Architecture of a Review

Best Practice · Last modified July 15, 2009

The information architecture of a review can be broken down into three types of elements: target elements, review elements, and form elements.

Target elements display information about the subject of the review. Review elements display the content of the author's review of the target. Form elements enable readers of the review to take action or respond.


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What Problem Does This Solve?

A product or website needs to present ratings and reviews with a variety of informational elements.

When to Use This Pattern

  • Use the architecture guidelines to help group related information and diffuse user confusion.
  • Use to enable scanning and quick consumption of the rating and relevance to a user.

What's the Solution?

The elements inside a review should be grouped according to:

  • Target Elements (T1-T5)
  • Review Elements (R1-R9)
  • Form Elements (F1-F3)

Target Elements (T1-T5)

Illustration of Target Elements (T1-T5)
This group displays the Target's information.
  • T1 Target Name (link) Name of Target that links to the detailed target page.
  • T2 Target Attribute List
    A list of Target's brief description.
  • T3 Target Image
    A Target's picture with width of between 40-90px (standard: 70px) and a proportionate height.
  • T4 Target's Review (link)
    A link to view all the reviews for the Target.
  • T5 Target Class
    The category name of a Target.

Review Elements (R1-R9)

Illustration of Review Elements (R1-R9)
This group displays the author's input about the Target.
  • R1 Review Title
    The full title created by the author.
  • R2 Review Date Stamp
    The date of submission of the review.
  • R3 Author Profile
    To identify the author.
    • R3.1 Graph (link set)
      Display the 360 relationship rating between the author and visitor. Use a ">" symbol to separate each person.
    • R3.2 Author's Reviews (link)
      Link to see all the reviews created by an author.
  • R4 Helpfulness Ratio
    A ratio (e.g. N of N) voted by visitors on how helpful an review is.
  • R5 Rating Attribute List
    The label of a rating value.
    • R5.1 Rating Value List
      The value of a rating (star- or bar-scale.)
  • R6 Comment Attribute List
    First group of labels for a text review value.
    • R6.1 Comment Value List
      First group of value for a text review.
  • R7 Comment Posting
    The body of comment.
  • R8 Secondary Comment Attribute List
    Second group of labels for a text review value.
    • R8.1 Secondary Comment Value List
      First group of value for a text review.
  • R9 Disclosure options
    Toggle to show/hide the remaining R7 when R7 is restricted to display N amount of text.

Form Elements (F1-F3)

Illustration of Form Elements (F1-F4)
This group allows users to act on the review.
  • F1 Helpfulness Input (link)
    Visitors can vote (e.g. Yes - No) on how helpful a review is.
  • F2 Report Abuse (link)
    Allows users to report reviews that appear abusive, off-topic, or otherwise objectionable may violate Yahoo's Guidelines and/or Terms of Service. Currently, it is also used for author to edit/delete own reviews.
  • F3 Call to Action (link)
    A property's action that would like the visitor to perform as the next step. E.g. Write your own review for $TargetTitle

This table also indicates whether an element should be displayed or omitted based on the type of displays.

A review should be displayed by following the generic visual architecture.

Generic visual architecture: