Hippofy – Remember the Effective Way

5 Awards. All Awardees Selected.

Hippofy - Startup Featured on StartUpLift for website feedback and startup feedback

Online tool that enables users to create easy to remember visual mnemonics from words or phrases.

Target Audience: students, professionals, teachers, lecturers, interviewees
Website URL: www.Hippofy.com

Feedback sought:

1) What is your initial impression of what you see at www.hippofy.com? Would you be drawn to sign up? Why or why not?

2) Are you encouraged to look at the sample topics and try to memorize it ? if so why..if not why not?

3)Would you apply it to a particular subject area for yourself or a class you took in the past? Could you name one or 2?

4) Could you try out the editor to create a new topic and give some feedback?

5) Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.

19 thoughts on “Hippofy – Remember the Effective Way

  1. 1)  My first impression of the site was that it was very clean and minimalist, which I liked.  The addition of video to the page was a big draw for me and part of what made me want to sign up.  I was a little disapointed, however, that I could only review the home section, though.  I would have liked to review the learning section as well.

    2) I was encouraged to try some of the samples because I wanted to see if it would work or not.

    3) Based on what I experienced I don’t know if I would apply it to another subject matter or not.  That the mind thinks in pictures sounds intuitive.  But would thinking of my topic in terms of pictures help me remember or simply give me more things to remember?  I did experience a surprising degree of success with the samples, though.  So with further practice it could be possible.  This may be something to address in your media and copy.

    4) I tried the creator and there are a few issues.  First, when importing a document to choose keywords from, you need wordwrap in the text editor section.  Constantly scrolling right to pick out your keywords is a pain and could potentially turn people off.  Especially if they are trying to pick out keywords from a longer document.  And after the keywords are picked out a little more clear direction is needed.  I spent a few minutes fumbling about before I figured out where I needed to go and what I needed to do.

    Second, the process of choosing images needs to be streamlined if possible.  Granted that I was using a longer document than I think others might, but I found getting the images in to the program was a bit cumbersome.

    5) Again, I think that the theory behind the site is intuitive and will make sense to anyone interested in mental development.  If nothing else sifting through your document searching for keywords may help to improve in memory and retention as it gives the brain something to look for. The main things that I think will turn potential users off are the lack of wordwrap, lack of direction at the end of the keyword suggestion stage and the somewhat cumbersome nature of the image selection process.  If these things could be improved and streamlined I think that the customer experience would improve.

  2. 1. I hate to say it, but my first impression was that it seemed like a scam. The vague selling points sounded like bogus claims to me. There are so many charlatans out there purporting to help people learn the secrets to anti-aging, weight loss, or instant riches. This site reminded me of one of those but geared toward students. However, the fact that it’s free is encouraging, and if I was a student, I might be curious enough to sign up since there’d be no risk to me.
    2. It took me a minute to realize I needed to sign up to view the sample topics. I did feel encouraged to check them out just to see how your mnemonic process works.
    3. I think this method would be most useful for rote memorization. For example, I tried the periodic table sample and could see how it would be useful for that. However, I think it might be less useful for tasks that require greater mental engagement with the memorized material. For instance, the Hippofy method may help people remember a list of the 50 US states, but it wouldn’t help them remember where those states are located on a map. It may help them remember anatomical medicalese, but it wouldn’t help them remember how those body parts function. So I feel like its uses are limited. 
    Also, I think it’s worth mentioning here that although I found your visual exercises helpful, it wasn’t possible to truly test their value because of the way your quizzes are structured with multiple choice hints. In a real-life situation, there would be no multiple choice hints. So I found it hard to measure the number of items I really remembered as opposed to the number of items I “remembered” with an educated guess.
    I’m not a student anymore, so for me, Hippofy would be most applicable when trying to remember, say, a shopping list or maybe a phone number. But these days it’s so much easier to carry around a PDA for those tasks, so I don’t know if I’d use it even then.
    4. I found the list creation to be awkward. First of all, when the help bubble popped up in the lower right corner, I initially thought I was supposed to enter the list in the pop-up. After I discovered my error, I then found it annoying that the pop-up “slides” rotated every few seconds without the option to pause. Creating the list itself was also not intuitive since each row was added above the last rather than below it, forcing the user to either think “backwards” or constantly drag and drop items on top of each other. Another recurring problem: sometimes when I’d try to add a new item, the last item would duplicate itself while deleting the item before it. So I found it a rather frustrating process to create my list of words.
    Once I was ready to create visuals, it took a few minutes to figure out that I needed to click the small “Visual” tab in the upper right corner. Next, it looked like I could just enter a visual mnemonic into the “Enter Helpful Description” bar at the bottom of the page, so I did that for each word. But then I was left wondering how I was going to create the actual images. Finally, I figured out that I was supposed to click on each word to edit it and then search for and apply an image. Once I got the hang of how to do this, it went very quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised by how very accurate the returned images were. I didn’t think some of the images I was searching for, such as a ball of twine and a dress hem, would be that easy to find, but they were.
    5. First, I suggest that you completely revamp the home page. It seems too much like a scam site. Here’s what I would do:
    –Possibly change the name of the site. Why “Hippofy”? What do hippos have to do with memory?
    –Make your logo bigger. It’s too small.
    –Align your tabs. You have “Home” and “Learning” next to each other but “Login” hanging out by itself on the far right and down a step. And why is “Live Support” represented by a tiny button in the right margin? Make this a legitimate support tab at the top.
    –Change your selling points. Right now, they sound like bogus sales claims. Instead of “Change the Way You Remember!” as a head, try something like this:
    Improve Your Memory with Easy Visual Aids
    Learn the free Hippofy method that helps you build recall for:
    *Test taking
    *Public speaking
    *Job interviews
    *Foreign language
    –Redo the audio on your video. The visuals are ok, but the voiceover sounds like you recorded it in your basement, and there are distracting background noises that sound like dripping water or a fish tank filter or something.
    –Don’t force people to sign up just to try Hippofy. You can have a “Sign Up” tab at the top of the home page in case they’re interested, but most people will want to test out your service before they commit to anything. Ideally, let them look at the sample lists. When they’re ready to create a list of their own, then prompt them to sign up.
    –“Features” shouldn’t be down below the fold. If you get rid of the huge sign-up invitation, you can move this section upward. Actually, I’m not even sure you need this section. Your selling points and the video may be enough.
    –The home page looks dull and has too much white space. Try adding some pictures such as a student taking an exam, a professional giving a speech, an employee shaking hands at an interview…images that communicate how users can benefit from your service.
    Your “Learning” page is blank thus far, so I can’t comment on that.
    The samples under “My Topics” effectively show how Hippofy works, but I don’t care for the layout. Why are the “Words” and “Visual” buttons randomly hanging out on the right? These should be large, clearly marked tabs left-aligned above the keywords. Meanwhile, the “Quiz Results” are small and easy to overlook over on the right but potentially distracting to people who don’t want to see them. Instead, why don’t you have a “Score” tab that users can click when they want to see how they’re doing? Finally, there don’t seem to be any instructions for using this sample list. Users have to fumble around and figure it out for themselves. I’d suggest that you add a tab to the home page entitled “How It Works” or “Help” or similar. This could have screenshots or diagrams to show how to create a list, add visuals, quiz yourself, use the samples, and so on.
    The “Create New Topic” feature is, as noted above, also not as intuitive as it could be, and the pop-up help bubble is more annoying than helpful. Again, a dedicated “How It Works” or “Help” page would be more thorough and less distracting. A list of things I’d like to see changed about word list creation: 
    –By default, each new word should be added below the last, not above it.
    –Glitches should be cleaned up. It shouldn’t be so easy to accidentally erase and/or duplicate items.
    –All tabs should be large enough to clearly read and located in a neat row without any hanging out in the margin by themselves.
    –It should be more readily apparent how users can assign visuals to their word lists. As it is now, it takes a few minutes to figure out how to do this. 
    –All icons, such as those that appear in clusters of four when editing images, should be labeled so users know what they’re for.
    –It should be more readily apparent how users can switch back and forth between the visual list and the word list and between the word list and the main “My Topics” hub. Several times, I felt like I was lost and didn’t know how to return to the list I needed.
    That’s about it. I think if you can make your home page more professional and your Hippofy service a little more user-friendly, you may see some good traffic. I like the idea behind your visual aids, even if I’m not sure they’ll be useful in all the contexts you suggest. I also wonder whether the average user will have the creativity to come up with images that can be associated with more abstract concepts. In any case, visual associations are a proven mnemonic aid, especially for visual learners, so I have no doubt at least some users will benefit from Hippofy.

