LingQ Update – First Impressions

Yesterday, LingQ had a huge interface update which changed a lot of things, and I was really excited to talk about some of the changes that were made to the site. Considering LingQ is something that I use everyday without fail, I feel this update impacts me a lot, and therefore am a good authority to talk about it.

What changed – The Good

The main update was the interface, which now looks really amazing. The reader has been made more simplistic, however the same customisation remains which means that you can more or less have the same experience. You can now choose between using a sidebar and having the words appear on the right. Not having the sidebar probably looks better, however functionally I don’t think it’s an improvement, as clicking away auto selects text and blocks a lot of the words. I’m glad the option is there though, this is great for those who always wanted this instead.

The main page/ lesson selector page now looks really amazing, and the thumbnails appear bigger and show more information as you select them. I think this is great as it makes new lessons (that may not have been as appealing on the old version) look more appealing, it really makes you want to click on more articles, which is great for motivation.

I think a new user would enjoy this interface much more, and be able to use it to engage more with LingQ and learn faster.

The next change is the one I’m the most excited about:

They have changed the way that daily streaks work. For those who don’t know what a LingQ is, it’s essentially a new word that you haven’t learned yet, and in the old system you needed to get 13 LingQ’s as a minimum to maintain your daily streak. I found this difficult because I already know nearly 30k words on LingQ, and finding new words that you haven’t seen before isn’t easy. This meant I would have to study for much longer than other users in order to keep my streak.

Now I’m very pleased to say that this isn’t the case anymore. Instead it’s a coins target, which is brilliant. Coins are a measure of everything. If you find a new word, you get coins, if you see a new word that you already knew you get coins, if you feel slightly more confident recognising a new word, you get coins. So I think that’s really great, as it means that I can meet my “casual” target without doing an insane amount of work.

The multiplier around the side is also brilliant, knowing that I did 29x my target is a pretty cool thing. I think this will really help add to my motivation.

Another new feature is the ability to import from BBC news, which is great, and if I can’t motivate myself to learn Chinese by finding my own material, the constant mess of party gate which is absolutely crazy will. I wonder if that’s why BBC news was added in the first place?

I feel that appearance matters, and if the site looks good, more people will want to use it, and more importantly make content on it, so I feel their library of content will only grow, and I look forward to taking advantage of that.

What’s changed – The bad

I really don’t see any problems that will impact my experience negatively, this is incredibly rare for me. When Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter updated their interfaces, it felt terrible, and I only liked it again by getting used to it, rather than liking it on first sight.

The fact that LingQ have done such a huge update and I really like the changes is pretty amazing. I often feel like I have a curse of joining things, like as soon as I join something everything’s really good, then they make a change and it really sucks. I’m very glad this wasn’t the case for LingQ.

I must however mention that, as is inevitable for any major update, there are bugs, bugs that I’m sure weren’t there in their dev site yet just happen when you make the change to the main site. I did website development for a year, so I really empathise with stuff like this, honestly it would be a miracle to me if there weren’t bugs.

If you’re reading this a few weeks after this post, chances are, all of these bugs have been solved, but nevertheless I’ll write this here.

I’ve noticed the scroll button on the right hand side of the screen doesn’t always work. I’ve also seen that lessons from your self created courses don’t load in the app, and that the interface of the app hasn’t updated to show coins, rather it swaps coins with LingQ’s, which is something that terrified me when I first saw it.

Obviously as I struggle to find 13 words on some days, 50 is just crazy! However I soon realised what had happened. It’s clear the app hasn’t been updated yet, but I’m sure it will fix these issues.

Overall Thoughts

I’m really pleased with this update, and look forward to the bugs being solved and using the new systems. If you follow my referral link you can test the update for yourself for free, and we both get a bonus: https://www.lingq.com/?referral=rossiroad.

And if you’ve got to this point and started to wonder why I’m talking about a website update in the same way as you would talk about a video game update, this is just what I’m interested in.

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