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AbsoluteGravity

Need idea for an alternative rating system

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I'm working on a website that deals with user content, and I'm trying to come up with a system other than the cliche 5-star rating system. I would like the system to have a thumbs up/thumbs down base, but I also want users to be able to rate on tier's, which is where I'm stumped. Any good ideas?

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Why not use a 5-star rating base, and if the average is over a certain value, give it a thumbs up, and below a certain value, give it a thumbs down. You could also have a range where it's neither great nor terrible (sideways thumb maybe???).

Use something that people understand (thumbs up/down, or some number of things out of 5), otherwise they probably won't value the rating.

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Quote:
Original post by AbsoluteGravity
I'm working on a website that deals with user content, and I'm trying to come up with a system other than the cliche 5-star rating system.
Why?

You shouldn't try to be different just for the sake of difference -- people know and understand how a 5-star rating system (or one that just does thumbs up/down for that matter) works without even having to think about it -- that's why they're so popular.

If you've got an actual reason for using a different system then what is it? Perhaps the motivation for the change will provide us with ideas for potential alternatives to suggest. Unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise I'd personally just stick with thumbs up/down; it's simple, effective and easily communicated.

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A 5-star rating system is decent as long as you at least provide the number of ratings as well. If you just give the rating without the number of ratings, it's not too meaningful. After all, if something got a 5-star rating, does that mean one person rated it or a million people rated it? In the latter case, a 5-star rating is extremely impressive; in the former, it's almost meaningless.

If you expect the rating of content on your site to be a very quick and relatively thoughtless affair, then it may be beneficial to do something even simpler than a 5-star system. You could, for example, let someone simply give a piece of content a thumb's up or a thumb's down, and the website displays the number of thumb's up and thumb's down any particular piece of content has received.

You should definitely avoid making the system too complex and too foreign. Ratings need to be readily comprehensible to anyone. This will increase the accessibility of the site and make it feel more welcoming to newcomers.

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Quote:
Original post by AbsoluteGravity
I'm working on a website that deals with user content, and I'm trying to come up with a system other than the cliche 5-star rating system.

I would like the system to have a thumbs up/thumbs down base, but I also want users to be able to rate on tier's, which is where I'm stumped. Any good ideas?


Why not use a tiered thumbs up/down approach then? I.e. (using Gamedev's images)





You can then present a concrete "this piece has 100 thumbs up and 20 thumbs down" and in a more detailed view show that 50 of the thumbs up came from 25 users who voted for 2 thumbs up, and the other 50 thumbs up came from 50 users who rated the piece 1 thumbs up, while all 20 thumbs down came from users who voted for 1 thumb down.

The translation could be like:
2 thumbs up - "I feel strongly positive about this work"
1 thumbs up - "I feel positive about this work"
1 thumbs down - "I feel negative about this work"
2 thumbs down - "I feel strongly negative about this work"

You'd have your thumbs up/down system on tiers [wink]

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I'd probably still stick with a 5 star system. The suggestion on how many ratings the average is based on is also a good idea.

Honestly, in my opinion. If your rating system is too complicated, no one will even give your site a chance. If it's too simple (a basic thumbs up or down), it might not provide enough information for people to make an informed decision.

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Thanks for your suggestions everyone! I will definitely take each into consideration.

It was previously suggested to me that I should base it on a percent of thumbs up to overall number of thumbs. Therefore, a piece of content with 3 thumbs up and 1 thumb down would yield an overall rating of 75%. The only problem I have with this is that it doesn't really give the readers enough "power" over their vote. I suppose I could add an additional feature that will give them more critiquing power in addition to the vote, but if I could come up with something better, that would be awesome.

From the hypothetical perspective of a new member to a site, what do you think of this system, in terms of both a reader and a content submitter?

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