I understand that the site needs to keep evolving. But the latest changes seem, in a lot of ways, a step back. Here’s what I don’t like:
- The lesson overview tab seems to be gone. (or maybe it’s just hidden somewhere?) Whenever I opened a new lesson, I’d look at the lesson page to see the percentage of new words. It gave me a good idea about how difficult the lesson’s gonna be, as well as how well I’m doing with the course. I was hoping one day you’d add the information about the percentage of LingQs (so far I had to sort of guess, if I have 16 new words and that’s 11.5% of the lesson, then if I have 37 LingQs I can get some idea about the percentage) As you use the system, it becomes an increasingly accurate approximation of the vocabulary you really know. In this case some statistics can be quite informative. So I was hoping you’d add the information - or perhaps even a breakdown of the lesson’s LingQ’s by their level, 1 to 4. Instead you did the opposite - you removed the information that was already there. Why?
- The sound effects. They are pointless and annoying. I don’t know if you’ve had them before, and they were just off. Well, now they’re ON by default and I have to turn them off for each new lesson.
- This is just a minor thing, but why remove the “Progress till next coin” bar?
Alright, it seems the sound effects ON/OFF thing is stored in the cookies. Today I’m using a different computer from yesterday, that’s why the sounds came back on. This actually brings me to my other pet peeve concerning Ling:
I use the site primarily to learn Japanese, and Japanese doesn’t have spaces between words. LingQ has to insert them artificially in order for the system to work. I understand that. There’s an option to “Hide Spacing” which hides the spaces (not completely in some situations, but that’s a different issue). This setting is stored on a per-lesson basis, so I have to click it for each new lesson. Furthermore, it seems to be stored in browser cookies, so if I revisit a lesson on a different computer, I have to do it again. I really wish there’d be a global “Always hide spacing” setting, that would automatically hide spaces for all my Japanese lessons. It’s the little things that count. Japanese should be read without spaces (unless you’re a beginner and feel the spacing will actually help you - even then you’re potentially harming yourself in the long run).
Also, this is more of a technical advice than user feedback, but maybe you should consider storing settings for user-language pairs on the server. I know it’s more efficient storage-wise if you put it on the browsers. But compared to the data you already store for each user - lessons, lingqs, even audio, this would be negligible. Just a couple of flags, they’d take up less space than the user name. You’d get around the shortcomings of cookies, i.e. that if the user switches comupters, clears their cookies, reinstalls their browser, etc., their settings will be lost.
I couldn’t agree more regarding your first point.
The total number of blue words statistics is actually next to useless in its current form because it stands without any context. The user has no means to gage weather 50 blue words is allot or a little for a given text. Apart from this I think it’s a big mistake to remove one of the few means the user had to get a sense of his or her performance. I’m referring to the removal of the total unique word count per lesson, which is the crucial piece of data we need to put blue and/or yellow word count in relation to.
Removing information, statistics and indicators from a language site with a quantitative approach seems very counterproductive. Lingq should not work towards hampering information dissemination but should treat it as a core strength and something sacred to the very concept of the site. Other sites can afford “being dumb” since the majority of them has a more qualitative methodology which makes statistics and indicators next to superfluous.
I also miss the percentage of blue words. I used to look at that before every text that I read. It would also be nice to know the percentage of words that are yellow.
Mark, of course, we can get accustomed to all changes in lingq.com.
But why are they SO OFTEN?!..
1-2 times a year is quite enough!
Otherwise we have no time to get used to some changes and then we have other changes again and again!
And that’s why even some good changes the most members interpret as a burden.