Survey response, part 1

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I’ve now had a chance to read all your comments, both positive and negative. It is the negative ones that are of most interest because the feedback and suggestions can and will be used to improve the site to ensure it continues to meet your needs and expectations and that it remains the top LEGO reference site on the Internet.

However, if the negative comments are read in isolation, I could get the impression that you hate the site and everything about it, but for every negative comment there is usually a positive one so there must be some things you like!

Rather than respond individually to every comment, I’ve been through them all and picked out common themes. Each theme is addressed below:

eBay banner

What a surprise! This was the subject of about half of the negative comments and it appears that you all hate it! However I can tell you not everyone does because people are clicking on it and then taking some action once they get to eBay, so it’s not a total waste of space. I did however say that it was only there temporarily as an experiment and I will tell you now that on 1st January 2012 the eBay banner will be removed.

Amazon alerts

Another divisive subject: many of you love them and have used them to save money but others, I guess those who can’t/won’t spend money online or don’t have a local Amazon, hate them. Since the survey started I have changed their behaviour so they are now much less intrusive and most people will only ever see one in the list at a time, or can remove them completely so I hope now that everyone is happy. Nevertheless I will review them again in the New Year and see if further improvements can be made.

Search box

I was slightly surprised that the innocuous little search box in the top right corner received so many negative comments. These ranged from people disliking the fact that you have to press the Go button once you’ve selected something to search for, to it not being ‘fuzzy’ and returning only exact matches.

I have already changed its behaviour (see below) so you no longer have to press on Go which will hopefully improve its usability. As for fuzzy searching, that is a lot more difficult and will require more thought and effort to implement. Maybe one solution will be set tagging, so that if you’re looking for a tractor that doesn’t have the word tractor in its title, it will still match if it is tagged as a tractor.

Quality of reviews

The score for this jumped by 5% so there has clearly been some improvement over the year, but there is still room for more, it seems. Most complaints appear to be from adults who do not want to read kids’ reviews. I don’t want to discourage youngsters from posting them, because they may well be of interest to others of the same age, and today’s TFOL is tomorrow’s AFOL, so I don’t want to alienate them.

So what I plan to do, is to provide an option in your profile to enable you to select which reviews you want to see: those written by KFOLS, by TFOLS, or by AFOLS. That way I hope that all audiences will be happy.

Incentivising reviews

Several people made the observation that it’s often a while after release before sets are reviewed and someone made some excellent suggestions as to how to encourage people to write reviews that I definitely plan to follow up on that will hopefully resolve this.

To be continued...

30 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Way to leave us hanging! Didn't even give us a taste of what encouragements will be used to write reviews lol. Really cool to see you making such fast changes to peoples dislikes. It's obvious you put a lot of work into maintaining this site, thanks a lot I love it!

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By in Australia,

I will be glad to see the eBay banner gone, but no, I like the search function. I've never had a problem with it.

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By in France,

Wow ! I participated in many survey before this one (I mean not from BS), but this is the very first time I feel that someone did read the answers and takes so fast and serious measures to take them in consideration. Thank you sincerely for all the efforts you put into this. BS has become over time my #1 Lego site !

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By in Australia,

"people disliking the fact that you have to press the Go button once you’ve selected something to search for"
...Isn't this how practically every search box ever works? Wow. Also, the Enter key does the job just fine.

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By in United States,

Are you going to switch to a 5-star or Poor/Good/Great rating for reviews? Or was I the only one who suggested that? :P

Honestly, the eBay banner is wonderful! I just don't use it...

And the Amazon alerts ARE NOT a pain, either. People are just haters, or lazy. :P

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By in United States,

Great, thanks Huw! Personally, I don't mind the eBay banner (I don't use eBay regularly) but it's better to see what kind of deals are out there for older sets instead of sets that you've kept us updated about anyways. :)

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By in United States,

I kind of like the helpful/unhelpful rating since a binary system seems to be what most sites use anyway. More often than not, if given, say, a 1 to 5 scale, people will either give it a 5 if they like the review or a 1 if they don't and rarely give anything in between - that's the lesson YouTube learned, anyway.

I think what would be nice as a regular feature would be some kind of featured "review of the week" that's nominated by the community or something like that. In order to differentiate qualitatively, we could even have "TFOL review of the week", "AFOL review of the week", etc, to encourage better reviews within each group. I might even suggest allowing non-registered viewers to give helpful/unhelpful ratings, if this isn't already featured on this site.

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By in Canada,

I love the always-on improvement on this site. Thanks, Huw.

