This suggestion evolved from this thread: Toggling between net votes and plus/minus votes.


When users hover over the vote total for a question or answer, they see the following tooltip: "View upvote and downvote totals". If they click, the display expands, and the net votes get replaced with a double-decker colored number sandwich.

What if...?

This has me thinking, instead of adding a tooltip that says what will happen if you click, why not just display the data in the tooltip?


  • User hovers over 3
  • Tooltip appears saying "3 upvotes, 0 downvotes" or "4 upvotes, 1 downvote" or whatever

That's all there is to it. A much simpler design that accomplishes exactly the same thing.

Other advantages

You don't have to do anything to get back to the "normal" display. Nothing "weird" happens if you miss the vote arrow and click on the number instead. And, for those unfamiliar with the feature, there is no awkward resizing of the display and doubling of numbers to make them wonder if they're seeing a bug.


According to Jeff:

The total vote count (score) is denormalized, but the individual up/down vote counts are not.

So to display it on every post would incur 2 vote table queries * number of visible questions / answers. Our DB is fast, but the vote table is pretty massive, and not doing a query is always faster than doing it..

It's possibly something we could do on demand (as @hmemcpy notes), but as an "always displayed" it is a non-starter.

Setting the tooltip using the title attribute in its current way would require pre-populating for all posts as well. Only if the tooltip would be implemented in a dynamic manner, and with a timeout to avoid unneeded invocations (rather than being fired upon first hovering), then this would not introduce (a lot of) additional Ajax and database calls.

If Jeff and Jarrod don't want to spend time on this: it's all changes in client-side JavaScript, so any 1,000+ reputation user could implement it and propose it to them... But then I like the current implementation and your initial idea better, in which people who explicitly want to see the details get a response right after clicking (while those who don't care do not make unnecessary Ajax calls when leaving the cursor on the number). That other idea is all JavaScript changes as well, so go for it. ;-)

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