New Layout (Option for Bigger Round Icons Please?)

I’ve never posted on the forums before, it’s typically not my scene, so apologies in advance if I’m doing this wrong. I just figured while there was a lot of noise about the new UI I should have my say, especially given how much it’s affected me. Melodramatic? Probably, but this is going to be a long post explaining so warning in advance.

It seems immature and childish to be affected so much by stuff like this. I know that, but for some people (such as myself) change isn’t so much of the problem as sudden and unwarned change is. But it’s done now, so that was just an aside, perhaps next time there could be a heads up for people such as myself who (due to mental reasons etc) need stability and time to get their heads around things.

The new UI is, in my opinion, awful. But I read about how it’s here to stay, I’ve read about how the devs are going to be taking feedback etc. (hence why I’m posting this, on the minuscule chance that it has any affect). Obviously, change has to happen (blah blah), so this isn’t me just blowing up because stuff is suddenly different. I was going to post last night but I thought no, you’ll get used to it, you’re emotional right now, simmer down. I can get my head around the new slick dropdowns, the burger joint godawful banner logo (sorry but…it’s bad), but I just can’t stop shrugging off a few other things. The lessons and reviews icons.

Which leads me to this post. Ideally, it would be nice if there could be a “classic view” option (as others have mentioned), with the round, friendly icons and the warm, inviting banner. For those of us (such as myself) who pretty much rely on the appearance of the site as a way to learn the kanji (inviting, warm, friendly - something that squares don’t really exude which is probably why it feels cold now) and a little “safe haven” place that feels kinda cosy and secure to be in to learn.
But, the new UI is here to stay (in their words) so I can see how they probably wouldn’t do that. They probably wouldn’t care about the people such as myself, who just seem kinda wounded about change and will probably get used to it or whatever. I get this, but there has to be a middle ground, right?

Before, I used to enjoy coming onto WaniKani. I was self learning, self motivated, lots of mental barriers (as I’m sure lots of other people on here can relate to), so the appearance really mattered. Yeah, one can argue that change is necessary/mountains out of molehills, but just because it seems small and unimportant to others doesn’t mean it isn’t intensely uncomfortable for people, or a worry that isn’t valid. To suddenly enforce a unexpected change is a bold move, to do so without a trial option to revert is even bolder, and to dismiss people who are suddenly rocked by this (due to lots of mental reasons stability is kind of important) is quite impressive. Of course, the WaniKani team have been great - changing the colours and the logo colour (red was a bad choice, even psychologically speaking) to stuff that seems warmer after people flagged it up - so this is not meant to be an attack on them, and I apologise if it sounds like such. I’m just trying to explain the motivations of another person who dislikes the new UI and has made a unreasonably long post about it. The mental state and feeling of someone who dislikes it, and why they like the previous one, rather than just a wah wah change!! post.

So, it’s here to stay. It feels cold (probs due to squares and the small size), clinical. It isn’t warm and inviting like the previous UI was (again, size probably), there isn’t the level indicator, the 42+ lessons has been changed to show the exact number (I’m aware lots of people didn’t like the 42+ thing? They used scripts to get around it - but for someone such as myself being able to straight up see the exact number is incredibly demotivating and so the 42+ was a lifesaver), and the lesson logo changes colour depending on how many you have (ooff don’t like this because the colours seem out of place and some of which are triggers - an option to turn this off would be nice).

All of this is fine and dandy, but could there at least be an option for round buttons? What is all the dead space next to the banner for? The tiny toolbar means the focus isn’t drawn on the lessons and reviews (point of the site) your eye wanders, you’re not able to just see - BAM- that’s how many lessons etc. I have to do. It’s…seemingly unnecessarily small and obscure, and this is from someone who’s eyesight isn’t actually too bad.

So, all of the other stuff that makes people like myself feel all urghg about stays, but at the very least can the icons for the reviews and lessons be the size they previously were - the toolbar be the size it previously was? So there isn’t all this dead space eating up the screen and distracting from the focus of the site - learning kanji - and reminding people like me who can’t STAND the new UI (like, it makes me feel really stressed (and upset because the past one was so friendly) because of how cold and clinical it feels all of a sudden - I honestly really don’t want to learn anymore kind of feeling) that it’s there and they don’t like it because of xyz.

The new UI can still be the same, but bigger logos? Or an option to make them round? Or even an option to have the 42+ and no colour instead of a dauntingly large number with a bad backdrop?
Heck, even better would be an option to have “classic mode”, something with all the slick UI’s but the appearance of the old one (which…actually thinking about it is just bigger, rounder logos…)

I’m probably shouting into the void. I know it won’t make a difference, these types of posts never really do, they just sound like a special snowflake getting upset at change vs. someone with mental issues feeling stressed about it, but it wanted to say something anyway; just because the WaniKani team have been listening to feedback and (I believe) do care about the learners on this site (such as myself) with autism or other mental health issues that make the new layout…feel colder to (not sure how to phrase this?)

