"I finished all the lessons, now what?" - Solving the level 1 problem

As someone who only occasionally wanders into the forums, I consistently notice the stream of new users posting this same question repeatedly as their posts appear on my main page feed on a regular basis.

To me, it’s clear that whatever user flow currently exists for new users is leaving a decent number with this question and I feel we need a solution to reduce, if not eliminate this issue.

My suggestion would be to have a banner at the top for level 1 users that says something like, “Completed all your lessons and not sure what to do next? Click here” that links to the part of the WK guide that explains how the SRS works.

This banner could either only display after a user has completed all the initial lessons, or it could be automatically displayed for all level 1 users regardless of lesson status, but I think it’s clear there are a number of users who need to be directed to this information. I wouldn’t consider it unreasonable to extend this to levels 2 and 3 as well, as many users do as I did and sign up initially without actually using WK right away.


They actually implemented a tour recently, it looks like this (i pasted together in bits). What do you do when people don’t read?


It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure they had this tour when I started. While I think it does a fantastic job of explaining things, I can totally imagine that someone might not pay attention fully and just click through it, and miss the particular parts that address the “what do I do now?!” issue. By the time you’ve done your lessons, or your first set of 4-hour reviews, you might have forgotten quite what it said…

It also doesn’t help the many people who, as OP said, come back to WK after abandoning it initially. I’m not sure there’s a way to do the tour again, and it’s probably not very obvious if so :thinking:


I really wonder why people don’t even look at FAQs anymore - instead just spamming basic questions on forums. It’s a very common problem these days of course, but I’m a bit surprised that even people who want to learn a language on their own evidently lack the initiative to at least check the FAQs before asking questions.


I think one thing they could do is move the FAQ/Guide somewhere more obvious. When I came back to WaniKani after my hiatus and I wanted to brush up on things, I had to search for quite a while before I found it.


Fair point. I guess not everyone looks at the bottom of a website. Placing the link somewhere along the top or inside the menu on the top right might help a bit.

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That tutorial is quite descriptive. As far as I can recall, I did not have that tutorial when I first signed up in early 2015. Is it possible then that it is the opposite problem of too much information? The information there is clear to me, but only because I already know how WK works.

What about giving newer users the button to repeat the tour? It feels to me that it might be something a user may want to go through more than once because of how much information is there.


Yeah, I wrote a feedback thread a while back to suggest being able to manually trigger the tour. I think if you delete your cookies (and maybe you have to be level 1 still?) the tour will restart…

Doesn’t the New User Checklist include a link to the FAQ/Guide?


I’m pretty sure it does. But who knows how many people pay attention to that checklist.

I am someone who will click around and look through the website quite a lot, but it also took me a long time to find most of that information.


shrug, well my point is that I don’t know how much value there is to adding the information in more places - if people aren’t going to read, then putting it in more places probably won’t change that.

Also hard for me to say since I read the FAQ before I did any lessons at all…


Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines. On the other hand, placing a couple of links more in easier to find spots isn’t much work - and it might help at least some users.

I remember a blue’ “todo list” in first levels. there can be a “looking for more? Follow me” link and tutorial is shown once again. Tada!

they should just temporarily ban everyone who asks this question

I mean the point of this website is to learn reading

in Japanese

but still reading

if you can’t even read the instructions, idk, you’ve already failed

so, a temporary ban gives a Pavlovian lesson, think of it as SRS


Yes! Yes! Yes!

It’s not an issue per se but I can’t help but roll my eyes whenever I see it.

Although, I’m a hypocrite for doing so. I nearly did the same thing at level one and only didn’t write a post on the forum because another noob had just beaten me to it :neutral_face:

I don’t think we should be too hard on them… It’s hard to bother your arse to read FAQ’s when your full of fresh Japanese learning zeal…


I’m not sure “temp ban and piss off new users who are displaying some eagerness to to use your site” is a particularly sound business strategy. WK does not want to scare users off over something that’s only an issue for a couple levels.

The frequency with which the topic comes up means it is very clearly a design flaw. The first few levels are critical for converting free users into paying users, and so WK has an incentive to retain those users through the early hiccups.Not that WK haven’t tried! They have. But there’s clearly still a lot of room for improvement.

Some kind of obvious graphic right next to the “Reviews/Lessons: 0” counter that’s active for the first few levels would absolutely go a long way towards reducing these questions. We can sit here and be smug and say “Dummies just don’t read!” but there’s a difference between reading a whole FAQ and clicking on a strategically placed notification that pops up a message acknowledging that “Hey, we understand that you may be wondering why you don’t have any more reviews… that’s because [1-2 sentence explanation]” with a “If you want more detail about our rationale for this, check out the FAQ! [link to appropriate section]”.

People will read something like that at far greater rates than they’ll read an FAQ. Some may still complain on the forums that they don’t like the idea of SRS at all and want the site to be something it’s not trying to be (nothing can be done about those complaints), but that’ll be a lot less than the number who are just genuinely bewildered but accept the idea once it’s explained.

(And of course, the users who take the time to complain on the forums will just be the tip of the iceberg of the total number of users who are losing interest early on because it seems slow to them.)


And this is where I’m approaching the issue. If it is a relatively rare occurrence, I think blaming people for not reading may be a more fair argument, but it’s specifically how often these posts are made that is why I feel this is an issue.


When these topics come up I also thought “the FAQ is hard to find, why not”, but thinking about it now …

  1. This question comes up in the very beginning, a few hours into usage. I didn’t know about the tutorial, but now you just literately clicked away “let me tell you how it works” a couple of minutes ago, and now you wonder how it works?
  2. I think the FAQ is shown in the checklist, you can at least find the FAQ again. [FAQ doesn’t mean “read everything”, but “let’s see if my question is in there”]
  3. The forum shows “similar topics” when you create a topic, which displays you the tip of the “this was already asked a bazillion times” iceberg.
  4. You can search the forums first to see if someone already had your problem. Ok, sometimes you cannot find things, but if you can’t find this gigantic red painted elephant you should polish your search skills a bit.
  5. The forums are searchable from the internet, just using Google to search “why is WK so slow” gives you an answer, no need to actually know where to look.
  6. The welcome email tells you to read the FAQ and guide as well

I think it is just bewildering laziness nowadays* :slight_smile:

* if you didn’t create your account ages ago and didn’t get to see stuff like the tutorial

Well, I have read a lot of FAQ and other discussions about this topic but the ‘tour’ as described above is new to me. :thinking: maybe it’s because I 'm using an iPad?

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The tour that someone screenshot earlier goes on for, what is that, 17 screens and probably 40-50 paragraphs? The tour is great and all, but the goal of this thread isn’t to get someone to fully understand how the site works, it’s to address one particularly persistent issue that is clearly not being caught as much as it could be: explaining SRS wait times.

The tour, the FAQ, forum searching etc are all great and should stay. And yeah, they do mention the SRS wait times. They are undoubtedly preventing the issue from being even more common than it is. But the implication that those resources mean they shouldn’t micro-target this one rather fundamental problem just seems misguided to me. My job includes, among other things, having to deal with users of a system who don’t like to read the help docs. If I can cut down on questions by adding a little notification and link to more details, that just makes financial sense.

At least in terms of what generates confused forum threads, I’m pretty certain it is the most common problem. My recommendation is not to approach this as someone who already understands the site. Approach this as someone who heard “hey check this site out it’s cool” and thought “ok sure let’s give it a whirl”, did a few reviews, and then had to go change their crying kid’s diaper or finish up a term paper. We’re already invested in WK but for a brand new user it’s not immediately going to be something they’re devoting a lot of mental energy to.