Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rescaling Star Ratings

After over nine months and nearly 100 chocolate bar reviews, we realize that the star ratings for our chocolate reviews haven't scaled well.

As you've probably noticed, we tried to better distinguish between multiple chocolates that have the same overall star rating by adding "low" and "high" adjectives in the text of a review. However, that information is neither present in the summary table nor on our best chocolate values page.

We solicited feedback from several other independent chocolate reviewers for their thoughts about how best to rate chocolates (Our thanks to those who replied and shared their perspective!) The goal was to define a rating system that has enough distinct values to distinguish chocolates of differing overall quality, but not so many that it artificially separates chocolates of relatively equivalent quality.

We concluded that approximately 10 distinct values for high quality artisan chocolate would be sufficient. In order to also rate mediocre chocolate, we felt the scale should include additional values. Ultimately, we decided to use a scale from 1 to 10, with increments of 0.5.

At the same time, we took the opportunity to reconsider the scales we've used for specific attributes. Length, in particular, with the poor distribution of its current values, called out for adjustment. I'll post separate messages with the specifics of other upcoming rescalings.

Over the next several weeks, we'll be implementing these changes. I will also go back and update older blog entries for which I have the relevant information.

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