8 changes made by Duolingo for easier learning
Duolingo, a, has already made learning a new language fun and relatively stress-free. In the coming months, Duolingo will launch a new redesign that aims to make language acquisition even easier. I took the app’s new look for a spin before launch.
And don’t worry, Duo the owl is still here. He is always there.
The first thing you’ll notice in the revamp is a new home screen, which replaces Duolingo’s classic skill tree with a map. When I tried the refreshed layout, I was able to easily pick up where I left off in the Travel Unit. The app’s new features improve its gamification, reducing the pressure to complete units.
The map’s winding path design also adds a boost of confidence as you scroll through completed lessons. Instead of the rigidity of the skill tree, the path-like style makes completing lessons in Duolingo feel more like a journey. As you progress through the units, you’ll see classic Duolingo characters with new animations that highlight their individual personalities: you’ll see Lily giving you a sarcastic look or Oscar meticulously pruning a plant.
Each circle on the path represents a unit lesson. Completing all quizzes in a lesson closes the progress bar and unlocks the next lesson. The redesign also replaces crown levels with a continuous progression ring, which declutters the app.
After completing all of the lessons in the unit, you have the option of trying to achieve legendary status with eight additional more difficult lessons. If you reach legendary status, it applies to the whole unit instead of a single lesson.
The lesson content is the same, but has been resequenced for optimal learning. Plus, the extra material you had to look up in the app is now integrated into your language learning journey.
My favorite change in the redesign? No more “cracked” skills. Previously, if you went too long without practicing an already mastered lesson, a crack would appear in your mastery until you practiced the lesson again. It was a visual encouragement to brush up on old skills, but my inner perfectionist struggled to progress to new units because I would get distracted fixing old lesson stats.
The new Duolingo also better integrates Stories, one of my favorite tools in the app. Stories aid comprehension by having you follow contextual cues as you hear how a chosen language sounds in real conversations. The revamped Learning Path better integrates this feature so you don’t have to open another part of the app to use the tool.
It’s also easier to access course tips. In the revamp, you’ll find a guide at the start of each unit that provides an effective brief overview of what you’ll learn. Even if you’ve completed a unit, you can go back and check out the guide for a refresh. The app still has the ability to tap on words to see translations if you need them too.
The app’s redesign also makes your language goals more visible with a trophy icon at the bottom of the menu. As you complete units and lessons, Duolingo shows your progress towards daily goals and challenges, which feels like an extra confidence boost. If you’re a Plus subscriber, you can access a workout center – the tray icon in the bottom menu – which offers weekly workout recommendations based on your ongoing progress. Here you can review mistakes, as well as retry speaking and listening exercises.
Overall, the changes seem to make learning a language even easier and more accessible. Duolingo told me it was on purpose. Duolingo product manager Anton Yu said the app’s redesign was shaped by feedback: users wanted more advice and content with less complexity. All new features, except the Training Center, will be available to Free users and Plus subscribers.
Duolingo is slowly starting to roll out the redesign to iOS users and expects to ramp up the rollout by the end of the month. Android users will start seeing changes to the app in the coming months.
Here is an overview of some of the changes: