confusing to some language learners on Duolingo, so we settled on an easier way to display progress. In over a month of testing we saw people progress through the new trees more than through the old ones."
At the end of the day, whether we like the change or not is a personal, subjective thing. It is not scientific. All that really matters is that testing showed the new system to be more effective at progressing the test subjects as well as less confusing. The end goal isn't to create pleasing aesthetics or less cookie-cutter, but to help people learn a new language in the easiest, fastest, most effective method possible. If DL says these changes do that, then I'm all for it. I don't have the scientific or statistical evidence to contradict them.
How do they measure progress though? How fast it takes you to go through the tree? You may finish the tree faster but that dosen't mean you have progressed. Taking it slowly, constantly practicing learned words, is better in my opinon. Because then you are actually learning.
That is a fair question that you ask: "How do they measure progress?". The term for this is operationalization. As someone who can appreciate and understand research in all its glory, I wouldn't mind seeing the results of the research that is conducted to test and implement new things. They likely defined "learning" by the speed in which individuals [on average, as a whole group (Group A vs Group B)] progressed through the language tree.
It should also be noted that progression through the tree requires, in-part, knowledge and understanding of previously-learned material. There is no cheating in Duolingo, as you learn whether or not you "grind" through the same lesson until you get it right or you slowly work through lessons over and over again. At some point or another, you still learn. The best part is that it is up to the user and their preferred learning style as to how they progress.
The fact that individuals were progressing more swiftly through trees in the new trees versus the old trees implicitly implies that these individuals were "learning" more quickly than those in the old tree format. This is reasonable to assume (based on the results) because both sets of users (new vs old) were new users to Duolingo. This would account for the time that individuals spent (on average) taking their time on lessons vs speeding through them. So the fact that individuals progress more quickly through trees than others does not, alone, imply that they are not learning as much. In fact, it should speak to the idea that they are learning more quickly because they are utilizing already-learned words in new lessons.
I would really be interested in seeing the details, too. I expressed my impression in another post, and I feel really influenced by the new design, but I am aware of the "new is bad"-brain-thing ;-) I would like to know how strong that "thing" is in this case.
Anyway since all the "subjects" were new to duolingo, I would like to know how long they were observed and if there were differences in their curves rather than only in the average speed. Do the "not a tree"-users learn "learning faster" from the beginning on or do they just start faster and later (because both groups are used to their design) it equals, because the confusion doesn't have any impact any more? How does the repition change (is one group more motivated than the other to keep all old squares golden, does the repition of lectures correlate with their position in the tree (and with their position towards other lectures...)?
And so on. The user statistics of this site would be sooo cool (interdisciplinary) research material :-)
I can understand the change to make it easier to design languages. Sadly, my hope for secret and hidden levels on the map probably won't be happening now.
Oh wow, that idea never occurred to me! The greatest thing about DL was that feeling that you were playing a game and "leveling up"...having hidden lessons and easter eggs would have been so epic. Maybe the hidden lessons could have been little stuff like "slang words" or something...
Oh well, maybe it can still happen? Have you suggested it in the discussions? Let's do it DL!
I was hoping to see it become something like Super Mario Bros 3. I had a layout drawn up. I thought about writing it in HTML5 but didn't want to put a lot of effort into a mock up for no reason.
I kinda miss the old tree. This new tree makes it look like I've not learned so much. Some skills should be broken down into fewer lesson blocks.
I have a suggestion. You, developers, could leave an option for the old users to select the type of look. There are some users, like me, prefer the old look to the new look. You can add languages in the new look but retain the old look for the current languages. I think it is not difficult for you to program, and it will make Duolingo better to use.
Cold, hard facts of life (and the internet): ~ Long time users of sites don't like, and often resist change ~ The change may be a good thing, and long time users may eventually grow accustomed to and even prefer it ~ Even if it's not a good change, the service knows (deep down) that if they just ignore user complaints, the users will adjust to the changes and give up complaining, even if their complaints are legitimate ~ The company will ignore the user complaints because, whether the complaints are legitimate or not, the company made the changes because they wanted to, and they'll keep the changes because they like them ..... So that's a little blunt, but I think disgruntled users and counter-disgruntled Duolingo workers alike will have to admit that it's true. Personally, I fall into the category of long-time user who preferred it the way it was, but will get used to the change and maybe, eventually, grudgingly admit that there is nothing wrong with the redesign, and that it might even be a bit better than the way it was before. But I still liked it the way it was, darn it!
Preferred the tree from before, it looked more interesting. More importantly though, for me the audio doesn't work on the phone app since the updates.
I see that a lot of you are disappointed that the old layout is now replaced and the new one might look a bit more clumsier. But don't complain too much, this is a new change in Duolingo and will be ironed out later and improved on.
I suggest that we have the new design but with the old flow chart lines on it as well :)
Hello. I like the suggestion above that there could be an option to toggle between the two layouts, or maybe add a layout switching item to the store for 5 lingots or something. That way, the people who prefer the branching layout to the layered layout would have a better experience. Also, for Incubator, I think giving the option for either layout would be good to. That way the course designers could design the their course for one or both layouts, depending on which is more beneficial to their course.
I think I'll probably like this layout better, but I'll have to try it a bit first.
seeing both yeas and nays for the new look. since I've had it drilled into me since first grade that everyone learns differently, I'm gonna go with that. Perhaps in the future there will be an option to choose different layouts.
I didn't mind the old layout, but new one is nice. The lines on the previous version added some unnecessary clutter. With as many rows that exist, the order of lessons performed on adjacent levels is insignificant. Although I prefer the new look, I like options such as a show/hide lines feature. That said, I'm just thrilled this is an extremely well done, free service. I look forward to the addition of new languages, like Arabic and some other European languages.
Thanks a lot, all improvements are welcome. I hope japanese could be available, as well as the feature of learn french, italian and portuguese from spanish (since they share some common linguistic cores). Thanks again for the site and keep doing such good work.
I absolutely love the hard work you put in developing this website. But I have to agree, that I do not like the new tree. I think that I even lost lessons, since yesterday I had 12 different lessons left to finish my tree and now it is 9.
I'm curious as to exactly how much faster the test subjects got through using the new interface than the last one? Also, how large were the sample sizes? By the way, I'm neutral on the new layout, but I am very interested in the UX process.
Can you add a feature that enables the old layout. Like a option switch or something?
I am an English language teacher and translator and I am studying Spanish in order to increase my translation skills to include Spanish to English. My core work is Portuguese to English. What I want to comment on is that people need more discipline. I have suggest Duolingo to many of our students and friends and it is just unbelievable the lack of discipline. People just start and stop, they need to continue on every day, even if it is just a little. Keep plugging at it. Luiz you really know how to make a win-win situation. I admire you and your work, but when you speak in public, try to speak slower and more calmly as I show your videos to my students and everyone thinks you speak too fast. Please accept my humble opinion as positive criticism. You have so much to say as your mind works even faster than your mouth.
