How to use “Like” vs “Dislike” ratings correctly?

So, this is the scenario, you have an article and you can vote 0 - 5 in the "Like" scale and you can also vote 0 - 5 in the "Dislike" scale.

How would you resolve this in best and simplest way?

• So I can for something as like:3 and dislike:2 at the same time? That seems confusing and unnecessary. Why not just rate from 1-5 (1 being bad, 5 being good)? – JonW Mar 18 '15 at 18:17
• Agree with @JonW. In case you can make it simpler, make it simple to actually gain some votes. – digsrafik Mar 18 '15 at 18:27
• I would just use the words: "like" and "dislike" instead of a 0 - 5 rating. What's a 3 rating? Youtube noticed that when people were rating on their star ratings that most of them were either 1 or 5, because people felt strongly either or and not in between. Additionally, when someone recommends something they don't say "I give it a 3/5," but instead, they say "I liked it," or "I recommend this." – Majo0od Mar 18 '15 at 18:28
• Why wouldn't this just be one, 11 point scale from dislike to like? – tohster Mar 18 '15 at 18:29
• @BrunoFelício that seems like far too many steps for a simple interaction. People would say they either like it or not. – Majo0od Mar 18 '15 at 18:34

Assuming you mean something along the line of

-5 | -4 | -3 | -2 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

You will have to be prepared to get more than your fair shares of -5, 0, 5 unless you have a user base that is motivated to accurately rate the items.

By giving people so many options you will tend to reduce their participation rate and reduce their dedication to detail. A 0-5 scale, or if you want to force people to chose whether they like or dislike something, then a 0-4 scale may be what you need.

If someone only uses a program to accomplish some five minute task, and it performs that task flawlessly, it would neither be reasonable to claim that the program is the best program on the face of the earth (as would be implied by giving it a perfect rating), but nor should one claim that it isn't the best program on the face of the earth (as would be implied by giving it a less-than-perfect rating).

I dislike single-dimensional rating sliders because they often provide no accurate way for voters to describe their experience in some of the most common scenarios. Having separate ratings for like and dislike is perhaps not the best way to extend beyond a one-dimensional rating, but if it's explained that "like=1 dislike=0" means "I used this program a tiny bit, with no problems", such a rating would for many programs be much more accurately indicative of a typical user's experience than would be any rating on a single-dimensional scale.

An alternative approach might be to offer sliders for "How suitable is this product for one-time or occasional use", "How suitable is it for recurring use", and "How suitable is it for intensive use"? People who download a product and successfully use it to do some task they may never have to do again could offer a rating on the first scale, while declining to vote on the others. Someone who finds a product hard to learn, but uses it frequently and finds it very useful after the learning curve has been overcome might rate the product unfavorably on the first scale but highly on the other two.

An important thing to recognize is that different prospective users of a product will be interested in different aspects of its quality. Some users want a program they can download and use right away to do some one-off task. Others will want something they'll be able to set up so they can perform some daily task as efficiently as possible. A program which is well-suited to the former user's needs may be relatively useless for the latter, and vice versa. Ratings split by intensity of use may be more helpful to prospective users than single-dimensional ratings which may indicate that a program is good for "something", but not really make clear what that is.