The absolute best way to study vocabulary

drops_round icon_200x200Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a great and relaxed Easter. And it’s not completely over yet because today you’ll get kind of a late Easter egg. No, not this.  Today we’ll take a look at an app for studying vocabulary. Is it the really the best ever? Of course not, I just said because it’s a catchy headline. But the app has a really great concept.  So let’s take a look.

“Studying vocabulary”… ugh. Booooooring. Learning vocabulary sucks and almost everybody hates it. But it is quite important for learning a language and there are many tools and apps out there try to help with it. One of them is Drops.


Drops – learning vocabulary with a twist

Drops is an free app for studying vocabulary. The vocabulary is provided by the app and for every word there is an illustration so you’re not bound to one word translations and it offers various modes for the studying like typing the word, or ordering syllables or – and I really like this one –  you are shown the word as well as a super blurry image which you can sharpen by swiping over it with your finger. So you can bit by bit uncover the image and see how quickly you can recognize it.
Now, all this is nice but it’s nothing special and most of it is part of other language apps and programs, too.

But Drops is different in one very crucial way!

You can have the best learning software out there… it won’t help the users if they only use it once a week for a short amount of time. So one of the main challenges for language learning software is to engage the user.  With fun little games, and motivational emails, and rewards, and extortion.

“Hey Unicornmaster80, you had better study your deck today.You wouldn’t want your naked selfies on your Facebook timeline, would you?!

Well, okay… I haven’t seen an app that does THAT yet. But they all try really really really hard to get you to use them a lot.
Not Drops.
Drops  lets you use it 5 minutes per day and then it’s essentially like “That’s it dude. Come back tomorrow.” And then that’s it. You cannot use the app anymore that day.
And that plays with one phenomenon about human nature: things we can’t or don’t have are much more interesting than the ones we do have.
Like… women will find you much more attractive if you have a girlfriend. And you’re much more likely to buy something if it is “for a limited time only” or  if there are “only 10 left”.

Drops uses this mechanism in a language learning app and I have to say… it is pretty damn genius!

Instead of being like “Hey, come on. Use me. Why don’t you use me a little longer. Hey, hey, I’m fun. Come on. Here, have a cool lingot.” like a desperate single asking for a date, Drops is like “I don’t care how much fun you’re having. After 5 minutes it’s over!” like me in bed…oh… wait, fo…forget that last bit, please.
So yeah… that’s what’s special about Drops. Drops limits your access. In fact, they’re even so bold as to make you PAY for extra time. DAMN! Someone paying to be allowed to study vocabulary … that sounds crazy.But I don’t think it’s completely unrealistic either. The pull of an app that won’t let you use it might be very strong an actually make you it app everyday.
Reverse psychology style.
And that’s why I think it’s really worth checking out. Oh… and it’s completely free … unless you want more than 5 minutes :)


Drops at iStore      Drops Website 
(there’ not much to see on the website, so maybe just go to the store right away)

And  I’d love to hear your thoughts about Drops. How do you like the idea of it? And if you’ve try it, does it work for you? Does it make you want to use the app? And how’s the handling?
I’m really curious because… I never even tried the app.
Yeah… laziest reviews ever :).
Nah… I don’t have an iPhone, so that’s the main reason I didn’t try it. I just immediately loved the idea when I heard about it.
You know… there are those things where you basically know that they’re good as soon as you hear the concept. Like payed vacation. Or sex.
So… I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on this. And also, if you have other cool apps let us know what they do and why they’re cool.
I’m out for now, have a great week and bis nächstes Mal :).