"Getting Started" - Doesn't says how to get started

The “Getting started” - doesn’t actually tell you how to get started.
There’s a wall of text which is “Key Concepts” (I’d suggest these should be on a page called “Key Concepts” to make them easier to find), and a bunch of links to youtube videos that I initially missed because I was looking for text explaining how to Get Started.

In the spirit of being constructive, I did include some links to good getting started docs as examples, but apparently I’m not allowed to include them (anti-spam I guess).

You overlooked that the first thing on the page is links to the installation instructions for all platforms – arguably the most important first step if someone wants to start using Anki. :sweat_smile:


Then you missed the first sentence above the videos – which cover the major topics.

That’s all before you get to –

You say “wall of text” – I say “important information that answers about 90% of the questions new users have.” :grin: It is inescapable that if someone wants to learn about how to use Anki, we’re going to have to tell them something. The page offers videos, and it offers text – not sure how the information could be covered better in this particular environment. HOWEVER there’s currently a discussion going on about how to improve our onboarding process for new users – Revisiting onboarding decks and tutorials .

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Yes, the installation instructions definitely belong there.

The problem is that, after glancing through that page, I still have no clue how to actually get started with Anki. If a poweruser struggles with the “getting started”, how is someone without decades of experience with countless pieces of esoteric software going to handle Anki?
A user shouldn’t have to watch a video to learn the fundamentals of the software. It’s nice for those who like it and have the bandwidth, but text is good too.

As I said – the page offers videos, and the page offers text. I don’t know how we can help someone who is not interested in either one.

When you finished reading the page, what “get started” action did you want to do? Because the page explains the basics for how to create your own cards, and how to download cards. In a fresh install of Anki … those are the only available things to do.

Studying has its own page – since it’s impossible to do that until you’ve created or downloaded cards.

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This isn’t my position. To clarify:

  • I missed the videos because my brain was looking for text. If I wanted to watch videos for how to get started I would have gone straight to youtube.

  • I would very much like text explaining how to get started, that’s the entire point of this suggestion thread is.
    The text that is on the Getting Started page isn’t pertinent until later in the process of using Anki. There’s no point telling a user about the concepts of cards and decks in great detail (as that page does) if they have no clue how to use or access either of them.

I keep coming back to this. I can only think of 2 “get started” actions for a new user – both of which are explained on the page. If there’s a different action that’s not explained on the page (and is possible) – what is it?

Sorry, I missed that.
The action would be to access decks, however now that I take another parse of the documents, I see that hidden away at the very bottom under “shared decks”. I would suggest that this should be at the top under “getting started”.

The other action would be to build your own deck. That seems to be hidden away at the bottom of “Cards” with one line: 'To add and edit card types, click the “Cards…​” button while adding or editing notes. ’ Though given I don’t see a button labelled “cards”, and I have no idea to how to “add or edit notes”… ah, here we, are, it’s hidden away as a single line among all of the prose: “To add your own note types and modify existing ones, you can use Tools → Manage Note Types from the main Anki window.” - and it’s below the part that has the cards instruction saying to use it.

To be more explicit:

  • Instructions should be succinct
  • Instructions should be correctly ordered
  • Instructions should be explicit
  • Instructions should explain only what is minimum to complete the task, and include points to other documents as links.
  • Instructions should be well signposted.
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The key concepts section in Anki is more like a glossary, with clarifications and setting a common understanding of terms, but it totally lacks actionable steps for beginners.
There is no answer to questions like “I installed it, what do I press now for maximum feel-goodness?”
It does cover all necessary concepts, very nicely so, but it isn’t user-friendly for someone starting with a fresh installation of Anki…
And the videos… Meh. Personally, I don’t like videos, because I am faster with reading. Plus the videos are 11! years old. They will finish middle school soon!

I think an instruction-first user would be very lost… And from experience, even in-app tutorials are pointless for those at this stage. They still have an aversion against the app, so they don’t focus on instructions inside the app…

A surprise find I made while checking: In the “studying” section it’s considered that users possibly created their own notes… But neither the text nor the videos cover this.
There is no screenshot or guide that links the concepts and their actual GUI elements in the “create new” menu.