How Ratings work.

A huge database of tutorial ratings. The white paper on how to design efficiently.

Ratings

What is the rating system?

The system was built to study how efficient/inefficient design techniques are. Tutorials are compared, analysed & graded professionally to provide the best possible tool for designers.

Creating such database allows for a more analytical approach to a creative process.

How Does the rating system Work?

The “Design Rating System”(DRS) has 4 pillar mechanics: Practice(time), Difficulty, Scalability & Functionality. The tutorials are graded from 0-5. An Average is eventually calculated.

The Design Rating System is a huge database of professionally graded tutorials. This is aimed to help designers work more efficiently.

Tutorials are graded on a score of 0-5. The score is made up of 4 mechanics – Practice(time), Difficulty, Scalability & Functionality. Low to high.

Assigned Individual ratings from 0-5 could be looked at as levels –

0-2: Bad
2-3: Good
3-4: Great
4-5: Expert

No, it is not the best score. The best score is usually around 2.25-4.25. This range is called Optimal Design Range. We cover it more in-depth within this page.

Practice (time) – How much time does it take to practice the technique?
Difficulty – How difficult is the technique?
Scalability – How much would the technique be used day-to-day?
Functionality – How much does it serve the outcomes purpose?

After years of design experience, it all boils down to these 4 mechanics. Are you doing design to work fast? Are you doing it for enjoyment? Are you doing it to learn?

We want to provide designers a tool to help them make a more analytical approach to their process. If this helps designers even just a little bit, that means we succeeded.

Article Practice Scalability Difficulty Functionality Average Rating
Selection Tools 101 – Complete Guide to Affinity Photo IPad 4 5 2.5 5 4.125
The Pen Tool in Affinity Photo iPad | How to (2023) 4.5 5 3.5 5 4.5
Exploring Personas | An Affinity Photo iPad Tutorial 4.5 5 3.5 5 4.5
Smoke (Dispersion) Effect – Affinity Photo iPad Tutorial (2023) 3 2 4 2.5 2.875
How to Recolour in Affinity Photo iPad: The Ultimate Guide 4 5 3 5 4.25
How to Setup & Resize Document | Affinity Photo iPad (2023) 1 3.5 1 3.5 2.25
How to Crop in Affinity Photo iPad: The Ultimate Guide 1.5 3 1.5 4.5 2.625
How to Remove Objects in Affinity Photo iPad 2.5 5 2.5 5 3.75
Blend Ranges (blend if) – Affinity Photo iPad Tutorial 2.5 4 2.5 4 3.25
Adding Borders and Frames in Affinity Photo iPad | Easy Steps! 3 4 2 4 3.25
Masking A-Z in Affinity Photo iPad | Complete Guide (2023) 4 5 3 5 4.25
Affinity Photo Tools: A Complete Guide 5 5 3 5 4.5
How to Create Mockups in Affinity Photo: The Ultimate Guide 1.5 4 1.5 5 3
How to Resize the Canvas in Affinity Photo | A Complete Guide 1 3.5 1 3.5 2.25
Affinity Photo Essential Keyboard Shortcuts 5 5 3.5 5 4.625
Transform, Move & More | Affinity Photo Tutorial (2023) 3.5 4 3 5 3.875
How to Use Photoshop Plugins in Affinity Photo | Ultimate Guide (2023) 3.5 1 5 1.5 2.75
How to Export in Affinity Photo | Deep Dive (2023) 2.5 4 3 5 3.625
Selection Tools 101 | A Complete Affinity Photo Guide 4 5 4 5 4.5
Shadows and Highlights in Affinity Photo | Masterclass (2023) 4 4 3.5 5 4.125
Adjustment Layers 101 | How they work in Affinity Photo 5 5 4 5 4.75
Adding Frames and Borders in Affinity Photo (2023) 3 4 3 4 3.5
How to Remove Background in Affinity Photo | Complete Guide (2023) 4 5 3 4 4
Blending Modes in Affinity Photo (Desktop & iPad) | Complete Guide (2023) 3 5 4 5 4.25
High Pass Filter in Affinity Photo | A Comprehensive Guide 2 2.5 2 4 2.625
Text in Affinity Photo: Tips and Tools 3.5 5 2 5 3.875
Drawing Lines and Shapes in Affinity Photo (2022) 2 4 2 5 3.25
Layers in Affinity Photo | Explained (2022) 4 5 1.5 5 3.875
Recolour in Affinity Photo | Complete Guide (2022) 4 5 2.5 5 4.125
Masking in Affinity Photo | A Complete Guide (2022) 4 5 3 5 4.25
How to Blur in Affinity Photo | Comprehensive Guide (2023) 3.5 4.5 2.5 5 3.875
Remove Noise in Affinity Photo | Ultimate Guide (2022) 1 3 1 4 2.25
Remove Anything In Affinity Photo! (Backgrounds, Objects & More) 3 1.5 2.5 5 3
Using the Pen Tool in Affinity Photo (2022) 4.5 5 2 5 4.125
Live Filter Layers In Affinity Photo (2023) 2 5 1.5 5 3.375
Five Personas of Affinity Photo | A Comprehensive Guide (2023) 2 5 2.5 5 3.625

Optimal Design Range (ODR)

What powers all the system? What is the logic behind it?

Since our study was done to analyse techniques & (in)efficiencies in design, we found the following:

Practice ≡ Difficulty

Practice is usually equivalent to Difficulty

After studying the techniques day in day out, we found that the more difficult techniques are the more time consuming.

From the outside looking in, this might look obvious, however, there are instances where this statement wouldn’t apply.

Functional ≡ Scalability

Functional is equivalent to Scalability

The most functional techniques are the ones which would be repeatedly used . This means, that the most functional are the most scalable.

Same as before, there are some techniques which aren’t in congruence with this statement. However, the overwhelming majority falls within this category.

Optimal Design Range is:

2.25-4.25

Research Results
ODR Scale
ODR

Optimal Design Range (ODR): 2.25-4.25

The results give us a decent view of what’s going on. The optimal design range is 2-4.25. This range is the balance that the technique/tutorial would offer. Lets go to the results:

Optimal design range chart
Results

Conclusion

0 is the most creative/playing part. 5 would represent itself as the most expensive. It’s like the old saying – “You’ll get what you pay for”. However, 5 would not mean it’s the best.

Assigned Individual ratings from 0-5 could be looked at as levels –

0-2: Bad
2-3: Good
3-4: Great
4-5: Expert

Overall ratings vary depending on the scope of the design work.

0-2.25: It doesn’t take much time, but the return wont be too usable (depends on what you want to achieve).
2.25-4.25: This is the Optimal design range. This is optimal both for professional work & personal/creative work.
4.25-5: This is a luxury as it takes a lot of time to master. Once learned, it would be a very valuable asset to have in your arsenal of skills. (For example 2D designers learning 3D)

We’ve observed the following scenarios in our research: (Keeping in mind – Practice ≡ Difficulty & Functional ≡ Scalability)

– “Little time but a lot of scale” average would be in the same range as “A lot of time but little scale”.
– “Little time but a lot of scale” = Professional Work
– “A lot of time but little scale” = Creative/Personal Work
– An overwhelming amount of overlap between the two. Keeping in mind that more creative techniques start from the 0 mark & the more professional would tend to be more represented by the 5. This overlap would mean that the most optimal range hover around that 2.25-4.25.

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