I'm currently building a page rating/feedback component. Some of the requirements I'm trying to figure out is how long should I wait before preventing a user from changing their mind/page rating?

Right now the prototype adds a change link next to the option the user clicks. This is to allow changes to the rating in case a user clicks the wrong option. Initially I was thinking that the user has around 15 - 30 minutes before the user choice is locked. Once locked, the rating would remain in place until the page's content is updated. Is this too short of a time frame for static content or should it be longer?

Added some additional images for context below. The initial text is still a work in progress. Also only users that rate the page as "Needs Improvement" are shown the optional comment textarea. The change link next to the rating is the item we are thinking about removing once a user is locked from commenting. Users will be able to re-rate pages once the contents have changed or a longer period of time between votes. We want to make sure there are no bots rating pages.

No selection state

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Positive selection state

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Negative selection state

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  • 1
    You may find some useful / interesting reading on Meta StackOverflow where the issue of votes being locked in gets raised quite often.
    – JonW
    Jul 24, 2012 at 14:39
  • How is the rating given ? Like numbers or stars ?
    – Mervin
    Jul 24, 2012 at 19:32
  • 3
    Why do you need to prevent him from changing the rating? Jul 25, 2012 at 2:50
  • 1
    @JonW that lock was introduced to avoid strategic downvoting (to sort your post above others, then remove the vote once yours has more votes naturally), I have to agree I don't see a general need to lock in a rating
    – Ben Brocka
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:56
  • @mciarrocchi we were thinking of locking pages out from being rated for stratiegic down voting as Ben has said.
    – JeffH
    Jul 25, 2012 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


I can't imagine someone who makes a mistake will come back 20 minutes later to fix it. It would be an immediate response. All in all, though, you need to figure out if the nearly minute amount of people who will need this feature warrants the development time (and costs) of implementing it. My guess would be that it doesn't.

  • 1
    We have already determined that this is going to be worth out development time. Many of our content editors are asking for assistance with making there content better and we are looking form the UX side to leverage the additional analytically information to help make better decisions in the future. But you do have a valid point. I personally cant see a person coming back 20 minutes later, but stranger things have happened!
    – JeffH
    Jul 24, 2012 at 14:42
  • 1
    The response/redress is not always immediate. Especially not when comments are possible. Then the wish to alter your vote may well be prompted by such a comment which may in fact arrive hours or even days later... See also the link in JonW's comment to the question. Jul 25, 2012 at 6:17

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