Site navigation a proposal

Emma, on the Japanese forum has made the following proposal

Why not create a Dashboard or My Page which would access using a button called

This would show you the lesson you are currently studying, writing assignments, scheduled discussions, speaking and writing reports, priority LingQs.

From there you would “Choose a course” or “Get a lesson from the Library”

I am interested in peoples’ reactions.

However, our main concern right now is that new members do not become active. The previous Overview page had many things on it that were meaningless to a new member, like the Priority LingQs, Messages etc. That is one of the reasons we changed the navigation and set up courses, in order to create some structure.

This has not had any impact on the activity of newcomers.

We are interested in suggestions since we have to find a way to make our new members understand what to do and get active on the site.

So once again, we do not want to add functionality. We need to find a way to get new members to do even the most basic tasks. An ideas?

Bear in mind that we cannot do another major redesign in the hope that it might produce some results. We are looking for minor changes that might make a difference.

I should point out that our focus in February is on the following

We will spend additional programming resources to

  1. improve the speed and functionality of the site
  2. improve the community
  3. facilitate the “tell a friend” and other means for members to invite friends to join


Increased exposure through a radio campaign in the US and other means.

We are expecting that this will improve learner experience, increase word of mouth and increase awareness of LingQ.

Advice and assistance is always appreciated as we work to make LingQ the best place on the web to learn languages.

Hi Steve,

When you open LingQ you come to the Welcome site. This is the first site which users see, new users, and current users. And so this is the site that has to become more attractive.

Now on this site is only shown a lot of information. This is okay but it is not enough and a little bit boring. You cannot directly go to the interesting sites. This is only possible using the menus.

I would make the suggestion to add links for the navigation and make it attractive adding some pictures. People today, in the time of the internet and media are strong visually orientated.

There could be the following sections:

Video tour
Choosing level (goal)
Creating course/choosing Lesson

  • Own course: with Link to the Lessons
  • Tutored course: with Link (and maybe 1 to 3 courses (with picture!) with the correct level and a direct Link)
  • Library: with Link
    Lessons: show the last 3 Lessons (with Picture!) with direct Link
    Community: with direct Link (with picture!)

Also I recommend thinking about how you display the first site. The site should be shown on only one site of a monitor. You should not have to need scrolling! That is very uncomfortable on the first site. You should use a smaller size for the text. I always have to change the size when I go to the LingQ website because it is too big in my opinion and not enough information is shown on the sites. And I don’t like scrolling so much.

As a tutor I miss information about students that are studying German. Students don’t have to choose a tutor. That is okay. But so I don’t have the email addresses to write an email with suggestion. I often write emails for the students if they are paying members or not. And I’m hoping they will become paying members. It would be helpful to get a list of all new students for the teaching language which enrolled in the last months with the email address.

I agree totally with Vera. It would be very helpful to have the e-mail adresses from the students in order to contact them. There are a lot tools in the Internet for supporting such marketing. We would do this by ourself, but we need a list of the German students. This also could be an txt or excel file.
What think the other tutors?

An idea that just occurred to me: maybe you should put an “example lesson” in this first page, so the person would go directly to the lesson page. This could be the first episode of “Who is she?”, for example. In this example lesson page, there should be a link that screecast video explaining how to use it. The problem here is to have video explanations in the user’s native language…
Another interesting link to have is a “more of this” button, that would lead the person directly to the collection from which the lesson came, because the way the library is organized (?!), the poor newcomer probably won’t be able to find the other items of the “who is she?” collection.

Another idea is a little bit more odd, maybe. I’m not sure about the feasibility of this, but let me toss it and let you decide.
I guess that those users more likely to become paying members are that are smart enough to have already done something around here. So, you could launch a contest for new users. The most active ones in their first month would be offered a beginner course. Some issues:

  • to have a beginner course in every language
  • the tutor should be able to speak at least one other language, to be able to explain lingQ method in detail, since this is the main goal of this course.

I’ve had the Idea too, but I also thought about to show collections. But I think it must depend on the level which content or which collection would be shown.
Maybe it would be enough to lead the new users to the library or the courses. But then the re-organisation of the library is recommended! I know, it is on your list. I hope changes in the library coming soon.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I wonder, if we offered a free course to the most active learners in each language would the tutors be willing to offer these free of charge?

