Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
Dear italki... listen to your members' suggestions to improve this website... Post your suggestions here...

One of italki's frequent and helpful members, Rosangela Sena from Brazil, recently posted a discussion ( that talked about the need for italki to listen to members' suggestions for improvements to the website.

Is anyone at italki listening?

It would be great if italki offered a link to a page where we could make our suggetions for improvement.

Many great companies have benefited by listening to their customers, clients, suppliers and users, so why doesn't italki take advantage of this valuable, free resource?

Until italki clues in (realizes) to this opportunity, I've decided to give italki the chance to take advantage of the great ideas of its members.

This discussion provides italki's great members the chance to offer their ideas and suggestions for improvement.

Post your suggestions here ... I'll contact italki support and advise them that they should track/follow/pay attention to this discussion.

Apr 24, 2017 3:15 PM
Comments · 38
April 24, 2017

A great idea, Richard!

I think it would be not bad, if there were chat/video chat services on this site. And every member could open its own topic oriented chat room to practice languages. A kind of "all in one".

I also think, that voting down is not good. Some people take it too much personally and that puts them down, which doesn't help in learning. Let alone, it's enough to get "-1" to not see your discussion anymore just because some didn't like it. Not fair.

April 24, 2017

That last comment came to a rather abrupt end naturally because of... paltry character limits. (Which is also why I had to cut out a sentence saying that the limit and the tediousness of the process in general probably also greatly reduces the number of people willing to help in the Notebook area.) It's also why I occasionally have to resort to a form of pidgin English just to get the ideas to fit in the box (as I did in a few sentences in the previous comment), something which I find to be endlessly irritating on a language learning site.

But just one last one from my list...the accursed "show more" button in Discussions. Yes, I get that the intention is to improve page loading speed but in reality it makes it largely pointless for anyone to contribute to discussions which have many pages of replies because it takes forever to get down to the most recent comments. At least have the option of "Load All" to load all of the comments in a single click instead of half a dozen, and/or an option (note, OPTION, not a default) to sort replies latest to earliest so that you can quickly see what the latest posts were.

April 24, 2017

I've thought about opening a thread like this for a while but because of the ridiculously brief character limits I realised it would need to be a series of posts.

And that's my main gripe. I realise that you can't allow posts to be infinitely long but the existing limits, especially in Notebook, are ridiculously short especially as just formatting something seems to take up hundreds of "characters" out of your paltry 5000 allowed. Add the absence of predefined formatting which can be applied with one click, and it's hardly any wonder that correction activity in Notebook is a lot more tedious than it needs to be. I raised this with Italki support and while they listened emphatically all they could do was "pass it on to the site design guys" who, as noted above, just seem to do whatever the bleep they want to do anyway.

Downvoting I'm less concerned about even though I've been on the receiving end of it at times; I think a lot of the problem would go away if people were able to blacklist other members who they find exceptionally irritating so that they don't see that person's posts. Standard phpBB style forums have such a feature built in.

Passwords. Oh for the love of Mike get rid of the need to constantly enter passwords. Either you trust your authentication or your site needs fixing. I should not be prompted for a password to book a lesson, I should not be prompted for one to confirm a lesson and "keep me logged in" means KEEP ME LOGGED IN!

Teacher search function: HUGE improvements needed. You should not need to reselect ALL of your criteria every time you do a search. I don't need to see 20 pages of English teachers if I'm looking for a German teacher. The price ranges need to be more granular (and accurate), and "$20+" is something for the distant past. It certainly wouldn't hurt to offer a "pairs" of students filtering option. (Some teachers let you study with a friend, but you need to search the profiles to see it.)

April 24, 2017

Two things that come to mind for me:

+If a teacher has to reschedule or cancel a lesson, there should be a way to take instant tutoring. Unfortunately, italki will not allow you book an instant tutoring session during the time that's been blocked out even if the scheduled lesson is not taking place. Surely they can make some way around this. 

+In a perfect world, I wish there could be a way with notebook entries to specify differences between whether something is grammatically incorrect versus "it's correct but doesn't sound natural." It's a point of frustration for me when someone "corrects" a notebook entry by writing an editorial commentary or changing language with no explanations as to why. I don't think anyone gains knowledge that way. 

April 25, 2017
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