Improvements to user reviews on Download | The Download Blog - CNET Download.com

Improvements to user reviews on Download

Our new tricked-out user reviews just went live this week.

Download has an opinionated, intelligent, attractive (ok, now I'm just brown-nosing) user base, which is what makes user reviews on Download my favorite feature of our site by far. Sure we have our own software-obsessed editors who review this stuff for a living, but if you want color commentary, or maybe if you just like ALL CAPS, the user reviews are where the action is.

It's for this reason that we decided to spend some time improving the experience of viewing and navigating user reviews on Download. The first phase of this project went live this week and I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl about it, even though I am not actually a schoolgirl. That's how excited I am.

First we wanted to display more user-generated content on the page, so we increased the number of reviews displayed from five to ten. We're also displaying the entire review now instead of just a summary, saving you the trouble of an extra click.

In addition, we wanted to make it easier to view a lot of reviews quickly, so we eliminated the need to refresh the entire page to view more stuff. Just click the Next button and you'll get ten more reviews right there in the page. It fast, and your cat will enjoy watching the little spinning icon as new content gets called up.

Lastly we're now showing the average user rating scores for both the current version of a product as well as the aggregate score for all versions over the years. Maybe all the previous versions were horrible and the new one is better than sliced bread. Now you can tell.

Check it out for yourself.

More changes to come, I'll post about them as soon as they're live.

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