Future feature suggestion for card randomization

I was reading through the Release Notes and one of the Open Issues really struck a cord with me: “Improve the randomization of cards during the daily review sessions”.

The thing that has really bugged me with Skritter is how it frequently shows me cards that give me too many hints for later cards.

For me, the “most difficult” card is the Writing card. You get a blank canvas and an English definition and have to figure out the character (and mentally I’m thinking about the pronunciation too).

However, often when a “word” is due, Skritter gives me the writing prompt LAST (after tones and definition and reading). This means I’ve “seen” the character a few times before I get to write it.

To me, that’s cheating.

I’m no longer looking at a blank canvas and stress-testing my memory to recall this character. Instead, I’m recalling the prompt 2 minutes ago when it showed me the character.

I’d like to be able to select the order of priority of the prompts. I find writing the most challenging and want that first. But perhaps other people find definitions or reading to be hardest.

I would like Skritter to look at my prioritization of prompts and re-order the due-queue (for the regular SRS reviews for the day) such that I never see a character that I’ll need to write until I’ve written it.

I want it to also look through characters on words too. My emphasis is that I don’t want to ever see a character within a word or sentence until I’ve written it out, provided that the writing prompt is going to come up later for that word or sentence.

Thanks for reading my rant! :slight_smile:


Hi there, I totally get your point. At the same time, I am wondering why don’t you just do writing first (in order to avoid getting spoilers) and after finishing that, you simply proceed with the tones/reading/definitions?

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Bluntly: laziness and a lack of automation.

As a person who also writes software, I want the software to “read my mind”.

In Skritter, I can manually start a session, click 3 switches (to turn off Definition/Reading/Tone") and then start just a character session, when it completes, restart it and “unclick” the 3 switches, and then start the review again. But it’s 8 extra interactions with the interface. From a usability standpoint, it could be streamlined if it could be configured to do what I want it to ahead of time.

And since it’s on the Skritter list of things “to do”, I figured it was worth pursuing the use-case.

But you are quite correct, that one can manually get close to what I asked for with the current interface…it’s just less than optimal.

Edit: adding one more point. If I do only writing cards, it’s all writing, and that can feel tedious. I like the mix of different cards coming in at different times. BUT if a card is going to reveal the appearance of the character, I’d like the writing card pulled up earlier. The other cards that don’t reveal a later-to-be-shown writing prompt can stay shuffled throughout the queue.

I’m not sure I agree.

I think if you want to test yourself on and hone your skills writing, then the test function especially, or the review first choosing only writing, are the ways to go.

But Skritter is a learning app.

And the natural way to learn writing, in addition to actually practicing the character script, is to see and hear and speak the character over and over, far more often than you write it, as native speakers do.

Writing it before you are familiar with hearing, speaking and seeing it isn’t a natural way of learning it.

Especially since Skritter already accommodates writing-only and test features.

Plus, if you forget how to write a character, the algorithm brings it back to you over and over, so you will get the practice.

tl/dr: And your point is exactly why I said it should be customizable by the user.

You don’t want Skritter to prioritize the cards the way I want, because you want to meet a certain “way” in which the cards come to you. I agree that should be supported.

However, I dislike how things are presented now, because it doesn’t force me to recall the way I specifically learn things. I’m a very visual learner, so if you present me with a visual “cheat card”, my memory locks in on that…and the writing is a perfect example of that. Because of that, I want a “simple” method (read that as a “one-button, fire-and-forget”) of setting up Skritter to do what I need it to do. Although I am far from having a photographic memory, if you show me a page of mathematical equations or a piece of code and then ask me to go away and use that to do my own analysis, I’ll remember most of it without looking again, since it’s stuck for a while in my short-term memory. That capability helps me greatly at work as an Engineer, but plays against me in language learning where Skritter is giving me graphical clues before it makes me do the hard work of blind-recall on a character that I have not been able to stick in my “visual cognitive buffer”.

Every user should be able to set it up to default to the behavior they want (and that was part of my original post) because each individual has different strong points and weak points in their learning style.

Edit: and since this topic was already on the list of the Skritter team’s “to do” Open-Items, I wanted to get my opinion out there.

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I totally agree, I had almost the same experience.

That’s why I lately did a full reset after studying more than 2500 characters. I started all over and now also turned “Rawest squiqs” on because of the stroke swapping which to me also act as graphical clues. Long ago I already stopped using study definitions, reading and tones. The only thing I need now is more randomness in the way the characters appear so that I can’t rely on remembering which characters I studied together. But using my current settings helps me a lot to really improve my writings skills.

Note, I see Skritter only as a learn to write characters app not as tool to learn the language, because in my humble opinion they are far from that.

@Roberto Rawest Squigs is the best!