Website improvements: Star ratings

I’ve been spending quite a lot of time lately on the Relax with Dax website, trying to make it more like I want it to be. My efforts are perpetually hampered by a lack of free time and a lack of skill. However, I continue to do what I am capable of doing and as I learn more, I find I can achieve more.

Having completed the installation and customisation of the new theme, I have been trying to implement star ratings for the restaurants I review. I could have made star ratings that only I can modify, so each review you see would have my star rating attached. But I want Relax with Dax to be more interactive, I think that feedback from the readers is very important. I can only try a restaurant a couple of times and it’s possible that I have a good or bad experience which is not the norm, so having many people share their experiences can create a more rounded and hopefully more accurate rating of a specific place.

So, I have implemented a star rating system that readers can also use. This is obviously open to some abuse as a restaurant owner could rate their own restaurant 10/10 and skew the results, or they could go and rate the opposition as 1/10 to try and sabotage them. For this reason, each user will only be able to vote once and hopefully this will minimise abuse.

I think that the star rating will be a fantastic complement to the commenting feature. It will be great if people, when they have eaten at a restaurant, would leave a comment on my review and give it a star rating. Otherwise, if they don’t have the time or the inclination to comment, they can just give it a star rating which is just a simple click.

There is an additional section on the navigation bar which will list the highest rated restaurants which will be useful for those wanting to see a list of the better or more popular restaurants in Cape Town.

If the star system is abused and doesn’t work for some reason, I will have to make it that only users who are logged in (having registered at some point) can do star ratings. I’d prefer not to do it this way, so we will see how this trial goes.

If you haven’t registered on Relax with Dax before, you should consider doing it at some point (why not now?). The register and login options are at the bottom of the navigation bar on the right. Once you have registered, you can set Relax with Dax to remember you when you return so you can leave comments without having to fill in your details.

Feel free to leave feedback about the star rating system on this post.

ps. if you have a couple of minutes and you would like to quickly star rate some of the restaurants I have reviewed, just click on the restaurant review category on the right hand navigation bar and it will list the restaurants for you to rate.


One response to “Website improvements: Star ratings”

  1. I don’t know if everyone fully understands how this star rating thing works. It’s been operational for 2 weeks now and I find the voting patterns quite strange.

    There are obviously those who are abusing it by voting 10/10 for a (their?) restaurant and then voting 1/10 for all the others to try and push their rating up. I won’t mention any names yet because I believe the system is robust enought to handle this sort of abuse (and it has done so).

    However, there are also the readers who rate a restaurant but seem to feel it’s their responsibility to lift the average by giving it 10/10. What readers should be doing is giving it the star rating they think it deserves. Over time, it will average out at a generally agreed number taking into account the good and bad experiences.

    Those who choose to rate a restaurant 10/10 or 1/10, ask yourself if that is really the very best restaurant in Cape Town or the very worst. If it is the best in your opinion, is there absolutely nothing they can do to improve it? If it’s the worst, surely it could have been worse?

    My top votes have only been 9/10, I don’t believe any place is perfect, and my lowest vote has been 2/10 because I’m sure things could have been worse.

    Thanks everyone for your votes so far. Over time I believe the ratings will become a very good indicator of which restaurants in Cape Town are the better ones.