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One behavioral thing that I've noticed about how I browse is that if there's an interesting question, I'll read it, then I'll read the comments and then vote on interesting answers/insights for the problem as I go - but then I usually forget to go back to the top to vote on the original question.

I don't vote on the question immediately because sometimes the answers to a mundane seeming question revealing a lot more depth to the question than I first noticed, and I think this is reducing votes on questions if other people are somewhat similar to me.

So my suggestion is to make the question voting buttons (for example) follow you through the page, or at least easier to access on each question. Not being a UX person, I have no idea what the best way to implement this is, but I think that it should be apparent when reading answers how you have voted on the question.

EDIT: After reading comments on this, the main reason that I want this sort of functionality is that I read a lot of questions in areas that I'm not familiar with, so I often don't have knowledge base to evaluate the quality of a question alone. So I find that sometimes reading the responses to a question make me realize that the question was actually more interesting than I originally had thought.

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It might be worthwhile to discuss this in more detail on UX.SE prior to attempting a discussion about it here. However, I'll gladly follow this topic! –  Steven Jeuris Mar 11 '12 at 15:33
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I disagree with your approach. I don't think a question should be judged in terms of its answers, and vice versa. That's why there are separate vote buttons for the questions and the answers. They should be evaluated independently. –  Cody Gray Mar 12 '12 at 8:37
    
    
CodyGray: See my edit above. Also, thanks for the link. –  mindvirus Mar 12 '12 at 11:48
    
"Asking how to do a for loop in Java is something that doesn't belong on StackOverflow" Why not? And why is asking about Haskell okay? If you don't know Java, it's pretty hard, too. This is not a "for experts only" site, and if it is, well then that extends to Haskell experts. –  Cody Gray Mar 13 '12 at 4:06
    
The example may be poor, but what it boils down to is this: has reading an answer ever caused you to change your opinion about the question? Has reading an answer ever made you realize that a question was, for example, not as silly as you first thought it was? People don't seem to agree with me though, and this is a minor feature at best, so I will let it be. –  mindvirus Mar 13 '12 at 12:50
    
The edit you just made changed the request entirely, from making it easier to vote on a question lower on the page to making it more visible if you have voted on a question. Please post a different question rather than edit this one and change the meaning entirely. –  cdeszaq Mar 13 '12 at 18:43
    
@cdeszaq: Sounds reasonable - I wasn't sure how much was too much. I didn't do a great job explaining myself off the bat. –  mindvirus Mar 13 '12 at 18:46
    
In general, once there has been some activity on your question (especially with a number of up-voted answers), it's better to keep edits to a minimum and make sure you are not changing the meaning of your original post, especially here on Meta where posts tend to be idea-oriented rather than a specific question that simply isn't clear enough. –  cdeszaq Mar 13 '12 at 18:48
    
@cdeszaq: That sounds reasonable. I wasn't sure what to do, since the responses seemed to be based on a misunderstanding of what I was trying to say (again, due to poor phrasing on my part). Sorry about that, and thanks for the heads up! –  mindvirus Mar 13 '12 at 19:00

3 Answers 3

No. I hate things following me around unless there's really good reason. I'm sure many people share this hatred.

However the most flawed idea in your post in my opinion is:

usually a good question is a product of how interesting the answers are

It's like saying "the sun is a product of the light it produces". Plainly incorrect. Good question might lead to good answers, not the other way around. Exquisite answers to poor question won't improve the question - it will still be poor and won't deserve upvotes.

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Well, I didn't mean that it had to be implemented that way - that was only an example. –  mindvirus Mar 11 '12 at 15:43
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What I meant by my statement is that often (not always) the value of the question is unclear from the question alone. If the answer is something that could be found on Google in 30 seconds, it's not great, but often a simple question can touch on something much more fundamental. –  mindvirus Mar 11 '12 at 15:45
    
So please, offer something else and I might agree. Regarding the value of question is unclear from the question alone - my opinion is the same - such question does not deserve upvote. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 11 '12 at 18:14
    
The thing is, I'm not a UX guy, so I honestly don't know the best way to do this. I know the utility that I want (easier to go back and vote for the original question), but as for an implementation I leave that fully to the designer people. I read a lot of questions from areas I'm unfamiliar with, so I really can't evaluate all questions right away. Consider asking how the compiler knows how much memory an array takes up. If you're a Java programmer, it's uninteresting - the array has a length field. In C++ though, the result isn't as clear - but the Java programmer might not recognize that. –  mindvirus Mar 12 '12 at 3:32

There's a simpler, more elegant solution for voting when a question is about a topic you're not familiar with: don't do it.

If you have to read the answers to know whether a question is good, then your vote depends on the quality of the answers available, not the quality of the question itself, and that isn't what the voting system is for.

Under the proposed system, the following absurd condition could happen: you might vote a question down if you got there right after it was asked, but you might vote the same question up if you didn't see it until after Jon Skeet wrote an answer.

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Consider the question "How do you do X in language Y?" Also suppose that X is really trivial in a language you are familiar with, but you are not familiar with language Y. Is this a good question? –  mindvirus Mar 12 '12 at 14:58
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Maybe yes, maybe no. The important thing is that, since I'm not familiar with language Y, I'm not qualified to judge that. –  Pops Mar 12 '12 at 15:19
    
So you read some of the answers, gain some insight, and now you are at least somewhat qualified to judge it. That's all that I'm getting at here. –  mindvirus Mar 12 '12 at 15:27
    
And how are you to judge whether the answers are good/correct? –  Pops Mar 12 '12 at 15:29
    
Through having some understanding of the broader topic (ie. programming). I mean, imagine someone asked how to write a for loop in Haskell, but you were just a Java programmer. Learn to use Google, you think. Then a well written answer explains tail-call recursion/optimization, why for loops are not a good construct in a functional language, patterns of recursive iteration, and you learn a whole bunch about the topic. Certainly the answer is worth an upvote, but I think that the question would too. –  mindvirus Mar 12 '12 at 15:35

This is a very novel idea. I have noticed this myself, that I'll quickly scroll down without upvoting.

I think the whole idea of making it easier to upvote OP's question is excellent.

And this would be easy to beta-test also. Statistics can be quickly obtained about its efficacy.

If our admins don't agree, maybe a link-to-top near each successive answer vote?

Thank You So Much !

See here too

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