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VF says


I started to suspect Envato is just buying time as much as possible so that the current model of market can’t be changed too much; even-though the current one is not (permanently) favorable for buyers and authors but just works too well for Envato alone?
A rating system that doesn’t benefit the community overall is not a rating system that “works well” for Envato, as it’s not inline with our values.

That’s why I shared the bitterness. Obviously the feedback sent through star rating is much informative for an author. In the same way a buyer giving rating along with a reason (using quick/simple dropdown) will be happy to share it towards author. It doesn’t matter that info is public or private but the author deserves to see it.

On the flip side, we may think that since we have comment section and private message option, why the rating comment should be necessary as additional channel of information for the author. There is a very valid reason behind it, that is:

Whenever a buyer leaves rating, it doesn’t mean he/she is making a comment or private message towards author. Comment and private messages are not working as a proper feedback channel but just works for support interactions.

I agree with CodingJack’s point. Currently the authors are denied to receive genuine feedback about item from buyer but just allowed to face the “threat” component of ratings while “info” component obscured. This is obviously not beneficial for both buyers and authors but Envato has one gain:

Make the authors to have “fear of unknown” about ratings and always be a support slave for buyers. This gives indirect / competitive powers at the cost of public strain. I don’t mean Envato is harsh but the unbelievable delays always forces us to see things though non-technical point of views.

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doru says

On the other hand, a solution for sale reversals was indeed implemented.

what solution? did something changed?

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VF says


On the other hand, a solution for sale reversals was indeed implemented.
what solution? did something changed?

Bitfade points about dev work involved to implement the reversal system on statements page. Basically Envato is not something in-efficient on development. Looks like it is weak in terms of coming forward to fix the user issues. “Selective Sensitivity”

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bitfade says

A rating system that doesn’t benefit the community overall is not a rating system that “works well” for Envato, as it’s not inline with our values.
Which we can tell by the fact that years of ranting, tons of suggestions and a survey after, we’re still in the planning phase, no code has been written and there’s not even an ETA.
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doru says

No one listen to me :)

let’s drop the ratings completely and be happy

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Miguel_Vasquez says

Great, thank you

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Flow says

I know it’s been a while, but I promise, ratings is still important to us. The justification is pretty simple — it’s incredibly important we get this right.

I can’t agree more. It’s incredibly important that you do it right, no matter how much time will it take. Will you share your plans with the community for discussion before implementing these changes?

I think that ratings is a more complex subject than it seems. Here’s my point of view:

I’ve been coding in PHP/JS/HTML/CSS before WordPress appeared. Then I created a few WordPress websites (in 2007 or 2008) and I joined ThemeForest soon after that. Times were different back then and my first WordPress theme sold around 20 times. I wasn’t experienced with WordPress back then and it wasn’t as easy to be used as it is today. Menus didn’t exist, custom post types didn’t exist, Google Fonts didn’t exist, responsive websites didn’t exist, iPhone didn’t exist… My very first themes and plugins were far from being perfect but somehow they still managed to get ~4.0 rating on average.

Then WordPress improved, browsers improved, computers improved, my skills have improved and my current themes have in the large part decent code and the future ones will be of decent quality as well. Nonetheless, even if I removed my very first theme (rated 4.0) 4 years ago, I still see its rating today. This is a bit stressful to some authors because they are becoming “support slaves” like VF noticed and they want to satisfy subjective opinions of purchasers. Those are real support questions I received in the past few day:

30% of support questions I receive (lack of user knowledge, user mistake or server issue):

  • How do I update the theme?
  • How do I login to the FTP server?
  • What is a child theme?
  • How to edit my theme?
  • How do I set static front page?
  • How to reverse posts order on the blog?
  • Using WPML – how?
  • My server returns 404 – page not found.
  • What is a widget?
  • How to configure the footer?
  • What is my item purchase code?
  • [I answer such questions with a copy/paste link to the documentation, Codex or FAQ]

1% of questions I receive (real bugs):

  • YouTube in conjunction with CSS3 transforms enabled for a slideshow doesn’t work on Firefox/Mac but works in Chrome/Mac, Safari/Mac and all PC browsers [this is something I’m happy to investigate and fix if I’m informed about that].

