Ratings: A better rating system

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Ratings: Allow voting on different aspects of the title

IMDb should consider updating their 10 star rating system. For the most part, it is quite accurate. However, I am surely not alone when I say the rating system is lacking the critical component to break down the votes into more specific categories. I suggest a two tiered Rating System whereby Users can have the choice to use the existing 'basic' 10 star rating system, or a new IMDb Advanced Rating System. The concept is not new, but is definitely overdue in its coming to fruition on IMDb. The second tier of the rating system would allow Users to refine their votes based on sub-categories that would inevitably be a calculated average equating to what we all know now as the 'basic' 10 star rating. Sub-categories should, at the very least, include the following 'advanced' sub-category 10 star ratings for Acting, Directing, SFX, Writing and Music. 

Ask yourself, how many times have you voted down a movie because most of the above categories were not deserving of more than a 5/10 star rating, with exception to the Acting, which was in your opinion, an 8/10 or even a 9/10? The 5/10 is likely an accurate average overall; however, there are those of us on the IMDb database that would like to give merit where merit is due, and in the case of this example, the Actors should receive their due credit for a performance that is deserving of far more than the overall movie rating of just 5/10.

This brings me back to the question I always have when I see a movie rating that is either too high or too low for my personal liking. By having an advanced rating system, I would likely have a better understanding why this movie was voted as such and an understanding of the type of Users that are voting on it. On occasion, I have enjoyed movies that had mediocre story lines and the acting was good, but not great. Although, the directing, SFX and music score was spectacular! On IMDb, the movie rating was low, which almost discouraged me from even giving the movie a chance. On the other hand, if there was an advanced rating system and I was able to discern between the high number of down votes for Acting and Story Writing, and other sub-categories that were more relevant to me I might have been swayed to watch the movie and thoroughly enjoy it, forgiving the over emphasis other Users put towards the movie because they felt Acting and Story Writing was more important than Directing, SFX and Music.

In summary, the IMDb 'basic' Rating System has been accurate for me, at least most of the time. Although, an Advanced Rating System would allow discerning IMDb Users the opportunity to watch movies they would otherwise avoid due to low 'basic' Ratings, or inversely, avoid movies that have had high ratings in sub-categories that are not relevant to their movie enjoyment experience.

NOTE: I hope the above suggestion makes sense... lol... I wrote this before my morning coffee and with one eye open, so to speak ;-)
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  • I am feeling jubilant

Posted 4 years ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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This is an interesting suggestion and may be more practical to implement than other suggestions to revise IMDb's rating system, since you are not advocating replacing the current system of rating films and television programs. Essentially, you are suggest allowing user to optionally rate aspects of a title once they've rated the title. Logical categories would probably parallel award categories for the Oscars, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and other major awards:
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Production Design
  • Costume Design
  • Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Original Score
  • Original Song
  • Sound Mixing
  • Sound Editing
  • Visual Effects
The major difficulty I see with your suggestion is not a technical one, but that such a feature may not get enough use to justify adding.

As an experiment, I recommend that you try rating five films that you have rated on IMDb based on the categories listed above. You may also wish to ask your family, friends or colleagues to do the same. I suspect you, your family, friends or colleagues may find it difficult to rate films based on these criteria.

If you decide to conduct the experiment, please post the results here. I would like to see results and your determination of feasibility.

Regardless of whether IMDb implements your idea, user can get a sense of this secondary rating by reading reviews and looking at awards for a title.
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Dan, thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated. I can see how the more specific categories you've included could be useful. If I may, I would expand on your idea, introducing a value added feature by having a graphical [?] icon beside each of these categories whereby a User can hover the cursor of their mouse over the icon, thus providing a brief definition of each category. This idea implies that the definitions are hidden from view by default, until the mouse cursor hovers over the icon, at which time a temporary pop-up appears with the definition of the category displayed. Alternatively, the definitions could be, by default, also displayed in plain view until such time that the User feels he/she is familiar with the definitions and can click on a 'Hide' button so they no longer have to always be looking at the definitions of each category. 

Consider the following examples:
  • Original Score: A film score (also sometimes called film music, background music, or incidental music) is original music written specifically to accompany a film
  • Original Song: An Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is presented to thesongwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film
The reason I share the above mentioned examples is because your categories are even more specific than the simplified generic categories I had suggested, and just to name one of my categories: Music. I will be the first to admit that I had to think about what is the difference between 'Original Score' and 'Original Song'. By having the definition available with a simple swipe of the mouse cursor over the [?] icon, User's can quickly get familiar with categories that they otherwise would not think about or for that matter, have any previous knowledge. Eventually, and sooner rather than later, many Users would be able to rate the categories you have listed without having to reference the icon for a definition.

Two other categories I was not familiar with were 'Sound Mixing' and 'Sound Editing'. Had to think about it for a minute and after a quick Google search I was able to confirm what I had already thought these two categories meant. Having the graphical icon defining these category would also save other Users from guessing the meaning of the category and save time for Users from looking up the definitions on their preferred search engine. I suspect if Users had to have to look up the definitions on their own, this would quickly discourage some Users from using the Advanced Rating System. Having the definitions on the same page as the categories will keep Users engaged in accurately and quickly rating these categories.

Thanks again for your suggestion, Dan! Hopefully, IMDb takes notice of our conversation and puts these ideas into Beta testing. Of course IMDb would have to test the new rating system and what better way to test it than allow a select group of IMDb Test Users to participate in the new Advanced Rating System before it is fully released to the public.

As for your suggestion to test these categories by rating them as an experiment, I will consider doing this at some point soon. In the meantime, I open up this experiment to other IMDb User's.

Dear IMDb Users: Please post your own 10 star rating based on the 13 categories that Dan suggested. As this is just an experiment, if you don't want to rate all 13 categories, feel free to rate as many as you feel comfortable rating. Remember to also include the title of the film.

Enjoy, and spread the word.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi TexMex,

I believe that your idea has merit. There are currently 1,144 ideas suggested so far.
IMDb has to balance popularity of an idea, with overall utility and amount of effort to implement the idea.

You can promote your idea by telling your family, friends and colleagues about it. Then have them like you idea. You can also thoughtfully and considerately promote this thread using the social media buttons for Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

If you prototype your idea with pen and paper, you can help work out some of the potential problems. You can then present a more compelling case for your idea.

Likewise, it will be very helpful for other people to provide positive feedback on your idea in this thread.
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Abhay Bhatt

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I strongly oppose implementing such a feature. Since my perception style is 'intuitive', I don' think a movie can be judged, based simply on a average of multiple parameters defined. Many times, synergy comes into play. Many times, a movie is much more than simply a sum of its parts!

If this sub-rating system is used just for displaying sub-ratings, and not for calculating the final rating, using some sort of 'average', then I fully support the idea. 

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