After much discussion, simplification, and reworking based on our first pass, we’re sharing the update to the level progress section of the dashboard again. It’s up on https://preview.wanikani.com/ right now.
It’s a way different view than what we first presented. We ran through everyone’s feedback and started boiling things down. And down. And then down some more. We arrived at the focused goal of showing incremental progress to everyone, new and old users alike.
The mini-progress bars are our solution to that. The first one fills up after lessons, and the rest fill up as one would suspect with successful reviews. Once passed, it’s just a big ol’ field of green goodness showing your passing status.
We’ll likely launch it early next week so we can catch any issues before turkey-coma hits.
So, give it a whirl and, once more, share what you think. We probably won’t re-invent the section, but we’re open to small tweaks and improvements. Thanks in advance for the time and considered feedback!
Since it’s such a departure from our first pass, I thought I’d share a bit of our thought process and a few things we tried along the way.
Everybody loves rfindley’s progress bar on the circles, so we tried some variations on that while integrating it into the look and feel of elements we already had. We also listened to the feedback of “it only matters to guru” on the timeline. Thus, the small bar was born.
We didn’t see the forest for the trees on the timeline — it solved some education problems and made some things clearer, but we missed the boat on the purpose of the level progress box and the overall size of our solution.
We cut it out. We tried stashing it away under a tooltip for each item, but as soon as we introduced the small bar, we saw two timelines showing similar things in different ways. That’s not the road to UI clarity. We’ll use the timeline elsewhere very soon.
We tried having the explanation as tooltips based on hover, but that area turns into a minefield of hovering — tooltips appearing and disappear seemingly every time you do anything. Having to explain every element felt weird, too — like we were trying to explain too much at the wrong time.
So, we’ve arrived at a pretty minimal place. We have the same level of explanation as before (very little to none), but are showing incremental changes for each item, plus the state of items at a glance. It doesn’t help new users much, but it does show them that doing some lessons changed something, even if we haven’t explained what changed. Onboarding needs some love.
UPDATE: Since things are going smoothly, we’re going to promote this one to the main site on the morning of Tuesday, November 26. The timing is loose, but it’ll be around 10AM PST.