Along the lines of visual clues when hovering over a hyperlink, doesn't the same apply to icons?

I ask this question since I noticed none of the SE sites I know of have this behavior when hovering over the upvote/downvote/favorite or accept answer icons. I found the Programmers.SE accept answer icon especially noticeably less obvious.

  • I could not agree more, and would post this as a comment, but can't without more rep. Any way we could adjust that rep restriciton so that the answers won't be as cluttered?
    – James Blakely
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 15:01
  • Great idea, it would help keep the number or answers more refined. It would also allow for the user who wants to add his or her support prior to reaching that reputation level without having to create a duplicate answer. Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 15:04
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    @James I converted your answer to a comment. You can always comment on your own posts and can comment everywhere once you reach 50 rep. See ux.stackexchange.com/privileges/comment . If you have questions or feedback on this site, please post to meta.ux.stackexchange.com Thanks! Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 15:10
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    @Matt: As Patrick pointed out, don't forget that the rep limit is also there to prevent users who don't know what a good comment is to comment at all. It's easy enough to earn more reputation. Usually agreeing isn't a reason to comment at all, we have the upvote system for that. Furthermore, once you earn enough reputation on one SE site, you can comment on all sites by linking the accounts together. Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


Affordances (example: http://www.slideshare.net/andrewmaier/affordances-in-modern-web-design ) are a good thing regardless of whether it's text, or an icon, or other form of widget one can interact with. The affordance doesn't always have to be a rollover state, though that is a common method to use.

Remember that StackExchange tends to have a rather web-savvy user base, so the UI doesn't necessarily need to scream 'click me' as much as a UI for a different type of targeted user base may need.

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    This article by Don Norman claims "affordance" is an often incorrectly used term (as I believe is the case in this answer). This is just: "a symbolic communication, one that works only if it follows a convention understood by the user." Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 12:36

Although the users of this site are very savvy, it's not a bad idea to add that functionality to those buttons. After all, it is a user experience site. :)

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    Wow, where to draw the line whether this is meta or not. :) Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 15:07

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