March 31, 2010

Old rating system is back: back to the drawing board

Hello everyone!

We’ve decided to roll back to the old rating system, cause it seems (from your comments mainly) that the new ratings were a bit complicated and inefficient (well, we can admit our own mistakes… sometimes ;)). So from now on once again for you it’ll be as easy as it can be: give a Thumbs Up – for a good program, Thumbs Down – for a bad one; and we’re going back to the drawing board.

PS: if you have any other ideas how to evaluate our offerings and upgrade rating system, please, leave a comment here or contact us.

GOTD team


  1. I hate the thumbs up down rating system. It seems 9 out of 10 times the thumbs down is always higher. I read through the post with some liking the software and some not but find it hard to relate the thumbs up down to what I am reading. With the star system if I see 2 stars I think not so good and the reviews seem to fit this way of thinking. Three stars I think not so bad probably need to try it and again the reviews seem to fit. Four stars, definite download. The relation just seems to fit better for my simple mind.

    Comment by Julian — April 6th, 2010 at 9:11 am
  2. I liked the new system

    Comment by B.M. — April 8th, 2010 at 5:48 pm
  3. The idea that a window would appear during the activation process – where a user could rate and review the giveaway is probably a little too premature.

    A rating or review is probably most useful after the software has actually been used for a period of time. (Unless the review is to be of the download process).

    Of course there are always a small group of users who will write a review or comment after doing little more than reading a 2 paragraph description written by the developer.

    Writing a comment, review or rating will always be optional (otherwise people just write garbage).

    Comment by Jason — April 10th, 2010 at 6:55 am
  4. Agree with 31/48:
    “Maybe there could be something like two vote options
    1- wanted /unwanted (type of) program
    2- positive / negative working of program”

    Comment by gabriel — April 11th, 2010 at 12:55 am
  5. Thumbs up or down keeps it simple but what about if a party downloads it and it won’t register? I find no way to note this any more? I sent a message to Danusaoft that there video converter downloaded but wouldn’t go on line to register from the install and all I get back from them is an automated message to register on their system. It may be a golly good program but if there is no way to register it to try it out for a few days they might as well not have bothered to put it on GOTD??? I tried 4 times to activate it and every time the program tried to register me on line it said my comptuer wouldn’t go on line and I was on line. Am I missing something????

    Comment by Ken Jackson — April 11th, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  6. I think the question that needs to be asked is , who is the rating system for? for GOTD? for the users? for the software developers? You should probabbly define what it is that you want a rating system to represent and to whom it is represented. Harvesting credible feedback to present to developers is different than presenting a user with a + or – rating of a program. Regaurdless of the rating system, (IMO) the ratings should be done by those who have downloaded and evealuated that days giveaway. Also, KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid is very good advice. maybe a thumbs up or down for downloaders and a eyebrow up or down for non downloaders. ?

    Comment by Meep — April 13th, 2010 at 6:05 am
  7. would like a system where in addition to the thumbs up/down you have comparison thumbs ups for earlier reviewed alternative systems.
    this could develop into a better system which could rank the current offering against previous reviews for the very best in that category. the idea would be for readers to quickly determine the best software, which has come through the site ever, and the best current options, so that you could balance the review with some comparison which would let us pick a better earlier review.

    Comment by Peccadilloes — April 13th, 2010 at 1:48 pm
  8. the old one gave lots of detailed info to developers. the current one is simple for users but not that useful for dev. people.

    Comment by johnny — April 15th, 2010 at 2:07 am
  9. As others have said, before me, there really be a broader rating system that would cover some of the grey areas; not just an ambiguous Thumbs Up or Down. You could then average each category, posting those averages from previous days/weeks; but, you need to cover all of the various categories and allow for multiple choices.

    You could make it more meaningful to let the users add comments, but ONLY by casting their votes FIRST, then they are allowed to submit comments. The comments should not flame the program, or its author(s)/developer(s) (in act flaming shouldn’t be allowed, nor should flaming of any other users’ comments be tolerated). Comments should be made with the idea that other users reading them could get something useful out of what you have to say, comparing your comments to the voting results. If the user tries to by-pass voting, they don’t get to submit comments.

    One last thing would be ask them, first thing before voting, if they have downloaded the program and actually tried it. If they haven’t done that simple task (which is what “Give Away Of The Day” is all about), then anything they submit, e.g. voting and commenting, would be moot. I see those types of comments/”reviews” too often and it gets boring and taints any overall impression someone might get before trying, or buying. The worst are the idiots that gripe and complain about programs & utilities that cost them absolutely nothing! This occurs on virtually all sites that accept “reviews” about products a user downloads for free use, mostly during trial runs. They don’t know the meaning of a review, using the space to rant, rave and flame about the developer, author(s), programs and utilities.

    Hope any of this is useful for whatever you folks come up with! Keep up the very good job!

    Comment by Skylark — April 15th, 2010 at 2:17 am
  10. Perhaps the scale of 1 through 10 ‘s more accurate.

    Comment by brenda — April 15th, 2010 at 7:24 pm
  11. This is a positive step but just a couple of comments.
    It seems this had been around for a long time prior to the change and there were not too many complaints, mostly people were “unhappy” that there seemed to be an imbalance in the ups and downs in respect of views and suspicions of developers manipulating them.

    Firstly I suspect that human nature being what it is no matter what system you come up with there is always going to be a percentage of us who are dissatisfied, hell it could reward us with a 20 [chose your currency] and some would still grumble.

    Likewise it is always going to be open to cheats, manipulation, idiots or who ever, it is the nature of the beast….Internet.

    Secondly, along the same lines it is our nature to complain but not so much to praise, so there is always the reality that those that do complain are outnumbered by the “Silent majority” so a knee jerk reaction to a few hundred moans is not really realistic or sustainable.
    Unless you measure your comments as a stat against downloads over a certain period of time then I think it is of little concern.

    Lastly, re “Back to the drawing board” sometimes the old way is actually very good or indeed, the best and doesn’t need to be changed or improved for the sake of it.
    I think the thumbs and comments works fine, I NEVER look at the voting, I read the comments if it is something I am interested in and then download and make my own judgement.
    If I strike a real problem then I post a comment otherwise I either delete it it it isn’t what I want or keep it.

    Sometimes the simple, original method is best, KISS!

  12. Quick Solution:

    As an interim step, just add another basic rating level for a total of three (3), such as a thumb sideways to communicate a neutral, or an indifference, or some aspects good and some not, to the give away offer. Should be easy to implement and provides everyone with a little more insight.

    Comment by DataJoe — April 17th, 2010 at 11:32 pm
  13. IMO I don’t know what the problem is anyway. Thumbs up or thumbs down was great …IMO.I never downloaded anything until I read what whiterabbit had to say anyway.
    Also… there are hardly ever any games anymore anyway. I come here hoping that finally today is the day…for naught. It’s certainly not as much fun as it used to be.I am disabled and this is my only hope for a new game since disability doesn’t give you enough to live on let alone a new game now and then.

    Thanks for what you “try” to do…just wish it was more games, more often.

    Comment by Maizy — April 18th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
  14. Thanks. Thumb ‘up or down’ says it all. Ultimately, the user has to make the final call i.e. conclude whether the software is worth or not – to HIM. That is all we need!!

    Comment by Atpugkp — April 21st, 2010 at 9:06 am
  15. I’ve finally began reading the responses before downloading the GOTD. The thumbs up or down are useful in deciding on reading the comments.
    As a suggestion, unless I missed it, how about a program for moving applications. One that fixes all the registry entries too. With GOTD I’ve found it useful to install the software to a D: drive initially then either delete it, if I don’t keep it, or move it to my programs drive if it’s useful. They all go into the GOTD folder.

    Comment by Jack — April 23rd, 2010 at 3:08 pm
  16. I have appreciated the new rating system as soon as it came out
    IT had more info enabling me to now whether the offer was even worth looking at.
    I believe something of compromise should be found\
    I rarely leave posts as I do not have the time to test the software as soon as I install it and there alwasys seems to be someone with more expertise than me
    However I honestly believe a compromise would be much much better than the up/down system

    Thanks for many good pieces of Soft I know have
    Thanks to GOTD

    Comment by pfc — April 28th, 2010 at 12:00 am
  17. My comments below stem from some bad experiences leading me to uninstall software which seemed to promise things that were not borne out in practice. I suspect that some developers are taking users for granted and have not done proper testing.

    I think a simple way and robust to assess the software would be to use either a 5 point Likert rating scale or a 10 point Likert rating scale with the following descriptors:

    Totally disagree (TD) statement Totally agree (TA)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    I prefer a 10 point rating scale.

    1) TD The software was easy to install TA
    2) TD The software performed as claimed by the developer TA
    3) TD The software did not cause me any unexpected problems after installing TA
    4) TD The functionality offered by the software was good TA
    5) TD I would be willing to pay the advertised regular price TA
    6) TD I would recommend this software to my friends TA
    7) TD I have not wasted my time in getting this software TA
    8) TD GOTD image was enhanced by this software offer TA
    9) TD This software offers functionality that others do not TA

    The average value of the score gives the final rating by a user.

    If users find 9 statements too many to deal with, I suggest using statements 1), 2), 5), 6) 8).

    And if 5 statements are too much, then just two statements will suffice, namely 2) and 6).

    Comment by ph — May 1st, 2010 at 1:17 pm
  18. The first problem is what is the rating system trying to achieve?

