Rating labels & guidelines

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  • Updated 2 months ago
A plain numeric scale makes voting featureless and inconsistent.

Some people use 7 as "good", others as "decent".
Some people use 5 as the reference point, others use 0 or 1.
Some people never use 1 & 10, others use them casually, and yet others use only that.
Series are consistently rated higher than movies.

Even for oneself it is hard to remember what one uses those numbers for and vote consistently over time, moods and topics.

Labeling the steps would help normalize votes.
After much thoughts and reading I suggest :
  • 0: trash
    Where it belongs.
    Should not exist, and as matter of fact does not.

  • 1: awful / hateful / insignificant / abhorrent
    Now this is torture.
    They had to fail everything on purpose, right ?

  • 2: bad
    Hurts to watch.
    May have discussions around "But why ?!"

  • 3: boring / unpleasant / dull
    Poorly done enough to stop watching.
    Has some negative reputation.

  • 4: faulty / deficient / flawed / lacking
    Some aspect leaves to be desired, and the rest does not redeem it.
    Regret watching it.

  • 5: so-so / average / passable
    Standard, run-of-the-mill with nothing special to it.
    Forgettable.

  • 6: noteworthy / decent
    Some aspect catches attention, but the rest is not up to par.
    Quickly forgotten.

  • 7: interesting / pleasing / enjoyable
    Well done enough to sit back and enjoy.
    Has some following.

  • 8: good
    Keeps attention all along.
    Remembered and talked about.

  • 9: awesome / wonderful / brilliant / excellent
    Keeps glued to the couch.
    Goes the extra mile, leaves a lengthy imprint on pop culture.

  • 10: masterpiece / gem / monument / perfect
    Nothing to change, leaves pensive and dreamy.
    Only a handful of these, becomes part of lasting human culture.

The scale is centered around 5 as the origin point, as it seems more intuitive to rate as plus/minus from some expected average than an arbitrary 0 or 1 that is in practice never met.

The labels form symmetrical pairs around 5.

The scale is non-linear, to bring nuance to the bulk of productions massed around (or defining) some "standard".
Some people might prefer to remove 6 & 4.
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Bruno Mailly

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Posted 2 months ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi Bruno Mailly,

This is an interesting idea. This would have been more useful if such descriptions were available from the beginning. Unfortunately, IMDb has been using the current rating system for over 29 years. Implementing your idea now may give the false impression that all ratings followed this scheme.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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I like it too. It's more descriptive and clearer.
It is however out of alignment with the weighted formula in place, and the preconceived assignments in every ones mind as to what each number currently represents.

You are correct Dan.
It's wonderful. It is also unimplementable.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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But.
I have had this idea kicking around in my head, and this would be a good time maybe to address it.
The weighted average system needs an overhaul.
The weighted system should be applied in a more targeted approach.
Newly registered users should be weighted. (Heavily)
As they become long time users and can prove a pattern of fair rating use, (NOT ABUSE) only then can they be "Bell Curved" into full unweighted status.
Prove that your not a 1 or 10 only rater. And prove that by rating a wide array of titles showing fairness and forethought. After a predetermined set number of ratings that is.