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There are many questions on Meta with people essentially saying "I don't have an acceptable answer to several challenging questions and therefore my Accept Rate is low." Several comments indicate that anything over 70% is fine and that we should not worry so long as our Accept Rate is above that threshold.

The problem is that we're all sensitive to numbers and 70% is less than 80% and 80% is less than 100%. If being above 70% is all we should be worrying about then why don't we get rid of the number and give a color grade of Green/Yellow/Red to indicate the Accept Rate?

The green indicator would symbolize that the poster accepts an, ahem, acceptable number of answers. I would prefer to not accept certain answers but getting below 70% is what is concerning me. That is bad behavior. I should be worried about the answer. If I'm green then I can relax.

A yellow indicator symbolizes that improvement is needed and red symbolizes a poor Accept Rate.

We want people to be actively testing answers and accepting the best answers. Instead, the current system encourages people to worry about the Accept Rate and not the best answer.

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4 Answers 4

The text saying "xx% accept rate" already is colored relative to the percentage displayed, so there would already be a red/yellow/green indicator. The problem is that the number with the percentage is much more obvious than the meaning of the coloring, so that nobody even realizes that a greenish color means a good accept rate.

To resolve this problem (and there are much too many people with 100% accept rate) the explicit percentage would need to be removed, probably best put in the tool tip instead. If the text would only say "good accept rate" / "bad accept rate" / ... or if it would be "accept rating: ", then people wouldn't feel pushed to immediately accept an answer to every last one of their questions.

People with very low accept rates would still get pushed to accept answers while there would be no further incentive to go all the way to 100%.

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No, thank you.

I simply don't accept that there is some magic target value for acceptable acceptance rate. I do, sometimes, look to see what is up if I see an experienced user with less than 50% acceptances, but I don't refuse to answer just because I don't think they'll accept.

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I'm not worried about you refusing to answer. I'm more concerned with people accepting ANY answers just so they'll get their Accept Rate up. –  Alison Jan 18 '10 at 2:21
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@Alison - another misusage of a tool. Just in opposite direction. –  ldigas Jan 18 '10 at 2:50

No, I don't like it.

I like the accept rate as an idea, but it is starting to get misused. Often one finds comments where someone won't bother to answer, because of low %; I even remember once where the comment said something like "I know the answer but won't put it down, because of low %" !!

This is just pushing the idea further ... anything in not green or yellow (or whatever) will be frowled upon.

For example, I remember once someone reproached me over my 50-ish accept rate, without even looking that some of my questions have absolutely no answers (some had comments as answers).

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The whole point is to encourage users to accept answers. Yeah, kinda it sucks for the guy who asks 4 really hard questions and got only unhelpful answers in response... but life kinda sucks for that guy anyway.

If I'm green then I can relax.

Meh. If you're getting stressed out over a 70% accept rate, then either get rid of old, dead questions, make CW those you'll never accept an answer to, or learn to live with it. 74% isn't so much better than 64% that the former should get some official stamp of approval while the latter should get a warning - the rate you have is almost entirely within your control, so make up your own mind as to what number makes you happy... and then make that number yours.

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lol at "life kinda sucks for that guy anyway". See, this is why upvoting questions is good. The difference between a well asked and poorly asked question is huge. Whoever said there are no stupid questions, well, they were stupid. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 18 '10 at 3:41

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