Making Progress on the Dashboard, Take 2

Hey all!

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 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.


I love it! Looks great!

I think this would solve one of the most annoying problems for new users of not seeing any progress on the dashboard the first few days, while still looking good and not being bloated, which is amazing.


That is a lot cleaner and it looks great. I will have to do some kanji to see how the different levels look when they are different ranks. But this is a great improvement imo

Edit: The hover over information is great. It keeps everything compact while not cluttering up the dashboard.


I like this new design much more! Being able to see anything at a glance but still have all the details present like before.

Love it!

“The Crabigator shudders with anticipation over your next review! We’re talking new vocabulary and level progress! Review this item in 2 days”


Woah, it looks so good! I really love it, thanks for all your hard work!


I love the little messages that appear when you hover over the completion bar! Knowing that my kanji knowledge “butters up the Crabigator” is adorable.



It me! :durtle_noice:


I like this so much better! It’s so much more compact!


Oooh spicy! I love this a lot :smiley:


The spice must flow


oh, this is… much yummier. like :pancakes:


Brilliant! Thanks for all the hard work, and for listening to our feedback.


Oh it is very nice. Great work! :smiley:


Is there an expected time frame that this’ll release? Looks, and works, great!

I can’t wait to butter up the Crabigator with tasty, tasty Kanji.


Yep! Early next week, likely Tuesday morning (PDT). That way we’ve got a bit of time to fix any issues that come up from everyone using it before Thanksgiving hits in the US.


Love this, you’ve really listened to the community and made quite big changes thanks


I absolutely love it. Thank you guys to listening to the community and giving us a great ui. Keep up the good work.


I’m going to join the chorus to say I also love it. It was also enlightening to read about the team’s thought process.
It’s really amazing how much Tofugu cares about community feedback. I, and I guess everyone else here, really appreciate it. Thanks! :durtle_noice:


Maybe mine is just glitching but each item is filling the whole screen? My work computer only has internet explorer, don’t know if that makes a difference?