It may come as a surprise to some of you, but we redesigned the top menu that shows up most places you’re logged in (lessons and reviews being the notable exceptions). We introduced our new logo, made everything more compact, and generally refreshed its appearance.
We’re excited about the changes, even if some of them are a bit contentious. But…
We botched the introduction of a pretty big change. There was a distinct lack of a heads up for anyone/everyone, and we overloaded the changes by introducing new colors at the same time. We didn’t examine the system-wide impact of the color change closely enough, and we missed the contrast and saturation problems with the new kanji pink.
We made design changes without obvious up-sides for y’all. There are upsides, but they aren’t obvious, and change is easier when a.) you know it’s coming and b.) it makes things better, not just different.
So, we know we dropped the ball. How are we going to do better next time we make design changes?
- We’ll make announcements of changes before they happen. We’re tossing around some timeframes for that, but it’ll be at least three days before they happen, with bigger changes having more time for people to react and provide feedback.
- When we make those announcements, we’ll put them up on a preview site for people to see and play with them. That site will let you log in to your regular account and do all the things you could normally, but with the design changes right there. We’ll have a feedback window; the design and code will be fluid during that time while we adjust things based on input, then static until the launch date to let people see the finished work (and adjust their scripts).
- We’re making a commitment to universal design. As we improve the site, we want to make things better to use for everyone . Our process will include examining contrast ratios, color usage, using the right markup, and script support for all kinds of input and output devices (Nintendo DS browser, I’m looking at you), to name a few.
The main goal is to make you participants in the process instead of just spectators. Let us know what you like or don’t like and, if you find yourself with a few extra minutes, go into some detail about why. You don’t need to write an essay or get all technical (although you can if you want), just tell us what you’re thinking. You’re helping to shape the future of WaniKani so make the most of it!
It’s also worth mentioning that there will be a lot of voices in these conversations. We’re going to do our best to balance them all, but it’s fair to expect that sometimes not everyone will be happy with the final decision that gets made. When that happens, we’ll try and explain what the reasons were so that what we’re doing doesn’t feel arbitrary.
Thanks to everyone who responded with feedback (constructive and otherwise) to the menu changes. It pushed us to make it better. On that note, push us to make the process better: share your thoughts, solicited advice, and general love/hate/neutrality towards mustard yellow with us.