The reason the "forgot" button is incorrectly named "again"

“A long time ago, Anki used words like ‘forgot’. Some users felt it had negative connotations and they said they felt bad when pressing it, so the name was changed to something more neutral.”

There is no way this is the reason. People got their feelings hurt so the wording was changed from the correct “forgot” to the ambiguous “again?”

How many thousands of people has this confused?

The Japanese translation in Anki for “Good” is “Correct,” which makes more sense.

The buttons in English should be “Forgot” or “Incorrect.”


“Remember” or “Correct”


I agree. Unfortunately, I really doubt that the button text will be changed at this point. @dae personally, I think that not making it clear that Again=Fail and all other buttons are Pass is a lot worse than making Anki mildly friendlier for people who don’t realize that forgetting some proportion of material is part of the plan.
Also, I still think that using two colors - red for Again and green for other buttons - would be helpful. Using 4 colors is ok too, but less clear and more likely to make users think that Hard=Fail, which is already a problem.


Im curious. Do you guys know anyone that really thought: “Hey, when I need to look at it in one to 10 minutes again. I most likely didn’t forget it.” After they already had an interval of 1 year or more showing when they would’ve clicked on “good”?

I mean, who would think: “I most likely still know it!”.
After clicking on “again” and the other “pass-buttons” shorten down in their interval drastically?

No offense here. But I can’t imagine anyone who would think, that they didn’t fail the card after clicking on “again”. You have to look at the context being shown, especially the time intervals.
If there would be no numbers showing up, which indicate what interval will hit me next, then I could understand your problems with the naming. BUT, when one looks at the context of the shown numbers, not a single person in their right mind would think, they nailed a card after pressing “again”.
Maybe if they use Anki for the first time. But that’s it?


“Wrong”, “Incorrect” or something like it seems good to me.

Also, icons like :x: and :white_check_mark: would help.

I still think that using two colors - red for Again and green for other buttons - would be helpful.

For your onboarding goal, I prefer having only two buttons as the default (Pass/Fail Grading as Default - #20 by suiyuan), so someone would only use Hard and Easy if they deliberately enabled it.


Why do people think that? I don’t understand. There can be a misunderstanding initially. But after some experience, when they notice they don’t remember most Hard cards that come up for review, do they not self correct their sub-optimal rating habits?

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Icons will probably be added in AnkiDroid in the future. Oh, wait, aren’t you one of the AnkiDroid devs? Do you know the ETA for when icons will be implemented?

He is lol :joy:

There’s an add-on that helps with this problem. It hides all answer buttons, and only shows you the intervals. So you’re supposed to grade your cards using the keyboard like a chad.

Alternatively, people who don’t like the default labels can create a new add-on that changes them to whatever they like.

I think “again”, “hard”, “good” and “easy” are so ingrained at this point that changing them would cause a calamity. Also don’t forget that existing guides that teach how to use anki will have to be changed as well.


I agree with you. These are some very impressive observations. And anybody who doesn’t like it can use the add ons you mentioned. These names have been used a lot all over the place online including in some classic guides (yours too :bowing_man: ).

@johncaiwa Do you really think people’s feelings don’t matter? Remember that in Anki it is told that too low desired retention can be bad because it “can be demoralising”. I don’t want to go into depression by pressing Forget everytime I get something wrong /hyp

Also @Expertium do you see the behaviour changing in this way too… Having Again changed to Forget would certainly mean it is clearer that HardAgain but I also expect something different. Say you get a card with the word 参詣 but instead of さんけい (sankei) you might say さんかい (sankai). In this case one might press Again very effortlessly but there might be a psychological aversion to Forget which can you make you go, “but sankei and sankai sound kinda similar, let’s just go with Hard”.

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What makes you think this isn’t happening already?

Again sounds a bit more neutral so I’d imagine people feel less aversion to this word.

I mean the “it sounds about right, so I’ll press Hard” thing seems like a fairly common phenomenon

Yes too common. I’m saying there should be a multi-variable equation that determines how frequent this is. Think about this. Why do you imagine people do this? One reason is that they don’t want to go through the learning steps. Brain prioritises pain later over pain now. But people also feel a psychological aversion to admitting they’ve failed the card. Does that not happen to you? Well, for me at least this factor is probabaly very strong. I think I wouldn’t want to press a button that explicitly says Forgot.

