The recent UI update which changed Stack Overflow's fonts to system defaults makes negative vote counts very hard to read on Microsoft Windows (in its Segoe UI font):

Screenshot of current design

How could Microsoft chose such a bad system font, you might ask. Well, it's not Microsoft's fault. It's Stack Overflow's fault. Because the character to the left of the number is - (U+002D: HYPHEN-MINUS), not the semantically and typographically correct minus sign − (U+2212: MINUS SIGN).

If we change the character to the true minus sign (U+2212), the indicator becomes much more readable:

Screenshot of proposed design

This feature request has been made previously and it was declined. However, back then it was mainly a matter of aesthetics: now (as of 10 May 2021, with Segoe UI) it's also about readability and accessibility.

When I first saw the question in the screenshot above, I thought to myself, "Why does this Q have three upvotes?".

  • 1
    A prior request to change to the minus sign was declined. May 10 at 17:51
  • 5
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog: Well, but today with Segoe UI, it is no longer merely a matter of aesthetics: it's about readability and accessibility. May 10 at 17:53
  • 1
    I'd edit this to link to the earlier declined request and explain why its rationale is wrong today. May 10 at 17:53
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog: Done. May 10 at 17:56
  • I guess you'll get better results if you configure ClearType properly. I'm not seeing anything wrong with Chrome, Edge or Firefox, I'm also on Windows 10 20H2. May 10 at 18:23
  • 1
    @iBugsaysReinstateMonica: I'm on Windows 7, 64-bit, Firefox 88.0.1. But irrespective of platform and browser, the minus sign is different from the hyphen minus (much longer, different vertical position, possibly different thickness). May 10 at 18:24

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