Hide time until next review by default

Just as the title says.

I think the time until the next review should not be shown by default. In my opinion, and from what I have seen with my students who use Anki, they tend to use the time as a way to calibrate which button to press, but I think they often misjudge their own ability. So they see a word they know but they see the “Good” time shows, say, 7 days, and the “Easy” shows 1 month, so they press “Easy” but only because they think they will still remember the word in 7 days, but they don’t. This behavior won’t be very stable either, and they will assess another word differently for a number of reasons, even if the recollection effort was basically the same.

In general, I think this adds to the processing load when assessing answers for a card (you have to decide whether you remembered it correctly, whether your recollection was Hard, Good or Easy, and then triangulate that with the time until next review).

I personally have the time hidden, so it doesn’t bother me directly, but most people won’t go into the settings to find this option, or they might even think it’s better having the time shown just because it’s on by default.

So my suggestion is to turn this off by default, lowering the cognitive load and making the interface lighter, and then let the (power) user decide if they want to show that extra information.

This will be even clearer if Pass/Fail Grading as Default is implemented, since there would be no reason to show the times, I guess. And in any case, I believe for most users the best way to go is to simplify things, not think too much about the self-assessment and trust the algorithm.

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If you don’t show new users the time on the answer buttons, they may get confused. I also think that most people would like to see this time, even if it is harmful for them.

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The only viable solution to this is neither changing button names, nor hiding times from the users. It is implementing 2-buttons by default. I think we already have good evidence that the schedulers suffer from 4-buttons use. Most people here have that opinion IMO.

In what sense? The time doesn’t really provide much useful information, afaik. You’re not able to modify it and it might modify your assessment. I’m not sure how new users might get confused. Maybe old users would get confused if the changed was automatic for them, but it doesn’t have to be, I think.

That’s fine, they could activate it if they really want to see it. However, I am really not sure people want to see it, they’re just use to it because it’s there by default. Most people (the ones I know who use Anki) just want it to work and not being overwhelmed by so much information (which the time is just a piece of). The more info shown by default, the more complex everything seems to them. And even if they dare try Anki, many just decide not to keep using it because they feel they need to understand and set too many options. Things are better now compared to the past, but there’s still much space for improvement in user-friendliness.

(Note: I’m sure other types of users are not like this and would prefer to understand and control many settings in Anki, but those users are just going to dive into the settings and customize the experience the way they like. The ones I am talking about will just not use Anki if overwhelmed.)

This would still make having the time shown irrelevant and just a type of “geek info”, like when you can see the FPS in a videogame or some special stats on an app, I think.

Don’t fix what’s not broken. And most people here are geeks. I mean many of us stare at our stats screen more than the review screen. And some of my favorite websites are statista and ourworldindata. Love seeing that child mortality rate going down around the world.

Even when times are shown some people don’t get that Anki is scheduling cards for them and they will be shown learnt cards the next day. I have met at least one person who did got confused when she couldn’t review her cards anymore.

I say show times but have only 2 buttons by default. Everyone’s happy with that.

That’s exactly my point. Most Anki users, I think, never get to this forum, the ones here are the ones that will enjoy “stats for nerds”, all the info they can get on their screen and meddling with HTML and CSS.

I might be wrong, but I beliebe the user base of Anki is bigger than the people coming here or on Reddit. And in any case, I think Anki should try to reach a less tech-oriented audience. I already mentioned this on other threads, but my students are just normal technology users at best, and they are overwhelmed by Anki in general.

And what’s more important, geeks will be able to set the configuration they want without effort (they wouldn’t lose options, so I don’t see the point in putting geeks as the target of default settings). Normal users, however, won’t be able to do that and that’s why we should be thinking of them when talking about defaults, imo.

Most of my students are like that. And they can see the time until next review. So that doesn’t help in understanding scheduling.

In fact, that’s another point Anki could improve. When starting, users don’t understand why they can’t keep going after a certain limit. The “congratulations” message doesn’t seem to be very effective.

I don’t know about desktop but AnkiDroid has a new congratulations screen except that it’s still in developer’s options. Apparently not everyone is satisfied with it.

The same can be said about those who don’t want to see it.
You can create a survey to see people’s preferences.
It seems to me that people who have to constantly face user problems underestimate the abilities of people in general.

This gives information about what the buttons are doing. Or at least a hint.
The developers of Ankidroid want to go even further and visually show the steps of learning and relearning.

He is talking about new users. Particularly those who come from a non-technical background. The issue is more pertinent to the question of what should be shown to new users and what should be not. And a poll would not include them.

I have no issues with this suggestion if it wouldn’t create other problems as suiyuan believes but this might just be true—

In any case, 2 buttons by default is solving this issue so if dae agrees to implement that, we wouldn’t have very strong reasons to hide times.

I understand what you say, but I believe the same can’t be said if we’re talking about new users. New/non-technical users won’t be able to change it easily. So the important thing here is to know what is better for non-technical users. The others, will be able to fix it without any issue.

