Hi @andy, I'm not the one you were asking, but I'd like to put my two cents in and talk about motivation. Currently I see like two moving forces, that one might like to stimulate: 1) bragging; 2) feeling of being close to one's goal. Would you brag to your friends about your biggest streak? Would you feel like you are closer to your goal after breaking your best streak? The problem is with the best streak are:
- you have to explain it to others (like your friends) otherwise it's gibberish for them;
- it says a little about you progress. What is it essentially? Is it shows that you could remember a bunch of words that you have learned a long time before, so you have a good memory, or a bunch of words from yesterday's lesson? Or is it shows that you were lucky to avoid that nasty word, that you are struggling to memorize, but fail to do so? Or it was just a set of new words that you already knew somehow?
- it's difficult to compete with. How can you improve this parameter, so you would beat others? Does it depend more on your persistency and good memory, you stack size (so there wouldn't me more new words), you previous knowledge of the language or just a luck of getting set of "easy" words in a row?
Don't get me wrong, it's a good personal stat (a nice digit on Progress page to be proud of), but not the source of comparison to others.
Guys, I admire the work you've done, but sometimes it seems like you've got that one cool idea and don't know how to turn it to a complete cool product. If you're lost now, don't be afraid to steal like an artist. Take a look at your competitors and use their best ideas:
- days streak - how many days in a row one practiced;
- allow to set a daily goal, so one would be interested in meeting it (could be combined with previous one i.e. number of days one have met the goal);
- number of words one practiced a day/week/month or turn it into a some kind of points;
- "experience" level i.e. how far in the course a student is.
In my opinion, the third one is the best candidate for a leaderboard, if you are planing to create one. Also, you have that unique feature with "understanding xx% words of any text". You should probably emphasize on that, by showing like a popup every xx% "Congratulations, you are now able to understand xx% of any %yourtargetlanguage% text. Would you like to brag about it on all social media and attract new audience to Lingvist?" It's clear, meaningful, "bragable" and it is a free ad that lot's of users would be eager to create. What would one say coming across the badge "I've reached 1000 words streak in German!"? -1000 words streak? German? I don't care! In contrast to "I can understand 70% of any German text!"? -70% of a text? Oh, cool! He's probably good at German! Moreover, there could be publicly accessible stats page with more stats: total words learned, days streak, point etc. that this badge is linking to, so one could share the link with friends, teacher, potential employer. Some kind of certificate of completion would be nice too.
Gamification and social aspect are the corner stones of a modern language learning and you missing like all of it... There is no way to compete with the friends and family, there is no goals and prizes, there are just those daily achievements that are hardly noticeable and don't last for long. There should be something more, that one could be proud of and brag about.
Also, as you are a product designed, I'll allow myself to go out of the scope of this discussion and share a bit of broader view. Your service shouldn't be the source of frustration. Recently there was a post titled "I've finished the course. Now what?". Really, now what? Is it all? Can I go now? You should be interested in making the audience you've attracted to stick around as long, as possible (well, only if you are planning to make money at some point). There should be a clear answer to that question "what now?". Reading and listening? - Not available to all courses. Writing and speaking? Grammar improvement? Finding language partners? Finding assistance? - Nothing! And you can be everything! But not in this relaxed pace I see right now. You are acting like you have all the time in the world, but you don't. I don't consider Lingvist like a good jumpstart tool if one is completely new to the language, 'case it's difficult to catch reading and pronunciation basics and the grammar just form the cards one is presented right after registration. I don't think the grammar page is very popular (it may be for some users, but not for the audience in general). Lingivst is perfect, when you know some basics, but lack a vocabulary, but when the course is finished, it offers you too little. Currently, it's just the Anki done right, that has a well prepared course with examples and doesn't burry you under the avalanche of words if you took the day off. And, in my opinion, you should aim to be a complete solution.
Oh, it turns to be far more words than I've expected, but to sum up, you should aim for the gamified social bragable complete workflow for language learners of any kind. Good luck!