  3. 1. First impression: First, the link in the StartupLift summary website URL does not work, but the second one on the summary does. 

    I am on Hippofy site. To be honest, I am not a fan of the dark green. I like the lighter green used on your buttons, but not the dark green on the top border of the page.

    There is a video I see.

    Appears to be a memorization technique by using images.

    I recommend putting the words on the top left, and the video on the top right. Otherwise your video would get watched, and words ignored. My eyes went to the video spot first.

    2. Yes, I am encouraged to try out your technique, with the sample words.

    3. I would apply this technique in memorizing the Bible or peoples names.

    4. Here is a suggestion: in the Sample table for memorizing the periodic table, I wish you would have one item at a time in a side scroller, rather than all of them shown scrunched up together. Would look better.

    5. Memorizing can be very helpful, especially when trying to remember names of people. I see the importance, yet I don’t think most people get this. The most common response I am used to hearing is: “I am bad at memorizing” or “I am not good at memorizing”

    Your services could help people that use both of these excuses, but I think you need to convince them with selling point of WHY memorization is important. Use statistics of people who succeed from memorization.

    I think your site could use more content. I appears to have just enough to get by at the moment.

  4. I like the website because it had a video that explained what the website was all about.

  5. 1. I like the clean layout of the site. I got the impression the site was about memory, and looked like it was more for kids but unsure of what the site could do for me.  I didn’t know hippos had good memories, so it sparked my interest in researching hippos to find out. That kept me from wanting to sign up.  I did come back to try though, and the home page just kept taking my email address….. and nothing.  So I tried Login, and signup there, but didn’t have a valid promotional code.
    2. I watched a good part of the video, but never saw any topics there to try, and got bored with the video so maybe at the end of it.
    3.  I couldn’t figure out subject areas
    4. I never got in to find the editor to try it out.
    5.  I don’t feel the home page has enough information presented in a way that captures your target audience unless they have a whole lot of extra time to figure it out, or someone has told them about you.

  6. Hi,
     thanks for your feedback. I fixed the problem with the signup button. If you want to to try it out again.

  7. Hi,  ok I tried it out, and it did let me in this time. I looked at the topics for the periodic table, and the states.  I found it was more work for me to try and figure out the relationship between the graphics and the words I was memorizing, rather than concentrate on the words alone.  I remember in music I was trying to memorize notes with  Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Te, Do.    I had a hard time, until I remembered the song from The Sound of Music by Roger & Hammerstein,  Doe – a deer, a female deer.  Ray – a pocketful of sun.    etc.   That type of association made more sense to me as an English association with what I was memorizing.

  8. 1. I’m afraid that no, I would not have signed up for Hippofy.  The primary reason is that there is a typo in the opening paragraph: there should be a space between “information.It’s called…”  While I realize this is relatively minor, it gave me the impression that the site was less professional.  Also, the holding image that appears in the video looks a bit childish – clipart as opposed to high-resolution or high-definition pictures lends itself to that impression.  After watching the video, I better appreciated the reason for using these types of clipart images, but my initial impression was not to even watch the video because of that holding image.  As a professional, if I were looking for tools to help me memorize a presentation, I would likely spend only a few seconds on this site, and then return to Google for the next option.  I would, however, probably take note of the site and share it with some of my students or with my teenaged nephews and nieces.

    2. I attempted to sign-up and got this error:
    Warning: session_write_close() [function.session-write-close]: write failed: No space left on device (28) in /content/Hosting/h/i/hippofy.com/web/registerbeta1.php on line 103Warning: session_write_close() [function.session-write-close]: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/tmp/sessions) in /content/Hosting/h/i/hippofy.com/web/registerbeta1.php on line 103Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /content/Hosting/h/i/hippofy.com/web/registerbeta1.php:103) in /content/Hosting/h/i/hippofy.com/web/registerbeta1.php on line 145 

    When I attempted to re-register, I was told my credentials already existed.  But when I tried to login, I received a message stating “Invalid Details.”  I checked the confirmation email and it gave me it told me my username was “Password” but did give me the correct password.  Unfortunately, I was not able to login to the site.

    3. While I was not able to log in, I think that when I was in college, I might have tried to use this technique.  In fact, I had heard of a similar program back then (over 25 years ago) and did try to use it for class.  The classes I would have wanted to use this technique would have been a few of my cognitive psychology classes where memorization was a bit more necessary.  I also had a handful of geology classes where these techniques would have been handy.  

