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I find that when I am reading a question or an answer ( especially a long one like this), I will often just upvote/downvote it even before I have finished reading! Call me lazy, call me whatever you will, but sometimes scrolling down and up to finish reading and only then vote is just cumbersome. So I resort to my intuition: when I see a upvote/downvote button, my impulse is to glance at the text and judge whether the question/answer deserves my upvote/downvote and then vote immediately, without bothering to read the whole thing.

Putting the upvote/downvote button at the end of the text will reduce the temptation to jump to conclusion, and result in a more thoughtful vote. So it would be a good UX change. What do you think?

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if a person is impatient enough to not read the whole thing, i think he wouldn't mind scrolling down and upvoting without reading it. Wont make any difference!! –  prince Jul 5 '13 at 7:10

2 Answers 2

This may just result in you scrolling down a bit to hit the voting button without reading the question thoughtfully.

Maybe if you think that thing you are doing is a problem, you should not be doing that thing you are doing that you think is a problem. It's a good thing you recognise it might be a problem - now you can do something about it and change your behaviour. :) No need for a feature change for you to do that.

I'm under the impression the votes are near the top so we can see the community's overall opinion of the answer as soon as we begin reading. That way we can be wary of a possible bad answer if it's at -2, or be aware it's quite probably a very good one if it's very highly voted. That is a positive UX experience worth keeping which conflicts with your thing.

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You can make it easier for me to click, but you can't make me think about that click any easier.

From a UX perspective, the flow would be jarring - especially those veteran to the site - to have to scroll down to the bottom of some question/answer, and then vote in the way they feel fit.

From a quality perspective, you won't be able to change vote behavior patterns positively this way. Think of it like this:

  • If I'm willing to go through the effort of scrolling through the question, there's a high probability that I would upvote the question.

  • If I'm not, then there's a high probability that I would downvote the question.

Notwithstanding that correlation doesn't imply causation, forcing me to read through the question/answer I want to vote on then introduces new behavior:

  • If I'm willing to scroll through the entire question, then there is a high probability that I will upvote the question.

  • If I'm willing to mash Page Down, End, or some variant thereof to get me to the bottom of a long post quicker, then there's a high probability that I would downvote the question.

I don't feel that changing the flow is appropriate in that sense. I feel that the system already addresses this to some extent - if the question is interesting/unique/relevant/useful, upvotes are a non-issue. If the question has quality problems, then correcting those quality problems would be a good way to reduce the probability that a person will downvote the question.

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