Distribution star ratings

wed11jun2008—24w163d44%— 21h09m00s—0utc

Star ratings —you know, these guys: , , are perhaps the most widespread wordgraph (sparkline) of them all. Useful though they certainly are, they are still pretty dumb displays and nigh their only evolution ever, visually, has been half stars (interactively, I think mousing over to cast a vote is pretty cool). I think we can do better.

Trusty Amazon recently introduced an interesting, unnoticed twist: bargraphs showing how many people voted for each particular rating. They appear when you mouse over a star rating or, eventually, in Amazon’s looooong product pages.

I find it mighty interesting and useful information, so I’m wondering why we can’t integrate it into the star rating display itself. Distribution star ratings, if you will.

Play around with them in this interactive display:

Mousing over each star displays how many people have voted for that particular rating. Color ranges from blue to red according to how many people have voted:

blue (cool), means few people → red (hot) means a lot.

All together, a lot of relevant, useful information is conveyed, instantaneously.

What d’you think?

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