One thing that irks me is redundant controls. For example, there was a game I used to play that had a "disable IP check" option, but if you enabled it without Game Operator permission then you would be permanently banned. I have no idea why they couldn't just give the GO that option instead of giving people a "ban me now" button...

Anyway, back to SO. Since a user cannot vote on their own questions or answers, what is the point of the arrows being there? It seems wasteful to have buttons that I cannot use (and it's annoying when I accidentally click them when trying to expand my vote score, but that's probably just me), and I think they should be removed.


2 Answers 2


The layout looks more consistent when the arrows are rendered for every question.

The arrows also help frame your question's score. If your number was just floating there, it would look awkward.

  • 10
    Perhaps the arrows could be rendered differently when they're inactive -- as they already are for posts on which I've already cast a vote. Apr 2, 2013 at 15:49
  • 4
  • What, so we're talking beauty over practicality now, on this, of all sites? Bloody hypocritical, that. Kieth has the best point which tallies with your last (secondary?) concern, in that they do have a use. Apr 2, 2013 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Mr.Disappointment it's not purely beauty either. Confusing people is rarely practical.
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 2, 2013 at 16:02
  • 7
    @Antony and the post scores there look worse. Apr 2, 2013 at 16:02
  • 2
    Keep the arrows, but render them in the inactive state. Confusion should be minimal; when the user sees that they're greyed out, he should realize that he can't use them.
    – RobH
    Apr 2, 2013 at 16:19
  • 1
    @RobH - or you get a million meta posts of "why can't I upvote my own question"
    – Mike
    Apr 2, 2013 at 16:27

Although it may fool users into thinking they can vote for themselves once, it gives users feedback after voting so that they won't do it again.

Removing the arrows is likely to confuse people. It will likely lead some new users to think something is "wrong", without any explanation for why. They'll probably waste a few minutes refreshing the page or restarting the browser, and then end up posting a question here on meta.

I think displaying the arrows is the most effective way to inform people that they cannot vote for themselves without causing confusion.

  • Would having the arrows partially transparent with a title="You cannot vote for yourself" be acceptable, then? Apr 2, 2013 at 16:24
  • @Kolink yes, I think that would probably be fine too
    – Jeff
    Apr 2, 2013 at 17:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .