In what order should the icons be in rating system?

like (thumb up) | dislike (thumb down)


dislike (thumb down) | like (thumb up) ?

  • 1
    Some useful info on this related question: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/63513/…
    – JonW
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 13:49
  • It is by default "Positive action first" approach. But you must ask if your community really need a dislike button. In lots of cases, a dislike button causes toxicity among community members. "Why did you dislike my contribution?" is not a good question, any member like to answer. Commented May 26, 2017 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


To answer your question mainly about the Order of the options. I would definitely use Like first (on the left) then Dislike second (on the right) ---> Like | Dislike.

For the following reasons:

1- Like is the most used. Hence, give it priority. Put it on the left (first option) of course considering that we are talking about English or Left to Right read languages in this case.

In a survey done by Social Breakers team Here, they studied and analysed thousands of Youtube videos and assured that the majority of people tend to Like Youtube videos more than Dislike them.

We analyzed nearly 5,000 brand channels with more than 28,000 videos over the course of one month. In general, people tend to Like YouTube videos more often than Disliking them. The average Like/Dislike ratio is 90%; this means that for every 9 likes, there is 1 dislike. As can be seen in the chart below, only 4% of videos have more dislikes than likes, and 73% of the new videos posted in August received more than a 90% share of likes in the total rating (Likes+Dislikes).

2- We are always taught to encourage and promote positiveness. So Start with Like.

Others could provide more reasons maybe :)

P.S. If you are in a situation where "Dislike" is the most used option and you want to promote it more than "Like". Then reverse them :)


Assuming you're using the "thumbs" analogy, "Thumbs up" should come first purely because that's what is most commonly adopted, and is what a user will expect. I'm still yet to find a website which does not use them in this order (if anyone can find an example, I'd be interested to know).

Logically speaking, the "Thumbs Up" should really be above the "Thumbs Down", to adhere to the Natural Mapping of Up and Down.

Now allow me to go off on a tangent. The "thumbs" analogy is altogether worrying because it means different things culturally, as noted in this Huff post article:

The thumbs-up gesture is commonly used in many cultures to signify a job well done. However, if it is used in Australia, Greece, or the Middle East — especially if it is thrust up as a typical hitchhiking gesture would be — it means essentially “Up yours!” or “Sit on this!” The thumbs up gesture can also create some real problems for those who count on their fingers. In Germany and Hungary, the upright thumb is used to represent the number 1; however, it represents the number 5 in Japan. Take heed all you global negotiators: there is a big difference between 1 and 5 million!

Arrows for up-voting/down-voting are becoming more popular, much like you can see at the top of this post. Some remove the excise of having a down-vote entirely and simply opt for a single "Like" button, such as the Heart icon which Instagram and Twitter use).

As always, it would be interesting to hear other people's opinions on this.

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