Brainstorming for modern UI [Anki 3.0]

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a man who’s sick and tired of hearing how each and every one of his contributions to the UI is actually just “distracting from the best learning experience”.


These updates for 2.1.57 are looking very nice!
Is there a tentative schedule for when a beta release might be ready?

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I only know that 2.1.57 will enter the beta phase very soon, as it’s mainly a bugfix release. I’m hoping to get one or two PRs merged before that. Some of the toolbar changes are already in, but the bulk of the changes is in #2289, which is a very big diff still awaiting review.

First of all, thanks for the feedback.
I personally think that starting with dealing with design instead of the main thing which is study and repetition will steal unnecessary time from students and cause unnecessary distractions. It might have been better to leave it as a addon as it is today and by default have a gray background with some mild texture.

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This would be the default anyway, as the wallpaper is optional. I don’t really see how having such an option available would be detrimental to anyone’s studies.

Personally, I can study better and longer in a good-looking environment. I actually get physically ill after some time with the default background color :smiley: As I’m spending a major chunk of my day developing on Anki builds without add-ons, being able to set a colorful background natively would greatly enhance my dev experience - so there is some personal motivation behind this feature.

I’m sure there are others like me who would enjoy having backgrounds integrated natively.

starting with dealing with design instead of the main thing which is study and repetition will steal unnecessary time

I see this a bit differently. My reasoning is that if Anki looks better, it will attract more users because people outside the hardcore language learning bubble will notice Anki is actually presentable and might include it in their blogs or other outlets.

Also, there’s not much I could contribute in terms of scheduling or other backend work. As long as the majority of users and Damien are happy with my contributions, I will continue to try and improve Anki’s UI/UX.

Little update on the UI:


I don’t know if this is the place to suggest, but maybe you can save dialog boxes by using ExtendedComboBox
See an example here- python - How to use ExtendedComboBox to work in ui file? - Stack Overflow

It can replace the “deck” and “notes” buttons in the editor for example.

Suggestions like this would better fit into this thread: Brainstorming for modern UI [Anki 3.0]. But thanks regardless :slight_smile:

(It’s actually my fault for starting a discussion about future updates here in this thread. I’m sure @dae will move the whole thing to the other thread once he reads it.)

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This looks awesome! I’ve been using the default background color all this time. I tried using the addon where you can set a background, but it was a bit buggy for me. I love the milk glass effect and can’t wait to try it out! Thank you for all your hard work.


I’m pretty excited about a new UI, it would make it easier to “sell” to my friends!

Nevertheless, I hope it doesn’t become one of those apps that tries so hard to be minimalist and mobile-first by hiding absolutely everything after tons of clicks and making some features very difficult to use. In my honest opinion, Anki’s strong point is that it is the only flashcard app for powerusers, while accommodating newcomers. It is like the VLC of flashcard apps.

We should keep in mind that this is an app that you’ll use daily. Any daily task that requires lots of clicks (like on new “improved” mobile-first banking websites) makes you miserable, and any user that uses the app will eventually want some shortcuts.

But there is a lot of room for improvement between IDE-like and beautiful-UX-for-newcommers-but-shitty-for-daily-users.

I can’t think of a lot of software similar to what I’m saying, but I’m thinking of web browsers, office suites, etc.


Exactly, an example i can think of is gnome in linux
But this is true, i’d rather the methodology of the software and workflow be the same with a new UI that is both functional and clean (to get new users) but should never priorities the looks over functionality imo

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Hi there,
I just stumbled upon this thread. First of all, great and thank you for taking on this initiative. Here are my two cents from a UX professional standpoint:
Have you considered to run some user tests with the current version/your redesigned version?
You actually don’t need that many people for a simple usability test (5-7 are enough).

For the people, you can choose different people. A power user, a occasional user, people who never heard of it, … to give some variety.
I feel like while the input here is valuable, it might create a bias towards power users (people who use Anki a lot) as people who usually sign up on forums like these are probably not Anki newbies. Though we want to have a good experience for everyone (so for the people seeing it the first tine and who are not tech-savvy at all & tech-savvy power users +
people in between), so we should also try to talk to different groups.

Also, I think testing of each platform separately makes sense as the UX is quite different across them.

Let me know if you have any questions, I can pin point some good starting resources for methodologies.
I think there is tons to learn here and we’ll also find surprises. I know it sounds like extra work, but it pays off in the end.


Thanks for offering your help, @Cohiikitty, it is very much appreciated.

I haven’t considered organizing a methodic user test of that sort yet - the beta threads have been the way Anki devs would get feedback on UI changes so far. There certainly is bias towards power users here in the forum. Undoubtedly, getting the average user’s view would be very valuable.

One issue is that Anki’s UI is getting reworked incrementally, not in one large update, mostly because contributors like me have limited time capacities. Right now I would not consider the UI “finished” enough to test for usability/accessibility. Most issues reported on the forum are things I’ve noticed myself, but didn’t find the time to fix yet. Once we’re at a stage where I’m struggling to find issues on my own, I think we can consider such a test.

If we were to run a test right now, I’m afraid most reports would be redundant, as the UI they’re testing will get rewritten in the coming months anyway.

I’ll happily take a look at anything you’re willing to share.

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