Designed To Fail: Facebook Star Ratings on Pages

by Shadab Farooqui

As a part of our service at CrystalMD we design and implement Facebook pages for medical practices, and integrate the management of the page in our platform.

Once we create the Facebook page, we make physicians or their practice managers the administrators of the page so that they can invite their friends and family to build the "seed pool" of likes. Over the course of the last year, we noticed a trend:

Several doctors were getting 1-star or 2-star ratings from their friends and family who were invited to like the page.

How strange is that? Why would any of your friends and family rate your practice as 1-star or 2-star? Several doctors called got alarmed and called us to find out what was going on. After doing some poking and usability testing among friends, we reached the conclusion that the star rating system on Facebook pages is prone to erroneous submissions .

The way you currently give ratings on a Facebook Business Page is by simply hovering over the star and clicking on it. The flow is inherently flawed. Clicking the star submits the rating is not made apparent to the user.

When you write a review, there is a "Review" button you have to hit in order to submit the review, but that is not made available to submit the star rating. This is likely by design, to encourage people to submit ratings. However, our belief is that this is flawed and designed to fail. People click on the star rating not knowing that the rating will be submitted, as by habit, we seek the submit / review button in order to complete that transaction.

I'm sure this impacts a lot of businesses on a daily basis and Facebook should immediately look into it.


Update as of January 17, 2014: I see that flow to submit star rating is fixed. Users now have to hit the "Review" button to submit the (anonymous) star rating. Thanks for listening & the quick fix Facebook!