Launching: Speed Review and Memrise Labs Toggle

It took a little longer than we thought, but we finally have the next big thing to launch to Memrise Labs. First off, the toggle to actually turn it on! All you have to do is go into your Settings and hit the Learning tab in the top navigation. Then at the bottom of the page you’ll notice the Memrise Labs toggle… Flick it across to yes, and you’ll start getting the experiments!

Next up is our first proper learning mode, Speed Review! The core of Speed Review should be the same, with some slight UI changes to make it a bit neater. We’ve moved the timer up to the top bar, instead of as a big red background fill, and the buttons are a bit bigger and pressier (that’s a word, right?). Also, it’s worth noting that we haven’t expanded out which courses Speed Review works on, so it’s still only courses with text responses that can run it.

So, the things we’ve changed… At the moment the only major changes we’ve made (aside from the way the timer is displayed) are that the audio doesn’t play after you answer a question, and we’ve put in a new screen at the end of the session. First off the audio… This was a bit divisive in the team so we’d like your feedback on this. Half the folks we talked to liked the fact it played to remind you of how it sounds, and the other half hate it because it plays over the next test, so it can get confusing. We’ve decided to keep it out for now, but we’ll wait for feedback to see what the final decision will be.

Next up, a small but important one. In this iteration, we’re sending your progress to the server at the end of the session, which means that if you exit the session in the middle, you won’t have the points you’ve earned and any of the words you’ve cleared from review won’t be cleared anymore. This is something we’re actively working on improving, so you’ll hopefully see an update in the near future ( we’re trying to find the best trade-off technically).

Next, the screen at the end. You now have the option to do another Speed Review straight away, which is something I’ve wanted for a while when I use it, especially if I’ve lost my three lives too quickly. At the moment, the Continue button takes you back to the dashboard, which won’t be the final behaviour. Instead, we’re going to put in a more traditional screen after this that will be similar to what you currently get after a session. This will be coming with a future release (along with Learn with Locals).

Finally, another thing that isn’t ideal, but we’ve already got in our backlog for the next release is fixing the vertical spacing. For those of you on wide, short screens (like on laptops), you’ll likely not have all your choice buttons in view. We’re looking into how we can make it more vertically responsive for the next release.

I think that’s everything! Thank you so much for the feedback so far and your patience waiting for our releases and fixes. Similarly, if you have any feedback on these two then please let us know!


Hi Luke,

Just gave the new speed review a whirl. On the whole I liked the changes as, previously, I found it a bit too speedy compared with the app versions. A couple of comments:

  • For me, the buttons are now a little too big. I use a laptop and needed to scroll down a bit at the start to be able to see both the timer bar and the bottom row of buttons at the same time. I’d like to be able to see the whole screen without needing to scroll.

  • Personally, I don’t need to hear the audio after each item but I expect some people will. Any chance of having a toggle to keep us all happy?

  • Is it intended that the review will continue until you run out of lives? Mine did. If so, a review could go on for a very long time and so would seem to be at odds with what you say above about losing your earned points if you exit mid-review. Or am I missing something? I currently have my review setting set at 25 but my first speed review went somewhere near 60.

  • The explanation of speed review in the FAQs says that you get an extra life after 15 correct answers in a row. Was that ever a thing? It doesn’t seem to be currently.


Thanks Alan! All great feedback

  1. Yep, I completely agree and this is what we’re going to work on
  2. Great idea and I’ll check with the team if this is possible
  3. This is the problem that I have too, so we’re definitely looking for a solution for this. It doesn’t make sense that you’d lose progress after getting 60 right and you decided you wanted to end the session. To answer your question - on web the speed review doesn’t have a toggle-able limit, so it pulls in up to 100 items. I think we should have a think about this though…
  4. I wasn’t aware of that, and I don’t think it’s been the case for a long while! I’ll get to updating the FAQ (and thinking about whether we put this back in… :thinking:)

I assume you are talking about the web.

  1. I’d like the Speed Review to be on the level I’ve just watered and not a random level.

I could do speed review of a level of my choosing but not on a random level that would be very hard to answer.

