Average Rating vs. Popularity

Average Rating vs. Popularity

I’m working on a fairly interesting project that will have the ability to visualize information from a ratings system. How that information will be taken into consideration is still being decided. I’ve been looking at iTunes and they have two similar methods to help people make a choice for what’s hot. My twofold question is this, 1. what’s easier for you to understand – an average star rating or a popularity strip, and 2. have you used those ratings systems to make a decision?

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  • http://tomcannondesign.com Tom Cannon

    Usually star ratings are critic ratings, which I hold much higher than popularity. They are two different things. I wish on iTunes they had critics review the music with star ratings. I have a feeling the popularity and star rankings would not be in sync.

    I would offer both.

  • http://tomcannondesign.com Tom Cannon

    On second view, I realize the iTunes has a star rating and it is customer ratings. Even with that it is customers giving their own critique. You can use popularity to get to a band or song and use the star rating to decide to buy.

    The good thing about the “popularity” is you can quickly find a song by a band you like if you have heard it somewhere.

  • Wayne

    Thinking of my own experience, I actually will use Netflix ratings more than most services – so something to look at. They have two different star-ratings which can be helpful.

  • http://www.mikearauz.com mike arauz

    each has its uses.

    i look at the popularity strip when i’m sampling music from an artist that’s new to me. i figure the best way for me to judge whether i’ll like the artist’s music, is to sample their most popular track first, and move on from there.

    i don’t use the star rating very often, except to get a sense of the comparative quality of iMixes or “Essentials” collections.

    one of the things that is great about the popularity strip is that it’s more nuanced. you can compare a broader range of offerings at a glance.

  • http://www.markturuk.com Mark

    popularity strip, and yes.

  • http://www.weatherpattern.com Ray

    The popularity strip is a better way for understanding what you are measuring (in this case popularity) in relation to the other songs. For the star ratings, it’s harder to do, although they do give you the average. The strip would definitely not work well if they were separated, and laid out like the stars. I agree with Mike Arauz, you get a lot more information from the strips quickly, but of course the stars and strips are measuring different things. I don’t think that showing the ratings in the strips format would be useful because you have potentially lots of comments, with a few choices to display.