Have you ever heard of “the Amazon effect”? One of its manifestations is the fact that in the days of strong competition, best practice to increase revenue is to attract users with value, offer them something that makes visiting your website worth it, and then try to encourage them to do some shopping. One such form of free value for our users is reviews.
There was an experiment in which researchers asked people to make a purchase on a certain eCommerce (let’s call it X commerce) website. The test was supposed to find out if a product description and its details are presented in a good manner. When the first user was asked if that product is right for him, and if he would buy it, his first question was “Can I go to Amazon?”. That was a small shock for the people conducting the test as they were clear about going through the checkout on X commerce, so they said “No, we want you to buy it on X commerce”, to which the person answered “Sure, I can buy on X commerce, but I want to go to Amazon to see the reviews”.
Amazon, apart from having a great product range, is one of the best product information sources. Unlike other marketplaces, every instance of a product is presented on a single product page (just look at eBay, the same thing can be posted on 50+ auctions), with good photos, descriptions and reviews. So, for example, if you want to buy a book, it’s natural to go to Amazon and read about it, just to find out what others think about it, and if you are already there, it’s super easy to make an order.
Actually, this is not only a web thing — malls also do that. Free events such as exhibitions, workshops, attractions like aquariums or museum exhibits also attract people who come to see the free attraction. And when they are at the mall, they are much more likely to buy something. User engagement matters a lot.
The way we can create value for our users off the bat is by giving them good photos, descriptions, providing great customer service or just by giving them real reviews.
By the way, that’s one of our ideas for perfect Dribbble shots.
Common reviews weak points
Basically, UX audits shows that reviews have only two big weak points:
1. All of them look the same
As you already know, sometimes they differ in details such as Avatar, additional description or just stars, and that’s it. This problem is a result of the second problem (more about it just below); the more information we want to show, the harder it is for users to make a review, so basically everyone trimmed down their rating system to just stars and maybe an additional description. Maybe we can create some new-way of making reviews, but then comes the second problem: giving reviews.
2. Giving reviews
Even though we all love to read reviews, no one actually wants to write them. Often, we see situations where a product or place has only 1 star reviews, as only enraged users take the time and hassle to go out and write what they think about XYZ. From statistics we see that 94% of all purchases are made for a product with a rating of 4 stars or above, so if you have a thousand users who are happy and only a small percentage of them give you a positive review, it’s enough to gain just a few one-star reviews to be turned off of the product in question. How can we use design to prevent our users from being judged unfairly?
Brainstorming the problem solutions — concepts
At the brainstorm level, we don’t care that problems correlate with each other, meaning that if we try to present more info in reviews, we need to get more info from the users. Here are just some raw ideas, that in the effect will engage users more, and you will gain more time for dealing with things like negative reviews.
Solution: Make them look different
1.Reviews instead of descriptions — At the beginning, we could have a simple product description, but when we get 10–15 purchases, we could contact our buyers, make a short interview about the product, and later we could take out part of each interview and glue them together into one big description where each line have person’s avatar underneath, so it would be a kind of small “story about the product”. It could go like this: “I love the material which the chair is made of.” ~ Alice “but those holes on the seat, man I always get prints from those” ~Max
2.Card layout — One thing we can do to get a fresh look at reviews is to just style them differently, in this post we can see great a UX comparison between lists and cards, and long story short, lists are good for scanning, cards aligned into a grid are better at showing a lot of information at once . (That’s the reason why your contact list is list — you search for a specific position, and Pinterest have a card-based design — you just browse, there is no certain thing you are looking for).
I think we should ask ourselves a question: What would happen if we showed reviews in a card system? This way, browsing hundreds of comments would be a lot easier.
3.Images — With a card system, we can browse through a lot of reviews, but I see no possibility that people would browse such large amount of text. So maybe we can add something to make reviews themselves more encouraging? Maybe each review could have a photo of the product taken by the owner? Or if it’s a camera or phone, then you could post a photo done with it, and we could have some kind of rivalry for who made best photo. The best photo could also provide some benefits to the reviewer (for example a voucher).
4.Image hotspot — We could have some kind of hot-spots on an image that has a rating. For example, we could have a car and a hotspot on a wheel, doors, engine, and so on. When people rate their experience, they would rate one (or many) parts. This way, we could have some kind of detailed data about each product part without the need to write long texts.
5.Video — They say video is the new image, so maybe we could have something like “video reviews” (video reviews are now super popular on youtube) where people just talk about their experience with a product. For example, companies such as Tile could make reviews with people who lost their stuff, and then found it thanks to the Tile!
Car dealers could conduct interviews with people who are one month after a car purchase, or people could do those themselves, talking about what they like and dislike in a certain thing, as negative feedback is also good for companies, so they know what their customers’ pain points are.
Solution — Make giving reviews easy
1.Provide questions — Sometimes, people would like to leave you a positive review, but they have no idea what to type in. So we could make custom questions like “what do you like the most about our product?”, “How long did it take for the product to arrive?” Actually, we could also gather questions from users. For example, when you are looking at a certain product and want to ask something, you post your question and later on someone who bought the product gets your question and answers it. It would create something like a great FAQ where your customers ask questions and answer them.
2.Make it easy — Uber is a great example of this. After every ride, a simple 5-star rating pops up on your screen, you just press how you liked your trip and that’s it. The process is so easy that it’s very unlikely to anger users. Actually, they trust their review system so much that they assume every rider gets 5 stars. And if you are a driver and your rating falls to something around 4.8, you can’t drive anymore! This is a perfect example of how we can provide our users with a super easy way to rate our services so it becomes a natural part of the flow. (By the way, this is exactly what we are working on in our Orde project).
3.Benefits — The easiest, yet still effective, method is to reward your users for leaving a review. As we wrote before, we could make some kind of competition for “review of the week”, “best meritoric review of this product” or even “funniest review”.
What is the best review solution?
After sketching every idea, we decided to choose two ultimate solutions for future eCommerce reviews. We discussed the most important and voted.
Each of us had “4 dots to use” to place on the designs that we valued most. It turned out that two designs won out, and so we worked them out in detail. We decided to skip digital wire frames, as such deep focus is not needed here.
We made animated shots to show exactly what we meant as still shots can be confusing, and animation made them even more pleasant.
What do you think? Which two did we pick?
We favored Image hotspot and the “make it easy” approach the most, and after a few hours of designing, we managed to output these awesome animations:
Hot spot reviews:
“Make it easy” approach:
So, what do you think about these review approach ideas? Maybe you see something that can be improved or think that another type of review would be better?
Thank you for your time, and if you want to check out more at Divante’s Dribbble. If you like this kind of activity, please let us know by giving a clap or a comment.
— — — — -