The Memrise ranking system will be changing in mid-July, to make room for Memrise’s new learning mascot: Ziggy. We caught up with Luke, one of Memrise’s product managers, to find out more about what the change will mean, and how the design team came up with the idea.
What is the Memrise ranking system, and why is it changing?
As older users will probably know, the Memrise ranks were introduced back in 2012, when Memrise was all about mems and gardening. Since then there have been quite a few changes, including launching two apps, loads of new learning modes, a complete redesign and a ton of tiny improvements.
We felt that the old way of doing thing didn’t really fit in with what we were doing, and needed a bit of love. Similarly, we have almost 5 years worth of data on how we could tweak it to make it slightly better.
So, after brainstorming with the team and testing with real world users, we came up with Ziggy, who you’ll level up as you progress through Memrise.
Who and what is Ziggy?
Ziggy is the embodiment of all that is good in the multiverse: Hope, Joy and Knowledge. They’re your personal learning buddy, who’ll grow as your abilities grow, and change as you change.
In terms of what Ziggy is… Nobody knows where Ziggy came from. An egg just showed up one day and out popped Ziggy.
In terms of what Ziggy can be? Ziggy is both Robin and Yoda. They’re a sidekick and an all-knowing mentor. Also, Ziggy is hella cute.
Where did the idea for Ziggy come from?
Ziggy is a little bit their namesake, as they’re an androgynous alien promoting peace, hope and love, and a little bit an amalgamation of every other famous alien to ever exist. From Oh to ET to Alf.
We always knew we wanted a character that made people feel something, and knew that the voice of the character would be super important. Positive, joyful and a bit different.
In terms of visuals, our amazing Product Designer, Jessica, is responsible for how Ziggy turned out. We played around with different concepts from shields to robots to weird floating alien things. What finally became Ziggy made people smile and just looked so SQUIDGY.
When Ziggy gets to the upper levels, you can see more power and intelligence coming through, which should match your abilities. At the upper levels Ziggy becomes almost an omnipotent being, with little body left.
This visual evolution is pretty awesome and exciting, and we’re hoping no matter what level you are, you’ll want to take Ziggy home with you.
What can Ziggy see with his third eye?
The future. Or the past. Or both at the same time. Or pizza. My bet is on pizza.
Hellooooo. I’m Luke and I’m originally from Sydney, Australia, and moved to this sunny (*ahem*) country eight years ago. I’m a Product Manager here at Memrise, handling the more touchy-feely, game-y elements of the product, and before that I was on the design team.
In my non-Memrise time I podcast about beer and music, organise gigs and DJ, brew beer, play in a band and hang out with my wife and 4 year old son.
Feeling inspired to learn a new language with Ziggy? Check out Memrise!