A few weeks ago I started downloading several Japanese learning apps - free and paid, cheap and expensive ones and after spending some time on them I have concluded that the asset on the app store is very poor and I couldn’t resist the urge to design a modern product that would solve what I believe developers out there are not taking in serious consideration: quality and consistency.
Below my concerns and considerations on these two matters.
1) The cake is a lie.
They state the app are designed to teach Japanese but in fact 99% of them don’t really teach you anything and just feature a huge database of pre-made kanji lists and sentences.
One other thing that really irritates me is when they say the app will prepare you for JLPT in a fancy smart way. Another lie. They basically are just tap-and-go lists with both Japanese and English translation in the same screen. Now how am I supposed to learn the language if you don’t even let me try to guess the answer? If your app just happens to be a JP/EN dictionary then do me a favour: don’t promote it as the ultimate solution for JLPT studying.
2) Expectation v Reality
I am minimalist pixel-perfect digital maker. I believe that less is more and that there exists the right place for everything. Sadly what I see after launching these apps is:
- Indecent interfaces
- Outdated UI
- What-the-hell infrastructure
- False statements
- Bad marketing
It is so frustrating when you look up for something in 2015 and all you get is old crap made without practical purposes.
As I mentioned I designed one myself and was hoping to find someone to join me in this adventure.
Here is my solution: a straight to the point quiz based app.
- From easy to complex questions on kanji, vocabulary, particles, counters, hiragana end katakana divided by levels (JLPT1~JLPT5)
- Realistic timer
- Scoring database entries
What it wouldn’t be included
- English answers. Since JLPTs are entirely written in Japanese providing the English translation would be a distraction from your real needs.
- Dictionary. You can't take one with you at the test.
- Kanji stroke orders. Not necessary.
Have already prepared several wireframes and designs.
Will send a preview upon request.
Cheers and thanks for reading!