I do not agree with CSID-DONE I like this tree, I really like I like I am delighted not understand before now know much more than before
PS: If you want to be my followers thanks
Yay certificates! It would be great if you could verify identities and do a plug in widget with LinkedIn!
I did a search for "linkedin" and I was wondering if this has been implemented? (sorry for the post resurrection xD)
This new layout's pretty bland and boring. Really, if you're not smart enough to understand a simple flow chart, you're probably not smart enough to learn a second language.
I just saw this and this might be a bit difficult to adapt. But, I think I'll get used to it very soon. Nice design!
I now have the new look. PLEASE bring back the lines!!! I loved the lines design better. It more organized, and kept me motivated.
Same here. And I found the previous tree to be way more intuitive, after all it was the most standard skill tree found everywhere.
I can't say I'm thrilled with the new tree layout. It look very bland, kind of what you'd expect from typical cookie-cutter language methods. It just lookes like "Learn this, and then learn this next, and then learn this next". I prefer the previous "flow chart" look: it had a sense of you progressing rather than just moving on to the next task and I never found it confusing myself.
I agree with you completely, I get that it'll be easier for people to make languages with the language incubator, but the sense of progress has definitely lessened for me. Maybe the lines and the flow of the skills before gave me the impression of moving down a literal path towards my goal. Now it seems like jumping between different groups of tasks, as you say. Oh well. :P
My impression was that Duolingo was supposed to be designed similar to that of a game - gaining levels, unlocking new lessons, mastering lessons - the old flow chart design, with everything linking together, fit in better with what I thought was the idea behind Duolingo and the thing that made it unique. Seeing it now, I feel that it has lost its charm and appeal and I hope that Duolingo reconsiders the re-design.
I have to say, you are completely right... I love role playing games, and the interface of duolingo looked quite familiar to a skill tree to me... Was a lot more motivating than the row-by-row as we see it today.
yes, i agree, i think that the whole design is important to the motavation of users.
Hello Zachary, I have found you... Just to comment back, yes it does motivate.
Moving down a path versus jumping around is quite a good description. I feel the same.
I couldn't agree more about this thing, I do prefer that the old one suites me better too. because its literary people are moving down the path to reach their goal.
but aside of all things, I've been said, I'm giving applaud to the Duolingo staff that has providing this. Bon travail,.
I also liked the flow chart's way of showing things. If it is possible, having the option to have it shown one way or the other would be fantastic, but I will continue to love duolingo regardless. =)
Well, the lines were indeed like the path to go... I'm a bit confused with the new layout... :.( In fact, now I have a row with one skill completed and the other not completed yet, but the next row is already unlocked ?!? Anyway, if it cannot be changed i'm sure every keen learner will learn to live with it as well
For anyone about to do so, skip the next several posts down to Zweetok, it's just a circle jerk about providing constructive criticism.
It's unfortunate, as I saw a lot of potential for the branching skill-tree style approach. Would have been really useful for developing specialized knowledge, like business vs. conversational topics. What would be really interesting is if there was an option to switch back to the old view after a week or so, and see how many people made the switch back. Rebrand it Duolingo Classic ;)
caedisius, that is the first really good argument I've seen here. Maybe at a later date when Duo is bigger and a language has many more lessons, such a system should be introduced.
I really like the idea where you follow the path of the tree toward specialized knowledge which you are interested in. I don't think it was right for Duo at this moment, but they should really consider reintroduce a skill tree approach in the future.
i think the paths linking skills were part of duolingo's appeal. would it be up to me, i would have decorated those and made them more apparent. i understand that it might be more practical for the incubator and for assiduous learners, but i also think that people would enjoy a nicely themed layout :)
I'm not talking about those lines. I'm talking about the lines in the new layout that you see in between rows of skills. Those are the ones that I think look out of place.
I personally like the lines. When I beat a row, it feels like I'm breaking past the line to the next section of lessons.
I guess that'd look better. Then again perhaps they already try it with 10% of the users. Really a great way to find out what works and one of the reasons I love this site.
Hmm. That's a nice design, for sure. But people wouldn't know which lesson they're going to next.
I think you could keep an option in the settings for the layout of the skill tree. This way people could themselves choose whichever design they liked and so everyone would be happy. And yes, CHEERS to DUOLINGO team for such an awesome language learning website. :)
Excellent! I'm completely neutral with the new layout, but if it works better, I say that's great!
I just thought I'd mention that I have seen another method used elsewhere: you could include a little button that reverts to the old skill tree layout. That way if somebody doesn't like it, they could go back to the old version. I know somebody else mentioned that; I'm just reinforcing it.
Two versions of the tree carries a cost in extra development/support. I imagine Duolingo would prefer to put those resources towards new features.
It wouldn't require extra support; most sites backup old versions of their site anyway. They had something similar very recently - some users had the new tree, and other users had the old tree - so all they'd need to do is set it up so users can control which tree they have. It wouldn't be very difficult.
I think I was one of the guinea pigs using the new horizontal rows version and I've had no issue with it at all. You can still work within the group of one to three skills at your own pace. For those switching from some of the older connected flow charts, give it a try and you'll be moving forward through your skill tree again in no time.
I'm willing to trust you on this. At the moment, I'm a little unhappy, but I'm willing to accept that's just because it's change. May I ask what this change actually improves? So far you've mentioned that users progress faster through the tree with the current layout, but can you give a little more detail on that or perhaps give some of the other benefits?
I am a recent user, and like the new style, but I would like a way to learn Austrian.
Austrian and German are not the exact same. Austrian is closer to bavarian - though I doubt the site will start adding dialects and regional variations. Pity.
German could be a good start to learning other dialects.But if you are intersted to go in Austria, German is all you need.
yea, i might be that we just are not used to it, users who are totally new might like it better.
I hate it when people ask for comments and then, when they are unhappy with the response, say, "we tested it. Give it a try." As if the person commenting is just wrong. Don't ask the question if you are not ready for the answer. Ceid-Donn was making a valid observation.
now test it again with the old look and see they'll progress faster thorugh the old design.
actuelly don't, stop running tests on pplz
I think you missed the part where the rest of us still had the old look and they already compared two groups. (I like the old look better too, because it felt like a video-game skill tree.)
agree, so we can imagine ourselves as in a "role play games", gain experience and got skill points then be stronger and beat the boss....
This was definitely one of the pulls for me. I remember watching the Extra Credits episode about Gamification - the use of game-like elements to make chores/drills such as school work more engaging to the user. More engagement means that the user benefits more both during the activity (it's fun) and after (it's memorable).
While I realize that complexity leads to an additional workload, it's a certain level of complexity that makes this feel less like a drill and more like a game, and that has benefits that must be taken into account. I'll be giving this new layout a fair shot, but I hope it doesn't feel too much like my old learning methods, because I've studied dozens of languages on my own (focusing on the early stuff, comparative mechanics) and I was excited to see that this seemed very unlike my usual methods.
no.. i was basing my point on that. the reason they were practicing and progressing better is cause it was new.
thats why, if he would try it again with the old look he would get same results
if you want it fair- do a vote.
We tested both side by side on completely fresh users who had never seen either tree before.
I am sorry you don't like the change. We're working as hard as we can to make Duolingo better. We definitely listen to our community, but I would ask for a little bit of trust on our development process.
Personally, I like the new structure. But, I think the problem here is not the change(there will always be resistance to change), but the communication. If you hid the tree and only presented the lessons in a drop-down GUI (the users would be none the wiser) and wouldn't care/know about the structure at all.
However, since the tests are often not widespread and are carried out on a small sample, and then introduced, some people tend to be annoyed by changes.
More transparency(stats) on the tests conducted or information on upcoming features may decrease this frustration. I see advantages to your approach of only making promises you can deliver on, but this criticism is the other side of the coin.
As a researcher, I'm sure you can appreciate the need for empirical evidence.
"Learn this, and then learn this next, and then learn this next."
Isn't that what you do anyways? No matter how the tree looks? You go from one skill to the next. I don't see the problem at all.
Yeah, and the more that this is obvious, the more it feels like drill instead of fun.
This is about completing one or more lessons to unlock more difficult lessons. I get that. But the original design had me deciding (for example) whether I wanted to unlock Clothing by working my way through People and Animals, or first head over toward Greetings to unlock Present-Tense Verbs, etc.; all of these would need to be done before I could move on to Prepositions, but by having the drill quality masked via this "unlocking" - in an order chosen by the player - it felt very different from just sitting at one list after the other after the other.
That's exactly how I felt about the older design. I do hope they bring it back or maybe add the option for users to choose? Kind of like having more than one look/design to choose for your tree.
I'm in total agreement with this. I preferred the previous system, because it addressed the complex interdependencies in languages in a very intuitive way. It allowed for the usage of words in a previous, unrelated lesson to be tested subconsciously (which I'm sure this system does too), but in a way that made sense to the user later on. I don't think this is as good Duo. Sorry.
I can't agree with you anymore. The "flow chart" flow makes me feel good. And the current look is boring
This is exactly it. now it seems to be levels, but before it seemed to have a little bit of a flow. This might be more effective but it's hardly as appealing as it looked before.
I agree, this new layout seems to be a step backward, it makes the site look bland. I love Duolingo and I will definitely keep using it, but I did love the flowchart layout.
I am a language teacher and course creator. This change in structure makes perfectly sense if you need to create and support Duolingo courses through the community for many more languages (Chinese, Russian, Telugu ... you name it).
If anything, learning a foreign language is not linear, but rather a movement in a circle. You start in the centre with the most frequent structures and vocabulary and move to the outside to more specific pools.
I would love to see a ring structure or at least a fan structure for the lesson tree, in that case; as you gained more proficiency in core skills, it would be clear that the range of choices open to you was increasing, and it would restore some of the game-like feel.
I think that it is likely that there are some people who progress faster and further using a tree structure, but others who progress faster using the new layout. It's too bad that they can't accommodate both kinds of learners.
Agree 100%. I loved the skill tree. The new design is off-putting. It looks menial.
I also have found that this new look is rather step-by-step. I preferred the old way, because it gave you more of a breakdown, if not quite so many choices as to what to learn next, but it was still rather nice how it gave you the sense of moving from lesson to lesson, as opposed to how things are now clumped and undefined. I also never had any trouble with the flowchart, and I am a relatively new user. Honestly, I think this new layout is much more confusing than the other way was. The other way drew clear lines between lessons, telling you how you could maneuver around rather than just have them all in a clump. I think that on a user-friendly basis, the other way was much more self-explanatory and that this is just kind of uncertain and strange.
I feel the same way as you do. I liked the 'flow chart' look much better than this new one. :/
I completely agree with you. Just when I was motivated to do another lesson today (;-()
I too liked the flowchart one and it appealed to me as a computer professional :) But I can see how it might be a bit unusual for people with different background. The new one is not that bad either, it still has a sense of progress and I'm sure I'll get used to it pretty soon.
I very much agree with Ceid-Donn and cloudhorizon. I thought the old way felt like I was on a journey, now I feel like I am floating in space and the fun has certainly decreased. Oh well, I am still working hard. Still, thank you for providing this service
I agree, I far preferred the tree layout. I imagine it'd be too complicated to give users the choice of which layout they'd prefer?
yeah! I agree with you absolute. It can be told like "C'est nul" in French! We only just learn this andddd that. :-(
I find that the new layout engages me more! I like to have a choice between learning say, plurals, animals or foods next.
I think I should be able to jump to other lessons such as places, numbers, medical etc to learn a few things before traveling. the rest can come later. I enjoy the course though.
I think I can get used to this new layout but might I suggest a toggle for people who don't and/or can't? personally I agree with Ceid-Donn in that it looks kind of bland, but if Duolingo thinks its more efficient who am I to argue?
Please stop playing with the layout and just fix the speech in Portuguese. It's totally incomprehensible.
I really love Duolingo the new way or the old. Participating in the discussions following the answers has been helpful and interesting.
hehe... I don't really see a difference... Probably because I always try to master lessons that were next to each other...
I'm very thankful firstly for Mr. von Ahn and then for the staff that created and are still working on this great project, however I myself am disappointed with the new skill tree. There should be route lines depending on pre-requirements, to follow on as before.
The visual look of the tree doesn't really make a difference to me either way; the skills are all still there, and I'm still able to progress through them. So if it has been shown that the new layout helps users progress and will be easier to use for people working on new languages (yay!), I'm all for it. In a few days I'll get used to it and won't even notice the difference anymore. We still have a great language learning resource that is provided to us free of cost. Thank you Duolingo team!
Like the new layout. Over the past days I noticed, that skills I previously had were taken away. Is that part of the learning? I am fairly new to Duolingo.
my husband and I started on duolingo couple weeks back. We had two different trees from very beginning :) The one with lines felt like fun indeed, but maybe too much. I prefer the groundness of the other look with the rows, seems a little more serious and efficient. I like to have more than one lesson unlocked: it's nice to have different tasks and switch between them. Give it a time, guys.
If Duolingo says it makes users progress faster and more successfully, I'm all for it.
Personally, I loved the old look of Duolingo skill tree, but I get used to this new one with no problems, I think you have decided to change it by observing the statistics. Thank you and keep doing this great work!
Cool! It looks great! Thanks for duolingo. it's truly the most brilliant language website I've ever used (and I've used a lot!)
Well, since this will only be my 5th day using duolingo, maybe I didn't have too much time to get used to the old layout. I can tell a difference, but it doesn't seem like a huge change to me.
I think the site is great. I have a few ideas to suggest, but figured I'd hold off until I'm more familiar with things. One of my ideas was actually already there, but I didn't know where to look for it at first.
i really liked the previous scheme. But more than that what i noticed in the previous days was a little different solutions' behavior; it was more precise ... this kind of improvements are really appreciated, despite not being announced.
