Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cloth Diaper Evaluation System: Your Feedback + Changes

As an optional entry into my recent Giggle Life diaper giveaway, I asked you to provide feedback on my new Cloth Diaper Scoring System. I was beginning to plan my Fluffy February event at the time, and I wanted to ensure that when the event started, my system was rock-solid.

You guys provided some amazing feedback! Thanks so much! I was happy to see that the vast majority of comments were very positive; level of detail and organization/clarity were factors frequently cited here. That said, it was also great to see some constructive criticism and ideas come through as well.

A few of you suggested that the scoring system is actually *too* detailed. I do appreciate that many of you don't have time to read through lengthy reviews in full, so I'll make sure to include a brief, easy-to-find summary section at the end of each one for those of you who just want the "10,000 foot view".

A couple people suggested using a visual "stars" system instead of numbers for the ratings. I dig this idea but couldn't find stock images I really liked, plus my pitiful efforts farting around in MS Paint didn't bear any fruit. I'll revisit at a later date. (Perhaps if/when I switch to Wordpress? :)

One of you said you weren't sure how well I could evalute the quality of a product I have only been using a short time for review purposes.  A dang good point. In some cases, my reviews are based on products I've been using much longer (e.g., my Giggle Life review), but in others where I *have* only been using the product a short time, some guess work is certainly involved. That said, my aim is to revisit such a review after several months and update/adjust the quality evaluation to provide a more accurate picture.

Finally, another reader suggested that certain scoring categories be weighted more heavily than others. I considered this, but ultimately opted against it as I feel that importance is relative; what is vital to one reader may not be all that relevant to another. This is why I suggest that a category can be removed from the overall score if a reader deems it unimportant.

I've made a couple other changes to my evaluation system as well.

First, I've separated my system into two parts: a "Diaper Awesomeness" Score which indicates the extent to which I recommend the diaper in general (irrespective of cost), and an Estimated Stash Cost which suggests how much you'd need to pony up to build a full stash from birth to potty training based on this diaper. (I decided it wasn't fair to penalize a really awesome diaper's score because it's on the pricier side, or, conversely, inflate a diaper's score just because it's cheap. Pricing info is certainly important to know, but I think better as a separate evaluation factor.)

Second, I've reduced the number of possible points in each category from 10 to 5. I did this with the intention of also switching to star images (which generally go from 1 to 5 and include "half stars"), which, as I mentioned earlier, fell through for now. But I decided I kind of like 25 as a maximum score. Hope you agree!

I look forward to rockin' out some scores on new dipes starting next week! Stay tuned!


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