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Feedback on the New Message System



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    Jenny Lynn Kerr

    I am very sorry but I really really DON'T LIKE this system. 

    1. In your photos you have a rather large window to view messages, but that is not how it functions for me. I have a very small box compaired to my screen size, and so the messages are just SUPER hard to read and sort through! 

    2. I get a notification for every stupid thing that happens! It makes no sense. I don't need you to send a message to me telling me the lesson is complete, and to leave feedback, and then telling me I left the feedback. This SHOULD BE FOR MESSAGES BETWEEN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ONLY!!!!!

    3. If ITALKI mgmt wants to send me stuff so it somewhere else. 


    I AM MISSING MESSAGES FROM STUDENTS because it is so hard to filter through all the extra stuff, and because the screen panel is SO SMALL that when I scroll past things it is really hard to see everything. 


    PLEASE CHANGE THIS> PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. It is really driving me crazy. 

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    Vanesa Daiana

    The new system is absolutely horrible. It's very difficult to find relevant information or important messages from the students.Why aren't lesson requests marked differently? I really hope this is not a way to force us download the app into our phones. E-mail notifications worked fine most of the time.

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    Hi Vanesa. I can confirm that the recently updated app has exactly the same issues.

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    I do not like this new messaging system at all. It is very confusing. I feel like I cannot contact my students, and it's confusing to have messaging notifications every time a student requests a lesson. We can already see their requests on the dashboard, so I feel like they do not need to be included in the messaging center. I am confused now I don't like using italki as much because of the changes.

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    I'd like to add some more feedback.

    Almost everyone here would seem to be happy with a simple restore of the old system, however, I think it very unlikely that this is going to happen. And the old system had its flaws, too.

    So, since the support is working on solutions (I received an email), here is another suggestion:

    I would like to be able to accept all lesson request on one page without being directed to another page and then having to go back again. The site is quite slow loading anyways.

    I'd like to add that I really like teaching on italki and I hope things will work out soon for everybody involved.

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    We have been receiving a lot of feedback for the messaging system and while we can’t respond to each person, we are trying to consolidate some of the most common problems and find a solution. Thank you for taking time to give us your feedback.

    Some problems have already been addressed and our tech team has implemented improvements and fixes. We’re working hard to improve the system and will continue to release updates in the future as we keep looking at your feedback. To address some recent user feedback we have released an update. Please go to the top section of this article to see the changes (screenshots included).

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    Hello dear Italki team!  I am grateful for your constant attempts to improve the website, but I cannot but fully agree with the comments of my other colleagues.  The new system is terrible.  Actual messages need to be seperated from other notifications. I just noticed I had two actual messages from potential new students that I hadn't seen ealier because of the confusing and unclear new layout. Please revert this change as soon as possible. Kind regards, Tamara

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    The latest 'view profile' and 'close conversation' modifications have solved my main problems. 

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    Chris Cook

    I agree with all the others. Thankfully I already have an established system of communication with my students outside of the message system, but all of these notifications make it super easy to miss real messages from potential students. Also, lesson messages were nice as they were tied to a specific class. This was especially useful if a new student didn't show up for class (before I have other ways of reaching them.

    Please revert to the old system, or at the very least separate notifications from messages.

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    I agree with the comments above regarding the fact that all these  recent updates just bring inconvenience both to teachers and students.

    For example, I still don't get any email notifications when my teacher sends me a message on italki. 
    It's so inconvenient, because before I was able to be informed about my teacher's messages through my email, it helped me to answer right away.
    I don't like the chat window as well, I'm lost there.... I like how it was before. We had a seperate chat to each lesson, it helped me to review the information my teacher was writing  to me regarding each lesson. Now I'm not able to do it any more(( It's a mess...
    Teachers can lose students, therefore Italki can  lose clients...
    I hope all our complaints will help italki to improve the website functionality and leave behind the competitors/business rivals rather then giving them a chance to be better....
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    Fabio (Edited )

    Dear team of Italki,
    First of all, Italki is an awesome platform for language exchange thanks you very much.

    There are many problems of usability in the Italki website as well as the Italki app. The old message system had a bad implementation but usable, but the new one is a really bad message system.

    My recommendation is simple. Make a copy of the message system of FACEBOOK if you do that it will be an awesome tool for all the comunity of Italki.


    Kind regards

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    The new message system is terrible. I don't need to explain why since plenty of other comments have already pointed out the obvious flaws. Please go back to the old system. 

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    I echo everyone else's feedback that the new messaging system is cumbersome and unhelpful.  It is so easy to miss a lesson request unless you fastidiously check on 'action required'.  Lack of email notifications has also meant that the service I offer students of responding in an extremely quick time frame to their requests is now nigh on impossible unless I remain glued to the italki site.  Please, please listen to the feedback and either fundamentally overhaul this new system or give us back the old system.  Many thanks. 

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    Vanessa Dürr

    I also think the new system is worse.

    time until a lesson, new lesson request, problems etc., are all the same kind of notification. The important stuff drowns in timers and "leave lesson feedback" notifications and its extremely hard to keep up with it. in order to see if I accepted/looked at something, I have to click "see details"; with every single notification. That means that I literally have to click about 10 times just to make sure I didn´t forget to accept a lesson request.

    What you need to fix:

    Make 2 categories. One section for messages, timers, "leave feedback" etc, and then a second separate one for the important stuff like lesson problems and new requests. When we accept a request or a problem is solved, it should change colour (e.g. green) vs. red when its still an open issue.

    Notification wise all we really need is:

    1. new lesson requests

    2. problems

    3. private messages by students

    everything else just makes it harder to see those 3 things, which leads to long response times and lessons not accepted in time simply because teachers can´t know if a new notification is "120 minutes until lesson start" or a new request.


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    Quentin Comerford

    The new system is TERRIBLE, I’m missing messages from my teacher regularly. I no longer receive email notifications that I have a new message and logging into the website more often to check IF anything is there is NOT the solution. You will most certainly lose customers with this change. I’ll already considering moving elsewhere as I don’t need any extra trouble to deal with. The easiest solution is to immediately revert back to the previous system!

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    My teacher missed two of my lesson requests. The system is the most terrible, which I have ever seen.

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    Who else has the problem of jumping request pages...???? It drives me nuts.

    When I have a request opened and a new request comes in, the page suddenly jumps to the new one. 

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    Eliaquim Sousa 易尚明


    It is also happening to me. I thought this bug would go away, but it keeps happening.

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    Why did you want to change the message system ? it was very convenient to me (much more that systems use by other learning platforms). The new one is terrible, it already created me many issues as those written by other users. Please revert to the old system.

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    I'm fine with the new system on italki message except the removal of delete message option. Instead, you change to close the conversation. I just hope that you would consider to add back the delete message option for each chat or message. I'd appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

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    julie wilson

    I am not sure what happened but I have had much difficulty with the message system and also trying to obtain customer service.  Fortunately my teacher has been very patient. I have taken lessons on other sites, where I much prefer their navigation and platform and I now have a greater desire to pursue lessons elsewhere because it seems that iTalki has made things very difficult for the teachers as far as communication with students (and thus vice versa).


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    7 notifications per lesson is just absurd!!!! 

    - Student sends lesson request (needed)

    - Teacher accepts lesson request (IMO not needed)

    - 2 hours before lesson (IMO this notification should be optional)

    - 30 minutes before lesson (IMO this notification should be optional)

    - Lesson time has ended (IMO not needed)

    - Student marks lesson as completed (IMO this notification should be optional)

    - Teacher leaves feedback for the student (IMO not needed)

    This doesn't include any notifications for rescheduling, or lesson messages sent. I have notification fatigue. I almost missed a lesson request because I had so many notifications that I just didn't see it! This would have affected my response rating! Seriously. This needs to be fixed. I have also had several students not see the messages I've sent them, and only noticed them once I said "Did you see my message?" and the went looking for the message. The app is a mess! Double the notifications in some instances. 

    iTalki, did you talk to ANY of the teachers before rolling out this update? Please fix this ASAP.

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    As anyone can see:

    -  there are more than enough problems with the new system as identified herein

    -  there are more than enough users, teachers, tutors, and students who have expressed their concerns

    -  there are more than enough teachers and tutors who are worried that the new system will cause them to lose money

    -   there are more than enough users, teachers, tutors, and students who have asked politely to have the old system reactivated

    1  Revert to the old system - take the new system offline

    2  Work offline on the new system if you think it's necessary (we don't see any advantage to the new system)

    3  Respect and Respond to your customers - this is a business

    4  Keep your customers satisfied, not discontent.


    Why are we being forced to plead with italki for us to help make italki financially successful?

