Review Site Series: 5-Star vs. Alternate Rating Systems

5-star-ratingWelcome back to our Review Site Series! This week we wanted to focus on 5-star vs. alternate rating systems. (Such as a 10-point scale or a simple thumbs up/thumbs down.)

Many review sites follow the basic 5-star scale format, but others (such as Zagat, which grades on a 30-point scale) use their own metrics for the overall rating of a business. Another example is Citysearch, which uses just a simple thumbs up or thumbs down to determine a score.

We feel that having a 5-star scale is the most universal, simplified way of gathering a score. Granted, it does not allow a client to consider micro-factors, but at its very core, it’s simple and easy to use.

Review sites such as Zagat really get down to the nitty-gritty of a review, inclusive of everything from food right down to décor. This is really helpful for consumers who want to provide a detailed book report of the place they just patronized, but not helpful for consumers who just want to leave a simple review.

Having a more detailed format for leaving a review, whether it be more fields to fill out before submitting your review or more checkboxes to tick off, may also deter consumers from leaving a review altogether. It is difficult enough to convince people to take the time to leave a review in the first place, so the last thing you would want to do is create any additional barriers.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the alternatives to the 5-star format? Or do you like the tried and true 5-star format? Let us know in the comments below!