My impression of the recent update

I am a heavy user rather than part of the design team. I am a learner first and foremost. If it were up to me we would have 100 more functions, and 100 more languages.

Mark and his gang are responsible for making the site easy and fun to use, and effective, for a wide range of users. They have run tests with new users. I have not. They have formed their ideas of where the site needed to be simplified, and made more user-friendly, based on these observations. I, as a heavy user, am generally pleased with the changes, although there are some areas where I have reservations.

Here are some observations in no particular order.

  1. I love the new look including the “multi-cultural” background. The readability of the lesson texts has been significantly improved. It is more pleasant to spend time on my computer at LingQ. I realize that this is subjective.

  2. Pokemon, or the little blue man that lights up at the bottom of the page whenever I create a LingQ does not bother me at all. I barely notice it and don’t begrudge it it’s little bit of real estate at the bottom of the lesson page. If this encourages more people to create LingQs, which I gather is the goal, then I have no objections.

  3. The tag cloud access to the library which is visible when you add a new course on the Learn page is great . I look forward to when we get that functionality in the library.

  4. I am less happy with having to click twice to access the dictionary when I am reviewing my yellow words. The previous way we accessed additional resources was very clumsy. The present set up is an improvement. However I think there is still some work to do to optimize this function. We need to spend more time on this. I prefer to have my default dictionary accessible when editing yellow LingQs.

  5. Seeing the notifications at the top of the screen is an improvement. It makes it much easier to regularly access notifications. Personally, I find myself checking my notifications more often and therefore I don’t need filters. Again, this is personal.

That is enough for now. The main issue right now is, I think, to resolve remaining bugs. I think it is important for everyone to react to the various changes and offer suggestions so that Mark and gang can continue to work on the making the site as good as it can be for the largest number of users.

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I’m ashamed to say I don’t even know all the above features mentioned by Steve. I’m here for the Import feature. I love and stay motivated by importing my ‘favorite’ material into LingQ. These are often copyrighted, or may be and I don’t want to waste time finding out if they are or not; I simply want to import my personal courses which then remain ‘private’. This import ability is what keeps me on LingQ with a premium subscription. ( I believe only 5 private imports are allowed in the free Basic subscription). But ‘points’, avatars, ‘store coupons’ ‘little blue men’, ‘yellow words’, ‘blue words’ almost mean nothing to me. But the fact I can click a a word and INSTANTLY see the translation is to me, worth more than all the blue or yellow words put together. That is, if they removed the blue/yellow words I’d hardly be concerned. But if they removed the ability to click and translate (with text-2-speech) it would be a serious set back for me.

Probably the only feature(s) I miss are audio shortcuts. I want a shortcut for everything. I never want to touch the mouse. That means a shortkey to begin the audio (eg. Ctr-Sft-space bar on Windows) and pause audio (space bar) and a shortcut for ‘repeat audio’ (Ctr-space bar) as well as a Text-2-speech (Ctrl-Sft-Alt-space bar) etc.

But the new design is definitely a leap forward. The new ‘gear’ wheel (settings) nesting messy text/links in dropdowns and other “web standard” icons bring LinkQ interface up to current web design standards. Probably if there was a huge revolt on the background, I suppose a preference of backgrounds could be integrated "No background, “LingQ background,” or “color of your choice background” etc. It certainly doesn’t ‘distract’ me from the learning process. but I’m not going to try and argue with anyone who doesn’t like it. If they the designers did make optional backgrounds however it wouldn’t surprise me. People do like choices that give them the feeling they’re in control of their learning environment.

The links at the bottom of the Lesson page “Go to next lesson” “back” etc. (still gone last I looked) were in my opinion misplaced. I understand the logic of “well you finish reading and there they are at the bottom” but too many times I was at the top and had to “laboriously” scroll/page down - no. There should be arrows ← → at top and bottom with hover text (which is another awesome addition to the new design I forgot to mention).

I’m curious Steve that you mention the dictionary. I never use one, though I have them there. After I click and receive the translation what’s left to know? In what way does this give you extra benefits? (i.e. going to a dictionary for a LingQ word or for any other reason for that matter.) There are still many more things I have to learn to really take advantage of my paid subscription so I certainly want to do so.

It’s an absolute pleasure to come to my lesson page now - I love the bright cheery look, larger rounded course icon and the clean fresh design. Again, great job Team LingQ!

Daniel Léo Simpson
Composer
San Francisco

p.s. I do see “Open next lesson in the course” listed in the gear settings.

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Daniel,

I usually rely on google translate for my first dictionary definition since there are few users ahead of me who have already created Hints in Czech, Romanian . In Russian there will sometimes be some User Hints. Often these are not accurate, or prove to be irrelevant to the text I am reading. So very often I go back to my LingQ and change the hint or dictionary definition using my favourite dictionary for that language. Seznam for Czech for example. It takes a little longer to access the dictionary but this enables me to have a better definition, at least some of the time.

Thanks for your other feedback. I know there’s are some issues with regard to the import feature and to the next lesson feature.

I am glad you like the new look.

Steve

Thanks for that clarification Steve.

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and continued good health and prosperity in the new year!

Daniel Léo Simpson
Composer
San Francisco