Spent more time reading posts today than doing lessons!! Work PC still had the old path showing, and I have deliberately not refreshed it so I can compare the two in a week's time. At present I still do not like the new look and in consequent less motivated by it -perhaps a good thing as it reminds me to use other sources and forms of practice instead of looking at a PC screen. I concur with the view of one or two others, who in the spirit of 'if it ain't broke -don't fix it', have suggested that development time would be better spent on adding more lessons and fixing bugs. That apart thanks for the good times DL!!
This is really great. I tried several times to see old lessons to practice and I couldn't do it. Now I'm again going into this old words and this is doing great... Thank you very much your are doing and excellent project with all this. I'm anxious to see the language incubators this will be fun...!
I'm new to Duolingo so I can't compare the current layout to any previous version. I think the tree layout looks and works just fine. I don't wish for anything different.
I like the new, clean look! Although I liked the concept of a knowledge tree, given the mascot is an owl who lives in a tree:) I also can see how the tree concept would never work when people start incubating new languages.
With some encouragement, the user community, could come up with a set of owl life cycle terms to identify the maturity of a user created course. Owlet (just hatched), fledgling (lacking in content but making progress toward a mature course), adult (a matured course) and breeder (a mature course where new concepts and content are being added). Perhaps a silly idea, but thought that I'd just throw it out there.. The graphics designers could have a blast creating images to go along with the various owl related course maturity designations.
It's very strange to me how interested people seem in the look of the thing, when the content seems pretty much the same. Can someone point me to a similar comment line as this but on the content of the teaching? I love DL but look forward to many improvements in teaching method and content, such as incorporating more context in the lessons. The exercise sentences often approach nonsense and don't seem to me the way our brains process language learning, which all seems related to context. In other words, the separate words don't mean anything outside the phrases, sentences, paragraphs where they're located. But of course it does seem that DL is going to program itself to a much better level very quickly. LOVE IT.
I would like to see Duolingo modify the Skill Tree to allow the choice for older users to change their tree back to the old format. For those of us on for almost a year, this is the format we are used to. New learners can begin with the new format, and then have the choice to change if they like.
I don't think this was good at all - I had Numbers mastered and now I have to do it all over again. Plus, most skills I do don't count - its very annoying.
To tell the truth I really liked the previous one, it was much "technical"like, now it is more simple, in the older one I felt it more "serious", now it's kind of "tedious", but it is just my opinion, however, I hope the structure will stay as it is:) Saludos para todos.
The other tree layout was more interesting and just as useful. I don't like the new one.
If I am learning another language and not paying for it....you can make any changes you want as long as those two things remain. Duolingo is awesome, the design makes no difference to me!
What needs to be understood is the quantity of data that is collected and analyzed before making these changes. If you would read the post, it states that there was "... progress through the new trees more than through the old ones." This wasn't a case of "moving our cheese" so to speak, but rather refining the process to make it better. BETTER. I enjoyed the lines as well because it added to the "gamification" factor to me; made it reminiscent of an MMORPG style skill tree. But some of the lines were arbitrary at best and at the end of the day, the goal is to learn a language so if this change helps to better accomplish that then I think it's the right move.
Remember, Duolingo's ultimate long-term survival depends on the ability to monetize the service that they are providing (teaching you and me language(s)) which is reliant on the quality of education we are provided. It is in Duo's best interest to teach us in the best way possible and I've been pleased with the results so far so I think they're on the right track.
When I first started the program, it was very difficult to know how to go to the next section. For a while, I was just practicing, always, until my daughter told me how to continue on. So, I can see how this new way will be a benefit those who are just beginning. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.
I really appreciate how we keep building step by step to increase our knowledge of the language. I have tried many programs, but this one has worked out the best for me. We can see how far we have come and then how much we yet have to accomplish. It is wonderful!!!! It teaches us how to go from one language to another and the transition is very smooth. I like that also! In French, there are many different ways to say the same thing, I like knowing that also. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR PROGRAM!!!
Personally, I don't like the change. I would love it if they would add an option to keep the old layout on our particular accounts, if we so choose.
I hope Japanese is added. Starting off with teaching how to read the writing style first. And then the usual format afterward like how it's done for Spanish and Italian. And as the context is read, both styles the traditional Japanese writing, and the Romaji/romanized version could both be used. Should also add Russian.
I love all your changes! The amazing app is so great looking (I'm a designer) that I can't stop myself from coming over to do more and more lessons! Great work! I love the new tree on the app, too. Simple, modern, streamlined.
Why don't you create an option of getting the old skill tree back, so the old duo users may unlock the skills via familiar&sensetive tree? The new look&feel way of progress could be kept as the default for the new ones. Come to a compromise, please!
To be honest I noticed something was different but what exactly it was I wasn't sure... I started with the flow chart and thought it to be a little confusing, but then it was okay...now you have changed it again and I find it more regimental, but also okay... for newer users I think that the update is probably easier to use....it is the old user that doesn't like 'change"- people don't like change that is human fact...But everyone will adjust if they want to learn...good work duolingo
Initially, I wasn't a fan of the layout change but now I'm beginning to like it. I've found that if i attempt and fail a section, work on a different section then go back a retry the section I failed I usually do better the second time. Before I'd get discouraged when I failed a section more then once and stop using the app for days. I think the new layout is better suited for a wider range of learning styles. Thats my two cents, thought you guys should know... I really like the app
What I care about is the quality of the program and that it's FREE. I hope Duolingo adds more languages for me to learn. (I want Japanese and Korean, thanks!)
I have been using Duolingo for a little while only, and my first two language selections (German and Spanish) were with the branching skill tree, which I loved, When I added French, it was this new style, and I have to say I was not motivated enough to move through the exercises as I was with the branching skill tree. I too agree that now it looks a little bland, I think the branching skill tree was definitely a string marketing point. And I definitely agree the comments about specialization, in particular for vocabulary groups, which could have been easily added to the branching skill tree in further development. I understand that it shows promise and is more suitable for the language incubators, but I think having the option to switch your skill tree would be incredibly beneficial. I am not sure how much work it requires to add such an option, but for people like me, it would mean a lot. I have been on sort of a vacation so I was away from Duolingo for a while, and I was completely bummed out about my new "leveled" skill trees. The fun is gone.
I absolutely love it! I am so thankful to have found such a fun and easy way of learning new languages. Thanks Duolingo!! :)
This looks like there's a problem with it. It looks unfinished or like things aren't lined up right. I think you have some bugs in your system still.
I like the new update. The horizontal subjects seem related (e.g. animals and food - English is one of the few languages where many foods and the source animal have different names) and generally I feel like I'm making steady progress under the new structure. Don't feel like I understand the difference from the flowchart model, but I was near the start of Spanish so I may not have gained the benefits.
I am not sure what all the fuss is about as I have not found using Duolingo in any way adversely impacted by these changes. The real issue I think is that the human race is typically resistant to change for the most part, however for things like this, once we get used to the differences, we almost forget how it used to be. Lets just move on guys and girls and enjoy the fantastic language learning experience that Duolingo provides us :-)
I am grateful for the way this program works and that it is a free app. I like the way it works to help strengthen your words and I guess I do not focus on the game part of it as much, because I do not do too many games online anyway, but I find this very user friendly and easy to use.
