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downvote question/answer with 1 value results in -1

Jan 10, 2017 at 01:42 PM


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When I upvote a question or answer by mistake and I want to revert back the change I made instead of 0 the counter shows -1. I need to click the downvote arrow again to get the proper number.


Downvote pushed once:

Downvote again:

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I already asked the same exact question before:

It just needs to be visible whether you've already voted or not. Cue someone asking to post this on Idea Place in 1, 2...

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5 Answers

Best Answer
Audrey Stevenson
Jan 10, 2017 at 05:38 PM

Hello Emoke,

As Juergen has already intimated, the system makes a distinction between clicking on upvote and clicking on downvote when the user has already upvoted an item. It treats the two actions differently.

If you've already upvoted an item, and you then click on upvote again, that cancels the original upvote, resulting in zero.

If you've arleady upvoted, and you then click on downvote, the system thinks you are changing your mind and want to register a downvote, so it takes two steps: it cancels your original upvote and it registers a downvote, resulting in -1.


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Hello Audrey,

I am confused regarding the last statement.

In the comment above Jurgen had 1 vote. When I up voted it became 2, which is right. Then I down voted(sorry Jurgen :) ) and it became 0. It means I am taking away his original 1 vote. Is does not seem right.

Benedict Venmani Felix

why not? +1 + -1 = 0


Never expected to go wrong with a simple '-1 + +1' :( at least it is not Monday morning.

So the down vote takes away my up-vote and gives a down vote...

Benedict Venmani Felix

I think the function it is understandable ....after it is explained. Of course it is very strange to click again upvote to remove the postitive vote, who would really conclude to this idea by oneself.

But you see actually the same (also the same misinterpretation) with an elevator. If people are on the ground floor and they want to go to the 5th floor and the elevator is on the 4th, then they press down to call the elevator instead of up to tell him where to go.


The difference to the elevator example is that you don't always know on which floor you are. If you re-visit a question, where you have voted, you have no obvious indication about that - you need to unhide an element in developer tools to see that.

The voting display in Idea place is quite good - maybe some of that can be reused?

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I felt the need to upvote this question (pun only partially intended!), as I can see how this gets very confusing. On the one hand, we don't want people upvoting (or downvoting) the same thing multiple times -- it should be like the "like" button, you can only click it once, and when you do it changes to "unlike" so it's obvious another click will "undo" what you did before. However, with the up/down-voting, it's not so obvious. I would have naturally assumed the same thing that Emoke did.

My suggestion would be that, for the same user, clicking up or downvote more than once does nothing after the first one, and clicking the opposite action (once) simply undoes the previous action, but doesn't automatically create a new action. In this circumstance, Emoke accidentally clicked upvote, but she didn't necessarily want to click downvote either. So, all she wanted was to undo the upvote, leaving things in a neutral condition as they were before she clicked anything.



I understand now the logic but I don't find it intuitive either. :)

I'd also say:

IF I upvote first time, it should upvote by 1
and the other way round,

IF I downvote first it should downvote by 1

IF I already upvoted once AND

  • press upvote again, nothing should happen.
  • press downvote, it should undo my upvote.

and the other way round,

IF I already downvoted once AND

  • press downvote again, nothing should happen.
  • press upvote, it should undo my downvote.

This way it would be much more intuitive and ... simple to me.

Good example what Jürgen said, if I am at the elevator I press the arrow where I wish to go independently where the elevator currently is.

If I upvote for the first time, then 1 action happens. If I downvote from there then 2 action happens. This is a little confusing user experience.

If I already upvoted and upvote again why the system assumes I want to cancel my vote? :D I just want to upvote further until I learn very quickly that the system is smart enough not letting me to cheat and simply not reacting for additional upvotes.

If I upvoted once and downvote again why the system tries to make assumptions that I actually wanted to downvote ? :) Maybe I just wanted to undo my last action.

This is perhaps the reason that in indea place we have a "Clear Vote" option as soon as we vote, and with the up/down arrows we can simply make 1 action.



You mentioned 'elevator buttons' and I couldn't resist sharing this distraction for you from the movie Elf:


LOOL ... :D

Jürgen L
Jan 10, 2017 at 01:48 PM

or you just need to click upvote a second time to remove the +1

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Emoke Gabura
Jan 11, 2017 at 10:33 AM

Hi Audrey,

Thank you for the information I will keep this in mind for the future.



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Christopher Solomon
Jan 11, 2017 at 07:03 PM

Thanks for the explanation! I thought I broke something the other day...

The post was at -1.

I hit "up vote" on accident and it went to 0.

I then hit "down vote" thinking it would log it correctly...but it then jumped to show -3....NOT -2.

.....sooo I was guessing maybe someone else was hitting "down vote" at the same time I did. I just clicked "up vote" again and it corrected (in my mind) to -2.

I guess rather than assuming "up" means +1 and "down" means -1, I should think in SAP terms as "up equals +1 unless you press up again and it equals zero and up and then down equals -1 , not zero". haha

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Probably adding a left and right arrow would make things interesting :) , I am sure the developers can come up with some function for it once they put it on screen :) :)

Ervin Szolke
Feb 02, 2017 at 12:06 AM

Umm... I guess this scenario should not happen, right?

As I found it a little suspicious I went out to see what is displayed in the tag Q:

I am not sure if this is a bug or just my confusion, but I am not sure either I really like the current logic (I understand it but I dont find it intuitive). --> I can reproduce this any time here (also tried with IE and Chrome)

Why don't we use the logic the uses as well ?


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