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41

10 seems quite a wide range for what is essentially a 'do I like this' poll. Does it really make a difference if Fifteen people rate Availability at 7 and Thirty people rate it at 8? I'm not sure you really need that much accuracy in such a subjective poll. Why not use a standard 5-point Likert scale? (Image from the Wikipedia article.)


33

If you are looking for the most easily recognizable use of a 5-star system, they should work from left-to-right. The star-rating system is very common now, and when is the last time you say it work right-to-left? Users will likely find it confusing and will have difficultly understanding why they only gave something 2-stars, when the meant to give it ...


31

There was a fantastic case put forward a while ago (if I find it I'll edit this answer) that the ideal number is actually 4 stars. The idea is that people naturally gravitate towards the 3 in a 5-star system (or the 2 in a 3-star system) because it's easy. Go ahead and look at your iTunes library; if you're anything like me you have squillions of 3s. By ...


30

I think that color will work better here than icon shape.


26

Difficulty can be expressed in several ways: Gears or brains - More means increasing mental difficulty. Shovels - More means increasing physical difficulty. Clock - More means increasing length in time, and as such, motivational difficulty.


20

Google started enabling a vote system based on 1-5 rates for Videos on Youtube. They noticed people were using it as a mere Boolean switch: 1 or 5. You may use a Star system, but expect rather unbalanced results where most of the feedback will come in the shape of 1(no) - 5(like). You may want to skip the experiment and rather design a simple 'yay/nay' ...


18

Down votes are useful when looking at a narrow interest community (like this forum). It is likely that one person down voting an item gives useful information for most of the other users. But if you're talking about a narrow topic in a broad audience, that down vote tells me very little. Take music as an example. If you love classical music, does the ...


17

One approach that tackles the problem, perhaps counterintuitively, is to use a slider. The user actually has infinite (or near-infinite) granularity, but without having to make an agonizing decision between 7 and 8. Visually, this option is very simple, as there is only a single line with a single button. If you absolutely need the data to be on an 11-point ...


16

I prefer like/dislike as a user. This gives me three choices (not boolean, as Tieson T. suggests): Like - Dislike - Don't vote (neutral). The third one could be made explicit. Perhaps through the use of smileys. I don̈́'t want to spend a long time pondering "Well, it could be a 3, but maybe it s close enough to 4.. hm...". Users are lazy. The general trend ...


16

Time & Simplicity I beg to disagree with the other answers, so, I would argue the main differentiating factor is the time it costs for the user to rate. Voting up or down can be done in seconds and is especially useful if there is a clear concept of what up and what down means. This does not need to be the same, for example on stackoverflow this is ...


13

I believe having a negative voting is useful! Normally most of the content is rated positively, but there are situations where the content is most definitely bad and by voting negative you give that input to other viewers (take Stack Exchange's sites for example, the up/down system is effective IMO). People like to voice their opinions. It does affect me ...


13

There are two problems here; you lose a lot of granularity for detailed ratings (with reviews/ect), and users of undetailed ratings (just a rating, no review) don't really use neutral votes. Detailed ratings like Amazon's reviews really need extra granularity. By detailed I mean users are doing more than rating; they're explaining the why, they're giving a ...


13

Netflix uses filled stars from the left even though the ratings are right aligned. This follows the ability to quickly scan down the list of ratings and quickly assess at a glance which film is higher rated. Same goes with Paragraph alignment, as per Evil Closet Monkey's answer.


13

To avoid the "somewhere in the middle"-answers one could also use a four point scale, which makes responses more accurate on for-votes and against-votes. This is especially useful if you want to make it very clear if users like or dislike a statement. While survey research scales may range from two to ten points or more, researchers have generally ...


12

Both the 5-star rating and up/down vote models have their place on the web especially to sort out the good from the bad. However, in your case I would look at the way that stackoverflow.com functions as they have multiple answers which pertain to one single topic on each of these boards. The reason they use an up/down vote model is because it allows ...


