New Features: “Follow” and Site Optimization

August 24th, 2010 | Posted by Kevin in feature

At italki, we’ve been spending some time on making small but important improvements to the site. For those of you that are also developing websites, you know how important it is to optimize and test your pages. Most of the changes will have already been noticed by our long-term users. We just wanted to mention a few of the important ones.

“Following” Users
One change we’re testing right now is to allow users to “follow” each other. For those users that are familiar with twitter.com or 新浪微薄, this is a pretty simple concept. If you see a user that you’re interested in, you can “follow” their public updates on your main home page. Specifically, the follow feature will show updates for asking / answering questions, writing / correcting notebooks, and posting in groups.

We think this feature is really helpful for new users who have just arrived on italki and don’t have many friends. It’s a quick way to get involved in discussions, and see how other users are learning on the site.

Finally, don’t worry about about your existing friends. You will automatically follow them, in addition to your teachers and your students (if you have them). As with before, features like online chatting, sending private messages, and the blackboard will all be based on “friend” relationships and your privacy settings.

Other Improvements

We’ve also tried to make it easier to see important features on the site. Many users still don’t know that you can find an online tutor or teacher on italki. Our teachers have also asked us for more help on promoting them to potential students. We’ll be continuing to test small improvements like this to help students and teachers get the most out of italki.

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As always, please send your suggestions to feedback at italki dot com. We’re always interested to hear what you think we can do to improve the site!

Best wishes for learning a language,

The italki team

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