I believe showing time is detrimental for new/non-technical users for the above mentioned reasons.

Preferences of users in this forum are not reflective of new/non-technical users, so there is no point in a survey here. The users I’m talking about wouldn’t even be sure what to vote, since they just want things to be simple and work. But I see the problems things like 4 button-assessment or showing time until next review cause them.

I’m not sure what you mean by that. What I am talking about is something I see every semester when I introduce Anki to my students, it’s not a guess on my part, these are issues “normal” users face routinely.

Hope this is clearer now.

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By the way, what’s the demographics of your students? The age, how educated they are, male/female ratio, do they speak a major world language, how wealthy they are etc. I remember you saying most are adults so this might be a big problem if Anki is this hard-to-use for normal people.

IIRC, in play store we are asked to rate how easy to use an app is? If that is true, maybe at least the AnkiDroid devs have some data on how normal users perceive Anki. Anyone know about this? (the only problem though, If anki is difficult to use for the average person, is that it will be less popular among them especially as Anki relies primarily on word-of-mouth for its popularity)

I don’t see a problem here, even for a technically unskilled person. And even if there are any difficulties, this experience will benefit them.

I believe that if you remove information from the buttons, it will make it more difficult for new users to master the program. Because they won’t see what the buttons are doing.

This is not a reason to deprive them of their voice in this matter. Before voting, you can explain why this is necessary. And tech-savvy users can vote for your option if they think it might help new users.

You only see those who failed to figure out the program. But you don’t have any statistics.

Charitymadness helps users figure out FSRS, and as I could see, he thought FSRS was very difficult for users. But not so long ago, he conducted a survey.
The result was completely different.

I have not seen that this creates serious problems with moderate use of 4 buttons. But I agree that 2 buttons for new users would be useful. And then we wouldn’t have to discuss this topic.

By the way, you know that ClarityInMadness is Expertium right? AFAIK he is not trying to hide it so might as well use the name used here.

Also about the survey, IMO this is a very different demographic. If redditors represented average people the world would’ve ended long ago. /hj

As mentioned before by sorata and me, there are people (many) that don’t understand why they can only do 15 or 20 cards a day. So the time until next review doesn’t seem to help much in that respect. This usually happens the first few days. I always insist in the fact that they will begin with fewer cards and that they have to use it for a week or so, but still this happens constantly. So I guess Anki is not doing a good job at explaining itself in that regard.

From what I’ve seen here, many (most?) users on this forum believe the rest of the users are like themselves and that other people will have the patience they have and the persistence and interest they have. And, in my experience, that is not the case. So, sure, I don’t mind everybody voting, but I think dae or whoever decides about that should make a clear difference between users in this forum and new users.

This could also be said the other way around of you, if you only take into account the people on this forum or your own experience, I think. In general, people here more or less figure out the program.

And nobody has statistics for Anki settings, I believe. But there are user experience studies. I am trying to find a great article I think dae or someone posted some months ago in the forum, but I can’t find it. :frowning:

Sorry, but I don’t see how this is completely different. He did a survey months ago, I believe, when FSRS wasn’t even out of beta. So basically only beta testers or early adopters who also participate in this forum and mostly read the Github tutorial responded (even a survey now would only include early adopters). These are clearly power users and have nothing to do with normal users’ experience.

Also, these result have 25,8% of people literally saying they’re not using FSRS because it’s too complicated, and 19,4% saying they weren’t using it because they had a negative experience (which could include not being able to resolve problems because it was too difficult). In any case, the user group that responded to this is just way to distant from a typical non-tech-savvy user, so I don’t see how this is relevant, sorry.

There are all kinds. From 18 to 60 years old, from all over the world (the most represented groups are Russian, Ukranian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish, but there’s lots of people from many different places), with all types of education (from no education at all to post-doc researchers), some don’t even speak English and many don’t speak English comfortably (others do or it’s their mother tongue in some cases), male/female ratio is pretty balanced, there’s people who own several houses by the beach in expensive vacation towns and people who get government aid or work several jobs as delivery staff, etc.

In any case, not all of them use Anki. Maybe I don’t do a good job explaining why it could be useful for them or they are just not interested. But among those interested, many face the problems I’m talking about, and there’s no clear patterns in their background from what I can see.

I think it’s better to post it on reddit. As far as I know, most of the users who are sitting there have not even opened the manual.

I also help people who couldn’t figure out anki. I didn’t mean to say that you are worse than me in this matter. You just have to be careful when judging by personal experience.

It seems that FSRS has been in ANKI since November.

If you look again, you will see that only those who are not using FSRS participated in this issue, which is 18.4%
And now 25.8% and 19.4% of them have already answered as you wrote.

Moreover, to use FSRS, it is enough to press the optimization button from time to time. And even without optimization, it works great compared to SM-2 (Ease Hell).
There will always be people who will not be able to figure something out. It is not worth spoiling the experience of using others for their sake.

I don’t think the problem with anki is that users don’t try to figure out what works and how.

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