I recently posted an answer. It quickly got two upvotes, and then it got a downvote.
When I see downvotes on my posts (and I've gotten a few), my impression is "oops, I totally misunderstood what the questioner wanted. I had better reread it." Up to this point, the source of the downvote was clear: either I had misunderstood the question, or else the question was stated ambiguously enough that I could have misunderstood the question. In all cases, the response on my part is to withdraw my answer, since it doesn't contribute.
This time, I'm a bit baffled (I think I answered the user's question). While I understand the anonymity aspect of downvotes, I guess I'd make the "feature-request" that downvotes be accompanied by some sort of secondary click that indicates a generic reason for downvote, to give the author of the downvoted response additional feedback.
Possible generic reasons might include:
- doesn't answer user question
- poor programming form
- not concise
I'm sure there are others. It's just a bit unnerving to get downvoted when you can't figure out why.
UPDATE: Well, I think I got an update. The questioner pointed out an essential feature that he found lacking in my solution. So, the particulars of this question may be moot, but the generic question remains. How to interpret downvotes if they are not followed up with a comment?