We just posted a review for New Sicily, and think the new format has potential, but as noted here & on the OAT forum, it needs some key fixes. Here is our review of the new review format:
1) Kept our same nickname (ID) as on forum posts, which is useful to us in evaluating reviews & posts. Showed our home city & state, although probably should show 2 cities/states for snowbirds like ourselves.
2) Liked accomondations, itinerary, food, trip leader(s) & value rating bars, to further summarize a review.
3) No editing of our review, which overall was positive, but had some suggestions & criticisms for GCT.
4) Like ability to comment on reviews. Note there is about a day delay before both reviews & comments appear after you post.
5) Entering review info was unambiguous & did not time out; so we do not know why some positive reviews in the new format do "not recommend the trip".
1) Need date trip started (mo./day/year), as many & we have requested. We started our review with trip dates in the text, but date should be entered automatically & put in extra space on the right. In addition, to evaluating time of year, weather, etc. in a review, it is really required for efficiently commenting or asking questions about a review.
2) Need paragraphs with spaces, like forum & old review format. We did line returns/enter at the end of our paragraphs, but they were lost. Review is just one big run-on text blob!
3) Go back to 4 stars max. to accurately reflect previous reviews in average, that had 4 stars for excellent.
4) Add number of trips taken under nickname on right, like in forum, as it helps us evaluate reviews.
5) Put "Yes, I recommend this trip" outside of the text box, below the rating bars, so that it is visible without having to scroll to bottom of review text box.
6) Get rid of scroll bars on the review text boxes, and use "more..." like Trip Advisor to expand to show the full text of review. However, unlike Trip Advisor we suggest only expanding the review that one is reading to full text, not all of the reviews to full text on a page of reviews.
7) Show date review was posted as mo./day/year or "period" separators like in the forum, not 20 days or "x" months/years ago. Try to keep a consistant uer interface between forum, reviews, etc. across your website.
Thanks for listening to our suggestions. We rely on reviews & want to make them more useful to our fellow travellers & to GCT/OAT