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Adding the number of questions used in the acceptance rate calculation will help give context to the percentage. For example, a user with four questions who has accepted 2 answers will have an acceptance rate of 50% (below the suggested "acceptable" floor). A user with 20 questions with 14 accepted answers will have an acceptance rate of 70% (at the suggested floor). For the person with fewer answers, we have much less data and can't really make a judgement on the quality of the percentage -- if they accept just one more answer their rate changes by 50% -- from 50% to 75%. For the person with more answers, the percentage is likely to remain fairly stable. I suggest that a better display would be:

50% accept rate (4)

70% accept rate (20)

Or provide a hover over effect that shows the actual calculation.

50% accept rate (hover: 4 questions, 2 accepted)

70% accept rate (hover:20 questions, 14 accepted)

From my perspective, most questions should have acceptable (and, thus, accepted) answers. 70% may be an acceptable floor for a person with few questions, but say for someone who has asked 50 questions that translates to 15 questions with no accepted answers. To me that person is not particularly engaged in the back and forth on their questions. I'd much rather see it be above 90%. Adding the number of questions gives more meaning to the percentage.

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Just to clarify: the accept rate only shows up at all when you have 4 or more questions. Sorry if that wasn't clear in the blog post, but when I said "the user must have asked at least 3 questions already" I meant that this question is the fourth -- they already asked 3 questions beforehand.

As for the tooltip, that is possible, since obviously we have the two numbers necessary to generate the percentage. This is now checked in and deploying to all tiers.

<div title="this user has accepted an answer for 9 of 31 eligible questions">
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I've updated and clarified. –  tvanfosson Aug 23 '09 at 13:50
    
Also, those questions where you only have 1 answer - that you've added yourself - should also not count to the acceptance rate as you cannot accept them! –  gbjbaanb Aug 23 '09 at 15:07
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Sure you can, search the blog for details. –  Jeff Atwood Aug 23 '09 at 15:53
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I like this idea. Here's a Greasemonkey script I just cooked up to show the raw numbers from the tooltip.

Edit: This script now lives on StackApps.

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+1: I hate those onMouseHover data-hidings :-) –  Steve Schnepp Aug 24 '09 at 15:36
    
I've updated the script for SE 2.0 sites using this list, and removed the dependency on jQuery: pastebin.com/u2vcZqiZ –  Yi Jiang Dec 29 '10 at 9:15
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