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09-06-2010 09:25 AM - edited 09-06-2010 09:27 AM
I have set up a questionnaire on what you would like RIM to change about the review system. The most popular issues will be sent to RIM as a petition.
I'll leave the petition open for 2 weeks - please forward it onto any developers who dont read this forum regularly.
It's based around the following principles:
1) RIM has tested the apps, and reviewed the description, so know they work as described
2) Reviews should focus on the 'quality' of the app and its feature set to inform potential purchasers
3) Support issues do not form a reason for review
4) Developers should be given the benefit of the doubt over reviewers
09-06-2010 09:47 AM
Can you add a 'middle ground' option to these questions? If I don't put a response in, how is that reflected? Where will you be publishing the results?
Can I just say from my perspective, reviewers have the right to review apps as they see fit. Potential purchasers will know this.
Also in my experience, negative but unsubstantiated reviews can be removed on request.
09-06-2010 11:10 AM
If you abstain from voting on that issue I'll consider it middle ground.
I'll publish the results here first and we can discuss how to proceed.
09-06-2010 11:15 AM
PS - the questionnaire will hopefully get the general feeling. It may be that your view represents it and I'm completely off the mark!
I accept RIM remove reviews, but it often takes days, and the star rating is never restored. This is my primary gripe.
09-06-2010 04:24 PM
"the star rating is never restored" - didn't know that.
Some of the entries have radio buttons are already clicked and I don't seem to be able to turn these off.
09-06-2010 04:58 PM
It hink there should be an option to delay reviews for 5 days to give the developer a chance to Deny the inflammatory and support ones. The person leaving the review doesn't expect to see it right away and if it is not appropriate no other customer should ever see it. This will increase the overall user experience on the store not to mention clean it up as well. Have you ever seen a sign up at Walmart under paper towels that says "Don't buy these paper towels, they will scratch your counter and they suck"? I don't think Walmart would want other customers seeing something like that and neither should App World.
09-06-2010 04:58 PM
Follow up points/ideas.
It is possible to add notes to a "Deny Review" ticket. But you have to actually go into the ticket to add the note.
Negative (and positive) reviews hit the site and the device seconds after they're posted, and there's no retraction possible even if the user subsequently realises the app was not at fault.
Reviews could be delayed for 24 hours, and/or the user requested to confirm they still wish to post after a period of time. Currently it takes a few seconds to create a bad review and several days to have it retracted.
Developers should have the option of being notified after each review possibly selected by number of stars.
Developers could be given a limited number of "timeouts" for the review. A review could then be examined by an independent moderator for qualification. After the timeouts were used, RIM could generate revenue to cover the cost by having the developer pay for subsequent timeouts. Negative reviews that are the result of App World issues could be refunded.
If a negative review is due to a bug, and the bug is fixed, the developer should have the option of having the review qualified. (The review could perhaps stay but be flagged as corrected and the star value nullified).
During the initial release of any software (not least RIM's) there can be issues. Some mechanism to allow quick remediation of the issues, or lower weighting for negative reviews may be a fairer representation of the overall quality of an app.
Personally I think review systems only work if they're open, otherwise the user will ignore the results, but that doesn't mean you can't make the system sophisticated enough to be open yet still protect developers.
09-07-2010 11:36 AM
The easiest example I can think of is App World itself (it was an item on App World and was rated and reviewed). Many of the reviews were stuff like "This app sucks, I'm switching to iPhone" and had one/no stars. What kind of review is that?
The ability to be able to respond to a review would be a very helpful feature, I remeber reading some reviews that said they thought the app/update was horrible because it didn't have <name feature here> but the app did have that feature.
My only addition is allow a peer review to the review (kind of like the up/down rate that you can do on some websites) so that if someone does something like the example above, someone who might have used that app could respond and say "That feature is here". The other reason for this is many devs are busy, not all of them have a QA department backing them up and/or people to moderate their app's reviews.
09-07-2010 01:15 PM
I see your petition focuses on reviews, but my biggest issue with AppWorld is AppWorld itself. I don't like the fact that you cannot specify how your app is installed. My apps used a shared library that I have separate for a normal install, but AppWorld installs everything as one application. This causes several problems, som of which RIM should be aware of:
1) If a user installs an older application after a new application, the newer application is likely to fail. This may be known if the apps are installed at different times, but what if installed at the same time? Not everyone will try to install the apps in different orders to see if they work, especially if one does and one doesnt work intially.
2) Libraries installed separately require their own permissions, so if you use the ApplicationPermissionsManager in the library and the application, it will fail. Everytime the users launches your app they will get the error "application object already exists", whic will let them open the app, but may break features if the permissions cannot be set.
3) On some OS versions, uninstalling the app will uninstall the shared library which will break other applications, requiring another install.
I also think reviews of less than 3 stars should have a notification sent to the developer with the users email so they can attempt to remedy the problem before the review is posted, and allow the user to revise his review.
09-07-2010 01:21 PM
In response to your comments I've added a comments box to the form. If you have already submitted and want to add comments, please state in notes that this is a resubmission.