  1. I think I can only do the speed review from my HOME page AND having completed a normal review within a level.
    I would like the option of Speed review or normal review on the level I’m looking at.

I just gave it a try as well. Apart from what has already been said, I was expecting to be able to type the number of an answer instead of having to click on it (as is possible in regular reviews) - I’d suggest you add that.

And yes, the probably most important fix required is to allow users to end a session without losing your points. Also, I went through some 30 words and stopped. The next time, I was presented with what seemed to be the exact set of questions that had been presented during the first run.

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I too have had a go on the App (on a MemRise Italian Course).

probably most important fix required is to allow users to end a session without losing your points.

Because I know Italian well, I got all my answers right, but instead of having just 10 items to review (my default) it went on and on and after about 30 (and over 5000 points), I wanted to stop, and apart from not answering/ getting it wrong on purpose, I resorted to crashing the session. (There is only a certain amount of time one can stay that alert for. :wink: )

I don’t see the lab-option in the (Android) app - do you? That said, everything’s just as it was in the app here.

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That’s interesting @Olaf.Rabbachin !

I don’t use the speed review so I didn’t know it was different - but now I do!

I’ve just had a 30 plus (5000 plus) session on the web and I’m sorry to say I far prefer the (Android) App version. The web version seems a lot harder too.

However I still had to crash it to exit when I got fed up.

(Perhaps it’s not aimed at my age bracket :wink: )


I’ve just un-toggled (logged out and in again) and tried a web original session.

Personally I can see why I have avoided Speed Review.

Probably the new web version is a nicer idea but I actually prefer the App version.

These comments are not meant to be negative, just my personal assessment and preference.


Yep - the keyboard 1-4 should work, so that’s definitely a bug. Will make a ticket for us to fix!


What is it about the app version that you prefer? Just that it doesn’t save the progress? That is definitely getting fixed.

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Hi Luke,

What is it about the app version that you prefer?

On a small screen and tapping it seems quicker and easier. More intuitive than either moving the mouse or finding and hitting a number on the keyboard.
Perhaps the time is too short on the web for that reason.

(In fact that is why I have largely gone over to the App now for general learning now.)

The choice on the App seemed easier (stacked?) rather than a block or 2 x 2. But that is the normal layout for a landscape screen.

The two side bands rising on the App seems better (to me) than the big horizontal band.

The web version seemed very demanding (“hurry up”).

I didn’t think either the App nor the Web speed review allowed one to pause and exit and they seemed to go on forever (if one gets it right).

Personally I find the timer speed on the web quite fast enough - especially on user courses - where there can be a lot to read.

I do find it strange not having a dial timer on the App during learning (or review?) though.


Hi there!
I found few bugs in your new speed review.

  1. I can’t use numbers from numbers pad of my keyboard (num lock is activated), it’s kinda annoying.
  2. The options number 2 and 3 are the most frequent and number 4 is never an option, I even stopped checking it! Probably something is really wrong with your random, guys.
  3. There is no more heart return for the 15 right answers (already mentioned here. It was working great in normal version).
  4. It’s unfortunate that there is no way to turn on/off the pronunciation of the words.
  5. Answer options are taking the whole screen, it’s kinda ugly, not gonna lie :frowning:
    Will have to turn off the option, sorry.
    I hope it will help.
    Good luck, guys!

I’m having the same issue where number 4 is never showing up as a correct answer and 1 is less frequent than 2 and 3.
Also, just a design thing, but I really dislike that the timer bar only moves once every few seconds instead of just smoothly. The sudden motion is a bit distracting.


Thanks for the feedback!

I’m just checking in to whether the randomness issue is caused by something… That does seem like a bug! The rest are all going into our considerations for v2 :slight_smile:


Apart from what has already been said, I find the app’s (continuously running) progressbar much less deviating.


It was a bug! It’s just been squashed and is just being approved before going live. :slight_smile:


The issue with position 4 is fixed.

There are still three issues for me.

