The value of our product rests in the quality of our mnemonics. The more brains we have working on them, the better they'll be.
New York, New York (PRWEB) April 10, 2012
Vivid Vocab, a popular new software which helps users to memorize the most challenging SAT vocabulary words, is soliciting the help of its users in adding additional content to its programming. The software, which users memorable and image-rich mnemonics to create vocabulary associations within students' brains, is expanding, and its creators want as much input as possible from its end users.
"The quality of our product rests entirely on the quality of our mnemonics," says Anthony-James Green, Vivid Vocab's creator and head developer. "If the devices we use in our software don't create deep, lasting imagery in our users' heads, then we're not doing our job." As Vivid Vocab continually increases it client base (largely high school students studying for the SAT and grad students studying for the GRE), its founders are looking to add as much content to the software as quickly as they possibly can. To do so, they're asking the people who matter most: the students who are actually using the software.
"High school kids are incredibly creative, and they know what they want better than we do," says Green about the decision to include its users in the content creation process. "I've been an SAT tutor my entire career. As a result, I know which words are most common, and I've had years to think of the mnemonics that illustrate these words. But we realize that the continued success of our brand is all about listening to the customer - if hundreds of students want a particular word in the software, or if they have a really great idea for a mnemonic, we want to hear from them."
Vivid Vocab currently features 500 of the most common SAT words, which it illustrates with self-described "bizarre" mnemonics to help students remember their definitions. Vivid Vocab's creators have two key criteria that they apply to all of the mnemonics they feature within their software:
1. The mnemonics must be memorable, image-rich, and unexpected.
2. The mnemonics must tie directly into the definitions and concepts of the words they're illustrating.
A perfect example comes from the word "fastidious," which means "excessively particular or nit-picky." The mnemonic for "fastidious" features a man incessantly scrubbing a glass window because the "glass is hideous" - he needs to make it cleaner in order to find it acceptable. This fastidious man, who thinks that the glass is hideous, and refuses to stop scrubbing it, follows both mnemonic rules perfectly. The image of a man hell-belt on cleaning a windowpane isn't usually in the dictionary alongside "fastidious." More importantly, when students remember the image of the nit-picky man scrubbing the glass, they'll automatically associate the meaning of "fastidious" - excessively clean, organized, and particular.
"Based on the results we saw from our software, we wanted to launch it as soon as possible," says Green of the product's 500-word launch. "However, our plan is to add as many words as we possibly can to the program. Eventually, we hope to be running a sort of mnemonic dictionary. Our main concerns are to prioritize which words we add, and to ensure that each word reaches a level of mnemonic quality that we're proud of. That's why we're asking for input from our users. The more brains we have working on this project the better!"
Vivid Vocab's parent company, Test Prep Authority, a free SAT and ACT resource center, has launched a page to collect user input. Any current or potential user of Vivid Vocab can visit Test Prep Authority using the following link to submit their ideas:
Users who visit Test Prep Authority will be given step-by-step directions on how to submit their own word suggestions and mnemonic devices. Any student who submits a word or mnemonic will automatically be entered into a drawing for free prizes, Vivid Vocab memberships, and giveaways from Test Prep Authority. Any student whose mnemonic is chosen for Vivid Vocab's next edition will receive a free, lifetime subscription to Vivid Vocab, and will have his or her name featured next to the mnemonic submitted. Students are encouraged to submit both SAT and GRE vocab words.
"We can't wait to tap into the intelligence and creativity of our users," says Green of the project. "I'm always blown away by my students' ideas, and due to my schedule, I'm only able to work with a few of them at a time. When we get thousands of people submitting their ideas, we're going to build something incredible."