13 April 2017

Uber Star Ratings

Nosedive - Black Mirror - Charlie Brooker

Article in question: https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/the-fault-in-five-stars?bffbmain&ref=bffbmain&utm_term=.euD11bDkb#.km8ddRKgR

Here's my thoughts on Uber's star rating system.

This is Black Mirror all over again.

The problem is that we already use a 5 star rating for films, restaurants, and schools.
That's because we have a choice at the end of the day. We can choose which movie to watch, which restaurant to eat at, which school to send our kids to. It's a competition.

Giving a 5 star rating means, out of other ones you've compared against that are available to you, this one is the best.

On Uber, you don't get that choice, you're just given the nearest driver who accepts. With Uber, it's not a competition, you have nothing to compare to; all you can compare to is other trips and other modes of transport.

This ties into the other aspect that is different - the rewards system.

For movies, restaurants and schools, getting a 5 star rating means this is an excellent choice and everyone should pick this one. The rewards are Oscars, recommendations, and grants.
With Uber, rewards are purely monetary tips, on a one-off, personal basis, that aren't publicly known or become shared information.

So how could a 5 rating system ever work for a company like Uber, where there is no choice, no competition, and no reward scheme.

What Uber could do is explain what each level means as someone votes. Or, it asks a series of yes/no questions, rather than asking for a star rating that people are confusing based on a choice/competition/rewards basis.