I'll trust you on this layout. This is by far the best language software I've ever used.
I am enjoying the new layout and I do feel as though I am progressing through the material more quickly. A year of standard classroom Spanish doesn't even compare to this program, the ease at which it teaches the language is fantastic. Thank you for such an a amazing product and for FREE!
I like everything about duolingo. I have the other program with the 5 levels but I like duolingo better. Thanks for the free program and keep up the good work guys. Thanks. Jim
Amazing app, amazing service. Thanks for testing and caring about UI and UX. I will never leave
I honestly liked the old style better. This is certainly not a deal breaker for me, and I will continue to use the site, but given the choice between the old world and this new one - I would take the old one. Progression in the old world was more gratifying.
Well, seeing as I'm relatively a new member on this site, maybe I don't catch what the grouse people have about this new design is yet. All I want to say is, this is the best free online language learning service (don't know much about paid ones), and I am grateful to the staff of Duolingo for giving this gift to us. Yeah, they may be gaining from us in a way, but if you ask me, this is a very normal, if not expected thing. How else do we expect them to keep the servers going, pay staff and cater for other expenses? And, yeah, who would go into any business without an aim at making profit? Besides, translating documents for them helps solidify your grasp of the language. So, it's a two-way symbiosis where everyone ends up happy! Thanks, Duolingo, for such a clever, smart project!
Sometimes change is a bad thing. Sometimes change is a good thing. In this case I think it's a good thing.
Everytime I get into Duolingo through pc's browser It is better and better. Congratulations!
But mobile app is just beautiful! I wish PC version looked like the mobile.
This learning a new language is so much fun using this App. I am currently learning brazilian portuguese so I can watch UFC and not having to rely on a translator after the somebody from brazil wins! I also speak mexican spanish! A huevo!!!!!
You may also add a the following feature: chat between members of similar or equal skills/levels. They will be encouraged to make coherent conversation with one another. Incentive: every correctly typed word gives points, etc. It be fun.
I love Duolingo...I am learning Spanish and this is a wonderful tool. I would like, however, the opoortunity to be able to print all the words learned so I can read through them on a daily basis at tea break at work and help get the words further fixed in my head. Well done Duolingo for all your work..I'm here for keeps :)
Make sure you go to the Vocabulary tab and all the words you've learned are there. You can sort in alphabetical order and on the right they're separated by lesson. I usually print those lists of words. Or, you can check each word and get the grammar, sample sentences, conjugation tables, etc. I sometimes print (or make PDFs) those pages if something doesn't get into my head from going through the lessons on the iPad app.
Makes no difference for me. Thanks for improving and trying to get better.
who cares what the skill tree looks like all we really need is the lessons that are taught who cares about how the stupid skill tree looks
When duolingo first came out, I started using it and loved it. Told all of my friends about it who were looking for an excellent, inexpensive way to learn new languages. Used some of the same learning tools from Rosetta Stone, etc. I personally stopped using it for a while bc I am minoring in French and had enough to do in school. I've since come back and I can say that both the flow chart in the beginning and the new row by row methods don't change my learning experience. However, some users may prefer one over the other. From DL's perspective, they have seen that users learn faster with this new design and that is one of their goals. Since that is there goal here, I'd advise each user to use this new design and measure yourself to see if you are learning faster. Then, if you aren't, let them know so that adjustments can be made.
I personally preferred the look of the old skill tree but as far as learning the language goes,it makes no difference to me The learning matter is still the same and I for one am not going to let a visual preference interfere with actual learning
I never saw the previous interface, so maybe my opinion is uncalled for. However I believe I have a few things to say that haven't been said. The new Duolingo is incredibly easy for me to use, and simple and pleasant to the eye. I feel a huge amount of progression and satisfaction with my speed of learning. My mother has promised me and my home-educated sister a trip to Paris, if we learn french fluently before the end of 2014. She is tutoring us both, but she does not have enough time to teach us every day, so we utilise every online tutoring resource that we can find. Duolingo has enabled us to make great leaps in our education and as it's free, we never have to worry that we are going to be confronted with an astronomical bill at the end of the month. All I can say is that I am hugely grateful to Duolingo and I will never complain about the interface, as it's not that that counts but the content. Thank you for listening. XXX
The ios7 upgrade looked a little childish and weird 2 months ago, now looks perfect. That's so strange! haha!
Why does the skill tree appear different in the browser for different users. In our house, we have several different users and have noticed that even today there are three different appearances to the tree.
Your sentence should read: "Before, we had lines between skills, and these lines led you to unlocked skills." (not "lead") I don't usually correct errors I see online, but you folks teach language. You need to be especially careful.
At the top of the tree it said there were lessons added? Is that just referring to the tree design or are there actual lessons added to the tree? I still have 72 skills. Anyways I liked the old tree and the new one. I know you put a lot of work and testing into all the new updates so I believe you when you say it's more effective. I don't mind the change, change is good when a positive goal is where the change is leading you too. Which hear is being more effective at language learning. In a month or two people will forget about the old tree anyways :P lol
When someone who can speak it adds it after the full launch of the incubator.
I am very happy to read these news. It is another proof that you are all the time doing better things in this site. Thank you and move forward!
Question... having just started and looking at the tree. Is the bottom of the tree the end? (learning Spanish). There is a guy w/ a bow and arrow there. Wondering if that is the last lesson, or if more are unlocked that I don't see yet.
I liked the previous version more, but the current one is also fine. But I really hope that the developers of Duolingo will come up with the next, new language levels (i.e. 'ninja' level in French and Italian or smth like this).
Well, I'm just excited about the new languages (: P.S. Have any of you completed a language course? I'm just wondering does it teach you all the tenses and will you actually be able to speak it well when you are done or is it just the basics?
While I love Duolingo and very much appreciate having such a wonderful place to learn a language for free, I am sometimes, like now with this new Skill Tree, disappointed by you guys putting your efforts into unnecessary changes that don't make much difference for the better if any. Duolingo's changes sometime remind me of the silly, unnecessary, and unwanted changes Facebook makes that make users more irritated than appreciative.
May I suggest that rather than spending your valuable time and efforts on changes like this Skill Tree change, you improve the actual content, such as add more words and practice sentences, and include more sentences used in various real life situations? Also, it seems to me that whatever algorithms/methods you use to keep track of when I last saw a word or a sentence needs improvement, as it seems that I get the same silly sentences or the same words over and over when I practice while other words are ignored.
And oh ... one other suggestion that I was just reminded of: please fix whatever it is that causes "Timed Practice" to test me on new words that I have not been taught before! The strange thing is that I don't get the new words when I practice without a timer when I have more time and don't mind checking the new word, but I almost always get them during timed practice (like I just did a moment ago)!
I am dismayed at the number of posts like this that suggest that Duolingo is "putting [their] efforts into unnecessary changes that don't make much difference for the better if any". These posts demonstrate ignorance in research methods utilized to make an informed decision about implementing the changes that Duolingo makes. This is not intended to be an insult but instead, an observation. To be ignorant is to not know, or lack understanding of something.
I'm not suggesting that no one is allowed to complain, or that they shouldn't have an opinion (favorable or otherwise), but that they should make educated critique instead of off-the-cuff remarks suggesting that Duolingo wastes their time on silly things. As someone else in this thread posted, the seeming absence of activity on Duolingo's part does not mean that there is a lack of activity.
Thank you, Duolingo, and may all further changes be the result of educated decisions such as the one made to the skill trees!
With that, good luck with your language-learning pursuits NN7!
I am equally dismayed by an arrogant post that suggests that "research methods" are perfect and flawless and places them above actual users' experience and values them more highly than users feedback!
I think the new look is very stream-lined, and looks less cluttered. I liked the old setting, but I think this will be a good improvement!
I'm almost to the end of the French tree . I sent an E-Mail to DL wondering if they had any plans to expand their French course . I'd be interested in continuing to use DL if they are going to add more lessons , etc . Does anyone else feel the same way ????
Lessons are periodically extended, I think, but once you complete the tree, the thing to do is start doing the Translations under the Immersion tab. You will learn a lot more this way than just by continuing doing the lessons. Once I completed my tree, I do Immersion until I see that some of my skills have lost their gold color and then I go back to redo those skills. Interestingly, when I do that, I find that the sentences are often different than I remember from the first go around, so I am not sure if new sentences are being added or if when you go through it the first time you are just doing part of the database for that skill.
I think they mentioned that they will expand the lessons for the existing languages. I don't know when though.
I really am over joyed with the new tree, i am, but then some negatives that I have are that when the new tree updated on my account, I lost lessons that I unlocked got locked again and i'm pretty mad about that. Other than that, I really do enjoy the new tree and hope that better updates will come to make duolingo even better. To be honest, I think this will mean lots of success to lots of people. I guarantee it to all duolingo users. I think everyone will have a good time. This site is awesome, I mean really, you can buy,earn money, and lots of other cool features that dramatically made this site so addicting. Peace out. :)
I appreciate the explanation, and the new diagram may more accurately reflect the process. The former diagram suggested an overlapping complexity to the structure of the language. I can't comment on the whether that complexity actually exists or not, but the learning mode here is of the rote, immersion variety. You learn of the existence of complexity by making mistakes, not by a concerted study of structure.
I noticed you were hiring people. Why don´t you do something really different and start looking for new employees through who is doing best by learning new languages? Can someone get in touch with me about this please? I do like Duolingo very much and am tearing through German. And no, I do not see anything negative with new layout. That said, I am using this about 5 to 6 hours a day in prep for German DSH test and it is a lot easier and more intuitive and even um addictive and preferable to learning this crap the old way. TRUST ME.
I am alarmed every time Duo fine tunes, lol! But I do like the new layout. I find it definitely cleaner, more aesthetic and think it will probably give a better sense of progression. So I went from 'OMG! Change! Ahhhhhh! I will never finish my tree!' to 'Actually... this doesn't look too bad' in a short space of time. So, optimistic about the new layout.
You should never change something as significant as the UI of an app on a phone without the users permission. It's one thing to do it on your website but something completely else to do it on somebodies device. Push an update trough the itunes/play store that does that, changing it in the background or even after exiting lessons as some users reported makes it seem as if the app is doing something shady in the background. It raises the question if it can change itself without the users explicit permission, what else can it do that its not supposed to.
You guys at Duolingo are amazing and I love the new look. I think it's a bit ridiculous that people are complaining about it so much when you tested the two different versions and found the new model to be more successful, not even to mention that from the users' standpoint it's such a minor layout difference. Thank you for all of the work you do!
I have to say it... whatever the tree design is... this is the best place to lear for free
Hey guys! I really like the ney lay-out! But where are the owls gone? I'd really love if you put it there again! I was looking forward to getting mine soon :l
I do not like the new tree. It has taken some of the fun out of it. I liked the idea of maneuvering my way through the language process, and was looking forward to some of the more complex patterns.
I would like to see on which "level" I am in the tree. Yes I l know duolingo has another meaning for "level", but that is kind of abstract thing, since it is not visualized like the tree is.
I trust you guys to take the right steps because I'm progressing much better than I ever thought I would. Keep it up.
With new design, I feel like you take out some piece of my understanding how Language is organised. Visualisation was a big step from simple-book lesson organisation, and now we again here? That lines gave me much more than simple direction from one to another.
I quite like the new interface, but one thing has changed in the iPad app that I would like to see back. I can no longer strengthen a particular skill when it is already at full strength. I enjoyed reinforcing my skills by strengthening on a daily basis. Also, would it be possible to have a feature to download a course so that it can be done offline?
Gracias, for such a great website. I noticed a lot of people are learning several languages at the same time. Is that a better approach to language learning rather than focusing on a single language? I do see progress with my Spanish skills since I am starting to understand some Spanish TV programs and written words.
I like the older tree version better it was fun and I felt more progressed through the foreign language. Duolingo did make it more simple which is good for confused people. Adios!
Por supuesto que está muy bien diseñado con las barras horizontales de progreso. Muy buena herramienta para aprender otro idioma. Estoy muy contento aprendiendo italiano. Felicitaciones desde Guatemala. Arrivederci!
The skill tree needs to be more interconnected! Give students more freedom to choose their vocab sets to concentrate on. I need to practice my pronouns, I don't need ten lessons in future tense before I do it.
Really hope there isn't a lot of change here. That's why I left LiveMocha. Too much change, too many glitches. Just when I'd get used to the changed, off they'd go to change things again. LiveMocha is NOTHING like it once was. Please, please, please leave things as they are! We wouldn't be here in the first place if we didn't like this site JUST THE WAY IT IS. :)
I want to congratulate the person who have been designed the skill tree in the first place (I don't know if is the same person who changed it). He or she was so meticulous in everything, by thinking every detail. Absolutely amazing! I just have the feeling that a great vision was lost.
Oh my God! You noob! -Je fais rage juste quitté !
By the way...who are you? You are certainly not Duo!
It would be useful if you could see what is ahead of you current 'skill' level. I am stuck on the basic level and it involves a lot of wasted time doing stupid typing , and not learning much. I am afraid that duolingo might be just a slow road to a dead end - lots of mindless repetition that leads nowhere. There should be a way to see the GOAL, the objective, the level of skill you will reach , if you persevere.
The way I'm viewing it is that once one area of subjects is covered, you learn another. I think the old tree made it seem like you've achieved something because one subject took you to another and so forth - learning step by step that way. I don't see much bad with it, but this all depends at what perspective you look at things.
I love it! I love the simplicity. With the old design I didn't know which way I should go when I'm learning. This way it's more structured. Thank you!
It's a shame they've compromised game-like design considering only two designs were tested, when an even more optimal design could have very well satisfy both parties. While the new format offers ease-of-use and accessibility, does it foster long-term interest as well as the skill-tree? I think many of those dissatisfied by the changes are most discontented by the fact that they'll never see what the skill-tree could have become with further development.
