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Seeking feedback on our new app Levelr


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Hi Paul and Lee,


I had a quick play around with your app.


I quite like the design and the idea of being able to read the same article at different levels. It's also quite easy to disable English and pinyin which is nice.


In terms of areas for improvement, I have no idea how many articles you have published as it only seems to download two at a time when prompted. It would be nice to be able to search for articles based on specific topics or simply to make it easier to get a clear idea of what's available. Also, the audio is one area that could obviously be greatly improved on.


Having said that, I think the price that you have proposed is quite reasonable, which is one advantage you have over the competition.


After I complete the 16 day trial I will come back to offer some more feedback. It's really good to see more and more resources of this kind popping up.


Best of luck with your project!

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I assume the reference to the audio is sarcasm. I found no audio at all. Also, tapping the English button erased the artcle completely(intermediate, android).

I don't mean this to be a complaint, or even a review. I will play around with it and comment further later.

It would be nice to hear about the production process for your articles, and maybe something about the background and Chinese level of you and your partner.

And a word of (perhaps unwanted (unwarranted)) advice: don't be thin-skinned about the feedback you get, no matter how unpleasant or unfair you may feel it is. You're in business now, and you're gonna have to learn to roll with the punches.

I, for one, will try to help all I can, so please post often and frankly on your progress.


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And a word of (perhaps unwanted (unwarranted)) advice: don't be thin-skinned about the feedback you get, no matter how unpleasant or unfair you may feel it is. You're in business now, and you're gonna have to learn to roll with the punches.


Just want to second this one (as a veteran of around 1500 one-star reviews :-). More specifically, ignore the unconstructive criticism but eagerly solicit + follow up on the constructive criticism; a little harder to do on the App Store since you (still!) can't reply to reviews, but I make a point of following up on every bit of feedback I can.

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The app looks good so far.

I think it is a great idea to have the same article at 3 different levels - something I've never seen before.

My big request for improvement would be to have english translation for the advanced level.

It would be really useful to have it, that is the one where I need it the most because it is the hardest.

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Competition is (should be) good.

I haven't tried your app yet.


I prefer an up to 3 Eur subsription with access to a limited amount of articles (could be a monthly download limit, eg. 31 articles) over an 7+ Eur subscription with unlimited access. If it's too expensive and you're not reading on a regular basis, eg. daily or a few times per week, it often feels like you're wasting money. (Game subsriptions have the same problem.)

Also, as a beginner you usually can't / won't use all articles (or in this case the advanced article versions) because many of them are still too difficult (frustrating) to read. So why pay much more for access to an advanced and daily updated archive which you can't understand anyway?


If the app itself is good enough (and receives bug fixes etc.) I am interested. However I won't listen to TTS (and I can't imagine it being error free). Pleasant high quality audio recordings are important for learners. I will wait for those.

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Pleasant high quality audio recordings also cost money.  I expect it is something of a chicken and egg problem unless the developers have a large amount of funding.

Sure, I know. Production costs vs. pricing is a scaling problem in regards to the customer base, especially for new companies.

I was just pointing out my personal preference as a learner; I am more into audio these days to help with my listening comprehension. I think for a reader app which is also targeting beginners, it is much more important to include some native audio than to add other more or less related bonus functionality to the program, eg. integrated vocab manager, stroke order diagrams, ...

Well, I am biased. There is no perfect app because everyone has different expectations. Every developer has his own visions too.


Audio recordings can be "produced" in different ways. Compared to TTS, I'd already be very happy if the recordings were produced with a tight budget, as in after the articles have been approved, one of the Chinese staff sits down with his headset and just records it (without all the fuss that would happen before releasing highest quality audio material). Of course a decent headset and soundcard in the computer (no strange electronic noises) are a prerequisite, but cheap enough. I am just mentioning this because it's very annoying that every computer comes with audio capabilities, but in my experience most of them are rather low quality (it can be so bad that the microphone jack is pretty much unusable).


Regarding Levelr, I guess the real question is how many learners of Chinese are not willing to pay if there are no audio recordings. Is it more than half of the potential customer base? You (the developers) already mentioned that you want to know more about your (potential) customers preferences, so that's that.


I hope you'll get more feedback (and users) and wish you luck with this project. I'll keep an eye on it :wink:

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