I'm wondering what is the best voting system for site that have ranking like top 10 / top 100.


stars rating (from 1 to 5)

single thumb up

thumb up/thumb down

What you think?

  • 7
    You'll need to reword your question and title. As stated it's highly subjective. If you can state your requirements rather than just asking for "the best" a) the question will stay open and b) you'll get some useful answers.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 21:14
  • Possible duplicate of: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/23002/… Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 0:59
  • 1
    See my answer to the above question. Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 1:00
  • My (probably unpopular) opinion is that these are all kiddie features that do nothing to add to a discussion. People often downvote stuff if it contains a truth they down't like. Receiving a downvote might have bothered me when I was 12, but hopefully no longer.
    – AndyUK
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 19:48

5 Answers 5


Last year YouTube abandoned its 5 star rating system after research showed that nearly all users only use 1 or 5 stars. See http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2009/09/five-stars-dominate-ratings.html

Now YouTube uses a thumbs up or down system.

So the conclusion is:

  1. Use thumbs up or down if your users either love or hate the thing that is rated

  2. Use 5 stars if users have more nuanced opinions (Amazon books, for example)

Since you asked about ranking the items after they have been rated, remember that you normally don't want items that have a single 5 star rating or one thumb up to outrank items that have 100 ratings and 4.5 stars or 95 out of 100 thumbs up because that gives undue weight to the lone ranker and will mean that unpopular items will always outweigh popular items.

Here's the link that explains how to solve the rating popularity problem: www.evanmiller.org/how-not-to-sort-by-average-rating.html

  • 4
    It's nice that you reference the Youtube change, because it's relevant, but your conclusion is a bit .. broad. Just because something worked for Youtube doesn't mean that's how it should always work. Right?
    – Rahul
    Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 7:51
  • 5
    Correct, Rahul. That's why I suggested that you should use a thumbs up or down only if your users are polarized in their opinions, as youtube discovered their users are. Otherwise, see point 2 above.
    – user2017
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 14:38
  • 1
    Thumbs up and down have different meanings in different cultures - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumbs_signal#The_gesture_internationally though this may be overridden in specific contexts en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – ChrisF
    Commented Feb 10, 2012 at 11:05

It is a combination of values (1..10) and colored impression.

alt text

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  • 5
    And why would this be the best? I'm sure it has its benefits but it might be nice to explain. Thanks.
    – Jay
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 8:33
  • @Jay Maybe it tries to get the "passive" answer or allows to get answer something like [rather than not]. I think, I understood you: it is different from life concept that has two answers ONLY: pay and don't pay. :)
    – igor
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 10:03
  • This system works both for users with a simple like/dislike approach, as for users who like to give a more differentiated opinion. And all the states in between people may have depending on the mood and situation they're in.
    – foo
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 17:03

Thumb up/thumb down would be my choice. It's an intuitive pattern. Good luck.


This is a classic differentiation between the Vote to Promote UI design pattern and the Reaction UI design pattern (also called "Like").

The Reaction pattern should be used when:

  • You want to let users rate content without having to worry about the degrees to which they like it.
  • You want to provide an easy and informal way for users to provide information about their likes and preferences.

The Vote to Promote pattern should be used when:

  • You want your users to democratically decide what is interesting content.
  • You want your users to democratically submit content to your website.
  • You want to trust your users subjective opinion

Do not use the vote to promote pattern when your website has a small community. A large user base and a strong community is important so that a sufficient amount of votes can be generated and meaningful comparisons can be made.


it depends on what are you voting for, if voting on something that has many aspect like a movie (story, act, screen) and need detail judgment, i think 1.0-10.0 scale is needed, cause the vote is aggregate of that many aspects. But if the vote do not needed a detail judgment, like or dislike is very nice, not too much option and people do not need too much think to give a vote.

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