I wanted to comment in Aegis' discussion, but was unable to.
Personally, I will be less inclined to use the new site.
This situation reminds me of Windows XP (Classic italki site) and Windows Vista (New italki site).
italki should expect less traffic and activity on the site and more user dissatisfaction after they eliminate the Classic interface.
Despite the large number of frequent users who have voiced their concerns and dissatisfaction with the new site's appearance and functionality, italki plans to disregard the users' comments and wishes.
Please make your comments known, one last time at:
I like the new software for one reason and one reason alone: the ability to edit posts.
I've just gotten back from a nine-week road trip and I think italki has made a classic and serious mistake: not testing their new software with real-world technology, and assuming that everyone will be using a fast internet connection on a few up-to-date and fully standard hardware-software platforms.
I was using an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which is only about three years old, and runs a modified version of Android and Amazon's own "Silk" browser. Not the center of the mainstream, but not anything bizarre. During the course of the trip I used hotel wi-fi in perhaps twenty different locations. Performance on other websites varied, but was usually "usable." However, perhaps 10% did not work at all.
The "classic" italki website worked fine. The new website was among the 10% that did not work at all. I don't know what the problem was, but the chasing arrows I see for a few seconds here at home (Mac OS X, Safari, high-speed fiber optic connection), just kept chasing each other for as long as I cared to watch (five minutes) without the page every loading. Either it has a humongous amount of data, or it is using some very very very new web technologies that don't work with a three-year-old web browser.
A language learning website should ASSUME that users will be using a wide variety of technology, OS, software, and platforms, with a variety of connection speeds, some slow, and should be tested for usability with all of them.
If they can't get the spiffy new software to work properly for people who are using three-year-old off-brand technology, they need to keep the old software up and running and available. In fact, the new site should sense whether your equipment is up to snuff for the brave new Web 2.0 world and redirect you to the classic site if it isn't.
Thank you for posting this thread, Richard, and to Aegis for starting the original one. My account seems to be on Aegis's blocked list, and I can never respond to his posts. So here's my two penn'orth:
I really dislike everything about the new site. It's slow, awkward, ugly and non-intuitive. Things that should be simple take forever, and the overall impression it gives is of something temporary and amateurish. I particularly hate the unappealing layout, indistinct scratchy font and horrid colour scheme. Technologically and aesthetically, the whole thing feels like a step backwards rather than forwards.
I'm not sure that I'll be spending much time here once the classic site is discontinued.
I would have left a comment in Aegis' discussion, but I was unable to for the same reason you were unable to.
So many italki members have made critical comments regarding the new site for many of the same reasons that you cited.
And yet, our comments have fallen on deaf ears.
It appears that someone at italki knows better than the hundreds of italki members and clients who have disapproved of the new site.
Apparently I was wrong to have spent 28 years as a business consultant thinking that the needs and wishes of my clients took precedence.
Dan... I could not agree more with your comments, thank you.
So many people have taken the time to post their disappointment with the new site, and yet italki persists in forcing us to 'do it their way'.
And they have offered no explanation as to the benefits of the new site.
I agree with you and many others that italki should continue to offer the classic site.
Thank you Dan for your detailed account of your experience with the new site... if only italki would listen to us.
I hope that all these voices will be heard . I’ll add my voice to yours and say “ the classic version of italki is much better than the new version.”
We ‘re truly grateful to Richard and Aegis for giving us such opportunity to express our opinions.