If anyone has/is making a script to have the appearance of the old WaniKani, please let me know. :slight_smile:

Again, sorry for the long ramble. And sorry for sounding whiny and like I’m using mental health reasons as an excuse. It wasn’t my intention at all - I just wanted to explain the impact from another point of view and try to come to a middle-ground solution that isn’t just “this is bad. change back.”



I can understand not being bothered by the change, but some people were bothered by the people bothered by the change.

Some were dramatic, of course, but it just goes to show how important it is to some people.


I agree! I prefer the original. It would be great if there was a classic theme option or something like that.


Did you see this?


I was just about to comment this :grin: just found it, people were certainly quick to make a script for this lmao.


Still, there should be a classic UI setting. That wouldn’t be too hard, would it?

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I don’t care what shape they are. I just hate that they’re hidden in a menu on the mobile site. (And the fact that our current level is hidden in the desktop site isn’t great either.)

Exactly. Change always has to happen and is freakier than usual for lots of people.

People being dramatic and hating the word change itself can be considered bad/annoying, but people who get overly irritated by those who are like that are kind of just acting the same. An adverse reaction to something for no “real” reason.

It’s not like there even needs to be a reason, of course. But certainly since quite a few people are affected by it and do find it important it’s far more productive to just think of solutions or middle grounds that work both ways. (classic theme eg)


Oh, thank you! I hadn’t noticed that yet! :smiley:

I’ve never used a script before, I assume I just download it…?

You have to install TamperMonkey (a browser extension), and then just download the script. :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the info! I tried it and it worked.:slight_smile: I’m grateful for the maker of it. Now to start all my lessons…

It would still be nice if there could be a more permanent/official solution.

There are a lot of things we’re talking about as a team right now in response to all the feedback we’ve gotten, and we’re still listening even if we aren’t responding to everything right away. Also, while it’s not likely that the old UI will come back in its entirety, that doesn’t mean that the way things are right now are set in stone. We’re going to be looking for that middle ground in the weeks to come.

We’re not a bunch of distant, indifferent figures that couldn’t care less about you guys. I hope that, by and large, we show with our actions that the opposite is true. That’s not to say we don’t make mistakes. These latest changes could absolutely have been handled better, and communicating before and during changes like this is a big part of that. But I think the fact that we reverted the item colors within a couple hours due entirely to the reaction from the community shows that we do listen (and we’ve made other, smaller changes since then as well). I’m not calling you (or anyone else) out for your reaction, I’m just telling you that you’re not shouting into a void.

This last part is for everyone, but one other I want to say is that specific suggestions/requests are the best kind, so keep those coming. Asking if the buttons can be rounder is a great piece of feedback because it gives a quantifiable and actionable change that we can play around with. Saying that the new design is objectively terrible and leaving it at that gives us less to work with. So be specific! The more thought you guys put into your criticisms, the more likely we are to do something about it.


Could you let us know if there’s a preferred place or method to give our specific feedback?

If I can interject here, I like the redesign but one thing I’ve wanted to change for a while is the lack of contrast of text on colored backgrounds. For example, on the dashboard there are the progress squares labeled Apprentice, Guru, etc… except I didn’t even notice those labels for the longest time because the text is almost the same color as the background. It’s dark purple on medium purple and so on. This also happens during reviews when an item levels up or down.

Making this readable without a script changing the functionality of the dashboard would be superb.

Thank you for all you do and to the team for listening and incorporating feedback! I work in UX design as well (albeit as a writer) so I understand a bit of the difficulties y’all face. Much respect!


This is just a New Coke moment. Perhaps we can nostalgically look back on this in another 35 years and do it all again as a promotion. :grin:


Thank you for your response. Yes, the team really quickly changed the colours due solely to the feedback of the community, so I’m definitely aware you’re trying to work with us all to make the site better! :slight_smile: That’s one reason why I tried to get my head around the change, and then think why I didn’t like it and put that in the post, rather than just begging you all to change it and giving nebulous reasons.
I think with all feedback things, it can just sometimes feel that you’re just a drop in the ocean - for one thing, I wasn’t really expecting so many people to like or read this post - let alone one of the team (I thought it might be a “silently noted” type thing) so I’m grateful for your response.

To everyone else also, since Cyrus mentioned specific suggestions perhaps you could post some more comments on this thread about details you want changed? I mentioned the buttons being bigger and rounder so they draw the focus more - anyone else who dislikes the new UI have any other opinions? Classic Mode, of course, has been mentioned a lot but I wonder what specifically it is for each of you that makes you like the previous version better. I know my reasons (made a massive post on them! ahaha), but it would be interesting and helpful to hear other people’s thoughts in more detail. :thinking:

I’m so happy there is a userscript for the old header! I am a very visual person and the old header is much more inviting and, yes, relaxing than the new one, which looks kind of “aggressive” and not cohesive to me. Part of why I liked WaniKani on first sight, signed up in no time and enjoyed learning so much was the inviting overall impression, and I’ve tried a lot of other online recources before I came here.
So a big thank you for the userscript!


holla die waldfee, welcome to the community :grinning:

I know we are supposed to only click the like button when we agree but you described exactly how I feel too so I can’t help but say: I agree, 100%

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