oDesk - Feedback System
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Viewing Past Feedback
oDesk computes overall ratings for both clients and contractors as an average of project scores weighted by project value. For example, if you receive a rating of 4.2 on a project worth $100 and a score of 4.8 on a project worth $500, your overall rating would be 4.7 (not 4.5).
I mentioned earlier my appreciation for oDesk’s setup when it comes to contractors reviewing client feedback: this can be done straight from the project detail page of any project the client has listed. Only the first few entries are shown, but a link is provided to display all of the client’s feedback if desired. Each entry shows the overall star rating that the client received, along with the text comment; hovering over the numeric rating prompts a popup that shows how the client scored on each of the six subcategories (Skills, Quality, etc., as above).
I also like oDesk’s policy of showing the client-to-contractor feedback in the same place, right below the feedback the client received. This helps provide context, especially in cases where there is a low score.
Oddly, it actually seems harder for clients to view the feedback of contractors who apply to their projects, than it is for contractors to see client feedback. The project detail page contains a list of applicants, and you can click any contractor’s name to go to that contractor’s feedback page. You can also hover your mouse over the contractor’s name to display popup containing a brief summary of contractor information, including their overall “star” rating. However, you can’t take a quick glance at the list of contractors and see all the names with each person’s ratings next to them. This is unacceptable, especially given that there is plenty of information in the table of applicants to show that information. As a client, this would drive me nuts, but I’ll concede that it’s possible that a different display is available for clients looking at their own projects. Perhaps that page shows a summary of all contractors and their overall feedback scores.
oDesk has an odd policy when it comes to feedback: any client or contractor can choose to hide any text comment that he or she doesn’t want others to read, but not numeric ratings. There aren’t any limitations on how often this can be done, either, so in theory, a user can block all text feedback comments he or she received.
When feedback is hidden a message appears saying something like “The client/contractor chose not to make this comment public.” oDesk points out that people get suspicious when comments are hidden, and I would tend to agree. I’m sure the company feels that this, combined with the numeric rating still being displayed, would tend to prevent this power from being abused. I’m not convinced, though.
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