69% of support questions I receive (custom modifications):

  • How can I edit the color of my Facebook icon on mobile phone only?
  • How can I upload 5 times larger logo and scale it down 5 times with CSS?
  • How can I replace Facebook icon with some other website’s icon?
  • How can I add my custom WPML language switcher to the header?
  • How can I set background image for a page?
  • How can I replace header X with header Y?
  • How can I reverse thumbnail mouse over animation?
  • How can I hide the menu?
  • some people have 90 support tickets opened, all are about custom modifications. If something can be described on the support forum or is a general question then support staff answers this and we put it to the FAQ. Most things aren’t like that and most people are asking about custom modifications that only they need. If I say that I wouldn’t be able to write the full answer on the forum because it’s too complex then I very often get something like:
Paul,

I’ve got to say I’m very disappointed by your reply, it is a simple question and I would expected the author to be able to easily provide the answer. Saying to hire a freelance developer to wade through code … well I could do that myself, I was just looking for some simple assistance from the author to tell me where to look.

This response after just paying for one of the most expensive themes on themeforest has left a very bitter taste in my mouth and certainly my rating for the theme will reflect that

Very disappointed

Victor

It isn’t funny to listen to such blackmailing people that know that ratings are final and permanent and they demand changes. I answered that person and I listed the places that need modifications before I got this message by the way.

Often someone buys a theme for $30 and asks for modifications that require a developer to spend 2 hours on doing that for them. And what can I do?

  • I can accept a 1 star rating (he rates support and not the theme).
  • Or I can spend 2 hours (worth $250) on doing that for him.

So, what is actually rated? Are we selling products or services?

Just yesterday:
Im very surprised that I would need a developer to change things that are so standard. So your saying that people with no or basic knowledge of code have to get a developer to help…Why would someone like this have to get advanced help to get rid of things like the random logos on the bottom of the footer?

This person actually didn’t open the documentation at all and we resolved that quickly but you get an idea what the problem is. Another unjustified frustration and pretentiousness. I wanted to help but I got this in reply and probably some bad rating because the customer only remembers his frustration and the fact that the theme is not easy to be used (although it is easy to be used and he could test that here – http://trial.devatic.com/ prior to purchase).

Even if I answer someone with the full solution, often I get something like that in reply: “I couldn’t manage to follow your instructions, can you please login to my server and do that for me?”.

I feel like the current system is wasting the authors’ time. Instead of coding for 12 months in a year, we spend 10 months on support and 2 months on coding.

During the peak days we were receiving 500 questions in 7 days. Few of which are real bugs. Most qualify as general WordPress support.

Justinfrench, do you think that something can be done about this? Will this be open for discussion? Will this be considered at all?

It’s sometimes a situation without a solution. E.g. a customer wants to modify a theme without having money for a freelance developer and without knowing what the HTML or a child theme is. He demands help from an author and threatens him with a bad rating. All that even if a documentation and item description pages clearly state that we are not able to help with any custom modifications: http://docs.devatic.com/daisho/#support

This is not fully author-friendly system. Do you think that anything can be done about that? Can we stop worrying how to reply a client and start spending more time on coding?

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Jaynesh says
Flow said-|| I feel like the current system is wasting the authors’ time. Instead of coding for 12 months in a year, we spend 10 months on support and 2 months on coding.

I agree. Currently I feel like I am being held as a prisoner with this current rating system. I have no room to breathe. When somebody asks for a customization (which is usually masked as “a bug”), I can’t say no because 1 bad rating can completely kill a low-medium selling item so I have to slave myself away to make sure I don’t get any bad ratings. If the ratings was actually a priority for them, why haven’t they created a “Ratings team”?

Honestly, I don’t think we will be getting anything new in the rating department until a couple more years so we just need to stop getting our hopes too high. If this were any other marketplace, I would be starting to plan an exit strategy but I love this place too much for that.

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VF says

@Flow & Jaynesh, True. It is a well known fact that ratings are directly related to support expectations of buyers and support completely changes our nature of work from making product into service. But I think it is too late to reverse a trend – especially when this doesn’t affects the marketplace’s business.

Just my personal opinion; I stopped worrying about bad ratings that may happen due to item support. In fact stopped answering my CodeCanyon items for around an year – I have to mention that it was successful as per my level of expectations.

I know this easy strategy wont fit for 90% authors / items but just pointing a hope on different route! ;)

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pixelgrade says

I don’t know if this was proposed here before, but what about ratings split into something more meaningful like design, ease of use, flexibility and so forth. Something like the review sites have in place (think awwwards).

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