Forecasting Reviews on Preview (or Previewing Review Forecasts)

Well I use it as a way to track the amount of items I already “learned” or at least have seen on WaniKani.

But then again I’m still somewhat of a new user, so that may change…

It won’t happen this round, but it’s something that’s been on our mind too!

That’s what we keep hearing, and how we end up using it too. Been tossing around ways to help people manage their short and long term review loads, since that seems to be at the core of why people like the SRS Stage distribution.


I’m on WIndows 7, and IE 10 still (my company is working on upgrading our computers Soon™
But I can’t see the review Timeline box at all.

I like the design though, looking forward to the rest of the changes.

As far as managing review loads, maybe a popup banner or something when you are at >=300 reviews, giving some tips or advice on how to manage like “I see you have a bunch of reviews. if this is a little overwhelming, it’s okay, here’s some tips”. And when a player does more than 20 lessons a day, have a message, letting them know that if they do too many lessons at once, the reviews will come up at the same time.

This is what is most exciting about all of this! Who wants to see more illustrations of a not so :angryaya: ?

Seriously though, it looks pretty good. Might take some getting used to the new review timeline as I prefer it with vertical bars arranged horizontally.

There were a number of comments made regarding the white space to the right of lessons and reviews. I understand that there is still some image as to what this will be but I am suggesting maybe a leech button of some sort can be placed here? I was thinking your most problematic items can be accessed here for ease/convenience. Not sure if this will fly but I figured since it is still pending I might just suggest that :sweat_smile:

I like to use these as almost like a progress marker. For me personally the amount of items I have in each category is always what I check after I get done with my reviews. So having these at the top is just convenient. I also just like checking individual stats and numbers on wk statistics so I think a “stats tab” would be a nice addition.


Woo! We shined a few things up and got them up on preview:

  • We re-arranged a little bit, cleaning up the alignment for the big blocks and lining them up with the existing grid. We also used the space to the right of the lessons buttons to pull up the review forecast.
  • We’ve finished up the art for the empty states on the review forecast. Now somebody just needs to burn all the subjects to see the final one!
  • We collapsed the days of the week on the larger views like we do on the mobile views. Which also means they’re now toggle-able (like on mobile).
  • We did a bunch of housekeeping on the code to make it better.

There are a few things left for us to do:

  • Finish up the art for the lesson and review buttons. It’s so close, but we need to fiddle with it a little bit to work with all the different sizes the buttons have.
  • Finish up the art for the vacation banner. Mrs. Chou has a special treat for everyone!
  • Probably some bug fixing we don’t know about yet, but that might be an eternal state of affairs.

For the scripters out there, the structure of the components (along with their class names) should be pretty set. We’re thinking we’ll put this on production in about a week — probably March 9, since Mondays are better than Fridays for launching things. :roll_eyes:

As always, thanks for all the feedback!


These buttons look nice! Who likes them?
Who is waiting for the fiddling on the art to be finished?
Who is liking the changes so far?

Okay, seriously this is exciting stuff. Thank you for continuously improving WaniKani!


Super late to this party; I didn’t even notice this was going on til now. At a glance I think it looks nice and slick, though apparently I came in after all the spacing issues got solved. The visual way things fit together kind of delights me.

My gut reaction to the timeline view is neeeeeh but I’m pretty sure that’s at least partly grumping about change, because every time I go back to poke at it, it’s a little more palatable. I will echo what everyone else has already said about the Apprentice/Guru/etc breakdowns on my timeline, though – I use those to gauge how far off I might be to a level-up, so not having those on my forecast is a step back as far as I’m concerned.

Honestly, the thing that’s going to irk me the most is the existence of the lesson/review buttons. They weren’t exactly out of view on the header, and it meant they didn’t take up much space. Moving them out into the main page offends my organisational sensibilities (ie things to click go in header, things with at-a-glance info go in the main pane). Especially since new users are such a revolving door – they stay new for only so long, and in the meantime the rest of us are stuck with massive buttons and an odd space in the header where they used to be …

I don’t like it, weh weh grump grump shakes stick.


I actually really like this change. :heart:
I was going to complain about the writing being too small, but then I noticed on the regular site, I had it zoomed in to 125%, so apparently that’s just how I need to have it. xD Zoomed in to 125%, and it looks great! The Review Forecaster thing is awesome, Ultimate Timeline always really intimidated me with all its …math-like…timeline-ness. >> So this is a nice balance for the math-impaired.

I wonder what the buttons look like when you have no lessons or reviews? The world may never know. ツ



I checked out the new changes and I’ve got some new feedback.

I’m glad the left-right balanced was improved. There’s no awkward spacing there now. However, the search bar feels weird to me where it is, because its div is full-width and adds a bit of weird empty space on top of the lesson and review buttons. I like the look much more when I take the search bar out.

Now that you’ve taken out the lesson and review buttons, what I would do is put the search bar in the nav bar. The way it comes down on top of the page makes sense, so I think if you move it up there it will make everything line up nicely. Where the search bar is now is totally unexpected to me from a UX perspective. I pretty much always expect it to be in the nav bar. It’s quite a lot longer than it needs to be too, so I have no problem shortening it to put it up there.

Review Forecast being broken up by day is pretty neat. The way it spaces next to the left side is a good choice. There’s a couple confusing things for me - first, my cursor changes to a ? when I hover over the days. I find this really confusing, because it’s something I don’t expect and tends to make me think something broke somewhere. I’d suggest leaving the cursor alone.

Second, while I like the breakdown between hourly reviews and cumulative reviews, it took me quite a while to figure out what they were. I see there are tooltips, but I need something visual. You’re making me think too much to process it. Icons would be ideal, but even title text would be better than the tooltips. The tooltips that do exist are too wordy. Something more like “Reviews Today - xx” and “Cumulative Reviews - xx.” Again, I’m being asked to think too much.

I know the big Lesson and Review buttons have been discussed a lot and I realize I didn’t mention this last time, but I take issue with them in the fact the most important part (the numbers) are taking a back seat to the artwork. Yes they look cool, but the artwork is a huge distraction from the information I’m trying to find. Even when I know where the information is, my eye always gravitates towards the center of the button, because that’s the most prominent element. Where the numbers are now suggests they are a less important element, which is the opposite of what you want.

I want to be clear, I’m not opposed to having some artwork and decoration on WK, but information is the most important part of the site and having any artwork that takes away from that is going to be a real detriment to the site’s usability. I recognize that power users will want more information than what new users do, but all of us need the base level of info first and foremost and this change takes away from that.

But, since it’s clear I’m not making any headway on this, I would ask at the very least you keep the lesson and review count in the navbar at all times. It would at least keep the most important piece of information front-and-center so I wouldn’t feel like it was being hidden away in a corner somewhere.


Us, too, and we’ve got plans. One thing at a time, though!

Yeah, they’re time objects, and our default styles had it set to turn into a question mark on all time objects. We’re probably going to tear that down, since it doesn’t add much to the experience.

There’s other feedback all around, and we’ve read through it all. We hear everyone on the big buttons and all the issues related to them, but we’re going to roll with them with new art (up soon). We think it’s a positive change overall. If we’re wrong, we’ll fix it.

This isn’t a done deal, either — it’s a start, getting the forecast out there. Feedback about labeling, hovers, and making the meaning of the numbers more obvious has been noted, and they’re things we’ll keep in mind as we think about ways to further improve the review forecast.

Thanks for the consideration everyone!


I’m curious to hear your reasoning for this change. You’ve said things like

but the numbers in the nav bar accomplished this as well, so what makes the buttons a better option?

Okay, so you want to make the numbers more prominent because you’re worried they don’t stand out in the nav bar? I can understand this goal, but you undermine it by putting giant artwork in front of it.

The header version works well because of a strong contrast from the bright purple against a white/gray background. However, we want to make sure it’s the most prominent thing so that my eyes are immediately drawn to it when I load the page. Is that true? Well, I did a quick test.

So my eyes start at the top of the page, under the header on the left side. I drew a big circle because the Next Review section moves down as the Review Timeline script is loading in, so with no scripts that’s what I’d be staring at. Hmm, so that means that we should put something there that is the most important thing we want everyone to look at first, because that’s the first thing they will see.

Wow, look at that. The lessons and Review buttons are in the exact spot now. This should make it the first thing everyone sees. This is a great improvement, right? But look closer - I’m not looking at the lesson number - I’m looking at the art in the middle of the button. That is what my eyes are drawn to, because that’s the most prominent element in the spot my eyes start looking.

So the reality is, it’s a wash. I still have to go searching on the page for the number I’m looking for. Oh, but it’s closer. Yes, but the contrast is also a lot lower. The number much more easily blends in with the button, so finding it ends up being more difficult because it blends in a lot more than before.

You’ll have to forgive the crudeness of my quick example, but here’s a thing I pulled together that shows what I mean. I’d expect the text to fill the buttons more, but otherwise this is what I’m thinking.

Notice that the information you care about the most - the number of lessons and reviews, is still in the same place, making my eyes drawn to them, but there is no distracting artwork getting in the way. But, now that we fixed the usability there’s a couple problems that come to the surface. First, they do not look like buttons and second, there’s a lot of empty space.

The first issue isn’t a result of removing the art - I’d argue they never looked very clickable to begin with and it’s only having past knowledge of WK + the mouse cursor that makes it clear. I think the way to solve this to decrease their size a bit - not to make them super small, but smaller than they are now, increasing the drop-shadow effect, and then change the text to be a verb instead of a noun like “Start Lessons” and “Start Reviews” or something. A minor mouseover effect would also go a long ways in helping make it look like something you can interact with and not just an information panel.

The space issue can be resolved by making the text bigger, making the buttons a bit smaller, and then and only then, possibly, maybe, consider adding a bit of artwork to the background. I personally have no problem with these buttons being plain, because the usability is the biggest concern. However, I can recognize the need for some flare as long as it doesn’t lower the usability.

The last thing I’d say on these is the colors I used don’t have the darkening effects you put on many of your elements, so the contrast in this image is too low, but I think the general contrast you have already hits the mark pretty well. The crabigator icon you’ve been using for the lessons does stand out really well against the background with its bold lines, but that is precisely why it’s also so distracting to look at. It does such a good job making itself stand out and would be an excellent design choice if it was supposed to be what your eyes are drawn to.

In summary, based on what I understand your goals to be with the button change, the implementation you currently have does not align with those goals and if anything goes against that. I’m hoping my example makes it clear what I am asking for, because as something we both agree is the most important element on the page, decreasing the usability of this element has a pretty major impact on the usability of WK as a whole.


When you look at search bar stuff, I have one suggestion. I’d recommend putting the search criteria in the URL and handling search on page load (if the URL param is included). This will allow users to turn WaniKani into a “search engine”, as in:



This is a tangent, but something that’s been talked around when it comes to scripts is what particular aspect of scripts make them attractive, why do those of us who use them like them so much, and what particular things do we care about?

There’s 2 categories of scripts I use - changing functionality, and adding data.

Changing functionality is the lesson reorder script. This is the only one of this type I’ve used, but these tend to be the most controversial. I like to have at least some control over how I do my reviews, because what if I want to review the newest items first, or the oldest, or I just want to do the reading and meaning together. What if I don’t have the time to do all the reviews right now, so I want to do all the new kanji and do the rest later? Maybe I’ve been away for a long time and have 1k reviews, so I want to go in level order so I can catch up on the items I know better and clear out my review pile faster.

I know this will always be a point of contention, but the way I do WK reviews has changed drastically when I starting using the reorder script and I’d say significantly for the better. I think this is one source of division between those who do and don’t use scripts, because the way we’re interacting with WK is so different. But when people like Kumirei say they won’t use WK without scripts, these are usually the big ones. I do think there is some room for allowing these features into base WK, but I’m expecting that will never happen due to such a high resistance from the staff.

Adding data is the less critical, but still helpful things that add to the experience. These include things like Ultimate Timeline, Dashboard Progress Plus, Pitch Info, similar kanji, etc. I would still use WK without these scripts, but they give a lot of extra information that really helps both my learning and planning.

When I hear the audio and can see a pitch accent chart next to it, I can get a better idea of how to map those two together. When I consistently confuse 2 kanji that look similar, I can use the chart of similar kanji to easily compare them and help learn to better differentiate them. This kind of data gathering isn’t useful to someone just starting out, but the more I use WK, the more important these kinds of things start to become. How many level 1-3 users talk about average time on level? Basically none. How many level 60 users talk about it? Quite a lot of them.

Where this all matters is in a difference of how we talk about using WK as a new user vs an experienced one, especially when scripts start coming into play.

How I used WK as a new user
-“Oh that’s right, I didn’t do any reviews yet today. I’ll make sure to do them when I get home later”
-“I’ll try to do some reviews over lunch today”
-“I’m bored, maybe I should go do some reviews”

How I use WK now (with scripts)
-“Timeline says I’ve got current level kanji at 3 pm, so I’ll put off my 2 pm reviews and do them all at 3.”
-“I’ve got 3 more kanji at apprentice 3, so I’ll pick up any new vocab I missed and 5 more kanji”
-“I finished all my WK reviews, KaniWani reviews, and Bunpro reviews. Maybe I’ll do some reading practice now.”

I bring this up again, because I’m not sure to what level our goals our understood. It’s definitely not 0, because the recent changes to the site tell me we’re being heard, but it feels like the understanding may still be a bit surface-level. Often it’s the details that matter just as much as the main selling point.

I care about Ultimate Timeline only a little for absolute review count and much more because of knowing when current level kanji reviews are coming up, because that’s what I plan around. I care about knowing the SRS level of my current level kanji from Dashboard Progress Plus to know how fast I can do new lessons, not just only if I’ve guru’d them or not. I do care how many I’ve backslid to Apprentice on.

The problem with this is if you load up the site with all these features, it’s quite likely to be information overload for new users. Plus, maybe not everyone wants all the features provided by scripts.

I’ve brought up the idea of a basic mode and advanced mode feature toggle, but given the number of users impacted, I suspect you probably won’t want to go this route. So given that, I think importing a simplified version of the scripts like you’ve been doing is a good compromise. I think there’s some room for including other pieces of information, particularly pitch accent, that could be added without being a complete information overlord and leaving the rest to script developers to add the deeper complexities. I don’t see a problem with that situation as long as there is a clear understanding on the situation.


Any thoughts on adding the amount of time spent on the current level? The way I get that information currently is with the Android application. Seems like it would be very easy to add along the top bar, or in the progress section.
Keep up the good work.


If it helps, I usually grab the information from wkstats if you’re looking for a PC version.

Can’t wait to try out the differences, I checked the preview link and am really liking the timeline. Super useful for me, as I might wait an hour or two and do a single bigger review instead of heaps of small ones. Also useful as I know how much rest time I can have between reviews before I’ll be hit with a goliath amount lol.

Still though I wanted to have some fun in making a version I thought would work good as well, I just moved the buttons to the right, and made the numbers more visible:


Since you’re getting flooded with comments on the other thread, I just wanted to bring up one more point, which is I’m really happy with how you guys communicated these changes out this time. It seems like there may not have been as much visibility around it as there could have been, but pushing out a preview site and setting up for feedback was a good change and I’m happy to see it. I hope you continue using the preview site to demo UI changes because of how useful it has been.