We could simply say that the top three LingQers would get a free session with the tutor of their choice, in each language. Or we could offer this to anyone who reaches 100 LingQs. As it is now we give out 500 points for upgrading which amounts to the same thing. Maybe we should limit the free LingQs to 100?

Just thinking out loud.

Free session or points… if it’s a question of “either/or” I think it’s better to give points to top LingQers (that way, those can be spent anyway you want).

Limiting the free LingQs to 100… I don’t know. Maybe 100 is too few words (for the average member) to see if the method “works” (even HOW it works).

I think that one isolated conversation is not enough to show how LingQ is supposed to be used. But, of course, I understand it is not very easy to offer entire courses for free…
I agree with Jeff, 100 lingQs is a very low number, even to figure out how things work.

Our problem is how to get people to even save 100 LingQs. If they save 100 LingQs they will usually continue.

I agree that one conversation is not enough. I had one course with a young American high schools student who is studying Russian. Now he has signed up again for another month. I think by the third month he will be ready to talk to a Russian tutor. A big part of our discussion is on how to use LingQ and some general comments about Russian/ That is ideal.

The problem is getting people to sign up for courses. In fact that is the best thing they can do to really get launched on LingQ.

I think that many of our users do not fully use it. Now that I am finally concentrating on grammar accuracy in my speaking, I am finding the Tags very useful for grammar. Of course it was only because I was speaking and writing that I became motivated to improve my output accuracy. Before that I was only motivated to learn more words so that I could understand more.

I think it is not a problem of free courses. The Welcome side looks serious but not very funny. So the people maybe got the impression that LingQ is boring. So I suggest in my post above making the Welcome site a little bit more attractive with pictures. And clicking at the picture should lead the people to the first lessons in a very easy way, and to the community. I think this would help to make the site more interesting.

Another thing is to ask people with an email why they don’t use LingQ maybe after a week after they have signed up in LingQ. Maybe 1, 2 or 3 percent will give you an answer and maybe you can pick up some ideas from there answers. I think you should make more contact with the new learners. I strongly recommend that. And a week after signing up is a good time to try to active the users. And this mail has to be in there native language!


A while ago as I was serfing around the forum I saw somewhere that you proposed about uploading on the LingQ public area our recorded conversations and writings (i guess with the consent of all participants). I can’t really remember exactly what was the statement, but I think this is a good idea. I think it would make new users more motivated to participate in a conversation if they could see some examples from other students. Especially when it comes to speak in a foreign language through the phone I believe it is even harder than when you do it face to face. So maybe when new students have the opportunity to hear other students’ conversations they would feel less stress about sign up for one.

Also regarding the writings, maybe there could be some award for the best ones.

Actually… I m a bit out of subject…

‘Our problem is how to get people to even save 100 LingQs. If they save 100 LingQs they will usually continue.’

So if that is your problem, then I don’t see the benefit of lowering the limit. I think it rather daunts the newcomers. You just need to explain the method better on the Welcome site. Once they know how it works (and that it works!), they will just upgrade their account. It’s relatively cheap anyway.

That’s my thought.

Hum, maybe instead of (or together with) the “sample” lesson, there should be a button going directly to the description of a beginner course…
If there are so few people doing 100 LingQs, maybe it is a good idea to offer something to the ones who achieve this, to give them an extra impulse…

Anyway, I still believe the most effective way to make people understand how things work at LingQ would be by short LIVE practical courses. Unless you are willing to pay for some interface engineers from Apple (rsss…), I can’t see how minor interface modifications would make the average person use LingQ correctly without more detailed explanations…

Another interesting kind of promotion would be giving some points to people for their friends subscribed in paid accounts (let’s say, 100 points per friend). So, people would be more motivated to explain things better to their friends, and to convince them that LingQ is worth paying for, instead of justing giving them the url.

Well, just tossing some coins around…

I will get back on these ideas. Thanks.

What about integrating or creating the micro-blogging(take twitter for example) there? It will encourage users to write and at the some time will do good for promoting the community. Another thing I have found lacking is inter-profile communication at least between the friends. What is the point now for selecting a friend? You follow his/her blog?