Malte Ziewitz, Cornell University;
Steve Woolgar, Linköping University
Chris Sugden, University of Oxford

Denver 2015: Design and Planning

How’s My Feedback? was a collaborative design experiment to rethink and evaluate web-based review, rating, and ranking schemes. Responding to widespread concerns about the social implications of public feedback platforms in the style of TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Amazon reviews, this project set out to turn the rationale of public assessment on itself. Specifically, we brought together makers, operators, regulators, and users of these schemes in two design workshops and a conference. Together, we developed and prototyped a website that allows users publicly to rate their experience with review and rating schemes – a feedback website for feedback websites. The ESRC-funded initiative allowed us to consider some key questions at the intersection of STS, design, and engagement: what happens when evaluators are asked to evaluate their own activities? How far can critical reflexivity and provocation take us? How to walk the fine line between sustaining and subverting a rationale of regulation?

Conference report: