I'm annoyed by down voters that don't explain why they down voted a question or an answer. Although, at the same time, I understand that they want to remain anonymous. I think there is a middle ground, though, where the voter can remain anonymous, while the poster can get aggregated feedback on ways to improve the post.
Rather than having to imagine what it might be like, the current stackoverflow engine can emulate this rather effectively with the use of comments and the up-voting of those comments (essentially saying "I agree"). So I thought I would give it a try. The only difference is that in this testing post, you will always see the list of "canned responses" where as in the complete version, it will most likely be hidden in a popup (e.g. when you hover over the score of an answer/question). To try it out, simply up or down vote this question (or one of its answers), and press the up arrow next to the comment which best describes why are voting that way. For example, if you hate this idea, give this a down vote, and then press the up arrow near
-1: I don't like this idea.
In addition to retaining anonymity, this will also save time for the voter so that they don't need to write out the comment. This wouldn't be required, obviously, and there could be a default option selected
don't leave a reason. In addition, there could be a
custom option which allows you type exactly why you are down-voting this way. Depending on the final implementation, this could either simply be converted to a comment automatically prefixed with
+1:; or, to retain anonymity, it would be added to this same list that shows the canned responses and how many users have voted that way.
Here are some ideas for the canned responses:
- +1: Well formatted and thought out question.
- -1: It doesn't seem like enough time was spent trying to solve this issue on your own.
- -1: I don't like this idea. (Could be especially useful on meta.stackoverflow.com
- -1: No prior research/work. (Idea from here.)
- -1: Poor question. Please see How to ask questions the smart way.
- -1: Doesn't contain code. (This would be useful on stackoverflow.com. Idea from this post)
- +1: Concise.
- +1: Insightful.
- +1: Worked for me.
- -1: It's wrong.
- -1: Confusing.
- -1: Encouraging bad behavior (e.g. answering a question that shouldn't have been asked; see this post for more information).