As we gain fluency, sometimes this kind of thing happens:
I see 一人 and my inner voice says “ひとりだ！” (because this is feeling like a pretty familiar phrase for me now)… and since wanikani is asking me for the meaning I type “hitori” (and I hit enter because I’m so confident I know what 一人 means, and I touch-type and all). And then I get the red buzzer experience. (Is there no buzzer sound? But it feels like there is…) This kind of “error” is clearly just a failure to register what the the task is, much the way someone might type the kun-yomi when wanikani wants the on-yomi, etc. (and I’m grateful wanikani is patient with that kind of error).
So, why not have a gentle, “Oops, please type what this means in English!” prompt when we make this kind of mistake (at least the first time or two?)? OK: I see there are old threads about this (forum AI tells me so), and koichi answers that it’s important to “slow us down”. I’m still not convinced…
Alternate request 1: Could wanikani prompt me for English translation rather than just “meaning”? (English doesn’t really have a monopoly on meaning, you know?)
Having to double-check what the task is (re-reading that prompt in English and reminding myself that meaning means English) is currently the most frustrating thing about wanikani in my experience. I suppose there are color contrast differences that are intended to help, but they don’t feel like they have any easy or natural association with the difference between the tasks.
Alternate request 2: Instead of (or together with) colors, work with spatial associations. For example, wanikani could have three visual-spatial regions below the cue image, where left region is reserved for English translation input (or radical name), middle is kanji-by-itself primary reading, and right-hand region is reserved for vocabulary reading in Japanese. Only one of these regions would “highlight” as input window at any given (SRS-process) moment. It would feel fluent for me that putting ideas into English is very left/elementary, and working with how real vocabulary sounds in Japanese is the most forward/progressive (or starting-at-right, as Japanese columns of text do). As we gain fluency, translating into English feels less like “knowing the meaning” and more like “Oh, I’m turning back to English to tell my friends what this means…”
I can also imagine other kind of visual cues (various icons or directional arrows) that would help confirm the task in more symbolic, less English-parsing-oriented ways…
Thanks for considering this!