I’m using Skritter on a Surface Pro with a pen. Here are the biggest things that stood out to me:
- I really want a “right handed mode”. Having the input area on the left means my hand blocks my view of the right panel unless I slow down and move my hand away for each exercise.
- The input area needs a clear visual distinction between a tone quiz and introducing a new character. Both modes show a ghost of the character, and if I just start tracing (thinking I am seeing a new word) then I instantly get the wrong answer for the tone quiz. It doesn’t help to remember that you’ve seen a character (to assume it’s a tone quiz) because it’s often introducing new words or phrases that begin with characters you know.
- It would be nice to have a little more emphasis on the specific form of the character that’s being prompted. It took me a number of “errors” to learn that I had to slow down for each “xi1n” and check which radical form it wanted.
- Typing pinyin with a keyboard is very inconvenient on a tablet. Especially because typing numeric tone marks requires shifting to get numbers. It would be great to be able to hand write them using the same interface as the Chinese characters.
- Even if I had to use the system keyboard to type the pinyin characters, it would be nice to be able to do a second step to specify the tones with a pen.
- What are the tone numbers that it expects? It doesn’t seem to be 0-5 Mandarin tone numbers. Is it Cantonese? I never figured it out because Skritter is not trying to teach you the numbers, so you only ever input them and I just got them all wrong.
- (Related note, if it’s going to want you to input tone numbers it should probably show them in addition while training)