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I am working on a project in which we will have a scale that at one end has one extreme, and at the other another extreme. When we give the user a score, we want to display that a 5/10 (50% in the scale) is an ideal score as it displays balance between the two extremes. A score higher than 5 is even better as it favors the user, but a 5 should already be seen as a win for the user.

When we give our users the 5/10 at the moment, they see it as a low score. I have been looking into other grading systems (e.g. credit scores in the US with 0-700 point scales, martial art belt colors, a simple descriptive label such as poor, fair, good, very good, exceptional).

How would you both phrase and visualize the goal of achieving 5/10 to make the user see it as a positive?

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  • hi @Mar, Welcome to UX - Stackexchange! Can you share visuals of the directions you have tried? Feb 10 at 17:29
  • @harshikerfuffle I haven't created any visuals yet! For now researching different scoring systems and whether we should change our current score system for something else e.g. a random point scale, levels, etc...
    – Mar
    Feb 11 at 10:36

5 Answers 5

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Your description seems to contradict itself. If 5 is the "ideal" score, then a higher score can't be "even better"..

If the middle is indeed the optimal point and the extremes are to be avoided, you can use a chart that has the optimum in the middle, e.g. like this gauge:

enter image description here

If one of the extremes is indeed "even better" and 5 is actually just "good enough", then @Danielillo's suggestions above works.

If this is a situation like a school test, where an "A" grade is the highest score achievable by "conditional means", but there might be extra points (an "A+" grade) for outstanding performance, I would stop the chart at the highest "conventional" score, and provide additional means of encouragement that's outside the chart, like a badge or trophy or some "bonus points", but I would not make it part of the same scale.

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  • Hi Vitaly, I would like to clarify the question. The goal of the score is indeed 50% since that means that the score is well-balanced. If the score is above 50% is is balanced in the user's favor, which is also good, but it's not necessarily the goal (which is what I tried to explain- that the user should already feel that 50% is a win). Only the extreme closer to the 0 should be avoided at all costs, as it has almost no benefit to the user. The one closer to 10 benefits the user but is unfavorable to the other party, so it is also not ideal (but better than anything less than 5).
    – Mar
    Feb 11 at 10:33
  • @Mar Thanks for clarifying. I would go with the "school test" analogy in this case, and create a system that "naturally" goes up to the "goal" value, and clarifies that anything beyond that is extra points, which don't necessarily belong on the same scale. Feb 12 at 13:12
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Would it be possibly to supply a visual reference along with the score? I'm thinking a horizontal linear graphic and 5/10 as "balanced" or some color or graphic indicator of an ideal or better than ideal setting on the scale.

A quick google image search gave me the example graphic here. The use of faces is obviously may not make sense for you, and the particular color choices here are not great, but it illustrates the concept. Usage of color and something like the star could help indicate a satisfactory level, even if 50%.

enter image description here

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The best way to make understand that 5/10 (50% on the scale) is an ideal score as it displays a balance between the two extremes is showing the middle of the score as a maximum arriving level.

Perceptually the Credit Score gives the user the feeling of getting a very good performance when reaching the top of the graph, the rest is a very good additional challenge achieved.

enter image description here

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It seems like you need 5 to "belong" to the group of higher numbers. There is too little information given to give a solid answer but you can start by looking at some of the Gestalt principles. A few examples (not meant to be pretty):

Use proximity:

enter image description here

Use similarity:

enter image description here

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Going off of Vitaly's suggestion with the grading system, I think you need to visualize that everything above 5 is just an "extra" on top of an already good performance. This would show a 6 for example: enter image description here

Obviously a very basic visualization, but you get the point. Only confusing thing might be that there's so many extra points.

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