Thoughts on new header style (not good)

Should I tell Viet that that’s not what refactoring is? :joy:


Long day my friend.


Holy shit, thats even better news than i expected! Thanks for the share

Not gonna lie, im a little surprised. In another post, viet or someone said something along the lines of being surprised at the reaction and wanting to change as little as necessary cause they did lots of “brand research”. I’m guessing the paid money for advice on, i dunno, keeping the site alive and/or growing their userbase and dont want to waste the results, or that they were warned people would complain and that it would be worth pushing the change anyway cause the data says so. Ive never seen a website/app UI overhaul that regressed so quickly.


I don’t know what that is too! I’m here for the burgers :joy:

I’m sure. Hopefully things are settling down now!

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oh god ultimate timeline isn’t working.
help I don’t know how many kanji I have in my lessons

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When I was about 11, I freaked out because my Hotmail inbox layout changed as a result of the company switching things around. I screamed at my computer. Don’t ask me why. But some of you are reminding me of childish 11 year-old me.

I hadn’t been on this site since January and naturally, I didn’t notice a change. Nowadays, when I notice changes, I get irked, but I move on. Unless it’s something terribly awful, I can’t imagine having a freak out over it. Cool your shorts.

– A short PSA


^^Double agree. The means people are using to talk about the change is the only part about this that has been disgusting. People pulling up their try hard trousers and talking about being design experts…it’s a bunch of playground level nonsense.
Kinda reminds me of when my dad calls me frustrated that his phone has updated and that he can’t find anything now. XD

Go to WaniKani — Log in instead


shrug I like it. It was a surprise, but still nice as far as I’m concerned. I’m okay if others want to have the option to change it back, but I’ll keep it.

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Change is necessary. Also, people hate change. Remember every Facebook UI change that spawned a thousand ‘1 million people against the new Facebook interface!!’ groups? Through daily repetition users get used to the ‘old, good way’ but websites that never change end up stagnating. Feedback is useful but catastrophising and using words like disgusting is over the top. It’s their site and they’re entitled to do what they want with it.
I like the logo. It works well in a horizontal header and obviously they are interested in incorporating the WK name. I do agree though that the design didn’t take the current colour palette into account. I’d love to see it with more emphasis on the centre image and using all of wanikani’s purpley-pink-blue goodness.
Also no matter how great a logo is, placing it in what was previously a useful space isn’t going to please anyone. It would also work on the left, allowing reviews/lessons to occupy centre place and be visible and immediately clickable. Usefulness trumps ‘make the logo more obvious’ every time.
Anyway that’s my hopefully constructive feedback. I for one am eternally grateful for this website and its creators, and am happy to know it’s being cared for (aka upgraded from time to time) so it will stay relevant and viable and keep on being the essential learning resource it is well into the future.


While I also don’t like it, I think they just need to make the lesson/review buttons a muted gray again, and also add back the level indicator. I don’t know if I’ll get used to the new logo, but time will tell…

On the other hand, I’m loving all the forum activity. So many people who’ve never posted, and people who haven’t posted for years are coming back out! :joy:


My two-cents on the site (from a part-time web designer)


  • I like the new logo though, looks more clean and professional.
  • Loving the hover animation for the navigation
  • Header is less cluttered and the colors guide the eyes


  • The colors could use more tweaking since they hurt the eyes (as some users have pointed out), maybe try changing the hue of the gray background to a lighter one so everything blends?
  • Square shapes for the Lessons and Reviews seem daunting and uninviting as opposed to the circle shapes they had
  • Whole webpage doesn’t match the new header so it looks out of place

I think the changes are good and a good first step into fixing wanikani’s brand identity. I’m all for improving things here and there to enhance the user experience, and excited to see how the whole site changes in a few years now.


My remarks purely seen from a usability standpoint when using it on mobile/small screens

What is the main focus of wanikani? Items that are related to that focus should be directly visible and accessible.

If the main focus of wanikani is to look up kanji/vocabulary, then the new design did its job because the first interactive element on the page is the search bar.

However, the about page says the following: “WaniKani is a web application for learning Japanese kanji and vocabulary”. In that case the dashboard should have the lessons and reviews as the most important visible elements.

With the previous design it took 2 clicks/touches(reviews → start session) to start a review(which IMO is already 1 more than wanted and needed). With the new design it is now 3(menu → reviews → start session) and it is hidden in a collapsed menu. My suggestion to improve it would be to (re)introduce the lessons and reviews buttons on the dashboard, but to link them directly to a new lesson/review session instead of linking them to the past session summary. That way, you would go from a 3 click/touch situation to a 1 click/touch situation


Hey Viet! What about the level? For me having the level displayed in the main screen was a big motivator.


They’re going to move the lessons and reviews outside of the hamburger menu, as mentioned above.


I’m glad they’re going to appropriate the lessons and reviews buttons in portrait mode. Any word on if they’re going to bring back the level indicator as well?

I don’t mind change. It’s just frustrating when the changes cause previously easily accessible information to become tedious to find. Once they alleviate this I wouldn’t mind the new header. Sure, the logo takes up more space by displaying the website’s name when they could just use a circular logo, but as long as I can see lessons, reviews, and current level, then I don’t mind the rest.

Honestly I wouldn’t mind something like this. This is 930 pixels wide, about half of my monitor’s width. It displays everything in a nice and compact manner and the logo isn’t wasting precious space. If the resolution is even smaller, then you could use a hamburger menu to display radicals, kanji, vocabulary, and account. Of course, whatever color for levels.


For comparison…



To add to what has already been said I really liked having the kanji there before and was kinda looking forward to learning to read it. I’m sure it only said wanikani but it was just…idunno I thought it was a nice touch and something I’d like to see implemented again in some way.

As someone new to the site and learning Japanese in general I felt that gave it a certain vibe? Sorry if this could be clearer, not doing well with communication today.


Why!?!? The old logo was perfect :sob:


I don’t think levels should have as much screen space as lessons and reviews. They could stay with levels as is, but show your current level next to account