  1. The attributes are not showing.
  2. the progress bar is too distracting. It needs to be smooth scrolling.
  3. I use the web version on my android tab and sometimes it does not recognize my selection.
    I do not have this issue on the app version on my android tab.
    thanks Lar

Hi guys,

The min-width: 100vw on the <div> with the minified classes of nhjmis-0 bZmPKO seems to be causing the page to slightly overflow horizontally, at least on Firefox.

Also, the page is just too long - on my laptop, I can’t see everything without scrolling. IMO you should put the time left bar and the hearts and the score on the same line - there’s plenty of space - and, at least on vertically challenged screens decrease the vertical padding on the answer cards. Add that to maybe making the header a bit smaller, and it should look much better.

EDIT: nevermind, I read in the OP that you were working on the vertical spacing

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I found some new bugs in speed review:

  1. VERY IMPORTANT ONE. After choosing the answer it still accept input from keyboard, so if I answered correctly and then accidentally pressed another button - I lose one heart. But what is even more frustrating - if I answered correctly I can press the answer many times and each press will give me points.
  2. When I press “retry” I am getting error 404 and the link is:[sessionSlug]?course_id=131111
  3. New speed review is giving much more points than the classic one.
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I just came back after a long break and I saw some significant changes in the User Experience. I welcome most of them positively, especially the ability to use the arrow keys on the Browser app for pretty much every lesson.

Soon, the courses suggested me to try out Speed Reviews, which is a very efficient way of testing lots of words and expressions in a short time. I was hyped so I accepted the challenge right away!

At first glance I like the new design. Bigger buttons. Clearer texts. Much less clunky when dealing with long expressions (unlike the previous UI). I also like the fact that the audio is left out because it was getting constantly cut off, though I miss the voice at some point: it feels depressing when no one is talking, plus you don’t improve your listening comprehension.

Enter the issues.

For starters, I hate the new countdown. When each tick decreases, the animation is too shiny and draws away my attention from where I should be looking at, i.e. the answers. Also, I’ve run into cases where I clicked the answer just at the last second and it was rejected, even though the time bar was not empty yet. This is awful. We should get a last tick after it reaches zero, not before it reaches zero. I’m not asking for an extra second. If the bar is split in 10 it could be split in 9 instead and the 10th tick would occur when reaching zero. The frustration from getting kicked out before the bar ends is only psychological but this is really upsetting IMO.

I cannot use the 1/2/3/4 keys anymore, which is probably a bug because I can use those keys in other modes and I could even use them in the previous iteration of Speed Review. This is pretty annoying when you need to answer dozens of questions in a row.

I encountered many questions where the same answer was duplicated. It happened with the old design as well but I feel like it is happening more often now. No big deal, though.

When we pick the wrong answer, we no longer have the opportunity of getting one life back after several successful answers. I’m not sure if the change is good or bad because I didn’t really like this old feature either.

Some questions are ambiguous, meaning that sometimes a question should allow multiple different answers. This was already an issue before, but I’m just sad that it’s not fixed yet, especially in an environment where we must answer quickly.

At last but not least, the Game Over video is killing me.

There was this course I hadn’t practiced for over a year, for which I lost my last life at the 89th question, meaning I had 86 right answers out of 89. I was so proud to have gotten such a high win rate despite my nonexistent practice over the months. This proves once again the efficiency of the Space Repetition System used by Memrise and I was happy to have come to the right place for that. Everything was looking great, but then… I saw the Game Over video, sad face and all. This is sooooo depressing. I don’t know if this is some kind of inverted psychology supposed to motivate us to try again next time. I for one felt really bad at that point. I think I would’ve felt much better if I had a “not bad at all, keep practicing” video for my 95% win rate after a long break.

With that said, I like the idea of a final video. In my opinion it’s just executed poorly in its current form. I would suggest having different videos and messages for different win rates, e.g.:

  • a “having a hard time?” video for 0-49% successful answers
  • a “you’re on the right track” video for 50-89%
  • a “impressive work!” video for 90-99%
  • and a “flawless!” video for 100%

(numbers and text may vary, obviously)

And please, please, please write some text that motivates us from keeping up the hard work, not text that makes us feel dirty. Because this is how I feel right now.

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