There have been some posts lately about ways LingQ could improve, and often these suggestions take the form of feature additions. I thought it might be interesting to gather thoughts on which features LingQ could beneficially get rid of. (I’ll post my own ideas as a reply below.)
Edited to add: I don’t mean to incite arguments with this post. I just hoped to discuss which features we find less valuable, and perhaps learn about ones I’ve been overlooking. There are many different ways to use LingQ!
Also, to the kind staff here at LingQ, who may have invested much time in some of these features: I hope these suggestions don’t offend, and instead can be taken as a bit of qualitative insight into how people use LingQ.
P.S. If this post makes anyone think of features they would like added, here is a recent forum thread about just that: https://www.lingq.com/en/community/forum/open-forum/ideas-to-improve-lingq
- The avatar. I do occasionally buy outfits for my avatar, but for me it’s just a way to pass time while taking a break from studying. Most online reviews of LingQ make fun of the avatar, perhaps unfairly … but I think LingQ would be better off without it.
- Relatedly, I feel that there are too many ways to reward progress. Notice that I’m not complaining about tracking progress – I think the statistics screen is great – but rather, what bothers me are all the attempts to reward and gamify the learning process. There’s the streak, the activity apple, coins, known words, LingQs … Of these, I think that coins should go. This makes sense if you also get rid of the avatar. I would argue that these two elements distract more than add to the learning experience. Plus, coins always get confused with points (again see many online reviews), so ditching points could clear this up as well. (Of course, you may need to rethink how some of the challenges are scored.)
No offense meant to anyone who absolutely adores their avatar and loves earning coins, of course!
The coin shop/avatar is meaningless. I do like the concept of the activity score/apple/streak system though.
The 90 day challenges aren’t very well implemented either. I wouldn’t blink an eye if those went away forever, though the challenges do have more potential than the coins/avatar.
If I could trade in my 826 000 coins for real $$ gift cards I would be okay with that.
I’m a little old to buy clothes for dollies.
Although I like the streak repair use of coins, only rarely use it.
If I invested my coins better maybe I wouldn’t be sitting on a mere pittance of 378,200 coins.
I have never used and never will use the vocabulary trainer. I dont like SRS. I am not serously suggesesting that Lingq should disable it, other people might find it very helpful but I would not miss it in the slightest.
Than there is all that buy-your-avatar-some-pants stuff. I dont care about the cute gamification stuff.
I’m on the same page as you regarding SRS. I used to be a heavy Anki user, but since coming to LingQ I’ve barely touched flashcards (either Anki or LingQ’s version). I would not be sad if this feature (or some aspects of it) disappeared. That said, others probably use it and so I will not advocate for its removal.
The weird avatar thing. And the coin system.
Yes to the coin system. It makes the challenges fairly annoying. For example, both French and Norwegian are at a similar level for me, and I gain new lingqs and new words at approximately the same rate in each. However, because one is a beta language and the other isn’t, the coin value of words greatly affects the time needed to complete the challenge. My spreadsheet shows that while the daily coin goal to meet the 90-day challenge in time is only 12 minutes for French, its is 27 minutes for Norwegian. The bulk of that difference is in how the coin values are calculated.
This idea may be controversial, but please keep in mind that I’m not suggesting LingQ should get rid of this feature; rather I’m just answering the question “What feature could LingQ drop and you wouldn’t miss it?”
Anyway, the feature is: the whole Tutoring section. I’ve never worked with an online tutor for language learning, but when I do, I will probably use different websites that specialize in just this. I imagine they would have a larger selection of active tutors, and maybe other advantages too. The one reason I can think of for seeking tutoring directly on LingQ is that the tutors I find here may be more familiar with LingQ’s philosophy of language learning. This might be a good thing … or it might not matter much. I really don’t know. If anyone has thoughts about this, please share!
I’ve mentioned this in other comments, but most reviews and forum posts I read about LingQ before signing up complained that “it tries to do too much” and “the interface is confusing.” I think LingQ is a fantastic reading/listening tool and a fantastic source of content. But maybe one way it could improve is by becoming simpler (ie, getting rid of some features) and focusing on what it does best. (This thought is actually the reason I started this forum thread…)
The vocabulary trainer. I prefer Anki.
the vocabulary trainer. I much prefer to choose the words myself that I will review using rote.
I forgot there even was an avatar
The avatar wouldn’t be missed all that much, it’s already less prominent than it used to be. Although maybe the gamification is useful for new users, but it seems the upgrades to the avatar are too infrequent to be motivating.
Lots of people mentioned the vocabulary / SRS, but I’d like to keep that, for me it’s essential. I like to review the vocabulary for a lesson, before then reading/listening to it. I find it very helpful.
I would really REALLY love the option of having a blank LingQ (no specific language). That way I can start looking at any language in the world looking at the LingQ layout. I get I can kind of already do this but it would mean hijacking something like Latin so I can use it for my own language. I know a lot of people already do do this but I’d just appreciate a blank one with support for different scripts.