    In my current position, I don’t know that I would rely specifically on this site.  First, and most obviously, I couldn’t actually get past the login process.  But, more importantly, when I give presentations, I already use a lot of images, which in turn helps me memorize my content.

    4. I would have very much liked to try out the editor, but as mentioned above, after several attempts, I was not able to log into the site.  By the way, I am running Chrome as a browser, (in case this is helpful).

    5. I really wanted to like this site from the initial description.  As an educator and a parent, I am always looking for new and innovative tools to use with my students or my children, or even myself.  However, it was hard to get past those initial impressions that the site was “less professional” or geared to young children.  Even after getting past those initial impressions, I only became frustrated in not being able to log into the site. 

    For me, some things that would have helped my initial impression would have been a more professional-looking holding image in the YouTube video, if possible.  If YouTube doesn’t allow you to change the image, then perhaps using some high-res or high-def images rather than clipart.

    Also, there seemed to be a lag in the audio and image syncing in the video.  I know how challenging it can be to produce videos (I create them for work and for my own web site).  I’m not sure if this will help, but I’ve learned that one thing that can help with audio/video syncing is to ensure that whatever your playback rate is, it should divide evenly into 1000 milliseconds.  For example, if your playback rate is 25 frames/second, then you should be capturing frames every 40 milliseconds.  Or if your playback rate were 100 frames/second, then you should be capturing frames every 10 milliseconds.  I hope this helps.  

  9. 1) My initial impression is that the website is very simple and plain, providing the basic information of what it is about. It does have a catchy name and a hint of something interesting that invites you to explore further. A couple of more sentences and pictures would make it more appealing for the person who comes across the website for the first time.

    2) Yes, I am encouraged to look at the sample topics as the idea of the website sounds interesting and quite useful overall in our daily life.

    3) I would definitely apply it to my lessons in Russian as in Russian and in Bulgarian (which I speak) you can find identical words which mean totally different things. For example, the word for ‘mother’ in Bulgarian, means a ‘vest’ in Russian even though it is spelled and pronounced the exact same way. The only way to remember the difference was to visualize the terms as objects in the two languages.

    4) It took me a while to find how to use the editor but after I logged in I simply clicked on a tab that was active to ‘create’ my topic. This should overall be a more user-friendly and simple way. I created a new topic and came up to a screen which did not provide sufficient information of the steps required to be undertaken lacking an easy step-by-step procedure. I also had a problem linking the ‘word’ and ‘visual’ tabs which are very inconveniently located in the upper right corner of the screen.  I noticed that when I select another word and click on visual, the software does not refresh the images shown corresponding to the previous term.

    5) The idea is very good and I believe it can be a successful website but it needs a better layout, more information and a more ‘lively’ speaker on the video. I think you should work on the logo and the font as well. Overall, the website is not very well structured and user-friendly; it is simply lacking more information so that it can keep your attention for a longer period of time.

  10. My first impression of the pictures were OK. But, I have ADD, and thought this might be tough. So, I gave it a try. I watched the video because that is easier for me, than to do a lot of reading. My attention span is diverted easily. I also thought it interesting that the name is based on the word “hippo” from the brain. In watching the video, I did think, I’m watching TV, and someone is riding a bike, with glasses, holding a cup of milk trying to pay attention-getting the “tent” part. I was able to at least try it out, and will now probably use it again, in just the little time I spent on the website, therefore I think it would work. If there is too much jumping around in the website, I will get frustrated due to my anxiousness, and total lack of wanting to have to pay too much attention. I then wondered about words that can’t be imagined easily-such as many prayers that I have trouble memorizing due to the spiritual thinking. I also have a saying I live by, that is hard to imagine with pictures, a heart (which I can immagine), immagination, and spirit-I have never been able to put them in the right order. Maybe, this would help? So, I might try it, but that was my first thought, is immagining the unimmaginative. Can that be done? I know the initial thought is to be simple, but does it take it a step higher?

  11. My first impression of this site was how it looked, which was a bit on the dull side, as the site’s coloration, namely its header, had me feel the site wasn’t a place I wanted to sign up for.
    The video was nicely put together, though it felt a little tedious in watching it and I lost my attention around half a minute, if it was condensed slightly, it would be a video I would watch as the speaker of the video, namely his tone, kind of contributed to my attention waning.
    If the site were to get a small face lift or a splash of color, then I probably would visit it and use it, but overall, the site itself is nice.