^Good idea with the "Featured Review".

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks Huw. These changes seem great. I really like the idea of tagging sets to make the search better, after all, this is a data base. :P
The review things seem fair, people shouldn't be left out because of their age, as you said so yourself "today’s TFOL is tomorrow’s AFOL, so I don’t want to alienate them." Although we are still 'banned' from using the forum.

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By in Ireland,

Thank you so much for improving the site Huw time after time, it means a lot to the community. Also the idea of incentives for reviews is awesome. The only thing I would like to see is news for smaller countries such as Ireland :P but that's a minor problem and I say you're very busy at the moment. Keep up the great work :)

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By in United States,

@Super Robot Wars, here's one solution to that: become our Irish correspondent!

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By in United States,

@Huw - I like BrickSet! It isn't perfect (no website is), but it has everything I need and it is still quite easy to use. I don't mind the tweaks and changes you try out - they really are not that bad and I applaud your consideration of us who use the site when trying to balance ways to keep BS running.

In the end - Keep up the good work!

P.S. - Perhaps I missed it, as I am still learning everything the site has, but a 'donate' button may also be something to consider. I imagine that there are a few of us who wouldn't mind shooting some "support" your way to help out at BS.

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By in United States,

I like how you no longer have to click GO after clicking something to search for.

And I like the Amazon alerts, people who are annoyed by them are just being ridiculous, since you can so easily disable them.

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By in United States,

Several people have suggested a Donate button. I've always resisted given the income from Amazon etc. is enough to keep the site ticking over but maybe I should add one for those that do want to show their appreciation :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

I tried the new search function but it didn't seem to work: I tested it by typing in "Gran"- by which time "Grand Emporium" popped up, which I wanted to search for. I clicked on "Grand Emporium" and that came up in the search bar but it searched for all sets containing "gran" instead. I tried 3 more times but the same thing happened :(

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By in United States,

I'm so happy the eBay banner is going away!

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By in New Zealand,

I Think the review section starting with "I" was partly my doing.
Anyhoo, these changess are good, apart from the search engine------I typed in art der For Darth Vader, And all I got was Duplo minifigures that are baby rubbish!

Apart from that, nothing disapoints as yet...............

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By in New Zealand,

@Huw: Ah Man, I offered to be a New Zealand news correspondent, But you didn't reply to my email!
It's not like I want a title, I don't. But here in NZ, EVERY WEEK The Warehouse does LEGO deals and Offers every Wednesday. So that is why I offered. Not only for myself to get the deals I would be posting, but to the NZ Users of Brickset too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Speaking of reviews how to I add one that is mine but also a Eurobrick apporved review?

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By in United States,

EB reviews are added by EB staff normally but if you post the URL here I'll do it.

@LEGOSLUG, you need to be >18 to be a correspondent. If you are, email me again.

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By in Canada,

^I think that the "Donate" option would be good.

Could you add set 11998, please?

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By in Germany,

@LEGOSLUG: That ">18" in Huw's post means "older than 18". :P
@Huw: I'm sure you would receive A LOT more money if you add that button... :) Amazon + LEGOShop + eBay + Donations = LOADS O' MONEY! XD

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By in United States,

As a newer member of this community, I wanted to say that it's impressive to see an administrator take user feedback so seriously and to respond to criticism and praise to quickly. Thanks for all the work that is put into this site.

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By in Poland,

I just want to say that the site is great.
I'm amazed by the fact that admins put so much effort to constantly improve it.

As for the search box - it works fine but I believe that many people, especially younger, got used to google style searching, more semantic, that's why some of them expect a little more.

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By in United States,

I didn't participate in the survey--but I wanted to add my affirmation--this site is awesome!
I don't mind the ebay banner, have never had a problem with the search bar, and I absolutely love the Amazon notifications--it is the first place I start when shopping for my next set!
I'm surprised their are so many haters out there!
Keep up the good work!

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By in United States,

@gime, that's a good point, maybe I could get it so the autocomplete worked more like Google. It shouldn't be too hard to create a list with all set numbers, and all words in every theme/subtheme and set name.

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By in United States,

Huw, I was wondering if you had considered to have comments for Bricklists.
Thanks so much for all yours and the Brickset teams dedication to the site! :)

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By in Ireland,

@Huw I have to be honest with you I am under 18. However I would be honoured and delighted to be a correspondent if it is still possible. Didn't mean to mislead you, thank you again for the offer.

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By in Germany,

Thank you for listening to us!!!

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