User Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations Questions

27 Aug 2004 - 3:37pm
9 years ago
1 reply
569 reads
erin malone
2004

Hi all -

I'm looking for data and insights into UI issues related to user
ratings, recommendations and reviews of products services, travel
destinations, etc. (Epinions, Amazon, CNET, Yahoo! Movies,
Travelocity, etc.). I've attempted a literature review but not much
out there.

This topic covers alot of ground so here are a few things I'm interested in:

*What kind of symbols best communicate user ratings and what scale to
use (letter grades, 1-10, 1-5,
etc.)? Where to display the number of ratings and reviews? Issues with
displaying multiple types of ratings on the same page (user ratings
and expert ratings).

*Usability issues with ratings widgets: clickable stars, radio
buttons, slider bars, etc.

*How to display user reviews (link to reviews page, show samples with
link to full review, etc.).

*Ratings' form issues - completion rates, increasing quality of
reviews, required fields, preview and
submit button

*What should the confirmation page be? A "thank you" page with
navigation links or send back to the
originating page.

Interested in any data, usability studies, anecdotes, or interesting
site examples you have to share. Send to me - I'll put together a
summary and post to the list. Merchant or expert ratings / reviews are
also of interest.

Thanks in advance!

Erin

Comments

30 Aug 2004 - 7:25pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Erin Malone <erin.design at gmail.com> writes:

>I'm looking for data and insights into UI issues related to user
>ratings, recommendations and reviews of products services, travel
>destinations, etc. (Epinions, Amazon, CNET, Yahoo! Movies,
>Travelocity, etc.). I've attempted a literature review but not much
>out there.
>
>This topic covers alot of ground so here are a few things I'm interested in:
>
>*What kind of symbols best communicate user ratings and what scale to
>use (letter grades, 1-10, 1-5,
>etc.)? Where to display the number of ratings and reviews? Issues with
>displaying multiple types of ratings on the same page (user ratings
>and expert ratings).

Anecdotally:

* For hotels, I think there's some real meaning to the number of
stars, based on amenities an such. I recently saw some faboo new
resort tagged as *seven* stars, which kind of boggled me.

* With letter grades, when put against a percentage scale, anything
less than 60% should be an "F". You might want to include "E for
Effort" and "I for Incomplete" to balance things out.

* Many people eagerly ding things broadly and severely. They have a
bad customer service experience with on individual and they flunk the
entire chain. I would never allow the lowest grades without
requiring a textual review.

* Conversely, some people want to be "nice" and always grade high, so
the same thing is true: require commentary. And then maybe apply
"Olympic scoring" and toss the top and bottom 10% to get a better
weighted average, to try to chuck the glows and the dooms.

>*Usability issues with ratings widgets: clickable stars, radio
>buttons, slider bars, etc.

Radio buttons are nasty on web forms. You either have to select
something for the user (in which case provide a "no response" item,
to avoid defaults coloring your stats), or you make no initial
selection and have more error cases to process.

>*How to display user reviews (link to reviews page, show samples with
>link to full review, etc.).

I would recommend samples of the last few reviews, with each of them
linking to their full review and with a link to the whole set. That
way you avoid showing too much, you usually avoid showing only the
best (or worst), and you show the most current (which may be
important for things like restaurants).

>*What should the confirmation page be? A "thank you" page with
>navigation links or send back to the originating page.

The best experiences I've had with web entry of comments has been to
pop to a quick loading "Thanks" page with a redirect to the comments
page, showing your added comment. This gives good confirmation to
the user that their info was received, processed, and posted. (You
may want to delay posting until reviews are, um, reviewed. In which
case still show the user their text.)
--

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Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 08/20)

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