I am not entirely sure whether this can be asked here, however I will give it a go. I have seen that most of the SE sections have very pretty designs for the up-down vote arrow buttons, that are most of the times related to the subject the page deals with. Physics should pave the way for that, but we seem not to have a particular fancy one. Has this been a choice to maintain sobriety or is there any idea to modify them in the early future? What do you think about it?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Physics is one of the few sites left that hasn't gotten its CSS change, and we've already requested better fonts as part of that, so the time for change would be now. Actually there might not be time for a design change before those others are implemented, nor is it clear that we really need one, or what an alternative would be. $\endgroup$
    – user10851
    Sep 28, 2015 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ I concur that our style here is kinda bland compared to other sites (e.g. Science Fiction & Fantasy). I'd like to see some upgrades at some point. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Sep 28, 2015 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ The upvote button should be $a^\dagger$ and the downvote $a$. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2015 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie That is the most awesome, ahah! I thought at something like up-down vertices of Feynman diagrams, but $a^{\dagger}$ wins easily. $\endgroup$
    – gented
    Sep 29, 2015 at 7:15
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: Might be that new users to SE who are themselves new physicists (having not seen ladder operators) might not understand that (both the meaning and function). I'd suggest |+> and |-> instead (or maybe <-|?) as it might be more clear in at least the function $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Sep 29, 2015 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos: on the other hand, since the general public already think we're irredeemable nerds maybe we should just leave the symbols as arrows :-) $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2015 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Up and down in Physics? That leaves only two possible items as inspiration: spin and quarks. $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Feb 28, 2016 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


If you check out some of the related questions at the right, you can see the history of how we came to our current design. A few people proposed ideas for themed upvote/downvote buttons, but none of them were particularly compelling. And after our first site design (which was considerably more physics-themed) turned out to be difficult to read and use, the community at the time decided we preferred a simpler, more generic design that stays out of the way and lets us focus on the questions and answers.

So basically, I think the reasons for not having themed voting arrows still apply.


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