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Codecademy redesign (codecademy.com)
47 points by equilibrium on May 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

Huge improvement over the last chromed out pseudo-jukebox guys. This is simpler and more intuitive. It's easier for me to see my progress and where I've left off, which was my biggest concern with the jukebleh.

What's with the color scheme? It kinda seems like Codecademy is looking for an identity and throwing darts at a colorwheel. There's some variance in the theme between the home screen, tracks/courses/lessons, and the lessons themselves (and the jukebox that lives on! reborn on the "non-track courses page!).

Also - When it comes to the changes to the menu screens and such, why the friction? What's wrong with just laying it all out simply on one page? All the courses with their lessons linked out on one page, separated by section, like our friends at Khan Academy? Right now there IS a learning curve to using your interface.

This is an improvement from the jukebox, but when you compare it to Khan Academy's one-page smorgasbord, there IS friction before the good stuff.

(<3 Codecademy. Thanks for doing.)

<3. Thanks!

> What's with the color scheme?

Haha. I promise there's just one cohesive color scheme I'm working on adding to the whole site, which is what you see on the track index and track pages. The thematic differences are just a side effect of shipping quickly—the visual side will be coming together soon!

> When it comes to the changes to the menu screens and such, why the friction?

I think I have an answer to this question, but I'd really love to hear more of your thoughts on this as far as what you think is causing friction on Codecademy. If you have a chance, feel free to drop me a line at allison@codecademy.com!

I'm somewhat oblivious to color schemes, but I was a little annoyed by the editor showing code with semi-colons and then getting the little yellow triangle that complains about unnecessary semi-colons that you put there in the first place. Can't tell if this is an accident or a test? Otherwise enjoyed the hell out of the site! Keep it up!!

I'm not a part of Codecademy, but that's part of the Auto-Linting that they run all over the site, you can read more about javascript analysis tools here[1].

I agree that the linter can be over-opinionated at times, and that definitely clashes with the community approach to teaching, where seems every lesson author has his or her own coding style quirks.

I doubt that at this point the decision about whether to have a strict style policy, or to roll their own Codecademy linter, or to leave things the way they are has made it to the top of their priorities list.

Until it does, the linter will be helpful most of the time and annoying some of the time.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JSLint

Artists ship. Gotta respect that.

Email sent. Hollatchainbox.

> What's with the color scheme?

Don't mind that - what's with the logo?

Every single app and service these days seem to be using a scripted wordmark for a logo. Not only this is a new branding cliche, it also makes all these logos look the same.

Indeed! Just published a little blog post about these changes: http://codecademy.com/blog/8-tracks-gets-a-design-upgrade

Seems an improvement. One thing that remains confusing is that mousing over a course that I think is completed displays "Resume Course".

Also, the actual classes themselves need an overhaul. There's something really confusing about trying to proceed through the lessons. The bolded instructions are invariably below-the-fold. It's not always apparent that the "next exercise" link is new (since it displays in the exact same location as the previous link).

Also, some of the courses have exercises that bear no resemblance to anything you'd actually do in reality. I'm pretty sure people learn better when they feel what they are learning is applicable. Even more so than when I'm sure the lesson creator offers something they feel is fun or funny.

> One thing that remains confusing is that mousing over a course that I think is completed displays "Resume Course".

You're totally right. Thanks for the suggestion! We just changed this to "review course" instead. Hope this makes things clearer.

Cliché: shameless use of Twitter Bootstrap for home page with minimal customization

This just after I pointed about a dozen people to Codecademy yesterday.

Hopefully it doesn't suck.

A dozen people? That's awesome. Thanks for the support!

Ack - I always thought it odd that you called lessons courses. Calling courses tracks doesn't fix that - it just compounds the problem.

Courses are still courses! Tracks are just a way to group them, in order, by an overarching theme—a needed change upon the introduction of multiple languages. I hope this clarifies!

I miss the old-old UI, from before the HTML and CSS lessons were added.

I liked that it would show your progress immediately after you log in.

Exercises are much slower to validate after running the code.

definitely a far better design than the previous iteration, feels more intuitive

Sweet. Thanks!

i've sent you an email regarding keyboard shortcuts that would be nice.

Lookin lot like Treehouse bro

I don't think so bro -_-

CodePupil just launched (in preview mode) and we'd love to hear your critic.

We just submitted a Ask HN http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3928702

Appreciate any and all feedback - thnx!

Why the downvote? Codecademy and CodePupil are working towards the same goal.

TO make learning how to code easier and more fun then before.

We are happy of Codecademy's success, as it shows there is a need for the learning to code through gaming space. We just went live and are looking to gain insight on what works best - our visual exercises, our games and or our watch a video/typing exercise - thnx

You're running a business. Working toward the same goal doesn't mean your every interest is aligned. Quite the opposite, actually. You're competing to offer similar value to the same users.

You're working on a noble cause, sure, but consider this: If you look at your post as a competitive service spamming Codecademy's thread to call attention toward your own, all of a sudden the downvotes start to make sense, don't they?

It's a little off-putting to use a post about a competitor to promote your own site.

Sure I understand this point but how does a unknown start-up in a similar space bring in visitors/users to gain feedback & insight to make their product better? Figure out what is resonating with visitors/users and focus on that vs. what isn't.

After all Flickr started as MMORPG where they noticed their visitors/users were using the upload photo feature more then playing their game.

Figure out what is resonating with visitors/users and focus on that vs. what isn't.

That does not dictate spamming a thread about one of your competitors. What you're doing is distinctly NOT resonating with some of your potential users.

Lots of startups have figured out this problem, so it's obviously not an impossible task. There are good ways to do it (getting front page of HN) and there are bad ways to do it (hijacking a competitor's comment thread).

You're not entitled to feedback, so having that problem is nobody but yours. Like with everything in startups: figure it out.

You got a good point. I also find it a bit disconcerting a post about a web design change has gotten more comments than your post introducing a new product. Call it fame bias or something. Codeacademy is vastly overrated right now.

YC promotes their own; it's their house.

I'm not supporting the idea that 'YC alumn eats an apple for lunch' is indeed noteworthy, just providing an explanation.

I used to think HN front page was heavily gamed. That is you had to have a network of insta-voters in order to build up enough momentum. And while that is probably true for some stories, I honestly believe it's just a matter of good timing, luck, and persistence. If you keep having something to say, you'll eventually get lucky with good timing!

agreed don't give up - keep at it!

Not many start-ups win the startup lottery immediately. A small margin do but most need to work hard to figure things out and find their niche.

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