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Question

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Klaus et al,

I continue to find Trainchinese the most impressive and powerful learning tool available in the flash card category.  Keep up the great work!

Is there a particular reason the interfaces differ e.g. Website vs. Desktop vs. Mobile App were developed at different times by different people?  Will you be making the 'look and feel' similar across the platforms?  There are some great features / functions on one platform that I really like that are not on the others; perhaps you can ask other users what they like most and have a common look and feel across all platforms?  Ideally, the website version can have all the features and provide the most user friendly interface and most powerful features.

The below would be my suggestions - in order of importance down to minor nitpicky preferences ;-)
1. The Android app allows clicking on characters to go into an online dictionary which shows many associated words - this is very helpful.  The Website and Desktop App do not have this feature it seems, but would be great if you could add this powerful feature.  Also, on the Android app it is hard to get back to the previous screen if I click through to the dictionary.
2. Progress update - It seems the Website version doesn't give immediate feedback on when a mode is completed, while the other platforms do.
3.  Number of times 'left to answer correctly in a mode' is not always readily visible.  It helps to see the number of times I have left to get it right; I don't find the bars without the numbers helpful.  The Website version provides this but it seems the Desktop App doesn't.
4. Stats - the progress bars are nice, but in the Website it doesn't show a total while the other platforms do. Also the default is monthly.  Is it possible to have the default be set to whatever the user last chose for it e.g. daily or weekly?
5. Trained Cards Count Tracking - It seems the cards that are learned in a mode are not updated in real time or consistently to the 'Progress Bar' that is displayed during the training mode (the yellow, red, green bars) in the Website version.  Without the immediate feedback of whether a card has been learned in the mode, I wonder if the system has recorded the progress.  For example, the system shows I have 1  correct answer left, but when I click the green 'Check' mark to indicate I know the answer, the next card shows without a note or the above progress bar changing.  I think the system should show that the word is learned for that mode, but I can't tell.
6. Training Mode - when a list is used again immediately to train, the system doesn't seem to randomize the list.  It goes through the same cards in the same order.
7. Animation Flip - the Desktop App doesn't allow for the user to deselect the animation feature like the Website version once did.  It would be nice if the user to could have the option to deselect it.

The above are some suggestions / preferences for you to consider.

Again, I really like what you've done with TrainChinese and am happy user; just sharing some ideas to make it even better!

If you have any questions or would like clarification, I would be most happy to provide further details.

Thanks!

Fred
  
Answers
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Thank you for your long and detailed feed back!

The applications for the different platforms were all developed by the same team of people, but as we also are learning and the developments are happening in sequence, there are some differences between them.  Of course our goal is to keep the differences small!

A general remark for the Desktop application, this application is the \"oldest\" and we plan to update it with the similar functionality than our new iPhone app has as soon as we finish with the corresponding update for Android.

In Detail your suggestions:
1)  Selecting words to be searched again from the results of searches: We currently provide pop ups for each character (with the definitions and pinyin) on the website, we will see if we can add something along your suggestions instead on the website.
2)  The missing immediate feed back on the website for cards going to sleep is because that \'feed back\'  in the current implementation would be slightly delayed (as it will need to access our server to get it). But we might find some work around for it.
3) The remaining number should be available in a future version of the Desktop.
4) For the website to have the stats remembering what was selected before should be easy to implement (daily weekly monthly). As for total, the total statistics is shown on the log in page and also in the detailed stat pages - am I missing something?
5) We will look into that, the update of the status bar for cards should be in (nearly) real time. So we may have a bug there.
6) On the website the randomization is planned for the next update (it was there before, but after introducing the learning by lists and the support of Spanish it was removed).
7) As you correctly noticed we removed the flip animation completely from the website (it was creating some problems on some browsers). When we develop the update of the Desktop we will follow the way we are doing it on Android and iPhone - hope that is OK.
Answered 96 months ago by klaus
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Klaus,

Thanks for the speedy response and the detailed explanations!  And thanks for planning to implement some of the suggestions.

To me #1 would be the most helpful feature to add to the Desktop and/or Website versions (as it currently exists in the Android App version).  While the pop-up of the pinyin and definition in the Website version is helpful, being able to \'click through\' and hyperlink to a dictionary list of additional compound words made up of the flashcard characters/words would really help learn and understand the nuances of the characters/word.

As for #4 the total is there already, so I was mistaken.

Thanks!

Tianspot
Answered 96 months ago by Tianspot
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A Desktop App similar to the Android one would be great!
What I miss in the Desktop App:
- stroke order
- notes
- sounds for examples
- and as mentioned before the interactive \"clicking\" on characters

(I am generally really impressed with the android app. For example the writing mode where you can compare your stroke orders to the real ones.. neat!)

Other than that I like the Desktop App! Especially because it is made with Adobe Air which enables me to use it on my Linux computer.

I would love to see ongoing development from trainchinese because I find that it\'s the best chinese learning platform out there.
Answered 96 months ago by murr4y
klaus says:
Thank you for the positive comments and also for all the suggestions. You do not need worry about our commitment to continue to develop practical, useful and interesting tools for all those who are learning Chinese.
Currently we are working on an improvement for the Android application, which then will suprt the handling of word / flashcard lists directly on the phone.  In parallel we want to finish the Chinese Writer (an application already available for iPhone which lets you learn the stroke orders while playing) and then the corresponding desktop application.
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We just have updated the website with the following chanegs (based on above suggestions):

- On the Content and Practise page now it is possible to highlight words and start an automatic search for them.
- A immediate feed back if a mode was learned or a Card goes to sleep will be shown in the same way as on the Android and iOS applications.
- The Progress bar is now updated immediately after on card goes to sleep or if the card was learned completely. (cards which just passed one mode without going to sleep, because there still are modes to learn will stay in the \"red\" bar).
- If a list is used again it will shuffle the cards.
Answered 95 months ago by klaus
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Klaus,  Thanks, much appreciated!
Answered 95 months ago by Tianspot