The selected and unselected states of the vote-up and vote-down buttons here on Ask Different Meta aren't distinct enough for me to understand the difference. I'm including a screenshot that I just took:

Voted up; not voted down artwork example

This appeared next to a meta answer that I voted up, but it is hard for me to determine what black means and what gray means. I don't visit the meta side very often, so I'm likely to forget which is which.

Can the selected vote button have some more color (distinct from grayscale), either in the arrow segment, the outer circle, or both?

  • Agreed that the distinction is minimal. I'd be more interested to know why you would want to see any further distinction tho. It's only useful to see if you have voted - if you haven't, you still can, and if you have, and try to again, it will tell you, so the only scenario where you might need this information clearer is if you can't remember if you have voted or not, in which case just try voting and see what happens. Having said that, a small green/red ring around rather than a slightly darker arrow might actually look nicer on pure aesthetics but I don't think it would add functionality
    – stuffe
    Feb 1 '12 at 11:18
  • Hmm, addition to the above, I only just realised it was different on the main site, with the arrow being slightly blue instead of a darker grey. And as such, I'm with you purely on a point of consistency. Make them the same, but while we are at it, why not try to use a bit of colour instead :)
    – stuffe
    Feb 1 '12 at 11:21
  • The meta sites are always supposed to be "mute". They are a greyscale / mute pallete of the main site. Go look at any site's main and meta, it follows this convention. I can't speak to any kind of visual impairment/accessibility if that is the argument here, but to me, the dark button (like a lit elevator call button), plus the 'depressed' vs. 'embossed' style makes it obvious to me which way I voted here on meta. Feb 1 '12 at 18:25

This is a design choice we made deliberately. If you look at any site's meta (from Meta Stack Overflow to Meta.Parenting to Meta.SciFi to this site's meta) the design choices are clear: take the main site design and strip out most (but not necessarily all) of the color, imbuing the site with the greyscale look you see before you.

It's a deliberate design choice, one that we reflect across the network.

  • 1
    This explains why this problem exists, but that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. The bicycles meta site uses a different graphic for the header, surely a similar change could be made for the buttons here? Feb 3 '12 at 11:05
  • I make no promises, @KyleCronin, but I'll ask. :)
    – Aarthi
    Feb 3 '12 at 16:30
  • Surely in any design functionality must take preference over consistency - here the consistent design just does not work as you cannot see the difference (yes my eyesight is not 20/20)
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 5 '12 at 10:34
  • 1
    I agree with @KyleCronin: it's an explanation, but it doesn't address the flaw. A higher contrast would suffice. Lets you keep the greyscale but not hurt usability. Also: glad I'm not the only one who has a hard time telling them apart...
    – Ian C. Mod
    Feb 23 '12 at 15:30

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