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I think the vote button for questions is placed poorly. Let me explain how I read topics so you can understand why I think that.

Every time I read a question + answers I start on the top of the page and I go down. Sometimes there is a long answer or question that might take more than my screen's height so I scroll down. If the question/answer was good I need to break my down-scrolling and go back up just to add a vote. I would like to go in just one direction….

The best place for a vote button is the bottom of the thing you have to read before voting. It's the same thing as with EULAs: the (dis)agree button is placed below. Usually you put a button above only if you know that someone can click that without requiring to do what is below.

What do you think about this?

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6 Answers 6

While that might have been useful feedback about 1.8 years ago when we were in private beta, it is very, very unlikely to change at this late date.

Users seem to be able to vote in rational ways with the current position.

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+1. ROFLMAO @ "Users seem to be able to vote in rational ways with the current position." –  LeakyCode Jan 10 '10 at 10:53
But perhaps "why don't people vote for questions" is because they can't find the button ;-p –  Marc Gravell Jan 10 '10 at 11:50
How about having it dynamically stay on screen, if scrolling would push it off? Seems like a simple jQuery... ;-) –  AviD Feb 26 '12 at 10:52
Just because something's always been a certain way, doesn't mean you can't change it if you get enough people requesting it (although ~10 is not a SE majority). (Yes, that will cause friction while people adapt to change, but change is a given in all things). –  Agi Hammerthief May 2 at 9:26
possibly though it might be visually annoying if the buttons stay locked to the top of the screen as you scroll down. Not opposed to that, these days. I think you'd need a height threshold for it to appear, you don't want buttons sliding around everywhere on small posts either. –  Jeff Atwood May 4 at 7:26
I reject your reality and substitute my own (actually, somebody else's)! –  Agi Hammerthief May 4 at 18:05

I do not like the idea. I think the number must stay above where it is right now. If the vote buttons are below, then you are changing a GUI element (the number) which you do not see (if you have scrolled down long posts). You could repeat the number below, but I think this looks stupid.

Another solution would be, that the number and the arrows scroll down with the post and always stick to the current scrolling position.

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You don't have to see the number when you vote. You know how one increases and decreases by 1 :) I would put the results in the upper part of the question and the voting buttons down. –  Victor Hurdugaci Jan 10 '10 at 15:55
@John: +1 for vote mechanism scrolling down with the post, and the obvious issues with @Victor's original idea. @Victor: Disagree. At the time of voting, I do like to see how others have voted. It may give me pause if I'm about to +1 something everyone else took to -3, for example. Allow me a chance to rethink and try to see other angles. –  John Rudy Jan 10 '10 at 16:12
"the arrows scroll down with the post". That would work, hence the upvote –  Agi Hammerthief May 2 at 9:27
"the arrows scroll down with the post" oh my word, just no. Stack has no movey swirly, flashy things presently, and I like that. Stack sites are great because of their visual simplicity. I can tolerate one thing popping up or moving once or twice ever, but something scrolling every single answer and question I read. Most people hate such things. –  James May 2 at 14:51
I like the idea (unlike James ;p), so I used it in my userscript :) +1! –  ᔕᖺᘎᕊ May 2 at 17:32

This is one of those features that could be useful at times, but annoying at others.

I like @LadybugKiller's idea of having the voting buttons stick to the questions whilst scrolling, so I made a userscript to do just that.

It uses EmzoMartin's Sticky-Element jQuery plugin. The code is simply $('.vote').sticky($('.vote').parent().parent().parent().parent().parent());

I have added this to the development version of my SE Additional Optional Features userscript.

Here it is in action: enter image description here

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Awesome. That looks like what I wanted, but how do I use it? (what plugins/add-ons do I need to install for FF/Chrome, if any?) If you explain that, I'll upvote. –  Agi Hammerthief May 4 at 10:20
@AgiHammerthief If you follow the link to my userscript on stackapps (just above the gif), under the section The script, there is now a section starting To install... - please follow that to install it :) –  ᔕᖺᘎᕊ May 4 at 10:26
I like it a lot and I think SE should strongly consider anything that encourages more and better voting .. particularly on longer posts that took more effort! –  Jeff Atwood May 8 at 20:19

I do think that the voting buttons for the actual question should be located elsewhere for the same reasons as you. In fact I can't even remember setting a question as a favorite after I've read the question itself, only if it has had an interesting title.

If I was the one in charge, I'd try to anchor the voting/favorite thingy to the end of the question for a moment and see how that affects people's behavior. If there's no significant change, switch it back.

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Maybe one could add a little icon with a link to jump to the beginning of the post from the bottom, if the answer is really long.

Another solution could be that clicking the link results in the top section of the answer (with the voting buttons) being vertically centered on the screen. Although somewhat useless for short answers, this wouldn't necessarily have to be disabled for these and thus doesn't require a definition of what's a "long" answer.

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The best place for a vote button is the bottom of the thing you have to read before voting

The best place for an answer score is at the top to avoid reading through a rubbish answer with -5 score.

Most users on a Q&A site are looking for an answer to their question, and don't want to scroll down to see if an answer is good or not before reading it.
This is the point of our having a score in the first place, to show if other users deem it useful or not.

I would like to go in just one direction

But how would this work, unless you just read every single answer without knowing the score. Would you?
Most users wouldn't.

An example: A user who decides on reading an answer or not based on the score:

An answer the user wouldn't read:

  1. Score at top = 0 scrolls - Just move on
  2. Score at bottom = 1 scroll - Scroll down to see score, move on

An answer the user would read:

  1. Score at top = 1 (or 2) scrolls - Scroll down to read (back up if voting)
  2. Score at bottom = 3 scrolls - Scroll down to check score, scroll back up to start reading, scroll down to read

Of course, these scrolls and actions are on every single answer they view.

I don't "very often" read answers with a negative score (Meta aside), and am sure many others will be the same.
Answer scores are very important, and should be at the top of the answer not the bottom.

Additionally, with your feature, users wanting the score before reading would always have to scroll down. Whereas how it is now, having read an answer and having to scroll back up to vote is only an "occasional" action, as we don't vote on every answer we read.
(We can't given the vote limit.)

Movable vote button

The vote buttons floating up and down as you scroll is really just a no go.
I do not want something flickering down with me as I read an answer. It's just too distracting. And I know I won't be alone there.

VictorHurdugaci "results in the upper part of the question and the voting buttons down"

Those two things simply belong together, no question about it.
If you separate them, you'll make people scroll up and down so many times we'll lose votes and activity, it would just be disastrous.

When you have a sandwich, do you put your cheese on one plate and bread on another?

Major change

While this proposal seems simple in principle, this is actually quite a major change to the site layout and setup.
And major changes should only occur if there's a good reason too - a bug, or really good and worthwhile change which would be welcomed by the largest percentage of users by far.

Gotta be very careful changing things which are concrete and familiar parts of the system.

I also think that this would be ill-received from a lot of users (votes here are just a handful of users who come to Meta).
Roll it out, and users on all sites will flock to Meta in drones to ask where the voting has gone, or complain about the change because they were used to it as it was/preferred it before.

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