When you display the vote-count of a post and mouseover, a tool tip like this is shown:

+ 84 up / -86 down

While it's clear that "-86 down" is referring to the number of downvotes, wouldn't it be more straightforward to have the tooltip say "84 up / 86 down" without the plus and minus signs? Especially with so many sites geared toward people who are used to a double negative meaning positive (which would mean an overall score of 170 in this example). Minus eighty-six down just doesn't make sense. Plus eighty-four up is correct, but partially redundant.

  • 17
    Why do we even need a tooltip there, period? Is it not already clear from the text that it's +84 and -86?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 20, 2012 at 0:00
  • 2
    @animuson: Perhaps it's better in terms of accessibility?
    – doncherry
    Sep 20, 2012 at 0:05
  • 3
    Thanks for the downvote, now we can actually see what I'm describing in this very question ;)
    – doncherry
    Sep 20, 2012 at 0:18
  • 3
    I'd actually be happy if they put the +84 / -86 in a tooltip on the total, pre-expanded number, instead of making me click to request the vote counts every time. I agree that "-86 down" is redundant, but I wouldn't necessarily advocate going into the code just to fix that.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Sep 20, 2012 at 0:53
  • @AaronBertrand It's the little fixes that matter.
    – user184498
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:15
  • 1
    @BryanDunsmore sure, but not when you fix a bunch of little things in lieu of fixing something bigger and more important.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:20
  • @AaronBertrand Absolutely. But there really isn't anything big or important going on right now...
    – user184498
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:35
  • @AaronBertrand: But that's not for me to judge, having no clue what's going on inside the SE machinery. I have no idea if such a fix would take five minutes or five hours. If the devs decide this isn't high priority right now, it'll be a status-deferred.
    – doncherry
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:38
  • @BryanDunsmore you don't think there are any valid feature requests on meta that haven't been set to status-declined or status-completed?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:38
  • @doncherry I wasn't saying your request doesn't make sense, in fact I was agreeing with you. However, I don't think it's important enough to go out of their way to fix. If they're in that part of the code fixing something else, great, but like I said I'd rather they change it so that I can see the vote breakdown without having to click...
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:40
  • @AaronBertrand Apparently, showing the split count without requiring a click would take a much greater effort.
    – bfavaretto
    Sep 20, 2012 at 2:06
  • @bfavaretto yeah I don't get that. I understand the database was not designed to optimize that specific query, but there's a fix for that. Even with the bad design I wonder if they're really saving database requests overall - they don't have to run them on page load but they have to run them when I click. Granted I'm not doing that for every answer on a page, but I might do it on my own or on a specific answer every time I load the page.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Sep 20, 2012 at 2:11
  • @AaronBertrand I guess you're right, they probably just don't want to change that aspect of the db, who knows why.
    – bfavaretto
    Sep 20, 2012 at 2:55
  • I agree, it would be better if it would say +2.
    – Marko
    Sep 28, 2012 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


The next build will remove the + & - on the title for that element.

They're that way in the first place as a consequence of some code re-use, I agree that they're redundant and possibly confusing.

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