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ramijames says

We all really appreciate being kept in the loop! You guys have built some amazing sites and services and i’m sure that over the next year or two things will only get better and better.

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dtbaker Volunteer moderator says

Cool update! Can’t wait to see the new search front end.

The “pressing finance project” .. hmmm … GST complexities for aussie authors?

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quosik says

Hello. I’m TOP 100 TF author with over 2500 item sales. I’m using this TF account to post this entry because I don’t want any of my customers think it’s about them. This thread is anonymous, general request. In fact I suggested this at least three times during past two years but all my efforts got ignored. Recently I saw more authors asking about this feature and I believe that this is very important.

What’s the Problem?

The thing is about ITEM RATING SYSTEM that is UPSETTING and BAD . It can be easily turned into something better.

Change Number ONE

First of all, I’m not sure what the current rating algorithm is but I assume it takes average rating and rounds it using standard math principles (3.7 would be 4-stars, 4.4 would be 4-stars). It seems to be reasonable and fair but it isn’t necessarily good solution.

I suggest decreasing 5-star rating level to at least 4.25 instead of 4.5. Too few items have 5-stars and many of them deserve it. That is because many people use 1 or 5 star rating and skip everything in between. This is proven psychological effect and even if you think that 4.5-is-5-star is fair it in fact isn’t due to human nature. They usually rate items SUBJECTIVELY and thus to reduce mistake that it creates you should reduce 5-star limit to like 4.25. The same works the other way – if client rates item 1-star it usually doesn’t mean that its objective rating should be 1-star.

Proofs:

YES , you can safely and fairly update “take_average_rating(); script” to script that reduces human perception mistakes. And that at the same time means more items will have 5-stars! Also, you can safely treat 1-star ratings as 1.25-star ratings (or higher).

Change Number TWO

I think that it’s absolutely necessary to add comments when people rate items!!! Whose idea was it anyway to skip THIS (such an important feature)!?
  • 1 star – comment is necessary
  • 2-4 stars – comment is highly recommended
  • 5 stars – comment is optional
Justification:
  • Authors need to know why someone rated their item less than 5 stars to repair their mistakes. This is essential feature. Extremely important.
  • The bigger portfolio of items, the more sales, the bigger author’s business gets the more important such tool is. How can we fix our mistakes and improve products when we often don’t get feedback but only poor rating? Someone rates item 1 star out of nowhere without any comment and this sucks.

Change Number THREE

One star rating – I think not even a single marketplace item deserves 1-star rating from any customer even if item is stuffed with minor bugs. Again, objectively item is always 99.99% fine and potential bugs are less than 0.01%. Subjectively people often rate it 1-star (again, “Prospect Theory”) and since you know that it is never objective you can do something about that. It’s proven human behavior and by relying on math principles (“average rating”) you’re actually doing mistake (even if you think that this is fair… it isn’t fair in reality). It would not be a cheat to raise all 1-star ratings to be equal 1.25 or even more. It would be objectively correct.

Items are mostly high quality and review assures that. When someone plans to rate items 1 star, please consider additional information like “Please use 1-star rating only when item is completely UNUSABLE and should be taken down from marketplace. Rating USABLE items (even with bugs) with 1 star is not recommended”.

Change Number FOUR

Most of the clients out there are really really amazing. They are patient, co-operative, happy, they give good positive feedback and they disregard minor item issues. Thank you everyone who matches this description. In my case it’s like 95% of clients.

On the other hand, we’ve got dumb clients who don’t read documentation, don’t watch item videos, don’t accept even smallest item issues, need everything working next hour, expect you to answer within 5 minutes and only complain about mistakes (ridiculously, mistakes they do and not actual item problems).

Such client would complain, laugh at you and give up quickly leaving you with 1 star rating. Abusive comments are common (which are in many cases then edited or deleted when client calms down).

I just want to say that each 1-star rating needs seven 5-star ratings to be still 5-star rating. Clients don’t care because they are not rated in return but authors care. This is another thing that should be eliminated, reduced or changed. It’s obvious that this happens and that client is mistaken or blame your WordPress theme that his server doesn’t work like expected (e.g. common .htaccess problems).

  • Warning message before rating item 1 star may slightly prevent this.
  • Re-rate option can prevent emotion-driven ratings (client calms down, realizes that he makes mistakes and not the author and re-rates item).
  • Educate clients (?) that if server sucks, they shouldn’t rate WordPress theme 1-star… it has nothing to do with it.

Change Number FIVE

Another fact: items usually eventually get fixed and bad ratings remain. Why? Maybe you should delete outdated client feedback and take into consideration only last year of quality of products and services? Many authors who used to create bad items, create great ones now but old ratings remain. Ratings of old items that have been deleted from marketplace should be deleted from user profile too. Who cares what was past like? Current situation matters. Old mistakes prevent some authors from getting 5 star ratings even if all their newest items have 5 star ratings.

Imagine such situation: Author A created TF account in 2010. He got 300 ratings and average rating is exactly 3.0. In 2012 he hired excellent designers, developers and support staff. They create excellent, flawless items and will be creating such items for a long time. Yet, they will never have 5-stars again! They deserve it now so why not delete old ratings and leave only last year’s average? Or why not delete ratings from items that no longer exist from user profile? You should be aware that usually people start when they are not so good and only after some time they improve everything, start creating better products and they are no longer that 3.0-star users but 5.0-star users.

Benefits

  1. Authors get tool to monitor client feedback! Authors can fix issues because they know what are they doing wrong. Authors can plan improvements to their current and future products more precisely (example feedback: “The item is very good but I rate this 4 stars because it is not localization ready”).
  2. Marketplaces – more items have higher ratings (good for client perception and my suggestions above aren’t any cheat! This is very fair and more true/accurate). Authors provide more improvements, fix issues because they clearly know about client opinions. Current comments doesn’t give such feedback.
  3. Clients – they see more precisely author’s current engagement and not his 5 or 10-years long average engagement and quality (it would be stupid to consider past all the time and not update ratings only to reflect current situation).
    1. Sorry to say that but current rating system is stupid. Please confront that fact. Authors (and clients) need changes. Why are you passively sitting and watching that poor rating system fail everyday even if many people suggested that already? I’m writing this 4th time during past 2 years. Please turn it more into ebay.com like rating system (excellent one). It’s small improvement that will benefit everyone.

      Thanks for reading.

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quosik says

Change Number SIX

Automatically email each user who rated item 1-4 stars after let’s say 30 days with information like:

“Hey, we just noticed that you weren’t satisfied with item X on our Y marketplace and you rated it 2 stars 30 days ago. Perhaps author of the item already fixed all issues it contained back then. Why not test it again and perhaps re-rate it if it’s fixed? We value customer satisfaction and maybe it meets your requirements now.”

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Good thoughts Quosik.

I think feedback and an eBay style breakdown of the ratings would be advantageous for buyers and authors alike. There’s nothing like clarity. This has been missing for far too long.

Perhaps the overall rating could use the median average instead of the mean, that way the result is less strongly influenced by a small number of extreme ratings. The median average for the sequence 1, 2, 4, 5, 5 ,5 ,5 is 5.

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dtbaker Volunteer moderator says

Perhaps the overall rating could use the median average instead of the mean

Quite certain I saw someone say they do it this way (median rather than mean) in one of the other “improve the rating system” threads.

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doru says

Is in the pipeline!

:)

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mrcharlesbrown says

Hello. I’m TOP 100 TF author with over 2500 item sales. I’m using this TF account to post this entry because I don’t want any of my customers think it’s about them. This thread is anonymous, general request. In fact I suggested this at least three times during past two years but all my efforts got ignored. Recently I saw more authors asking about this feature and I believe that this is very important.

What’s the Problem?

The thing is about ITEM RATING SYSTEM that is UPSETTING and BAD . It can be easily turned into something better.

Change Number ONE

First of all, I’m not sure what the current rating algorithm is but I assume it takes average rating and rounds it using standard math principles (3.7 would be 4-stars, 4.4 would be 4-stars). It seems to be reasonable and fair but it isn’t necessarily good solution.

I suggest decreasing 5-star rating level to at least 4.25 instead of 4.5. Too few items have 5-stars and many of them deserve it. That is because many people use 1 or 5 star rating and skip everything in between. This is proven psychological effect and even if you think that 4.5-is-5-star is fair it in fact isn’t due to human nature. They usually rate items SUBJECTIVELY and thus to reduce mistake that it creates you should reduce 5-star limit to like 4.25. The same works the other way – if client rates item 1-star it usually doesn’t mean that its objective rating should be 1-star.

Proofs:

YES , you can safely and fairly update “take_average_rating(); script” to script that reduces human perception mistakes. And that at the same time means more items will have 5-stars! Also, you can safely treat 1-star ratings as 1.25-star ratings (or higher).

Change Number TWO

I think that it’s absolutely necessary to add comments when people rate items!!! Whose idea was it anyway to skip THIS (such an important feature)!?
  • 1 star – comment is necessary
  • 2-4 stars – comment is highly recommended
  • 5 stars – comment is optional
Justification:
  • Authors need to know why someone rated their item less than 5 stars to repair their mistakes. This is essential feature. Extremely important.
  • The bigger portfolio of items, the more sales, the bigger author’s business gets the more important such tool is. How can we fix our mistakes and improve products when we often don’t get feedback but only poor rating? Someone rates item 1 star out of nowhere without any comment and this sucks.

Change Number THREE

One star rating – I think not even a single marketplace item deserves 1-star rating from any customer even if item is stuffed with minor bugs. Again, objectively item is always 99.99% fine and potential bugs are less than 0.01%. Subjectively people often rate it 1-star (again, “Prospect Theory”) and since you know that it is never objective you can do something about that. It’s proven human behavior and by relying on math principles (“average rating”) you’re actually doing mistake (even if you think that this is fair… it isn’t fair in reality). It would not be a cheat to raise all 1-star ratings to be equal 1.25 or even more. It would be objectively correct.

Items are mostly high quality and review assures that. When someone plans to rate items 1 star, please consider additional information like “Please use 1-star rating only when item is completely UNUSABLE and should be taken down from marketplace. Rating USABLE items (even with bugs) with 1 star is not recommended”.

Change Number FOUR

Most of the clients out there are really really amazing. They are patient, co-operative, happy, they give good positive feedback and they disregard minor item issues. Thank you everyone who matches this description. In my case it’s like 95% of clients.

On the other hand, we’ve got dumb clients who don’t read documentation, don’t watch item videos, don’t accept even smallest item issues, need everything working next hour, expect you to answer within 5 minutes and only complain about mistakes (ridiculously, mistakes they do and not actual item problems).

Such client would complain, laugh at you and give up quickly leaving you with 1 star rating. Abusive comments are common (which are in many cases then edited or deleted when client calms down).

I just want to say that each 1-star rating needs seven 5-star ratings to be still 5-star rating. Clients don’t care because they are not rated in return but authors care. This is another thing that should be eliminated, reduced or changed. It’s obvious that this happens and that client is mistaken or blame your WordPress theme that his server doesn’t work like expected (e.g. common .htaccess problems).

  • Warning message before rating item 1 star may slightly prevent this.
  • Re-rate option can prevent emotion-driven ratings (client calms down, realizes that he makes mistakes and not the author and re-rates item).
  • Educate clients (?) that if server sucks, they shouldn’t rate WordPress theme 1-star… it has nothing to do with it.

Change Number FIVE

Another fact: items usually eventually get fixed and bad ratings remain. Why? Maybe you should delete outdated client feedback and take into consideration only last year of quality of products and services? Many authors who used to create bad items, create great ones now but old ratings remain. Ratings of old items that have been deleted from marketplace should be deleted from user profile too. Who cares what was past like? Current situation matters. Old mistakes prevent some authors from getting 5 star ratings even if all their newest items have 5 star ratings.

Imagine such situation: Author A created TF account in 2010. He got 300 ratings and average rating is exactly 3.0. In 2012 he hired excellent designers, developers and support staff. They create excellent, flawless items and will be creating such items for a long time. Yet, they will never have 5-stars again! They deserve it now so why not delete old ratings and leave only last year’s average? Or why not delete ratings from items that no longer exist from user profile? You should be aware that usually people start when they are not so good and only after some time they improve everything, start creating better products and they are no longer that 3.0-star users but 5.0-star users.

Benefits

  1. Authors get tool to monitor client feedback! Authors can fix issues because they know what are they doing wrong. Authors can plan improvements to their current and future products more precisely (example feedback: “The item is very good but I rate this 4 stars because it is not localization ready”).
  2. Marketplaces – more items have higher ratings (good for client perception and my suggestions above aren’t any cheat! This is very fair and more true/accurate). Authors provide more improvements, fix issues because they clearly know about client opinions. Current comments doesn’t give such feedback.
  3. Clients – they see more precisely author’s current engagement and not his 5 or 10-years long average engagement and quality (it would be stupid to consider past all the time and not update ratings only to reflect current situation).
    1. Sorry to say that but current rating system is stupid. Please confront that fact. Authors (and clients) need changes. Why are you passively sitting and watching that poor rating system fail everyday even if many people suggested that already? I’m writing this 4th time during past 2 years. Please turn it more into ebay.com like rating system (excellent one). It’s small improvement that will benefit everyone.

      Change Number SIX

      Automatically email each user who rated item 1-4 stars after let’s say 30 days with information like: “Hey, we just noticed that you weren’t satisfied with item X on our Y marketplace and you rated it 2 stars 30 days ago. Perhaps author of the item already fixed all issues it contained back then. Why not test it again and perhaps re-rate it if it’s fixed? We value customer satisfaction and maybe it meets your requirements now.”

Absolutely +1

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bobural says

for quosik… I am new here and after reading your posts there I must say that…in a way you have a point. But don’t get frustrated by that 1 star rating even if your item does not deserve it… Keep up the good work and dream grate ideas… and put them in phpcode :) so we can buy them!

Good luck!

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CodingJack says

One thing I think would be cool for the forums is to have the ability to create a poll when you start a thread. Sometimes topics end up with a million posts and you just don’t have time to read them all. But for something like the recent price increase thread over on TF, a poll would be super useful for gauging public opinion. They’d also be used for silly reasons too but that would be kind of fun too.

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