11

Lack of reviews certainly looks like lack of activity, I would personally recommend taking advantage of the "0 reviews" situation. Instead of just displaying that you could have a little label that says something like "No reviews yet; be the first to Review!" Or maybe just "Own this product? Write a review!" if you want to not draw attention to the fact that ...


11

Same direction as your text. Star ratings are most easily read when the significant part (filled stars) comes before the filler (unfilled stars). "Before" can mean left or right, depending on the direction your user reads lines of text. Unless your site is in Hebrew, Arabic or another RTL language, the stars should be LTR.


10

The control looks great and is intuitive, I would only change 2 things: Make the default a positive ~75% rating [or whichever produces the :) before the awesome :D rating], because: It's the most recognizable emoticon which would best convey what the slider does A satisfied customer will just want to finish the process as quickly as possible and quite ...


9

While I agree with @Dmitry about using color, I think the two can work together also. Take the trail ratings used on mountains, for instance:


9

A few reasons: One, it's negative. It sounds silly, but it's often better to expose users to as few elements of negativity as possible. Keep things light and friendly. Two, you can still identify bad content with the right algorithms. Certain content terms, poor reader conversion rates, and a lack of upvotes relative to similar content all suggest bad ...


9

I'm spinning on with JOG's points on inviting a user to rate and also enforcing user interaction once rated. Default: When slidinig down: When sliding up: This approach incorporates the controls of the Youtube like/dislike control which enforces user interaction with feedback. This could be a way to invite users to use the rating control and it will ...


9

Try creating a set of icons - where the symmetrical icon would be a circle with a line halfway through (acting as a mirror). Then gradually making the two sides less symmetrical, so offsetting the semi circles, and so on until you have a semi circle one side and a triangle on the other (or something that is equally not as symmetrical) Equally if you can, I ...


8

Like/dislike systems are unambiguous. Either you generally like something, or you don't; you can't have both. With enough votes one way or the other, you can get a sense for just how much people generally like or dislike something. Rating systems in general are ambiguous; my standards are likely different to yours, and to Bob's and his will likely be ...


7

I think in order to get a fair response from the users, it's important not to sway the question or voting system in any way, in particular any that may evoke an emotional response from the way the question is presented. Not only does this potentially sway results in a way that cannot be measured, but it also affects responses in an unequal way depending on ...


7

Sparling and Sen did research on rating systems titled "Rating: How Difficult is It?" trying to answer the question of how to choose the right scale (Like [unary], Thumbs Up/Down [binary], 5 Stars, Slider 100 points). You have to weigh the time it takes for each scale to be understood, interacted with, and then satisfaction. Really great paper. In short, ...


6

To only be able to give positive feedback takes away a lot of the meaning behind asking for user feedback in the first place. For example; imagine that TripAdvisor only gave people the choice to say they liked the holiday or not say anything at all. I for one would then have less faith in the site as a whole. Negative feedback isn't itself bad; it is ...


6

I don't think I would get it because the moment I touch the slider, I can no longer see the face: I really like @AndroidHustle 's solution, but it would still be covered by the finger. So I am going to recommend the following:


5

Reviews add a lot of credibility to your product. Especially if they look genuine. The more detail you add to them the better. Also the more interactivity you add to the the better. Take a site like Amazon for example. Anyone that purchases a product can write a review, at any given time. Seesmic also does a great job a putting a face on their ...


5

Consider a 'star rating' system, with each 'star' icon representing the skill or profession in question. Think about some recipe books: many rate difficulty by a number of chef's hats. Likewise, I've seen some software manuals use computer icons, and I've seen instructions for knitting show pairs of needles. Similarly, you could swap in an image that ...


5

The nicest one I can think of is the Wireless type of icon that has the scale of 1-5 and at the same time can be color coded for priority/emergency (red for show stopper, orange for medium, etc...) The Images below will show you the idea, but they are only on a scale from 1 to 4 you can easily create your own set to go from 1 to 5.



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