The New and Improved italki.com

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by Samuel Bleakly in feature

We are very pleased to announce the release of an upgraded version of italki.com.

The new version of the site includes a cleaner layout, a redesigned dashboard and a few new cool features. Expect more improvements in the future to italki, as a lot of the work in this new version has been with the backend system.

As we migrate to this new version, we hope that you can remain patient as we try and fix all the bugs and issues that may crop up.

So without further ado, here is a first look at some of the main new changes to italki.com:

The New Dashboard:bigdash

 

What’s Different?

  • Quick access to Sessions, Inbox, Friends & Finance
  • Who’s Online (now called Recently Online) has now been moved to the centre top of the Dashboard. Here you can post your status in terms of what you are looking for on italki (e.g. I am looking for a French language partner). Like before, you can see which of the people you follow is online, but now you can also see what they are looking for, and what their latest post was.
  • To read questions or notebooks in the language you are learning, we now have a Language Updates feed, which you can edit according to which language you want to see.

 

A Clearer Menu:

menu

What’s Different?

  • Language Lessons and Speaking Practice are more clearly labeled under “language teachers”.
  • Sessions and Scheduling have been given their own tab in the menu.
  • Groups have been relabeled as discussions, and anyone can participate.
  • We have made it easier to purchase credits and book lessons, by adding a “buy credits tab” and a “schedule session” button.

 

 Quick Scheduling:

quickschedule

The new schedule session button makes finding a teacher and scheduling a session with them much easier.

Once you click the “Schedule Session” button in the dashboard, you will be taken through a suggested teacher process, allowing you to more easily find teachers that are active and suit your learning goals.

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We appreciate your patience and feedback in this transitional time. Our goal is to provide a faster, better, more stable experience.  If you experience any bugs please report them to support@italki.com

Sincerely,

Samuel Bleakly

italki Community Manager

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  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.robe Edward Robe’

    I don’t really see how this is “clearer”, but okay. I’ve noticed my calendar is completely screwed up (displaying not my student’s names, but my own), and now I’m being recommended English teachers instead of Russian/Ukrainian ones (i.e. the languages I’m studying). Oh well. Hope you guys get the bugs worked out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.pathort Igor Pathort

    The best way to make italki friendly to each user is to add such submenu to the main menu, where put information about all user’s and her/his friends activities. In this section, you can put quick link to user’s notebook, questions, discussions, comments and so on.

  • http://twitter.com/anthilemoon Mitsu

    This new version is really, really, really slow :(

    It takes me more than two minutes to charge the home page, and then most of the boxes (suggested teachers, etc.) keep loading without showing anything else but a pink circle.
    I had a problem with Skype today, and it took me 10 minutes to manage to send my teacher a message through the website to apologize.

    I don’t mean to be the rude-always-angry-user, I know it’s really hard to launch a new version and I appreciate that you’re always trying to make our experience on Italki better, so good luck with fixing it!

  • http://twitter.com/anthilemoon Mitsu

    (and I also get a “504 Gateway Time-out” message a lot of times)
    Good luck and thank you!

  • Jason Gillyon

    Looks good, but the web site is still the slowest web site I’ve ever used. Please fix your speed issues!

  • http://twitter.com/AlextwittNobili Alessandro Nobili

    new version is ugly. I can not see easly “user’s reputation” who is answering and my year’s activity is lost .

  • Jofurn

    The lessons I have given are disappearing from my calendar leaving only the future lessons. This is problematic because I cannot review my entire month easily and see how many lessons I have given and to whom. I also cannot click on a past lesson to check what was studied.

  • tarak brahmi

    I think that the old version worked pretty well so I don’t see the point in making drastic changes. I’m afraid changing things around is rather confusing from the user’s perspective although I’m sure the changes are done for a good reason. Maybe adding things wisely while keeping things where they are may prove more fruitful in the short and long run. I hope to see more effort invested in the chat rooms’ area. I think they used to be much more intuitive a few years ago.

  • http://italki.com Samuel Bleakly

    Hi Ines. We’re going to get to the bottom of this. What could have happened is that your profile was inactive for multiple months and our system mistakenly deactivated you as part of a clean up effort. The ITC are still in your revenue account, we just have to reactivate your profile. Can you email me your teacherid at sam@italki.com

  • http://italki.com Samuel Bleakly

    In response to all of your feedback:

    Firstly, we’d like to apologize for all of the inconveniences the new changes have caused.
    We know that there will be many issues with the new version of the site. And we appreciate your patience and continued support as we continually work towards getting things fixed. The main reason for the changes were due to a migration of the specific technology that runs the site.

    These changes will allow us to eventually have a much much faster site, after we get most of the blocks out of the way with coding and dns issues.

    We understand what you are saying and are having many discussions behind the scenes as to which suggestions we can realistically implement at this time.

    If you’d like to have a more in depth discussion, you can always email me at sam@italki.com

  • Dani Robertson

    I actually vastly prefer this layout to the old one, which in my opinion was a very counter-intuitive system. I think this format is actually easier to use, but does still have issues to be worked out. For instance, there are a few things in my profile I cannot properly update, like my vacation days and some of the status messages. I’ve already submitted a help ticket for those things though. I do agree with other posters about the issues with load times, though. Is that a content issue, or a server issue? Either way, it gets very frustrating when you try to log in at peak hours, which seems to be most hours.

  • Sarah

    The old format of Italki was much better than this new one. I can’t see
    my friends birthday anymore, or their latest activities in the home
    page. Before the site got up-graded, I was able to see the latest
    activities my friends had, so I could easily comment on my friends’
    post, saw their latest question, or discussion. But now, everything has
    changed. I wonder how I can realize my friends birthday or their latest
    activities? It is really difficult to check all my friends profile to
    see whether they have written a new notebook entry or had another
    activity. In the past, I directly went to Italki homepage and see my
    friends activity or birthday notification.

    I can’t even see my other activities in my profile, like my comments
    under my friends’ posts, or discussion. I don’t like the changes Italki
    has done. How can I get used to this new format? The old format was
    much more easier to follow. The old format was easier to read others
    posts as well. I think it was also much easier to get corrections,
    or help others.

  • Sarah

    When I post my notes with picture, the picture doesn’t show up in post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.opritescu George Opritescu

    Finally, it takes less than 1 minute to navigate from one link to another. Good job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.bleakly Sam Bleakly

    In response to all of the feedback we’ve been getting:

    First, we’d like to apologize for any inconveniences the new changes have caused.

    The speed and chat are two issues that are being actively worked on and will be fixed as soon as we can fix them.

    Secondly, we’d like to let everyone know that if we can’t respond to your request or feedback post (there are thousands we need to respond to every day, and I respond to 90% of them.) We are reading them and we are taking what you are saying into account.

    Whenever you launch a new site there will be bugs to deal with, and right now we are documenting every bug that is being reported and fixing it in the order of when we receive the reports.

    We appreciate your patience and continued support. We’ve received over 1,000 emails in the last two days and most of it has been constructive and positive. italki is your community too, and we appreciate your feedback and input in making it a better site.

    If you have any urgent session requests related to teaching sessions and you aren’t getting a fast enough response through the support network, email me personally at sam@italki.com

  • Ian H

    I think you need to focus more on usability. It may be that I am unusual in that I just want to use the site to arrange paid lessons and am not interested in the social aspects of the site, but commission on lessons is what pays the bills for Italki after all, so you might do well to pay more attention to how long it takes people like me to use the site.

    With this new version some things take longer, for example I now have to click a seperate link after accessing the home page to see my upcoming lesson schedule.There is still no way to leave feedback on multiple lessons either which is what I spend most time doing on the site.

    If you could let people choose whether they wanted to use the site more for paid lessons or for free language exchanges then you might be able to create 2 types of profile with different default page display options. But in any case the site is now more time consuming to use for me as things stand.

    p.s. For this form I’m filling in right now, I am already logged into the site so why is it asking me for my email address, Facebook name, star sign etc.?

  • Maria L

    It’s quite odd to see that I have a message alert when I actually don’t. There’s still the conversations and messages issue that confuses people… sometimes you don’t know if the message sent to conversations has reached the recipient.

    Lastly, s l o w change on pages. Sometimes it takes forever.

    Hope you guys fix this.

    Thank you so much for providing the teachers and learners a site to meet. ^___^

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.bleakly Sam Bleakly

    Hi Ines, Your teacher profile may have been deactivated due to a bug. The itc is still in your revenue account, we just need you to resubmit an application, (all of your application info is saved.) please visit this link http://www.italki.com/teacher/apply and we will accept it as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

  • Ri

    This is my main issue with the new layout – I can’t see the latest questions and notebook entries of people I’ve chose to follow. Often, the reason I choose to follow someone is because I think they post interesting entries/questions that I can learn something about their culture/language from. I’m not sure what the point of “following” “friends” is if all you can see is the three that have been online most recently (and whose most recent posts were 6 months ago). When websites such as these have changed in the past, as they frequently do, I’ve just adapted, but at the moment with italki I feel rather lost and lonely when opening the homepage…

    A solution could be to add an option where, instead of seeing those most recently online, you can see the most recent activities of those you are following.

  • Michael Semikin

    Hi,

    Could you please turn back the feature to see the last visit date of a teacher/tutor. Without this ability is much more difficult to choose a right teacher because I can’t understand how often teacher visit italki. So for last 4 days I tried to pick a teacher but got no answer from them. And I don’t even know whether the teacher’s profile is dead ot alive.

  • VivianePB

    Will we ever be able to update our answers in the “Answers” section like in the previous version?