If you don't have the "established user" privilege, clicking "Show vote summaries" on the timeline of any post, displays something like this:

When Comment
Date score: y
Date score: x

The problem is that the values of x and y don't represent the score of the post at that date. Instead, they're the net (upvotes - downvotes) on that day, which is not very intuitive. It gets even worse if there are negative and positive values. For example:

3 timeline entry comments: "Score: 1", "Score: -1", and "Score: 2"

Compare that to what someone with 1000+ rep would see:

3 timeline entry comments: "Up: 1 Down: 0", "Up: 0 Down: 1", and "Up: 2 Down: 0"

An easy solution would be to always display the sign:

3 timeline entry comments: "Score: +1", "Score: -1", and "Score: +2"

This makes it clear that it's referring to a score change, not the actual score. Of course, the better alternative would be to just break it down for all users regardless of the reputation, but I'm not sure if that would be too expensive like vote breakdown on the Q&A view.

  • 1
    Another easy solution is to call it “score change” explicitly. Aug 1 at 10:42
  • @Emil Calling it "score change" without always displaying the sign can still be confusing. Something like "score change: 2" is somewhat ambiguous, still. Aug 1 at 10:54
  • Adding the + sign may invite the interpretation that the value is a change, but this can still (and in my opinion rather easily) be interpreted as the score of the post at that date. The + sign would then be interpreted as being symmetric with displaying the minus, to acknowledge that a post score can be positive or negative. This is not really used as such anywhere on the network, but new users without the privilege don't know that.
    – Marijn
    Aug 2 at 15:52


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