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Let’s improve Italki together ;)

I found the web-site recently and I liked it very much, because I have never seen anything similar for learning foreign languages. But now I’ve started to notice some small disadvantages.

The main of them, especially for me, is a too small number of characters you can write in the notebook. A title contains about 100 characters and sometimes it’s not enough. Except that, 2500 characters is also not enough for me, and maybe for someone else as well. Now I’m writing constantly reviews of films and lately I should resign of some sentences that could be quite interesting, just for the reason of a lack of characters.
I just don’t understand one thing, why a discussion has 5000 characters and a note has a half as much? There are people who would like to express themselves as they want to and I think Italki should give them such opportunity.

I'm not complaining, of course not. I just would like to encourage Italki to help its users. Because people want to learn indeed, so let’s help them :)

Apr 13, 2018 5:10 AM
Comments · 8
I do not like to correct too long notebook entries, I always have to split them up in two parts and it is difficult to do it on a tablet. If you want to enhance the chances that people correct your notebook entries write shorter ones. You still have time to write the masterpiece of your life.
April 13, 2018

FYI it's not published anywhere, but the 5000 character limit doesn't include formatting. I logged it as a bug last year, and was told that by adding a format (bold, italic, underline, strike-through, color) you are actually adding a new character for each letter and format that counts against the 5000 character limit.

So for example, the plain word 'the' is 3 characters, 'the' uses up 6 characters, and 'the' takes 21 characters (the original 3, plus three more each for underline, bold, italic, strike-through, background color, and foreground color). 

I could never understand why I kept getting "too many characters" errors when there were nowhere near 5000 letters in the text box.

If enough people complain about this Italki might increase the character limit, but as I said I flagged it as a bug last year and nothing was ever done about it.

Edited to add: this applies to the edit box in corrections, since there is no formatting in the Notebook entry edit box. So you actually have to write significantly fewer than 5000 characters to allow for people to add formatting to their corrections -- especially if your text needs a lot of corrections  ;-)

April 13, 2018
Okay I'll try to write short notes! Btw thanks for your response!
April 13, 2018

Italki doesn't make any money from the Community side of the platform, the profit comes from taking a percentage of teachers' fees. I suspect that's why the overall user experience is so bad.

What irks me as a UX professional is that they did a major redesign in the summer of 2016 that made a lot of things worse than before, including combining the foreground and background color buttons into one. Sounds like a small change, but I use that feature all the time (I've corrected >500 Notebooks since January 2016) and it's frustrating as hell.

/end of rant

April 13, 2018

@ John

Thank you for the explanation, I didn't know about that. And you're right. This is a little weird that people have been noticing this propblem for a quite long time, but nothing has been done yet.
Actually I have read the purple part :D Now I see what is the problem about.

April 13, 2018
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English, Italian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
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