This explains why my daughter's account looked different from mine for a while. She signed up very recently. I personally like the flow chart style. I like mazes and puzzles. However, for my daughter, the simpler design makes sense to her. I understand the change. Thank you for considering the needs of new language learners.
Thank you, I appreciate getting to learn plurals, which before was not offered. It was a missing link in my progress.
I just want to express how thankful I am that you guys even provide such an awesome service, and then to hear that you're expanding on it with the DLI? You guys deserve some sort of award or money, a commendation or something. Honestly this is truly remarkable and I love using it, ESPECIALLY on my tablet, you have literally made learning a language so fun and accessible that I'm surprised(don't jinx it) no one has tried to stop you lol. Please keep up all the good work I so look forward to whatever future endeavors you guys pursue, you're changing the world here guys. Once again thank you so very, very much
There are many free learn language sites online and some very good ones, but I looked for over five years for one that helped me stay motivated (Sounds like a testimony for Acme Brillo Brush). Duo's style, changes and all, fits my style. And what ever doesn't work well on the site I sense a heart behind it. A tip of the hat to Duo.
Is this the very same material that is on the app? I love Duolingo, but this new looks seems a lot like the app. Actually I had intended to ask, "What now?" since I have been through the app course.
I'm personally not thrilled with the recent direction duolingo has taken. First, the addition of new languages gets replaced with the community tool. Then we get the useless game-like lingots which only detract from the primary purpose of paying attention and trying your best to advance without making mistakes. And now this... How can the former tree diagram be any difficult? If you're embracing the challenge of learning a new language, surely taking 5 minutes to browse through the tree diagram won't kill you. If you care about new language learners having the easiest route then why not simply make it 1-column-vertical all the way down so that there's no chance in hell they'll misunderstand what's next? It's aesthetically displeasing... requires more scrolling and like many have said before, it removed the satisfaction of knowing you were progressing through the various paths. Most importantly, it gave you a clear picture of where you were, the overall picture and what was next. The undistinguishable rows we now have are just that...boring, uncommunicative rows.
Then again, not having paid a dime for the service, how is it fair for any of us to complain? Still, one is left wondering 'what could have been' of the once most promising free language learning tool available...
Well, it looks good for me. (I only used the mobile version, so I can't give the feedback right now ._.)
I know this comment will probably get lost in the flood of complaints but couldn't we long time users have an option to revert to the old method? If it is purely cosmetic then it shouldn't be too hard right? That way, everyone wins! :D
I went back to look at a screen shot from last month of my home page just to look at the old design (with the lines") and I'd certainly say the new design is much cleaner. The lines seemed to clutter the page and honestly, I could not even see or guess what the lines even meant. The new look is much cleaner. Thank you DL for this amazing software.
Daniel Léo Simpson
I really appreciate what you have put together here. Duolingo is awesome no matter how the progress is displayed. Thanks, thanks, thanks!!
Sorry, I have to join those, who complain about "new" design - I don't like it :( It really makes impression of much more conservative learning look, and kills something, which together with the idea, structure and design made the whole Duolingo feeling... I just hope you will reconsider it more
I am quite new to Duolingo, so can't make a fair comparison of the tree designs. I would however like to comment, that I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn my choice of language for free, and am very satisfied with the program so far. If I have had any issues with any of the translations, I have said so, and it is good to have the opportunity to ask questions, make comments and discuss language and interpretation issues with other members, who, like me, are genuinely trying to improve their language skills. Also, it is great that we are given the opportunity to give feedback about the changes, as many organisations don't even give you such an option.These things to me, are more important. Thanks.
I think they should leave the layout as an optional part. The default is this new one and you can always change to other.
I love Duolingo!!! It's the B-E-S-T system to learn a new language... and I have tried several, including Rosseta Stone. Thank you, Duolingo... You are an expert in languages! I love those changes, it's easier to follow my progress.
criticism is good but keep it positive. I dont see any change in the lessons so will adapt to the new methods and will be happy to progress
Like many others, it seems, I would like the option to toggle to the old layout if at all possible. The new layout is less motivating for me - the previous layout gave a sense of structure and how you progress from one competence to the next whereas the new layout (to me) just presents as a series of barriers with no sense of order.
But for all that, Duolingo is still a great resource and one for which I'm very appreciative.
For me, the old tree was perfect. I do not like this one, but I too understand, why was the old one confusing for some. On the other hand I think it is a bigger problem, that I am a level 11, and I still do not know neither the names of the weekdays, nor a simple past tense... (I know them because I learned it myself before). I have learned some languages before and a simple past should be at the beginning. Not the very first thing to know I agree, but why should I know for example medical first...? Simple past is very important to understand a Tv-show or something, thus it should be in the second or at latest in the third "big chapter" (I mean between those little locks).
I don't like this format too much. It looks too… Rosetta Stone-ish. Something they would do. As Ceid-Donn said, too bland. I prefer the old format personally. Duolingo is a new, exciting way to learn languages! Let's start fresh, instead of building on the old ways.
I am very happy with duolingo and find it fun and easy to learn, it is truly the best language learning that I have found and I have tried many.
I like the new layout just fine. I'm just happy to be progressing and remembering the language I'm working on! Thanks Duolingo!
how do we go back to the original method?? this method is much worse and i cant say i like it much
I enjoy duolingo very much, and while I never had a problem with the old look, I am happy with the changes. I especially like being able to correct my mistakes.
I also liked the previous look better. It was more appealing for me. Right now I find it plain. But if it is for the better I can not complain.
amazing. and i have a suggestion. how about making communities? It would be great if i can communicate with who are interested in studying German or French
Hey I am really grateful for Duolingo. It is a great service and has helped me very much. Spanish is "supposed" to be an easier language (compared to Arabic, Mandarin or French, etc.) but is still tough for me. Thank you for providing this site and keep up the good work.
Thank you for all your hard work, Luis. I couldn't begin to teach it, let alone program it!
Confusing? Really? Um.... ok. If that's confusing, I can only imagine how confusing it must be to actually learn the language.
Hi, I miss the summary review which came at the end of each group of lessons. It helped to synthesize the learning. Was much more important to me than the general reviews. Please bring these back. Duolingo has been great overall.
This is a fantastic way to reinforce what I already know and to hone my writing skills.
Sorry i had miss a lot of classes, i hope i can make now. I will try the new changes and i will let you know, thank you so much, Mercy beacoup .
Duolingo, would it be a problem to add this to the site: After lesson revision practice (The speedtyping challenge with the 30s counter), when the results show us how many points and which words we have strengthened (relearned), that when we hover our mouse pointer over the words we have revised, we can see a translation. I mean the word box at the end of the challenge. I understand if it is unnecessary, but I thought if I would find it useful that perhaps others would too. PS: cheers and I love the site
I love to help you add the Farsi (Persian) language. let me know how can I assist
Make an Option to choose, this is better. cus I like old way and maybe someone else not.
I get pretty fed up with thinking I've completed a module only to find that it later pops up again as needing strengthening in an apparently random way. I seem to be spending more time going back and strengthening skills than moving forward!
As long as I learn a free language I don't care what it looks like. Some folks can't ever be pleased! Peace!
I don't like the fact that I have to go back and do the ones I already did but I am not complaining. I do them again and still manage to clear the stage with no hearts left. Hence I still need practice so the it's right on the money!
keep up the great work duolingo!! i love this concept, the design and the effort that you guys have made. i am really making progress and relating to the techniques, i love it. i probably personally prefer the old design but totally appreciate that the research you have done is a more accurate gauge than my personal stylistic preferences!
Personally I love the new look! I find it so much easier to follow and to understand. I also think it's much more logical than the old system. I got a bit fed up with the old skill tree because it was difficult to figure out which lessons you needed to complete in order to move ahead, and sometimes earlier lessons would require words that hadn't been taught yet, depending on what order you chose to complete the lessons. With the new skill chart this issue has been eliminated, and I appreciate that. I'm also keen to see the difference it's made for Incubator! Great work everybody!
I find this program operationally much more difficult. I do this every day on my iPad and the old program flowed like butter but this one is very unresponsive and jerky. I have to stab it several times before you get into a block and sometimes can't get it to respond at all. This also affects the voices.
You guys are amazing! I love the new streamlined layout, and it does feel more like a progression, which prompts me to keep going. This always improving culture of yours has me hooked! I tell everyone I can to start using Duo! You guys rock!
I now study languages by spurts... Duolingo always surprises and challenges me every time I go back to visit the site after a dormant period. It's good to have to take a few steps back before I go forward again, reviewing what I worked on weeks or months ago. Thank you for always challenging me!
I just hope Duolingo keeps expands it's training for different languages like Polish, Latin and enhances the learning process to an infinite level.
Spend more time on correcting bad sentences, incorrect translations, sentences that are completely flawed, sentences that just have random words strung together….basically, all the errors in your program. And, spend LESS time on silly "aesthetics". Who cares how it looks, make it correct. I find myself having to memorize incorrect sentences and translations because that is the way you want it, and then when I go to my formal classes for my languages, i then struggle to remember the correct way.
Yes I suppose... The app is brilliant, it is easy to use and runs smoothly (apart from the occasional glitch). One thing that I find very disappointing is the website... It is bland, always crashes and even as I type now, on screen is three letters behind where my fingers are! I love languages! Duolingo is very good for that but I can't help feeling as if the websites a little less smooth that the app. We want colours and improvements. The screen before you log in is great. This would encourage far more than the trees which first flash onto your screen after logging in. (Bit like 70's wallpaper)
A well wisher
The change is not bad, but i am not a big fan for now. I really liked the simplicity of the previous design, from the moment i used it i felt right at home. Now i am a little overwhelmed by the change and find navigation a lot more difficult. The design is for my taste a little to much flashy and less practical. I am hoping you'll add some more changes in the future making it „simpler“.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
-Leonardo da Vinci
These are my two cents.
Once I have finished the four parts of a lesson, I can't find a way to progress to the next lesson without completely exiting duolingo and opening it again.
I agree but ,Earlier this site used to give the information about the words we practiced in the lessons and also some information about that words with the framing of few sentence . So, I would like to request duolingo to please start that thing again as it was very helpful.And please show the words we had practiced.
I don't mind the design - what I do mind is that so many skills that I had previously conquered are now only half completed. Makes me feel like I have to start from the very beginning again!
Duolingo: why did you steal away half of my crowns and my levels? I am very disappointed and demotivated! I am a second year Duolingo student and and now at some levels I have to start from the beginning. No, I am not amused! (Peter Kraft, Netherlands)
I found out there’s a new Test Out version if you do it from a computer. Thank goodness! I can also get a list of all the words learned, parts of speech and grammar explanation on the computer. Wish I could have that on the app, but I now know where to go to really learn.
I was much more motivated to work with the old tree. My goal was to keep it all "green". If a subject became red, it meant I had to go back and improve that skill. Now I just press the practice button and do the absolute minimum just to preserve my streak. Because the next levels are just repeating the same things over and over again. It is boring and demotivating. If we were given an option between the two systems, I would opt for the original one. I know that a lot of work has gone into the new tree and it is the designers' baby, but I think they should take into account what users say. I have discussed it with a lot of friends and they all prefer the old version!
why i always when i log in after a while. feel that you took me some done parts?
Duolingo knows when you don't practice for a long time, so it wants you to do it again. Your words that you learned already lose strength and you have to keep on going back to redo the lessons and to prove that you do know them.
ouh thank you! that is dismotivating, when i do not have time and possibility be here so often!
Just wants to make sure you haven't forgotten. You can go to the Vocabulary tab and click on the top right "Practice Weakest Words" and prove that you know them!
This new design is too simple. The flow chart design was more aesthetically pleasing. Please change it back to the original design.
Professor, some of us were guinea pigs testing the new skill tree so our trees did not change.
He's been on Duolingo for a while (at least 5 months), and Luis said they only tested it on fresh new users who were supposed to have never used the site before. So he probably wasn't one of the guinea pigs.
Try this link, then look at your tree - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hfnkxy5pgeY/UWp3C6IvfNI/AAAAAAAAAQU/WQEmNWoXxgM/s1600/Duolingo_skill_tee.png
i gave the new tree a chance- and i'v stopped learning for 3days
I JUST WANT MY OLD TREE BACK IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR?!
I liked the old way. The new way is confusing to the point of giving it up.
Stop appealing to the casuals and go back to what made this site well known in the first place.
What the heck? You are acting like this is a video game or something. This site became well known because it is a free, high-quality language learning service.
I don't care in the slightest about the new change. Duolingo is great, level 11 here I come! :-) As a software programmer myself I know a good system when I see one. This is a great system and look forward to all incremental future improvements.
New look is ❤❤❤❤. It was perfect the way it was before. Why do people think they have to fiddle with things.Also, the main gripe, on mobile phone it now just shows a tick and narrative for checkpoints reached. a) The old symbol was better and instantly understandable but b) worst of all it no longer shows future checkpoints to spur you on to reach. Change it back now and sod your "Metrics"
All this aside I have nothing but admiration for the Duolingo team, for creating the best language learning course ever on-line.
change it to older one else i will leave ur course...new one made me nostalgic
Hello! Please let us know specific feedback. We think it'll take a second to get used to the new look. We think a lot about how our design updates improve the learning experience and we have seen improvement in learning through this change. Just give it a sec. :)
I disagree. I'm asking everyone to stay, and to continue to complain. It's how we advance as a group, listening to the problems of the individuals.
I personally don't mind but I think it would be extremely foolish for Duolingo not to, at the very least, provide an option to put the tree lines back in again ...!
All this fuss over the tree design??? I'm just happy to have the program. Thanks Duolingo for providing a program so that I can improve my second language skills.
Blackmailing is really not the answer. Provide useful criticism or just suck it up. I think it is also not really a good attitude to be "just happy" with everything. I would prefer the old look but because so many like the new one maybe there could be an opportunity, in which one can choose between the 2 designs.