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Yes, the most voted answer floats to the top. But somehow the green mark is indirectly telling the (specially casual, unregistered) reader something like "this one is better".

I think it would be good to have another mark, say in blue, adding to the most voted answer that sort of "visual quality mark" that the green mark adds to the elected answer. You all know that it is not uncommon that the best answer (from the point of view of the reliability and correctness of the contents) is not the one that the OP elected, but the most voted. The fact that the most voted answer appears on top of the list merely enhances its visibility, but somehow I feel that this not "validating" enough.

I am talking about something like:

enter image description here

Perhaps the green text would better be "Accepted by the OP". But that is more or less the idea.

Eventually this is equivalent to a system of badges (though quite simple) for the answers, with different colors: accepted, most voted, and perhaps: more than X votes, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice idea, I like this $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 10 '13 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ Features of this nature have been requested many times on MSO, e.g. here and here, but never with much support. I suppose it would make a lot more sense here than on SO. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 10 '13 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky, well, that proposals you link wanted to turn the most voted answer into "Accepted". That wouldn't be fair: only the OP can point out whether (s)he is satisfied. I try to somehow give an additional "visual weight" to the most voted answer. The truth is that "Accepted" and "Most voted" are in practical terms two different "referees", not always in agreement, and that usually the "most voted" would often deserve (in my opinion) more attention than merely floating to the top of the page. Imagine too the effect of seeing the two marks on the same answer. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 10 '13 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ Users have badges. Answers could have badges too, with different colors: accepted, most voted, more than X votes, etc. All of them serving one purpose: helping the reader quickly identify what is likely to be trustworthy or useful, since we cannot have here something like "Accepted by a paid referee who is a reputed physicist with a lot of publications in professional journals in the field". $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 10 '13 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Eduardo Well, yes, that's slightly different, but definitely related to the core issue of identifying the highest voted answer as special in some way. Those links were just the ones I could find most quickly. But I'm fairly sure I also remember seeing at least one request (probably more) on MSO to give a separate visual indicator to the highest voted answer. I'll post it here if I can find it. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 10 '13 at 21:19
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky, what is more and more clear to me as I get to know this site, is that the failure of other sites in becoming a reliable Q&A place, has made the moderators (or whoever is in charge of SE) very reluctant to introduce changes. That, as well as the strict moderation, is good for the long term stability of this site. But sometimes one feels it is a pity. For instance, your proposal of doing changes in the logo would have attracted amateur astronomers and this incoming problem would probably not be at 67% today... $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 10 '13 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ "or whoever is in charge of SE" -> that would be the SE team, not the moderators. We (moderators) are loosely "in charge" of this site and only this site; it's the team that is in charge of the entire network, and any decision about a feature like this is theirs and theirs alone. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 10 '13 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ Well the badges one I like that.Add that in question itself. $\endgroup$ – ABC May 11 '13 at 13:47
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    $\begingroup$ @007, good idea. Thanks, I'll do that. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 11 '13 at 14:06
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I'm not sure I agree with this being necessary but let me do a premise: The accepted answer does not mean that "this answer is better", but rather that it's the one that helped the OP in his question/problem.

Does it mean it's the best answer? Maybe, but maybe there's a solution the community likes more and that gets upvoted more. This doesn't mean the OP is compelled to accept it. He could but the other one is what probably solved the problem best.

The distinctive mark is not a bad idea per se, but I think it would just add clutter to the interface. The most voted answer is usually listed second (when sorting by score) after the accepted one. I think this makes it pretty visible to users. Note that this is not true with self-accepted answers. In that case, the sorting is done purely by votes (ignoring the check mark).

The most voted answer is already easy to locate: it has the most votes. So this is why I'm not really convinced an extra mark would add that much or solve a problem (which I don't see).

If you really want to "mark" the most voted answer, I'd say that:

  1. This feature should be automatically done by the system. If another answer gets upvoted more, you don't want to be there to change the mark every time.
  2. A not intrusive way could be thought.

That is: if the community really wants it and it gets implemented. But I'm not convinced it's really needed. What issue would it address? Would it really get rid of confusion without adding more of it in other ways? Those are the questions I'd answer before adding the feature.

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  • $\begingroup$ Dear Alenanno, of course the feature should be a complete automated process, I think that is understood and assumed (how then could a 'most voted' mark be given to another answer?). Thus it is completely non-intrusive as well, because... well, because it would be an automatic feature... I really don't understand quite well what you mean here. "The accepted answer does not mean is better", well that it also understood and that is why my question beguins with the explicit words "somehow the green mark is indirectly telling (...) something like and so on. On the other hand, you ask... $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 14 '13 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ ...you ask what issue would it address? - Well, the answer to that is in my question itself, where it says adding to the most voted answer that sort of "visual quality mark" that the green mark adds to the elected answer and well, that is the issue it would address and I am not sure it can be explained in a better or more direct way than that... I added too my personal opinion that "The fact that the most voted answer appears on top of the list merely enhances its visibility, but somehow I feel that this not "validating" enough which is, as stated by the words I feel a subjetive opinion. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 14 '13 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ I can understand that you have a different feelings or perceptions, which I respect. But at least I hope that what I was stating would be understood. See too the comments (with which you are also free to disagree of course), where it is written: serving one purpose: helping the reader quickly identify what is likely to be trustworthy or useful, since we cannot have here something like "Accepted by a paid referee who is a reputed physicist with a lot of publications in professional journals in the field". That explains too the issue that my proposal tried to address. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 14 '13 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ Feel free to disagree and say that you don't appreciate having that additional visual clues to quickly navigate through pulated posts and so on. But at least understand the proposal, or you will really make me think that my english and writting abilities are that of a monkey. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera May 14 '13 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ @EduardoGuerrasValera Ahah No, your English is fine. My main doubt about this is that I don't see an actual problem. Talking about my experience, if I see a non-accepted answer that is heavily voted up, I will know that the community thinks that's better in general than the accepted answer but Accepted doesn't always mean Better. It means "better for the OP". Perhaps in a general case, that answer doesn't provide the best solution. By not intrusive I meant visually, but if the community first and SE later decide to implement it, I won't have a problem with it. $\endgroup$ – Alenanno May 15 '13 at 9:06

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