When I scroll through answers the accepted checkmark looks as a downvote arrow at a first glance in the corner of my eye. It makes me question why I downvoted the answer and I find this disruptive.

Of course within I split second, when I focus on it, I see it loud and clear, but I think the colour and shape of the accepted checkmark is too similar to the downvote arrow.

I tried to make an exaggerated visualisation of the situation (it's a bit sloppy). The clear area is the place I read, the sides are blurred as that's not where my eyes are focussed (note: heavy exaggeration) and desaturated as the eye is less sensitive to colour in the peripheral vision.

No downvote, answer accepted: enter image description here

Downvote, answer accepted: enter image description here

After making the images I see that this also depends on viewing distance very much, so it might be very specific to my workplace.

Am I the only one with this "problem"? Or is this something which should be revised in the design?

  • Interesting - there's less whitespace between the down arrow and the full version of the checkmark than there is between the down arrow and the number score. Hadn't noticed Apr 8, 2014 at 13:38
  • Oh, I didn't notice it neither. But that might contribute to the confusion. Apr 8, 2014 at 13:51
  • 2
    Yeah that's my theory - it looks like it's part of the "vote arrows" block, so in peripheral vision it could be interpreted like "the lowest part of the vote arrows block is coloured". I guess in some people's heads, the lowest part of the vote arrow block is the down arrow then the checkmark is separate, so they'd have this problem, and in other people's, the lowest part is the checkmark, so they wouldn't. It's always amazing how varied people's interpretation of the same designs can be! Apr 8, 2014 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


I don't necessarily have this issue, but I can't help but think perhaps the circle+check may be better to:

  • Coincide with the user profile (continuity is great)

  • And differentiate the circle from the triangles better than the diamond does

For clarification:

"This is the selected answer" indicator is a circle with a vote count in the user profile:

enter image description here

It's a circle with answer count on main pages:

enter image description here

And it's a diamond with a checkmark in the question.

enter image description here

If all areas used the same shape there would be additional continuity. In addition, if the circle is used it would help eliminate the issue of the diamond looking like the vote arrows.

  • Coincide with the user profile. Could you clarify this? I am really missing the link between a circle and the user profile... Apr 11, 2014 at 21:57
  • Updated @BartArondson
    – Scott
    Apr 11, 2014 at 22:06

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