“Wow! A typo detector! Awesome” says a Nincha Learner. Curious to know what prompted this Nincha Learner to send us this? Well, come on in, because, boy do we have nice improvements and changes in this beta update for you! Tooltips to show you where everything is, a nice little “typo detector” for when your fingers mess up, easier reviews and more! Read on to learn about the cool new stuff you can now find live in Ninchanese, to make your life learning Chinese that much easier and more enjoyable.
Oh look! A typo!
Are you the type to type really fast when you’re doing your reviews and to press enter with one hand before your other hand is done typing? Or perhaps you’re an ardent multitasker with a penchant for multiple tabs and one-hand typing? If any of that sounds familiar — or if you’re just really prone to making typing mistake — boy are you going to love the new typo detector on Ninchanese! It now gives you a second chance to correct your answer, both when you’re entering the meaning or the pronunciation, so you don’t get your answer wrong due to a silly typing mistake!
So far, the reactions we’ve gotten have been overwhelmingly positive and along the tunes of “Wow! Typo Detector! Awesome” and “Typo detection! Yay!!!” What’s yours going to be?
My suggestion: go give it a try right now and see how many times in one review session you get saved by the typo detector. I personally stopped counting :). The typo detector is now active in the Vocab stages with Nincha and in your reviews.
The typo detector will make each review milestone easier to finish, but if your reviews feel easier now, the typo detector is not the only thing to thank.
Reviews are now a walk in the park(almost)
See, a number of you voiced issues they had with the reviews, which got the Nincha Team thinking about improving how the review system works work; revising the difficulty settings and how we handle mistakes in a review session.
A more even mix of words
First up: showing you a more even distribution of hard (for you) and easier words to review.
The way the previous words were distributed placed a heavier emphasis on newly learned — or relearned words. We therefore worked on balancing that out; and aimed at turning your review session into a walk in the park. Well, a walk in a park with a few steep hills to climb now and then. Not all your words can be easy to review, or they wouldn’t still be in your review queue.
Mat, our head developer, therefore spent days his head burrowed in charts, pouring through data to establish what could be considered as “hard” and plotting a better distribution graph using us and himself as his first test subjects.
The Great Nincha Machine now takes into account several things when presenting words to review to you such as how well or little you know that word; if you’re reviewing on time or not to serve you up more balanced reviews. That way, during your reviews, you’ll see an even mix of words you’re less familiar and more comfortable with.
In short: This should make doing your reviews less like a tall mountain to climb and more of a pleasant ride with a few hikes and breaks along it. What do you think of the changes? That’s not all that’s been changed in the reviews!
Dealing more gradually with mistakes
Another pet-peeve your learners have mentioned is the way the Great Nincha Machine dealt with your mistakes, brutally downgrading you to zero stars, regardless of whether you’d actually forgotten the word or had just made a typo.
Well, the typo part has now been taken care of, so that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. In addition, our Great Nincha Machine now does its best to distinguish between words you’ve completely and entirely forgotten and those which have temporarily slipped your mind. Each word you get wrong therefore now gets assessed to see if it needs to be shown to you again the next day, or if it can wait a few days to be reshown to you.
This should make our handling of mistakes a lot more flexible and, in the long term, mean you have less reviews coming back every day.
In short: no more seeing a word you got wrong in your reviews the next day, unless you really really can’t remember a thing about it!
There’s more planned
There are quite a few more improvements planned in the review department so expect more changes in the near future. We’re starting with these changes and are waiting for you to show us how you like them. We’re monitoring the reviews closely to make sure the Great Nincha Machine is behaving like it should and dealing with your reviews in the best way for you.
So please, go do your reviews and tell us what you think of the new improved reviews! Tell us: What do you think of the words you’re seeing? Do you feel you’re seeing a more even mix of hard and not-so hard words for you? Do your reviews feel more like a walk in the park? Do the changes suit you?
Perhaps you’ve noticed these nice white boxes popping up everywhere, with Nincha, Baimei and Yocha telling you things? Your teachers and coaches were eager to help you out so we listened to their wishes. They added little tutorials that now appear the first time you perform certain action on Ninchanese to guide you and show you where everything is. How do you like being taken care like that? It makes first times easier, don’t you think?
More seasoned Nincha Learners also get to see the tutorials, but they can easily be skipped by clicking on the check mark. And who knows, there might be things you’ll be discovering to. Can you look me in the eye and tell me you know what ALL the bonuses do, for instance? Well, now you can: just read Nincha’s messages to you!
The Nincha Team’s favorite sport: Bug squash
As always, a few bugs were also squashed in this beta update. Our goal is for you to have a great, unhindered, Chinese learning experience and bugs don’t factor in well with that.
No more drunk PY/ EN indicator
Drinking on the job is a big no-no and our PY/EN indicator should have known that. It didn’t though, and some of you poor learners ran into it under the influence. It asked you to enter English, only to tell you that it wanted Pinyin, didn’t it? Or the opposite? It must have been a confusing period for you!
Guess what we learned? That the PY/EN indicator AND Chrome were drinking together and conspiring to bring you those confusing results. Good news, though, they’ve both entered an online self-paced AA program and are well on track to recovery.
In short: the PY/EN indicator will now show you nothing but the truth. It swears.
(p.s: we’re counting on you to report it if it starts hitting the bottle again)
See ALL 3 words when you start a new vocab stage
Some of you users only saw two instead of three words at the beginning of a stage; this won’t happen again.
These are the big changes in this week’s beta update! Do you like the improvements? Let us know in the comments or share your feelings by tagging us @ninchanese on Twitter!