I am designing a website with many support articles. Each article can be rated in the following way:

Was this article helpful to you? Yes | No

Meaning, my information is for example: 21 out of 50 people found this article helpful. Like Amazon on a review item -


I want to display articles in the search result page and I want to display its rating, but I'm not sure how to do that. Using the full sentence above seems too long.

Google display stars on some items, however for video results from You Tube for example, there is no rating indication. You Tube don't have representation of the rating in the search result page. On a specific video they write: 34 likes, 2 dislikes and add the red/green bar.


Any other examples or ideas on how to display binary rating in the search result page?

  • 2
    "34 likes, 2 dislikes and add the red/green bar" is the rating. And it works much better than "5 stars".
    – Igor-G
    Nov 13, 2012 at 11:59
  • @Igor-G Yes, this is the rating. Though in my case, it's not a like issue but a help issue. Anyway I cannot find an example on how to display this rating in the search result page and I can't find a good example for it.
    – Noa
    Nov 13, 2012 at 12:37
  • good example is on this website, you can see how many people "liked" the answer voted up or down... take a look at Microsoft implementation I would add the number of users that found the answer useful/un-useful
    – Igor-G
    Nov 13, 2012 at 12:45
  • I agree with @Igor-G. You can either go with net values like the voting system on this site, or you can do what YouTube does with a ratio of helpful/not-helpful (the bar represents 65% found this helpful without using a full on sentence). The only thing that I would be careful of is the consistency of the language from the article page and the search results page. If you're doing votes, using the up/down metaphor works. If you're going with ratios then helpful/not-helpful buttons or sliders would work.
    – VevWong
    Nov 13, 2012 at 12:54
  • 2
    Inline with the comments above, how about using thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons with actual numbers. So something like the following, "Helpful: 89 <thumbs-up image>, 2 <thumbs-down image> Nov 13, 2012 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


I actually wonder if usefulness ratings have much value in this context. It makes sense for reviews because it helps the user decide which reviews are worth reading and which to ignore. They have a choice. Can your users choose between more than one article on the same topic? If not, what's the value in allowing users to compare the usefulness of articles?

That said, if ratings are worth having, I think the key piece of information that you need to communicate is the ratio of helpful and unhelpful reviews for each article, so that the user can understand the general consensus of opinion. That information is easier to understand at a glance when represented in graphical form (albeit supplemented by the actual numbers) as in the YouTube example that was referenced in the question.

I also suggest that you consider how you can make this information even more useful. Would it make sense to list articles in order of helpfulness, with the most helpful first?

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