tldr: Provide options for users to choose / customize different themes.
To whom it may concern, I suggest adding options to let users change the theme of the app and website UI so that whatever design mistake does not plague everyone’s user experience.
Having used or been using various language learning apps including Duolingo, LingoDeer, and Lingvist, I have to say the current theme of Memrise is the worst of all, and the previous theme was totally fine.
The reason I purchased a permanent subscription of Memrise is that a) I like the repetition system, b) the real human pronunciations, and c) a reasonably wide choice of languages. The spaceship theme was not really a focus.
To me the old theme, although not perfect, worked well and I could totally ignore the design of it, which is imo exactly what a good design should achieve: subtle and not drawing attention from the content.Tthe different colors for different types of courses were a big bonus; the geometrical shapes and dark purple looked cool and rational. Then everything was disrupted by a flashy yellow new interface with overly thick font face on the buttons. It is true that I realized what is essential to the UI only when I lost it.
Among the apps I mentioned above, the best interface I find is by Lingvist, which looks premium, professional, and comfortable, no distracting yellow buttons. They also come with a similar repetition system as Memrise. The only reason I did not purchase their subscription is they just don’t have many languages to learn. Yellow itself is not necessarily bad if you look at LingoDeer, whose brand color is also yellow and they do a good job to keep the UI tuned down and not distracting. Duolingo is the one having a colorful but organized interface similar to the old Memrise, and what stopped me using it was the weird silly sentences and computer generated audios. Overall, Memrise has a good repetition system, a wide choice of languages and other courses, it is a good deal to subscribe, but the UI now is pushing me away.
Please consider providing options for users and I believe that will make everyone happier.