Feedback - Suggested Improvements/Feature Request

I saw that the N1 grammar points are only up to Lesson 6, and there is no audio for the example sentences. I would like to use Bunpro to prepare for the N1 in December 2021, but I am worried that the N1 grammar points and audio won’t be implemented in time to study for the test.

Do you guys have an idea when the full list of N1 grammar points and audio will be complete? Thanks!

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Is there an option or hotkey I’m missing to show the asked for grammar point AND ONLY it’s nuance during reviews? For now it seems to be nothing > hint > sentence + hint > sentence + hint + nuance. There’s a couple times I wish that after the hint it would only show the hint + nuance without giving the english away, if that makes sense. Perhaps I just glossed over it in the settings though!

oh and one more question/improvement: i wanted to go into cram and select the last 5 days worth of grammar points I added (90% being just the standard order from N3.) when I filter the results by “seen grammar” the list that it churns out just seems to be randomly thrown together as opposed to numbers 1 - XXX that go in order through N3. is there a way to achieve what I want? I suppose for now I could just ctrl+f and manually select each one based off the master list, but that’s kind of annoying.

Could you have the api allow cross origin requests? I’m trying to write a script that displays my Bunpro review count/next review date while I’m on the WaniKani forums, but I get the error:
Access to fetch at 'https://bunpro.jp/api/user/<my api key>/study_queue' from origin 'https://community.wanikani.com' has been blocked by CORS policy: Response to preflight request doesn't pass access control check: No 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource. If an opaque response serves your needs, set the request's mode to 'no-cors' to fetch the resource with CORS disabled.

Following a bit on what RobbyV said in his first suggestion: Bunpro really needs some handholding when pacing and pathing are concerned, especially for new users. While I appreciate a lot the pragmatic and succinct approach of Bunpro, most people in the early stages of learning a language need the didacticism of a textbook or an equivalent. Maybe one day Bunpro will have its own courseware, but until then I really think that Bunpro should explicitly instigate the usage of the material these paths originate from and do that as early as possible. Even if making users go away from the site for a moment might sound a bit counterproductive, I’m very confident of Bunpro’s retention as a product when used alongside a textbook. I’ll try to explain my reasoning below through what I have experienced.

I stumbled upon this site on the wanikani forums, and while I really loved its design and SRS approach, I didn’t go beyond my free month, even with the subscription being criminally cheap. The reason was simple: I couldn’t either pace nor situate myself. I was given grammar points with very succinct explanations (which are double-edged) and had to review them. These were fun for a while, but once I saw that retaining and getting better was very slow, I dropped out. As a side note, a few friends of mine went through similar problems.

A few months later (or a few weeks ago) I decided to started trying to read some stuff in japanese and, with only Wanikani by my side, I was in urgent need for grammar lessons. I picked up Tae Kim’s book and loved it, but I reaaally starved for exercises. That’s when Bunpro exploded from my memory like a volcano and now I can easily say that it’s a great tool to assist in grammar learning.

TL;DR: Bunpro is very hard if you’re starting with zero or close to zero japanese grammar knowledge thus the usage of textbooks or equivalents alongside the tool should be explicitly instigated as early as possible.

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What more could Bunpro do to encourage textbook usage? I don’t mean that as a slight against you, but I’ve seen someone else bring this up before and it kind of left me scratching my head. They give you a snapshot of the grammar point along with different nuances, and then link to to 3+ outside sources and also link to page numbers of where this could be found in textbooks. On top of this there are multiple paths where you literally follow the points introduced in TK/textbooks. Perhaps paths could be advertised better? I guess it comes down to what you assume your users are doing vs. what they are actually doing, I’m not sure if there’s site data that can be utilized for clicks on external links.

When you were using the site the first time around how many points were you adding a day? A week? I see it the same way I see Anki - you’re able to self-judge what works for you and adjust accordingly, which is why I will never understand why WK forces users into a non-adjustable learning cycle. :sweat_smile: Nonetheless, always fun to hear different POVs on things!

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The only thing I can think of to help mitigate this issue would be a beginner walkthrough guide, with recommendations.

There is a help page:

But I don’t think a little more information could hurt. Like the mentioning of paths (I know it’s in the FAQ, but I think it being repeated there could help), or a suggested start in how many grammar points for people who are uncertain.

I’ve had an account for forever now, so I’m not sure how it is for new users, but if not already, an intro email with a link to that help page to get someone started would be nice. Or put it pretty prominently in your face after you log in for the first time. “Hey, if you need help on how to start, click here!” sort of thing.

But yeah, unless people who are having issues bring up some ideas, I’m not sure what else is missing. I’ve never had that absolute beginner perspective with Bunpro, so it’s hard to say what is needed.

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Interesting! It’s been so long (263 days to be exact) since I started here I can’t remember what it looked like when I first signed up. Your post got me thinking about a potential splash screen (or whatever you want to call it) for new users that would give them the gist of the website in one brief summary before then returning to the main dashboard. This could essentially be a walkthrough of what to do, tips and tricks, etc.

  • Explanation of paths
  • Quick paragraph on what any differences between the paths could be
  • Recommended way to get the most out of the website
  • Photos of recommended readings
  • How to use custom notes, etc.
  • Link to forum thread for new users with introductions/general chat/questions, etc.
  • Example of different amount of new grammar you could learn per day, etc.

I started as a fresh user and started with the TK path but eventually just opted for BP’s standard path as the sample sentences flowed in a much more logical order. At the end of the day you can only lead the horse to water, but I think there’s always room to improve how the horse gets to the water so to speak.

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Can these be put back on the opposite sides お願いします? Or make it an option like maybe a right-handed / left-handed mode?

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Still working on adding more N1. We will be adding new N1 pretty much weekly going forward now though. As for audio, we are holding off until we have the sentences fully polished and further adjustments made so we don’t have to rerecord.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I can put it into the backlog but priority wise, it probably won’t be gotten to for a while yet. Sorry!

@kaisermon @BORN2PEEPEE @conan Better guidance for new users is number two in the backlog right now :slight_smile:

@Johnathan-Weir great suggestion! If it is an option, should the nav come in from the side the button is on?

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Good to hear! I think you could really make it creative and use real user experiences (via blurbs? idk) to say how they went about learning grammar and whatever else helped them personally at the time. So many users here have given me bits and pieces over the nearly year I’ve been here, I think there’s a ton of pure feedback that they could in turn give to the newbies!

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Thanks for putting it on the list, at least.

Unrelated bit of feedback: It would be nice to have page numbers for “A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners” in the Readings lists. I’ve been looking things up in there as I go and putting the page numbers in my notes, but it would be nice to have them there to begin with.

Yeah, if it’s on the right it should open from the right to the left (like it originally was) and if on the left then from left to right (like it is now).

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The thing about how Bunpro works as of right now is that the new user is first given a short, extremely compact version of the grammar point and then offered more reading material. He has absolutely no idea of the actual value of that. This comes to a very common problem with proper education in all levels: if someone gets any amount of information and in any ways is satisfied with it, they will most likely push away further reading. This happens all the times in my line of work, in the case, with news headlines: if it gives information the reader thinks it’s enough for comprehension, they almost all the time won’t bother reading the news piece. It’s how twitter blew up in the first place as a primary source of news for way too much people and why most media outlets will make use of click baiting. People won’t click if the text gives “enough” information.

I really love how Bunpro grammar points are organized, so I don’t think they need to change that. But they should probably be digging sensible data. Start by asking new users if they are total beginners with japanese grammar. Then track how much these users click on the third-party resources and how much time they spend there before coming back. A lot of new users are complete strangers to japanese and it’s very useful to gather data about them so Bunpro can raise that specific public’s retention. They shouldn’t make decisions by only hearing the anedoctal evidences that I and other users bring here, as it is very possible that I’m an exception, but through hard data.

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I think you underestimate the users’ eagerness to click on the external readings if something isn’t clicking. Could be I’m overestimating, but I think the global stats for each level show that evidently people are something right or the avg. would be a lot lower than it is. ^^ There’s some grammar points that require more reading but there’s honestly some too that don’t require any at all, especially if you’re consuming any amount of native material. In the starting stages of N5 this probably isn’t the case. To be honest I’ve found that the community discussions here are usually SO MUCH more useful than most websites because it discusses a lot of the nuances you’re bound to see. Although I wouldn’t mind someone making a thread to conduct a poll on how users began their journey with grammar, I think it’d be pretty interesting! All I know is I am so glad I didn’t start with a textbook because I would have dropped the language right away.

At the end of the day though BP is always going to have to put some trust in the reader to go and make the best decisions for themselves. It’s probably the same mindset that WK uses - they expect their users to be reading instead of trying to remember like 5000+ mnemonics without ever seeing the words in the wild, if that makes sense. Anyways I’ll leave it at that, no point circling the wagon on this but again it’s always fun to hear others opinions on things that I might never have thought about!

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I’ve only been here around 40 days, and went through the N5 and part of N4 in that time. Any and all handholding + resources (especially those discussions) are super helpful. The staff and some of the users give some of the most concise and down to earth explanations I’ve seen so I’ve absolutely fallen in love with reading those threads.

However, I think the new user/learner experience would be better with a little refinement. Bunpro has always come across to me as a supplementary tool, but sometimes it’s a little too good (eg. the easy grammar points) and the design kind of steers it away from that. For example, the lesson breakdown has tabs in the order meaning → examples → reading, which I think encourages jumping into examples and possibly skipping any reading if a point seems to make sense to the user. Despite the flashy colors and icon, I actually forget the link to the community threads are even in the corner when I do my lessons. It also links to threads even when there is no discussion, so initially I was conditioned to ignore those links until I had trouble with some points.

It’s not like I want full on railroading. The relative freedom of this site is one of its best aspects. I just think this is one of those tools where a number of small, otherwise unnoticeable tweaks could probably lead to a drastic improvement. It’s just really hard to pay attention to them when I’m messing up reviews and internally screaming “yo, did I seriously forget だ? how is that even possible!?”

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If there are ever times when the discussion thread is empty and the external readings don’t help much, I would highly highly highly recommend you download the Bunpro Toolbox script that’s in the Script thread. It links to some of my favorite websites like Hinative that usually has people asking the same question you currently have.

I’d love for one day the tool to be officially implemented into the site under the readings (or wherever), I can’t count how many times I’ve used that website for both grammar and also for clarification on the difference between two words that essentially mean the same thing.

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Perhaps the the other two “A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books” integrated into the readings for reference. The beginner book is there, but the intermediate one isn’t. They seem be staples in a lot of people’s Japanese learning curriculum, and were the gold standard for a lot of people and for me(until Bunpro came along). Still, they are very valuable books and I feel that the Intermediate and Advance books being readily referenced will only help Bunpro.

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I don’t know how others feel, but something I miss from WaniKani is having the reviews ratcheted to the nearest hour.

From what I see, Bunpro’s reviews become available exactly the SRS interval time after the last was completed. For example, if you complete a point review at 13:31 and the SRS interval is 4 hours, it’ll next appear at 17:31.

The reason I notice this is that the dashboard tells me that I have 30 reviews coming in this next hour. But, actually, what it means is that I have 3 at the moment, and in about ten minutes I’ll get another 5 through, etc.

I guess that Bunpro’s way is more precise, but it means that instead of clearing my reviews for the hour in a single sitting, they slowly trickle in.

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It actually becomes available on the half hour. So if you completed at 13:47, it’ll next appear at 17:30. But yes, several people have commented that the reviews-in-the-next-hour counter is mismatched with the actual reviews available at the top and bottom of the hour.

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