New design

Me no likey those colours :frowning:


Hmm, yellow is high contrast, so that’s why it’s used in traffic signs and so on. But most mobile UIs have high resolution screens so no need to blast colors.


I’ve been with Memrise since beginning, paying customer for a long time, mostly out of support rather than because of the features. And if you’ve checked my other comments here you should understand why I have my reservations. I have even acknowledged some positives here and there.
I have my own reasons but I’m not surprised by backslash from the community on other changes, when said community is thrown under the bus by company which was built on community’s efforts.
Did you even check the new app changes before commenting here?
There seems to be almost universal agreement that now app: is too bright, exercises have to remain color coded


In addition to responses of my colleagues I’d like to add that we released the new design to a small group of people in order to understand what needs to be improved before announcing it to everyone. We’re going to discuss your feedback next week and we’ll see what can be changed to make the experience friendlier.

I also would like to explain that it was decided to keep two colours for learning and reviewing items as our testing revealed that many people find the number of colours quite overwhelming especially when they explore the product for the first time. We understand there is a value in using different colours for each mode when you use Memrise for some time (I have to admit I also found it useful), but providing easy to use experience to people who just joined is also an important consideration for us.

UX Researcher at Memrise


Thanks for the feedback (I do not have the UX test app myself). I would still like to emphasize the need for larger/more clear text strings for language learning with less white space pixel areas – the reason being that many language glyphs are hard to recognize for beginners in small pixel sizes. I think this is more important than color palettes.


Isn’t it a condescending attitude, or lack of creativity? Does not exist any clever way to introduce new features to new users? I saw it very well done in a lot software/apps.

It seems to me the decision to drop color coding is more related to the decision of unify learning experience “all modes is part and necessary for memrise learning experience”. Since the app is not free anymore, it is not necessary to emphasize or give importance to a mode over other; the app will decide which mode you need to study. In fact, it is a good idea for official courses. However, for community courses and Decks would be a good idea to keep color coding.


Hi @anon13174193,

Could you please give some thought to making it easier to navigate between courses? Currently, I’m finding it a very frustrating experience on the Samsung Galaxy. Here’s a screenshot of what I’m seeing:

When I open the app on my phone, it loads the course that I was last learning on the website version. I understand that some users see a ‘three bars’ icon in the top left corner of the screen, which takes them to their course list but I don’t see that icon. Instead, if I tap on the course icon (ie the Spanish flag in my screenshot example) occasionally my course list is displayed but mostly, it takes me to the course levels screen and I need to tap the ‘left arrow’ to return to the course homepage where I can try tapping the Spanish flag icon again - usually without success in calling up the course list to choose from!

Tapping the ‘Home’ icon from the course home screen has no effect. The only function it has is to return me to the course home page from either the ‘Profile’ screen or the ‘Plans’ screen.

Maybe this is an issue specific to my phone model but navigating between courses was never a problem with the previous version of the app.


Edit: Tried again a couple of hours later and was able to get the course list up more easily. Will continue to monitor over the coming days.


@anon13174193 If anything it shows that you should refine your testing methodologies.
The stuff you’re mentioning should fall under accessibility issues, and end as an option. As few mentioned, now it looks like a setup for a colourblind people.
To be quite frank it’s a tad offensive to me. It sounds like you’re testing it on kids, or very narrow homogeneous group, which would render the results invalid.


I have this same problem with the design update. It is frustrating.

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I feel the new design lacks in a lot of areas especially in building a brand image. It also seems extremely unrefined and the colour palette is not doing any justice. I suggest Memrise takes a really good look at the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Jakob Nielsen , because there are so many elements which are lacking in regards to these heuristics. On a plus side I would like to see the plant theme come back because it makes more sense and it appears the new design slightly references it.

Jakob Nielsen


This is quite interesting, but lacking more detailed information. As you have seen in this thread, an overwhelming majority has reservations, IOW expressed the exact opposite. This leads to the question what types of people you tested with. And of course it can safely be assumed that it’s important for you guys to particularly impress first time users, raising your chances to sell a subscription. But you definitely need long term users just as much. Now if whatever feedback you got while testing means that you want to stick to the new design, then why not allow users to choose from various designs? On the Web it would be a matter of providing a CSS file for each design and an option group for users to choose from. Not sure about the Android and iPhone apps, but suppose UI and design are (or can be) separated from each other. To me this doesn’t seem to be all too intricate.


Negativity where negativity belongs and where it’s applicable. I’d sure like to be positive all the time, but that’s just not how it works. Silently moving away because one can’t bear things won’t change a thing and never has.

On the upside I can say that I praise where praise is due, so this is not a one way street.


Hi, I am reading this just as an interested user, no experience in UX or anything… I have used memrise for ages and am used to the colours…
Can I ask, did anyone suggest clearer icons for the different learning and reviewing modes? Are the current stopwatch etc not ok? I sort of see that the colours are a bit meaningless as there’s no reason that red = fast, yellow = difficult etc. I suppose green is for gardening, though…
Are there any other clear, universally recognised icons that could be used to easily distinguish at a glance (like… go faster chevrons or something for speed review) that might work? I can see this might be tough as well.
What do the people advocating for the colours think would help see at a glance which mode you’re about to click on and what mode you are in etc?

I am partly also curious to know how your testing goes, how many people, how representative the group is etc.

(Also… please make a night mode if you mainly a light background - everyone loves a night mode! Saves battery too eh)


And of course it can safely be assumed that it’s important for you guys to particularly impress first time users, raising your chances to sell a subscription. But you definitely need long term users just as much.

I’ve voiced that concern indirectly here. Of course it’s perfectly logical from the business perspective, just the way they’re choosen to go about it risks isolating established subscribers. I know at least one that won’t stay if it keeps progressing in that direction.


Thank you for letting us know, we’ll consider changing it.

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People have a choice if they’d like to follow our suggestions or choose a mode they prefer to use.

and Olaf.Rabbachin
Could you please help me to understand how colour coding is helping your experience? I agree it’s a bit easier to select a mode from the list, but I was wondering if there are other reasons as well?

  • @ltkaitana
    This sounds like a bug to me and shouldn’t be the case. Could you please share screenshots next time it happens?

UX Researcher at Memrise

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“It’s a bit easier” is exactly what it is. Only that it’s not a bit but “a lot”. With colour coding you only need a glimpse to know where to click to start a review session. This applies particularly in the app where is suggests the next type of lesson (i.e. review, learn, speed test, etc.).


Out of curiosity how many different modes are you using during your typical session and do you use different modes when you’re learning different languages?
We’ll consider alternative solutions to make distinguishing between modes easier.

During a typical session I’ll start out with difficult words (if there are any), then I’ll review all words in the queue, all using the (Android) app. If there’s new difficult words, I’ll usually take care of those again.
Subsequently I’ll learn new words. For most courses I’ll use the app for that as well, but for i. e. the x-thousand words courses or for languages that I learn easily I tend to use the Web version as I can use a script there to flag them as learned right away (it’d be so great to have a means of doing so in both the app and on the Web without having to rely on scripts et al!).
However, for languages that do not come quite as easily (such as Russian and sometimes Danish and Swedish), I learn less quickly and tend to do more reviewing. In these cases I often use the speed review to kind of give it an additional “push”. When starting out a language, I also quite often go through the native videos as they’re fun and allow me to hear more than the regular voice(s) and voicings supplied in the course itself.