    Some use it for whether there is any interest in the software (without trialling, or because they already have similar).

    Then there are the downloaders who may have issues just with getting it downloaded, installed and then rate it simply on look and feel and apparent usefulness.

    Finally there are the evaluators who actually take the time to experience the program, but this takes time to assess and review.

    My thoughts are to use the Thumbs Up/Down or sidewise to gather information about suitability/usefulness of program and perhaps allow 1 line to give reason for vote. Then only allow those who have downloaded the program to rate it (use 5 stars as other sites do and only allow “logged on” users to leave comments).

    I have been coming to this site for many years (thanks for all the great work GAOTD) and use the Thumbs Up rating to get a general idea of whether the program appears useful, and then will scan reviews (usually from people I respect, such as Fubar, MikeR, W Rabbit, Bladed T, Ashraf, Dr? and so on) to get a better appreciation of whether the program is useful for me.

    I don’t think it is possible to rate the 2 things – useful program and works well – using 1 rating system. What do the software developers want?


    Comment by Niteowl — May 2nd, 2010 at 6:09 pm
  19. Suggest you add one more question:

    Did you try today’s offer: Yes / No

    Here is the important bit: Only count the rating if the answer to this question is Yes. That avoids negatives from people who simply have no interest in the offer at all.

    Comment by Eric — May 14th, 2010 at 2:14 am
  20. Personally I pay more attention to the comments than the ratings as I have no basis for judging whether a negative rating was based on quality or usefulness for that particular rater.

    Comment by Mark Jacobs — May 24th, 2010 at 8:20 am
  21. Why not a two-tiered rating on a tier basis: Tier one for desirability of the viewer and tier two for program functionality.
    I also agree that a neutral rating could be added (from a previous comment) to each tier.
    In this way, desirability and functionability would be rated separately as in the following example:

    Desireable: – = +
    Function : – = +

    Comment by Sunshine Kid — May 28th, 2010 at 3:46 am
  22. Perhaps it’d be more effective to have the ratings not available until after the program has been installed and activated to the GAOTD server? That way people can only vote if they bother to install the product.

    Also, thumbs up and thumbs down is a bit harsh – what about if it’s just as good as some alternative? Surely a ‘meh’ button could come in handy for those?

    Other than that, I think the more basic the better.

    Comment by Nukkels — June 6th, 2010 at 5:37 am
  23. Put the ratings in the comments-section.
    You leave a comment, you get to rate the product. As the comments need to be moderated, you could easily remove the ratings that have nothing to offer…
    “Great program” would be removed, as would “crappy program”, but those who leave a sensible comment would help rate the product.

    Comment by spredo — June 12th, 2010 at 2:00 pm
  24. You really need both. Admittedly, most people rate it without downloading it, so you should have the little application you download do the software review ratings, preferably as a suggestion after a few months. Maybe offer a small incentive like make yesterday’s software available for people who download the app… so it becomes giveaway of the day ‘and yesterday’. Just a thought… I pretty much started designing a whole system to do ratings, then I remembered it’s your job, not mine. :P

    Comment by Shaun — June 19th, 2010 at 9:47 am
  25. And as an aside. I disagree. Crappy program shouldn’t be removed, neither should Great Program. People are most likely to leave generic comments, and a theoretically near-perfect program shouldn’t be penalized for being too good in all area’s to specify exactly what is good about it. I’ve left the review ‘Thanks’ once or twice. The only reviews that should be removed are those that had expectations that clearly diverged from the program’s intended purpose, those that didn’t download the program, and those that unfairly critique the program for not summoning a genie on command.
    Would you remove ‘Great product’ from the review of something sold on an infomercial?
    Moderation can help… but one must be very careful to select moderators who are in no way biased.

    Comment by Shaun — June 19th, 2010 at 9:53 am
  26. this website is the best i have ever seen for giveaways keep them coming thanks for all you do for us

    Comment by lordjay — June 19th, 2010 at 11:00 am
  27. The site is much better in the original format, as the complexeties add up, the usefulness of the progams becomes debatable. If you have to jump through hoops to leave comments as to fixes and tweaks, user help dwindles.

    Anyone else wish the “stickr” was moved up or down, preferably on the other side. The h3ll out of the way, for people who read with their mouse. Surely I’m not alone on this. RB

    Comment by Raymond — July 4th, 2010 at 4:57 am
  28. Rate components separately rather than one overall rating. That would be more helpful to all concerned.

    Comment by Bernie — July 30th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
  29. Do it like this:

    ^ Like v Dislike

    And if you choose Like it shows:

    Would you like to say what you like of this giveaway?

    Appearance ^ v
    Functionality ^ v
    Setup ^ v
    General ^ v

    And with Dislike:

    How would you improve “_________________”?

    Comment by Kni — August 1st, 2010 at 2:05 am

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