As announced last month, we’re today making reviews public. This is a feature that has been discussed in many forum posts and requested by many community members in my two years at Envato. And I’m glad to say it has finally arrived!
Asides from being a familiar user experience on other marketplaces and ecommerce sites, public reviews provide a lot of benefit for the community. It puts less importance on the overall star rating and instead gives customers an opportunity to decide whether the recent reviews are relevant to them. This change is an opportunity to focus more on the positive while creating a fairer system overall.
How it works
The existing Reviews tab (which has always been available to the author of that item) will now be available to customers on the Item page.
Only reviews that were left after April 28th will be displayed to customers. While this does create a discrepancy with the overall score and number of ratings, we felt that it wasn’t fair to display reviews where the customer and author weren’t first told that it would be public. We applied this same logic when we starting allowing authors to respond to reviews last year.
By default customers will see all reviews (i.e. even those without a reason or comment) with the list sorted by newest first. A new sort feature allows customers to change the order of the reviews by what’s relevant to them (date or star rating).
Now that we have public reviews, ratings should be primarily used to help customers shortlist the item. It’s an indication of whether a particular item should even be considered, with reviews being the deciding factor of whether or not the item is for them. This means that we can put less emphasis on the detail of each rating while still giving customers an accurate representation of an item’s score. One of these changes has already been deployed (see below) with some more small improvements expected in the next couple of weeks.
Displaying a percentage of overall score in place of an absolute amount will focus customer attention on the big picture.
We’ll be making a few further changes to the reviews tab and system more broadly so stay tuned to this post if you’re interested. If have an thoughts or questions on the above, or if you see anything strange then please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading!