Newbies often forget that they should pick a best-answer(or even upvote). May we remind them? i.e, for someone with under 100 reputation there could be a ribbon/pop-up that suggests they vote up, or choose the best answer.

Perhaps this should be triggered when an answer has at least 2 upvotes(to prevent having the system goad on a user to pick any ole' answer as best). The hope being that after gaining experience, they will be better able to decide the 'best answer' question.

I realize the system does this in the very beginning, but perhaps this can help some more.

We should not need to goad on newbies with such simple requests(cf. with if it can be automated). And it's apparent that we like our SO points!

It's somewhat minor but would likely save some time for us(and help get newbies up-to-speed faster).

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    There is already an accept notice displayed to (I believe) users who have never accepted an answer, when they upvote a post. I believe it's been stated before that is as far as SE is going to go. I would bet the downvote is because it's been discussed ad nauseam.
    – agf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 6:18
  • I'm curious, why's that the limit? Sure it's a few extra bytes but it can save many keystrokes... some people have carpal tunnel syndrome. I think it's worth an effort, just saying. Sep 27, 2011 at 6:22
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    "Newbies" don't have a responsibility to accept an answer or upvote. Those are optional, though positive, activities. The only "responsibility" is for your question to be good and on-topic.
    – agf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 6:24
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    Right, but it happens quite frequently that people specifically ask them to upvote. It seems that if people are taking the effort to ask for clicks, that it's important to them. It just seems like an easy task to automate, know what I mean? Sep 27, 2011 at 6:29
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    Jeff & co don't like the "remember to upvote and accept an answer" comments at all -- You can get rid of a comment with the word "accept" in it with just a single flag. They don't want people bothering them about it, why would they automate the process?
    – agf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 6:29
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    @Adel if people often ask for an upvote, I would question if this is welcomed in our community and how to deal with that. The only case when I see it's reasonable to ask for accepting/upvoting answer is when you receive comment "Thanks, that helped", but no upvote/accept. Sep 27, 2011 at 7:18
  • @Darhazer - Hmm, good point there. Yes, I agree that we should not have people asking for rep... it's just awkward. And it may be borderline subversive too, like when someone asks to be picked as best answer before others would have given answers... I'm starting to feel that asking for rep might be worthy of a -2 now, since it interferes with the natural state. Sep 27, 2011 at 7:32
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    @agf - "Why would they automate the process?" Because clearly a lot of answerers consider it important. These comments do generate a lot of noise and if this education was done automatically by the system individual users wouldn't have to do it. A lot of times it is a matter of unfamiliarity with the system I believe rather than any wilful desire not to accept an answer. Sep 27, 2011 at 11:27
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    @MartinSmith They don't want it to happen at all, so they're not going to automate it. Yes, a lot of answers (including me) consider it important, but they don't, and in fact they thing too much badgering about accepting is negative.
    – agf
    Sep 27, 2011 at 11:33
  • possible duplicate of Would it be possible to have a "community accepted" feature? Sep 27, 2011 at 12:11
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    possible duplicate of Shouldn't there be more incentive to accept an answer? Sep 27, 2011 at 12:44
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    Several years later, dozens of other users (including me) are still trying to debate this issue. I really hope SO staff will consider the idea eventually. meta.stackoverflow.com/q/354584/534406 Aug 6, 2017 at 21:45

2 Answers 2


I don't think new users are intentionally not picking a best answer, most of them probably just don't know a) that they can and b) where to do so. So enforcement isn't the issue at all, it's ignorance.

Making it clearer to first time users that the checkmark is there and usable would probably fix this whole issue. With all the other link commands on the page (add comment, was this useful, etc) many newbies may assume that clicking "was this post useful to you" is how you approve an answer. I certainly did.

Easy fix for this might be to show a popup with an arrow to the checkmark after the first time a user sees a first answer to a question he or she has posted. Popup would say something like, "Is this the best answer? If so, click here."

The checkmark blends in so well with the UI that your eye simply doesn't go to it, doesn't look like a central important button to pay attention to.

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    +1 I agree. I think lots of times new users simply aren't aware of the facility. Sep 27, 2011 at 11:31
  • I got some sleep, and this answer looks best now. Totally agree that many newbies may assume that clicking "was this post useful to you" is how you approve an answer and that it's an Easy fix. Thanks! Sep 27, 2011 at 11:51
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    Side note: popup should appear on every answer's checkmark until newbie has chosen one, and maybe text should indicate it's ok to wait for a better answer if this isn't a good one.
    – spongefile
    Sep 27, 2011 at 13:04
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    Design note: Current checkmark also doesn't instantly read as one because the ends are cut off in a way that implies that the icon is peeking out of a white "corridor" instead of being drawn on the white background. It looks nice, but if legibility is an issue this is another potential fix.
    – spongefile
    Sep 27, 2011 at 17:40

What is best answer is decided by the community.

What answer resolved the original problem is decided by the original poster.

When you post a question and you get really good answer (community upvoted it a lot), it still can be an answer that does not resolve your problem (because for example, you don't know how to apply it, and you need more specific instructions). And still, it may be not as good for you as the community - if you are a newbie, you may not fully understand an expert answer and upvote a simpler answer instead.

So voting is personal. There is no way you can enforce upvoting and accepting... sure, there is, but you will encourage the newbies just to upvote and accept the answers other voted, instead of the one that actually resolved the problem.

  • Upvoting everything is not a bad idea at start. Think of new users as babies - they should smile at everything they see. Upvote = smile on SO. :) Jan 16, 2014 at 16:30

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