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AppStore Rating system favors negative reviews

07-24-2009, 05:46 PM
#1
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 138
AppStore Rating system favors negative reviews

Hello,

This discussion started on my Distant Assassin game thread, so I moved it here instead.

The current system that apple has in the appstore, is set up so that you get a lot of one star reviews. If you've ever gone through and deleted apps from your phone, it asks you to rate them. So, of course, your deleting them if you don't like them, you give them one star, the keepers you never delete, and so they never get the 5 stars.

It seems the only people leaving reviews are people who couldn't figure something out, and instead of looking for a solution, they just post a 1 star review, and then it stays there forever, even after whatever issue is resolved. (There's even a 1 star review that I've seen that says "good game"?!, did they not know that 1 is bad?)

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
07-24-2009, 06:17 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: WHO KNOWS
Posts: 3,138
Umm... If you delete an app, it gives you the option to rate or not rate; most of the time I won't, unless it's absoultely horrendous.

07-24-2009, 06:18 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,505
Here`s the recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbotsoftware View Post
If you could, please leave a review in the AppStore. I need some good reviews up there. It seems the only people leaving reviews are people who couldn't figure something out, and instead of looking for a solution, they just post a 1 star review, and then it stays there forever, even after whatever issue is resolved. (There's even a 1 star review on there that says good game?!, did they not know that 1 is bad?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan
That's too bad. I wish devs had a way to contact their reviewers somehow.i can't blame the users also as I myself never go back to my reviews and update them. Most of the time i dont even know that an update fixed my problems with the app as i already deleted it long ago from my iPhone.

Now Apple can't allow the devs to contact them personally through email as it could lead to spamming. But atleast there should be some option for the devs here. One solution I could think of is this.

*************************
May be the devs could be allowed to send a message to reviewers through apple/itunes only. Also these messages would not go straight to the users individually. A unified email which contains such messages from all the devs would be sent to the user once a week only. The user can then read the messages all at once or choose to trash the message if they are really that ignorant. Also the devs will be allowed to contact a user once per update only. The reviewer can then decide if he wants to establish direct contact with the dev if he wishes. Won't be perfect as some users just don't care. But will work in case of genuine buyers who either mistakenly added a bad review or had a real problem which later got fixed in an update.

If I got an email from apple with the subject "Appstore Developers request: We Care", I'd definitely give it a look and will be encouraged to update my review if I felt my problems with the app has been cleared now.

Also there can be restrictions on the devs to use this facility strictly for troubleshooting only and not as a free promotion tool for their other apps. Plus the devs will not be allowed to send a message to all the reviewers of their app. They can send the same message to the reviewers in one go but will have to choose the ones they want to contact individually.
*************************


That was what I could come up with. I admit not an intelligent solution by any means . But this can definitely be improved upon and refined to make it something usable and efficient I guess.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbotsoftware View Post
Yes, you are right, that would be great. At the same time, if I've left a negative review, for a bug, I'd want to know when they fixed it, so then I could at least check out the app again.

The other thing I've realized is that apple has this set up so that you get a lot of one star reviews. If you've ever gone through and deleted apps from your phone, it asks you to rate them. So, of course, your deleting them if you don't like them, you give them one star, the keepers you never delete, and so they never get the 5 stars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan
Yup that sucks for the devs. The system is not fair. Also you have reminded me that even though I rate the promo codes apps asap(coz I feel I owe the devs), I rarely rate the apps I bought with my own money. The only ones I bought by paying in cash and reviewed on appstore are Doom Resurrection and NFS and may be one or two more. But I do rate most of the apps I delete from the iPhone tough. And yes most of the times it IS coz the app sucks. So the dont get a good rating from me. So I m actually not contributing to app ratings on iTunes as efficiently as I should. For every highly rated app I have rated atleast 20-30 apps with 1-2 stars rating.

I dont think I`ve ever deleted an app from the iPhone after I installed it unless it was totally crap.

I feel bad now but its all coz of the inefficient way appstore works. It makes it very easy to rate the apps I dont like. And wants a hell lot more effort from me if I want to rate an app I like. Apple needs to come up with a better way to rate the apps which encourages user to rate all the apps and not just the ones you hate n delete it off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbmoney13 View Post
Agreed. Someone send this to Apple. They need to know. It should be simple take away the ability to rate when you delete. It's annoying anyway.

Now the updates...

Last edited by ImNoSuperMan; 07-24-2009 at 06:24 PM.
07-24-2009, 06:19 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbmoney13 View Post
Agreed. Someone send this to Apple. They need to know. It should be simple take away the ability to rate when you delete. It's annoying anyway.
No no. Taking it away will not help IMO. You want to break the leg of the fit person running next to you just coz yours is already broken and you want a fair competition(Ok bad examples. But you got the point )

So find a way which encourages people to rate the apps which they like instead of making it hard to rate the bad apps too. May be something like this. After using the app for a considerable time (say after 5 hours of app running in total, or after it was used on 10 different occasions, or after keeping the app in you iDevice for more than 2 weeks without deleting or whatever) the next time you open the app, it asks you if you`d like to rate the app before you start using it this time. Make the ratings as simple as we have while deleting the app. Also add an option to rate it later which resets the counter to zero and starts over.
After 2 denials, the rating dialog box adds another option which allows the user not to be bothered with rating of that particular app. Something like that will work better than taking away the "rate when you delete the app" facility IMO. And I m sure if you devs and Apple put their minds to it, you`ll come up with something a hell lot better than my suggestion.

Dont you guys have a devs association already. Time to organize one if you dont yet.

Last edited by ImNoSuperMan; 07-24-2009 at 06:25 PM.
07-24-2009, 06:27 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbotsoftware View Post
The current system that apple has in the appstore, is set up so that you get a lot of one star reviews. If you've ever gone through and deleted apps from your phone, it asks you to rate them. So, of course, your deleting them if you don't like them, you give them one star, the keepers you never delete, and so they never get the 5 stars.

It seems the only people leaving reviews are people who couldn't figure something out, and instead of looking for a solution, they just post a 1 star review, and then it stays there forever, even after whatever issue is resolved. (There's even a 1 star review that I've seen that says "good game"?!, did they not know that 1 is bad?)

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
I've been saying this since the start of the App Store. I thought the whole idea of being able to rate on the iPhone when the app is deleted was a monumentally stupid idea. What they should have done was come up with a ratings pane in the App Store app on the device that lets you review the apps you have installed that you haven't yet rated and rate them, much like you do with songs in your iTunes library. Then you rate them when you want to, and not just when you're deleting them when, more often than not, you're doing so because you didn't like it for one reason or another.

Whoever thought rating on deletion was a good idea needs a solid slap upside the head.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
07-24-2009, 06:48 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
What they should have done was come up with a ratings pane in the App Store app on the device that lets you review the apps you have installed that you haven't yet rated and rate them, much like you do with songs in your iTunes library.
That should also work. Atleast both the good and bad apps will get equal opportunity here. Also add the option to update the ratings you voted earlier and it`ll be perfect.

Last edited by ImNoSuperMan; 07-24-2009 at 06:54 PM.
07-24-2009, 07:04 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan View Post
That should also work. Atleast both the good and bad apps will get equal opportunity here. Also add the option to update the ratings you voted earlier and it`ll be perfect.
Yes, but a mandatory alert that bugs people to rate apps is going to annoy everyone. I have no trouble rating apps, but do not be all up in my face about it. I'll ignore it, and some may rate it low out of spite because the pestering pisses them off, even though it's not the developer's fault.

Far better to have an uintrusive reminder in the App Store app on the device that flags the number of apps you haven't yet rated when you enter it. Then you can tap on the ratings pane and rate apps, or if you want clear apps from the ratings pane if you don't want to be bothered by it.

Ratings should be completely voluntary and at the full discretion of the user in a manner that doesn't annoy the user. You can't make people rate, and putting it in their face at any time will certainly annoy some. If it's tucked away somewhere that's easily accessible and lets the user choose when and where they want to rate, then it gives control back to the user and they're likely to be far more considered in their ratings than just spur-of-the-moment ratings at a time when they just want to get the damn dialog out of their face so they can continue doing what they wanted to do.

Yes, it will likely result in fewer people rating, but what would you prefer: Lots of spontaneous ratings many of which won't reflect what the user actually feels about it or reflects premature impressions, or fewer reviews from users who have elected to rate apps on their own good time and therefore whose ratings will likely be much more accurate to how they actually feel about it?

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
07-24-2009, 07:08 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan View Post
That should also work. Atleast both the good and bad apps will get equal opportunity here. Also add the option to update the ratings you voted earlier and it`ll be perfect.
You keep responding when I'm writing my response.

Anyway, yes, updating your personal ratings should also be an option. I see so damn many reviews that are like "couldn't figure it out" or "crashed" or other things that are not necessarily the fault of the developer, but often are because the user didn't bother to read instructions, or misread them, or just isn't using it the way it's intended to be used. If those users, upon figuring out the problem, then has a chance to give it a proper going-over, they should be allowed to update their rating.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
07-24-2009, 07:24 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 790
Easily the best idea I've heard on the topic yet.

Kudos!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
I've been saying this since the start of the App Store. I thought the whole idea of being able to rate on the iPhone when the app is deleted was a monumentally stupid idea. What they should have done was come up with a ratings pane in the App Store app on the device that lets you review the apps you have installed that you haven't yet rated and rate them, much like you do with songs in your iTunes library. Then you rate them when you want to, and not just when you're deleting them when, more often than not, you're doing so because you didn't like it for one reason or another.

Whoever thought rating on deletion was a good idea needs a solid slap upside the head.
07-24-2009, 07:34 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
I've been saying this since the start of the App Store. I thought the whole idea of being able to rate on the iPhone when the app is deleted was a monumentally stupid idea. What they should have done was come up with a ratings pane in the App Store app on the device that lets you review the apps you have installed that you haven't yet rated and rate them, much like you do with songs in your iTunes library. Then you rate them when you want to, and not just when you're deleting them when, more often than not, you're doing so because you didn't like it for one reason or another.

Whoever thought rating on deletion was a good idea needs a solid slap upside the head.
Of course! Just let you rate your own games like they let you rate your own songs. That way they could even give you suggestions on similar games based on the ratings! Simple and easy.

Is anyone from apple in the TouchArcade forums? I hope someone reads this idea.