    Remember, we're all on the same side...

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    The new message system is dreadful! Please revert back to the old one. This one is not user friendly, it is difficult to track whether you have a message or a new lesson request, absolutely worst of all is how it cuts off words in messages li

    ke this maki

    ng it difficult for anyo


    but especially non-native speakers to comprehend the message. Surely with all of the negative feedback you are receiving from italki users, you will end this new system immediately. innovation is great but sometimes it fails. This system is not helpful to users, please return to the old system which was much more clear. Thank you!

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    Rina E



    I am very happy that I share the same feelings as most people here. 

    It's not a pleasant layout and I prefer the older system.

    1. Lesson requests should be separate from the message centre. All of the old messages that I've deleted have no reappeared and it's hard for me to find important messages, especially from my students. 
    2. I prefer receiving emails notifying me of messages.
    3. The italki app is just a huge mess now. Messages don't load and the app is always crashing.

    All in all, please bring back the older system there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. 



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    So, I emailed and asked why notifications and messages had been combined. This is the response I received:

    Hello Dave,
    Thanks for your reply.
    italki is undergoing major changes, both on the website and in our apps: we are building the future of italki. Unfortunately, the old structure was not fit for the changes that we will have to make in the future in order to keep italki updated. As a consequence, a change in the structure was necessary, and it will allows to more efficient in the future.
    Also, the reasoning behind this change was that most users will simply ignore the many notifications and as a consequence they would simply ignore or not find messages. While it made sense to have specific lessons for messages, at the same time looking back, it was confusing to have so many conversations with the same teacher: sometimes you wanted to retrieve some information, and you had to remember in which lesson the message was sent. Putting it all together makes the process more linear and de-cluttered.
    Our Product Team has made this decision some time ago and tested it with success. Like most changes, it just takes time getting used to.
    Anyway, we will listen to the feedback of our users to see if we have to make adjustments to improve the user experience.
    Please don't hesitate to contact us again if you have further questions.
    Thank you

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    @The response to Dave:

    Dear Italki,

    Get haughty much?  You really have no clue about customer service, do you?

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    This will likely entail "singing the same refrain" as many others who have commented. 

    I appreciate in general attempts to update the system and make it more seamless for users. There are a couple of ways in which these attempts have missed the mark in this instance, however.

    While I can deal with things like the text wrapping problem, it has now happened twice that I have been unable to access important messages from teachers. In both cases they were requesting to reschedule the class well outside of the 24-hour mark. I could see the red dot indicating that there was a message but the actual message was nowhere to be found in the thread. 

    As a result we've had to start sending messages through Skype to ensure their timeliness, and we had to submit rescheduling requests which could've been avoided had the messages been delivered. I am absolutely certain that they never appeared in the thread. I tried to find them by going to the actual scheduled class or by entering the notification system from the main page. 


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    Anita (Edited )

     ''we are building the future of italki. '' 

    Well, Italki is nothing without its teachers, so good luck with that. A commission to Italki for every taught lesson tells me you may not want to lose too many of us, or there will be no future at all, really..

    If teachers cannot work  comfortably on Italki, there are plenty of other teaching websites to head over to. Online language learning is a growing trend.

    If you're not reverting back fully: AT THE VERY  LEAST : fix the teeny tiny message-window and hold off on the endless mess of notifications. AND the red dot message indication which doesn't even work.
    It's driving me crazy bananas!

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    Is this a joke? All of this makes me feel like we're talking to a wall of ignorance.

    "the reasoning behind this change was that most users will simply ignore the many notifications [so, let's send some more?] and as a consequence they would simply ignore or not find messages" -That is exactly what you have achieved. Massive frustration of your customers who can't find important information because of the notification spam and suffer, as Regina pointed out so well, from notification fatigue. I surely do.

    "it was confusing to have so many conversations with the same teacher" ???? - Who said that?

    "Putting it all together makes the process more linear and de-cluttered." - just on the contrary - as cluttered as possible

    "Our Product Team has made this decision some time ago and tested it with success." - Are you kidding? You offer a platform for teachers and students and don't consider what they need? What does your product team know about teaching and learning online? And who were the testers who used it with 'success'?

    "Like most changes, it just takes time getting used to." - Hear this? We ought to get used to it is what they tell us... outrageous.

    I find this response as garbled as the new mess(age) board. Now, go figure...



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