The reason I bought this up is because your primary argument seems to be calling this button Forgot would cause less people pressing Hard button when they forget something. So what I was basically saying is, okay I agree with you but wouldn’t renaming also have the opposite effect? Net-net we don’t know what’s gonna happen.

" I don’t want to go into depression by pressing Forget everytime I get something wrong /hyp"

Doc: So, tell me in your own words why you are depressed.
You: I hit the “forgot” button in Anki 23 times yesterday.

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Doc: Sorry kid, that’s something even I am struggling with since med school.


tl;dr: think of the newbies!

Couldn’t this up here apply to this down here as well?

What I mean is, the same way you think self-correcting would be easy for someone hitting Hard too much, shouldn’t it be easy for you to overcome the “Forgot” aversion as well? Everyone has preferences, but I think helping those less technologically inclined or those with less patience should be the priority for an app. I’m sure most people who even come to this forum are not in these groups, though. In any case, I believe if there were only two buttons by default, this discussion wouldn’t be necessary, since “Again” and “Good” would be clear enough.

I think you overestimate people’s power of attention and patience. As I said above, I don’t think taking ourselves as standard users is a good idea. I can assure you of all the students I have taught how to use Anki ever (dozens), probably next to none of them have ever opened the Deck Options or installed an addon. And if they have taken a look at the time intervals, it was probably for the worse. Time intervals can be very misleading (a user can think something is too long or too short and therefore press another of the buttons instead of the one they should, misjudging their memory ability and interfering with the scheduler’s job). I actually think intervals should be hidden by default (but that’s probably better left for another thread).

Again, I would kindly ask everyone not to take design decisions thinking of power users (unless that’s the main target of the app, which I think it’s not, but I might be wrong). I really believe these decisions should be geared towards making it easier for newbies to get aboard, using an addon is not very newbie-friendly (I have students having problems understanding “decks” and “shared decks” or asking me to “add more cards of X type” to a deck they’ve already installed, as if I could update them remotely just to give an example).

Also, not changing things because they’ve been done like that for a long time or for fear of what could happen is not conductive to improvement. Sure, maybe not changing everything at once is the better path, so people can adjust progressively, but that doesn’t mean not changing. Existing guides will be revised anyway and, otherwise, they will be superseded by new ones, that’s completely fine. This has happened before (FSRS, for example) and will happen again. I don’t see how tradition and habit are good enough arguments to keep a system that might well be causing more confusion than not.

I’m repeating myself here, but most users don’t have the patience to read the documentation, come to the forums, read tooltips, troubleshoot, etc. They will just try what’s instinctively reasonable for them and if it doesn’t work, they will just give up and stop using the app.

Notice that the opposite won’t happen that easily. A user capable of patiently reading the documentation, asking in the forums, installing an addon, diving into the options and preferences, etc., won’t really be immediately discouraged if they need to change a new toggle in the Preferences.

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to share my thoughts on the issue.


No. Expertium is talking about people not knowing that “Hard” isn’t supposed to be pressed. I am not talking about that. I am saying for people like me who do things they’re not supposed to do while being completly aware of the downturns, it doesn’t remain a problem of intellect then.

How does Forgot help people with less patience or are less technologically inclined? But in any case I don’t think helping people who can’t use tech should be the goal of apps. This is coming from a person who himself doesn’t have much idea about how tech works. So I’m in the group you just mentioned.

I see this as part of a greater problem. Children are raised without parents trying to inculcate curiosity in them. I don’t see any reason to make things worse just trying to be as liberal as possible to people who never even try to understand the buttons they’re pressing. If something helps this group without harming others then it’s probably fine. Also I don’t believe most Anki users belong to this group. Most people I recommend Anki to, have convinced themselves that Anki is redundant because they can achieve results without bothering to use such a complicated app. They’re not wrong in that success is possible without Anki and at this point I usually have nothing to say to the other person. I think people who use Anki are people who do have the patience to at least try understand how to rate the cards.

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I agree with this one.

Also this one. Actually being able to manually select which buttons to show would be nice. I NEVER use Hard. So for me it becomes irrelevant to have that.

BTW are you teaching kids? Can I know which class they’re in? Can you not just give them a lecture on how to use Anki? It won’t even take a few days to cover everything. You are in control here. So they’ll just listen.

If I was taught Anki in school, I bet 100$ I would never use Anki after graduating