Designing an Eating Review System.

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

I love eating. I love getting recommendations around places to eat. I love review services like Trip Advisor or Yelp and establishments like Michelline or Zagat. Even more I love hearing from friends about places, and sharing these treasures. Yet outside of saying "hey you should go here" or sharing reviews on websites/apps, there's not a great system for people to share with other people in conversation and social media, outside of rating specific apps.

You could potentially use the Netflix method of "_/5 Stars" which is vague, or the Michelline _/3 which is severe, or Zagats _/30 which is broad, yet still not as broad as _/80 by some place that I forget the name of now. Sure, all of these work, but when trying to apply one to describe a dinner I had in Lima Peru to people on Instagram stories, none did the trick. So I had to design one for us.

If designing a system of rating I wanted to start from the end. Rather than build up something highly specified that accounts for every aspect,( like 32 categories of a dining experience, each with a possibility of 5 points, for a grand total of 160 pts) I wanted to design a system that was reactionary. Something that felt familiar. A system that had minimal categories, few point options, and added up to a nice strong number.

When it came to a strong last number, there were a few options. 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100. For simplicity's sake, 20, 50 and 100 were unconsidered for being too large. Three and four, though succinct, were probably too small to assign any degree of rating depth. This left 5 & 10. Two strong, commonly used rating numbers.

Ideally, at the end of this design, the system would be a perfect memorable package, featuring symmetry, an acronym or alliteration and a strong perfect score.

_writing and editing for this part in progress

("Rarity" is a purposeful handicap, keeping common spots at a max score of 8, to give World Class restaurants a slight edge over In n' Outs, which would otherwise get a 10.)

RATE Explained:

_/3 Rarity - How hard is it to get into? Fast food? Casual? Fine dining? _/3 Ambiance - Service, decor, music, vibe. _/3 Taste - Everything to do with flavor. Food & drink. _/1 Extra - Anything that makes it memorable or special.



Here are three examples and explanations of "perfect scores" :

1. In n' Out - Auburn, California

R - 1/3 (It's fast food.)

A - 3/3 (Very clean, fast service)

T - 3/3 (Great burgers and shakes)

E - 1/1 (Secret menu)

RATE = 8/10

2. Men Impossible - Amsterdam, Netherlands

R - 2/3 (Walk in date night place)

A - 3/3 (Very personable, interesting place)

T - 3/3 (Amazing flavors)

E - 1/1 (Story worthy)

RATE = 9/10

3. Llama - Copenhagen, Denmark

R - 3/3 (Fine dining.)

A - 3/3 (Fun atmosphere, great service)

T - 3/3 (Great food and drinks)

E - 1/1 (Place turned into a dance club after 11)

RATE = 10/10

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