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How would you design the extra elements on this site if it were necessary to encourage the user to rate more information?

I mean, you can vote over there on the left <<

But what if you wanted to encourage extra information from a user. Let's say, get the user to rate several other personal judgements on a scale of 1-5 about the question such as:

How Would You Rate the Intelligence of the Question: 1-5

Is this an interesting question: 1-5

Is this a well-written question: 1-5

Any ideas or examples etc would be much appreciated.

Be gentle with me. I am a UX newbie. :)

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closed as not constructive by JonW May 12 '12 at 18:58

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hi stumblerun, welcome to UX! Your question is kind of hypothetical, which doesn't make it invalid, but it's a bit hard to answer. We're essentially fixing a problem that doesn't exist, which makes it hard to define the constraints and scope of the problem. Try narrowing it down and giving a more concrete example. – Rahul Sep 24 '11 at 12:00
Why would you want to? What benefit would it bring? Would that benefit outweigh the UX damage? – JohnGB Sep 24 '11 at 14:16
@JohnGB "Collecting comprehensive feedback/information from users" or "reducing bounce rates where user interaction with more than 1 step is required" aren't too uncommon UX tasks/challenges, are they? – vzwick Sep 24 '11 at 15:00
@wildrot: Firstly, something being common doesn't make it a good idea. Secondly, asking how to do something before you know if it is a good idea often leads to implementing things that shouldn't be. – JohnGB Sep 24 '11 at 15:23
@JohnGB I'm afraid we're on our way towards a long discussion that we could/should take to a chat sometime. To sum up my position in a nutshell: In the real world, rarely are we UX/UI people the ones to decide what is going to be implemented. In fact, where I come from, MBAs do that without even ever bothering to ask a professional. If we're lucky, we get to decide how to implement the bullshit others decided upon in the best way possible from a UX/UI perspective without interference from C-Level know-it-alls. – vzwick Sep 24 '11 at 15:33

To get the user-engagement Stackexchange has, you can't do finegrained questions. People will click once or maybe twice for a question or answer, but they won't fill out a full questionaire each time.

But I think there are possibilities to get a bit more detail, and it could be done along the lines of radial menus, where you label the segments with an option.

radial menu

Now obviously this can be improved: helpful icons may be a possibility to reduce the text (which could be shown only on hover - but of course, mobile devices don't have hover) but it still needs some thought from the user, especially the first time they encouter it. But I think this way you can present a few more options than just two without being too cluttering. (Max 8 I'd guess.)

I think it would also be possible to work out a design where you have a general up/down (like the current mechanism) but that may be specified if the voter wants to, by putting more emphasis on the middle arrows and making those clickable by themselves.

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You've made me curious as to what conversion rate the new in-dept "evaluation" questionnaire Wikipedia has at the bottom of articles. I thought it was a neat idea but never filled it out. – Ben Brocka Sep 24 '11 at 22:08
Wow, thank you so much for this post, Inca. This has really been quite helpful! – stumblerum Sep 25 '11 at 10:18
@BenBrocka - Yeah, that wikipedia layout was one of the ones I was thinking of, but I couldn't shake the feeling that there must be a better way to do that. – stumblerum Sep 25 '11 at 10:19
Inca - do you have a website? – stumblerum Sep 25 '11 at 10:32
@stumblerum, no, I don't have one. – Inca Sep 25 '11 at 19:08

My approach to collecting finer graded feedback on this very site would be:

  • Leave the basic voting mechanism/transaction the way it currently is.
    • Up/Down arrows work great and are very intuitive, no explanation whatsoever is needed.
  • After the user voted using the arrows, display a set of sliders (or radio buttons, matter of taste I guess) on success callback below or to the side of the rating bar giving the user the ability to further refine his rating.
  • I wouldn't use a 0-5 scale, but rather a -2 to +2 (or, even better, -1 to +1) scale. This way, if the user chooses to ignore the detailed rating opportunity, everything remains fine.

An alternative (and probably more consistent) approach would be to use checkboxes or radio buttons without a scale:

  • User upvotes
  • Up arrow turns green
  • Below the arrow, checkboxes or radio buttons appear: "I upvoted because:"
    • … of the writing style
    • … of original content
    • … of an intelligent question
  • Same mechanism for downvotes.

With either of those ways of implementing detailed feedback, the user could do "simple rating" by up/down arrow and would be free (but not obligated) to refine his rating by category.

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I've noticed a great deal of sites abandoning the "5 stars" and Likert scale style evaluations in favor of +1/-1 or just +1 and nothing else. I think the trend is helpful even in more granular evaluations such as "good question." We're pretty sure what +1 and -1 mean even across individuals. What about 4 vs 5 or +1 vs +2? It's too subjective. – Ben Brocka Sep 24 '11 at 22:12
Thanks @John C - this has been really helpful too. :) – stumblerum Sep 25 '11 at 10:20
@stumblerum, I think you meant to thank vzwick :) All I did was a minor edit (removing a greeting, which is frowned upon in SE sites as cluttering up the post). – John C Sep 25 '11 at 12:41
Ooops - yes, thankyou vzwick! – stumblerum Sep 25 '11 at 13:18

I find the void between upvote and downvote an interesting area in which no information gets gathered, other than the fact that there is no information.

For example, a user may not be bothered to read a question that is way too long, complicated or verbose.

So other statistics about time spent on page and relationships between that, the number of views, the number of revisits, the number of votes and answers could give you tell tale signs about the effectiveness of the question without the user having to seem to do anything!

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