With restaurant star ratings like these, readers understandably have to make a difficult shift. We have a separate association with that line of five stars that comes from web sites like Amazon, Yelp, Netflix and many more. The five-star rating system on those sites has a different meaning than the one in these restaurant reviews even though the line of stars graphically looks the same.
It takes some work to look at those stars and interpret them in a different way -- to look at a line of five stars with only one star filled in and see it as something other than a really bad review.
Due to the popularity of (and different scale of interpretation for) five-star ratings in so much interactive media, I'm a little surprised that newspapers haven't adopted a different way of displaying a graphic star-type ratings system for restaurants.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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