As you may already know, for the past year or so we’ve been hard at work developing a brand new version of Yoyo Chinese.
This new version aims to solve many of the problems users have had with the existing site, while also introducing a bunch of great new features.
We’re really excited to share it with you!
But first, we'd also like to spend a little time explaining: what changes we've made, why we've made them, and how these changes affect you as a Yoyo subscriber
(Though if you’d rather jump right over and check it out for yourself now, feel free to skip ahead to the bottom of the post to log into the new website!)
So... let's see what's new!
The New Courses Page
One of the first changes you’ll notice is the Courses page.
On the new Yoyo Chinese, we’ve reorganized all of our existing lesson content into three new comprehensive courses: Beginner Conversational, Chinese Character, and Intermediate Conversational.
These new Courses pull content from all over the old website to create a more streamlined learning experience. While studying the new Intermediate Conversational Chinese course, you'll run into lesson you may have seen in the old Chinese Grammar course, and more.
To make navigating these new Courses easier, we’ve also broken them down into Levels and Units. Each Level corresponds to roughly one month of content on the old site’s Study Schedule. Units on the other hand, can vary in size and topic, but are typically about 1/2 to 2 weeks of content on the old Study Schedule.
Finally, you'll notice your progress is now tracked automatically. Rather than requiring you to use the Study Schedule, you can easily see what you've completed and what you still need to work on. (Though Study Schedule PDFs will still be available)
We think you’ll find this new structure better organized and easier to navigate.
New and Improved Lessons
Once you open a Lesson page, you’ll see some changes as well:
Just like the old site, on the new Yoyo Chinese website, each lesson will have a video, comments, downloadable study aids, etc.
Dialogue Replay has also been updated and is now interactive with both slow and normal speed audio for each line.
The biggest new features you’ll though see are the Practice and Quiz features. Each lesson now has Practice flashcards consisting of vocab from the lesson, as well as a Quiz to test your retention.
Clicking ‘Start Practice’ will start your practice session for that lesson.
Individual flashcards are equipped with audio recordings at both normal and slow speed, as well as occasionally providing tools for recording your voice and practicing typing characters.
After you’ve practiced the vocab, it’s time for the Quiz.
Each lesson’s Quiz has been individually designed for that lesson, and contains multiple question types to keep you on your toes.
Each time you take a Quiz, we’ll remember your score and track your progress.
Which brings us to…
Your New 'Home'
On the new personalized Home page, you’ll be able to easily pick up where you last left off, as well get more information about how your studies are going and how much more content you have left to go.
Smart Flashcard Review
Finally, with the new Flashcards tool, we’ll organize your practice flashcards from all of your studied lessons. You can access them all in your Total section, or review the most important cards using the smart Up for Review decks.
You tell us how difficult or easy it was to remember each card and we’ll decide when to show you that card again. (‘Easy’ cards get moved further back to make room for ‘Hard’ cards that you should review sooner so you don’t forget them again.)
OK, Now on to Your Questions!
We know you may have quite a few questions about these changes, so we’d like to dedicate this section of the post to anticipating and answering some things you may be wondering. Please pay special attention to this section as it contains important information about changes to the pricing structure as well.
If we don’t answer your question here, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with us directly by clicking the "chat" icon in the bottom right corner of the page.
Q: Is the lesson content on the new website the same as the current website?
A: Yes! Well, pretty much. :) The majority of lessons from the old website are exactly the same on the new website. Some, however (mostly in the intermediate course), have been re-edited and split into smaller, easier to consume lessons. We've also added some entirely brand new lessons to the beginner course related to pinyin and pronunciation.
Q: Will I still be able to access the old site after the new site launches?
A: Not publicly, but we can still provide access for a while under certain circumstances. Please let us know if you would like to access!
Q: Which lesson should I start on?
A: For both technical and other reasons (mainly that the new content does not correlate one-to-one to the old content), we were not able to transfer study schedule progress directly. That being said, we have your progress on record in the database and can easily help you find a good place to start. Just get in touch and we'll go from there!
Q: What will happen to my subscription on the new site?
A: Nothing at all! You will continue to have the same full access to every piece of content and every feature on the new site until your current subscription expires just like you would with the current site.
Q: What if my account is currently suspended?
A: No problem. Your account will continue to be suspended until your suspension ends. When it does, you will have full access to the new Yoyo Chinese until your subscription ends. After the new site launches though, you will no longer be able to supsend your account. The new website does not support the suspension feature due to a change in our pricing strucure. (If your account is suspended and you would like early access to the new site: please unsuspend your account and contact us at email@example.com)
Q: What happens when my subscription expires? Will pricing stay the same?
A: Along with the new website, a change is coming to our purchasing choices and pricing structure. While the subscription-based model works well for some users, for most users we’ve surveyed, they would prefer to simply own the content for life and not have to keep renewing their account. In the new system, you will simply purchase content (like an entire Course or just one Level) and once you purchase it, you’ll own it for life.
This allows you (and us) to not have to worry about suspending your account whenever you are unable to study, and allows you to purchase only the courses you need, or to buy individual levels as you go... no headaches or pressure!
We have also kept the price points similar to the current site and a ’6-month Course’ of content will cost about as much as 6-month subscription does on the current site. The change in our purchasing options was not made to make more money for us... to be blunt, it may end up costing us the store! But based on several years of feedback from Yoyo Chinese subscribers, owning your content outright seemed like the best choice for students.
We do think you’ll love the new site, but we also want to continue to be as loyal to our students as you are to us!
Thank you so much and we look forward to your feedback!