I don’t mind if you ask so many questions. I can understand the interest and I like to answer. So don’t worry about it.
As for the counter, it’s the same problem as described above - if the counter goes up after a design is uploaded, the designer knows which design was considered relevant.
As soon as you introduce an indicator - like a counter - there will be designers who will try it to the limit to find out which designs the counter will hit.
On the other hand, you mention the increased motivation when the counter goes up - so you already assume that you can create a relevant design with your style. Why do you need a counter then? And if the counter doesn’t go up - as it does for many people, by the way - then it’s rather demotivating. Because standing out from the crowd also means that there is a crowd - and they would be demotivated by a counter.
No matter how you look at it - in the end, the best solution is to leave the criteria in the dark and hope that every new design will be a relevant one.
At the end of the day, even the classification into the higher star class is a kind of indirect counter, only that you don’t know for which designs…