Star Rating Question (or smilies, hearts & thumbs)

Our latest question type, Star Rating, is typically used by reviewers for ranking things such as restaurants and hotels, films, TV shows or, really, anything. A five-star rating system is most common, with one star being the lowest and five stars signifying the best or highest quality.

Simple star rating question example

You can use a Star Rating question by itself in a simple survey or poll or as part of a larger collection of questions to gather more information from the respondents.

Icon Types

We provide you with the ability to personalize several aspects of the question. If you don’t want to use a star icon for your question, feel free to use a smiley face, heart or thumbs-up icon.

All 4 icon types: star, heart, smiley, thumbs-up

Rating Scale Count

If you would rather use a 10-icon rating scale for more granularity instead of our default 5, you can do that as well. Choose between 1 and 10 icons for your rating scale. I’m not sure why you would only want a 1-icon rating but we wanted to give you the possibility in case someone really needed it!

Icon Color

The icon color is another aspect that can be changed to your heart’s content. Click on one of 64 standard colors or else customize your color from a combination of hues, tints and shades.

Color selector.  Choose from 64 standard colors or else make your own combination.

Rating Labels

The next option you can adjust are the rating labels. If you want to make it clear to your survey takers, for example, that a 1-star rating means bad and a 5-star rating means best, then you add a label just above the icons saying that. Add as many or as few labels as you want.

Star rating question with rating labels

‘N/A’ Option

Another way to customize your Star Rating question is by adding an “N/A option. This stands for the phrase “not applicable”, “not available” or “no answer”. It is used in a situation when the question does not apply to the respondent.

Let’s say that you own a hotel and you ask each visitor to fill out a survey including the required question “How did you like our food?” If someone only spent the night in the hotel but never ate any food in the restaurant then they would answer this question with the “N/A” choice.

Star rating question with an optional N/A choice

Rating Weights

Normally you would rank each response with a simple scale: 1 star = 1 point, 2 stars = 2 points, etc. However, there might be circumstances when you want to weight things differently.

Maybe 1 star = 0 points, 2 stars = 5 points, 3 stars = 10 points, for instance. You can also use negative numbers. For example you could do something like this: 1 star = -2, 2 stars = -1, 3 stars = 0, 4 stars = 1 and 5 stars = 2. These rating weights are used in the reporting section to give a weighted average score to each response.

Comment Option

There are times when a one-click response does not provide you with enough information. If you want to give the survey respondent the option to provide additional context to their answer, add an ‘other’ (or comment) box to your question.

Star rating question with an 'other' text box

Steps To Create Your Own Star Rating Question

I’ll now walk you through the steps of creating your own Star Rating Question.

First, click the Add Question + button and then double-click on Star Rating.

Choose the Star Rating question

The next step is to enter the question text. For example, “How would you rate the friendliness of our staff”?

Then choose the icon. In this case, we chose the “hearts” option.

We decided to give the respondents the choice between 1 and 10 hearts.

Finally, we select the color that best fits our question and icon (red). Just to the right of the color selector you can see a preview of the icon with the chosen options.

Depending on the scale size (number of icons), we could also make the width of the choices narrower than the default 100% of the page width. When making this decision, please be aware that this affects both the desktop survey view as well as that of mobile devices.

Add a Star Rating question

For descriptions on the other question option, please see the brief introductions above.

Star Rating Reporting

When respondents start taking your survey, you will want to see what they have submitted. Click on the “Reporting” button at the top of the page and then “Individual Responses” to review the choices that each person has submitted.

Click on Individual Responses to see everything a single respondent has submitted

On this page we show you how people taking your survey have responded to each question. For the Star Rating question type, we display the number of icons clicked and the associated score. If you did not change the standard weights then those two numbers will be the same.

Individual responses

Reporting Summary

To see a summary of the choices made by all of your survey respondents thus far, go back to the reporting overview page and click on the green right arrow at the top of the page. Alternatively, just choose a specific page from the drop-down menu.

Below is an example of what you might see for a Star Rating question. So far our question has only received 4 responses: 1 1-star rating, 1 4-star rating and 2 not-applicable choices. The weighted average is calculated by adding up the number of responses for each rating multiplied by the weight of the respective rating. ‘N/A’ selections are ignored.

Star Rating reporting summary - weighted average

In the example above this comes out to: (1 * 1 + 1 * 4) / (1 + 1) = 2.5. That number is shown in the yellow bar chart. Click on the “Weighted Average” drop-down button on the top right and select “Distribution” to see graphically the number of times each individual choice was selected. Any options that were not chosen at all are excluded from the chart. That’s why there are only 3 bars.

Star Rating reporting summary - choice distribution

We can see what the respondents have entered into the “Anything else?” text box by clicking on the link at the bottom titled “Browse the ‘other’ responses”.

For further data analysis you can also click on the “Export” button at the top right of the screen to export your Star Rating question data to the Excel, CSV, or SPSS data formats.

That’s it! We hope that you now have a good idea of when and how to use the Star Rating question in your surveys. Please let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below or just send an email to our support team.

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