  12. 1)      What is your initial impression of what you see at http://www.hippofy.com? Would you be drawn to sign up? Why or why not?
    I was immediately happy to see that you had a video on your website. It’s wonderful when a site has a visual representation to go along with the text on the site. I like that the homepage is so neat and uncomplicated with only the info that is necessary. I was a little confused with what your site’s name had to do with memory and I like how you put that right there on the top of your site for easy viewing. I would like the login button to be a little larger or just putting it next to the rest of the tabs. I would even suggest moving the tabs over to the right of the screen because you have great visualization right at eye level. I would like to see the features above the sign up because people need to the see what your site is about before signing up. Since your homepage is so short I think that it would not take away from the look of the page. I would suggest taking the word “stuff” out of the first sentence making it sound more professional.
    I have reviewed the video and I have mixed feelings about it. The person speaking needs to speak slower and more clear. There also seems to be some weird background noise like water trickling or beeping sound and it is very distracting. I like that the video give examples and general info but it seems like it’s cramming to much in one video. I think making two video would be nice, one showcasing general info about the site and the second going into more details with examples of the process of your site.
    2)      Are you encouraged to look at the sample topics and try to memorize it ? if so why..if not why not?
    If you are referring to the list on the video I was not compelled to do so at all. My main purpose of watching the video was to simply see how it enhanced the rest of the text on your site. I think that if your want people to feel they should try to memorize the text then if should be made known to the use. It could be used has a sample text of what your site can do for people, otherwise I feel users will not go out there way to do so. Also, the video doesn’t go into the process of memorizing the text through the visuals provided it simply show the info but not the process in totality.
    3)      Would you apply it to a particular subject area for yourself or a class you took in the past? Could you name one or 2?
    I would apply possibly to my small children who have to memorize sight words (kind of boring) and to my own studies.
    4)      Could you try out the editor to create a new topic and give some feedback?
    I see no purpose of adding a description to the new list being created; generally a person will understand what it’s being made for with the title. Once the pictures were being added I didn’t really like how they were put in front of the next word box that needed an image added to it. After I added the entire images I was a little confused as to what to do next. The checkerboard background was a little distracting from the rest of images I added. I just exited out the window and saw the memorize and quiz button so I chose memorize. I like how you go through each word/image but it’s hard to see the green doted lines against a background that is already green. Again focusing on a image is hard when the background is so busy. I liked the help button because I wouldn’t have known what to do without it. I find it weird how the images seem to move in and out getting closer and then drawing back. I do not understand the quiz at all. For the life of me I could not figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Okay after the fourth time I could see that you put the first and last letter of to represent each word but how is a user supposed to know and understand the process. I just don’t see the benefit of adding an image to the words with the process that I just went through using your site. I didn’t not correlate the image to the word I simply memorized my own list of words I added.
    5) Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.                                       
    The sign up page needs to be aligned creating a smooth symmetry. I really like the idea of your site but I feel that your leave your users confused as to how to use your site. The help box is nice but the scrolling image just seems to go by and a person might not even know what step they just left from. A tutorial on how to use the images in the memorizing phase is key and will help users to see the benefit of using your site. I think that users needs to get excited about it because it seems like a lot to work to set up images when memorizing large bodies of work. You asked earlier did I feel compelled to memorize the sample topics and I said no because there was no drive to do so. If you want users to get excited then make a little challenge on your site allowing user to get some drive to see who did better and in how much time. Again I like your site but it needs to be more user friendly and attention grabbing.


  13. 1. I found it at first a refreshing idea to help with memory.  I could not hear how to use it for the music in background,  it was too loud and drown out the speaker.  I did sign up for it did seem fairly simple.           2.I was encouraged out of couriosity to sample topics.  There were no clear instructions on how system operated and how to learn.                                                                                                      3. I tried to apply it to a common topic everyone has to learn in school.  Creating topic was easy but adding pictures or words was difficult because their was limited content to choose from.  I suppied 7 continents.      4. I was unable to effectively utilize this website for lack of concise directions.                                           5.  first I would eliminate music on introduction, make instructions clearer and easier to understand,  and finally I would add more content for suggestions and information when trying to add to individual links.

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