I guess most of you have noticed by now the new upvote/downvote buttons. This seems to be in line with all the other SE sites (though I admit I haven't checked each and every one of them).

Does MO have to accept these cosmetic changes or is there any way to opt out?

Personally, I find them hideous and I don't understand the need to cosmetically change things that had a clean design that worked well.

Feel free to add relevant tags.

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    $\begingroup$ Related posts on Meta SE: (1) We are graduating the updated button styling for vote arrows; (2) How do I change vote arrow buttons back? $\endgroup$ May 30 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ The Stylus code in the answer to the second post linked by @TheAmplitwist works perfectly for me. $\endgroup$ May 30 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenLandsburg: indeed it works very well, but now I use 3 different browser add-ons/extensions just to preserve the good ol' MO functionality, style, and feel I love and cherish. $\endgroup$
    – M.G.
    May 31 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ @M.G. : I thoroughly share your annoyance. $\endgroup$ May 31 at 21:06
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenLandsburg The way this question is phrased, OP is asking if there is a way for the whole site (MO) to opt out of the redesign, not for single users to override it. If that is not the case, I invite OP to clarify. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni: indeed I am asking if there is a possibility for the whole site to opt out since (1) IIRC MO has a special arrangement with the SE network and (2) many SE sites have custom designs (though maybe not to the extent of things like upvote/downvote buttons). $\endgroup$
    – M.G.
    Jun 1 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ @M.G. For a long time, tex.stackexchange had custom upvote/downvote buttons. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenLandsburg we still do if you install tampermonkey or use a style, see on our TeX Meta discussion here the scripts: Changing vote buttons back to pen nibs. I currently have them and they look nice (on imgur here), you all on this site could change the image to something of your choosing if you wished (make sure to modify the @match line to the math overflow urls) :) $\endgroup$
    – JamesT
    Jun 2 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ The design of meta voting buttons has been changed so at least now it's obvious if one has voted. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jun 3 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ At least the coloring makes it obvious on MO, unlike MSE. I have mild personal preference for the old design but on the whole don't mind this change much. $\endgroup$
    – Wojowu
    Jun 4 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


There is a structural tendency for discussions of this type to underweight the voices of people who think that things are fine. I will therefore state explicitly that I do not care about the shapes of the buttons, they make no difference to anything important about the functioning of the site, and I think that very few people will even notice that they have changed. I would certainly not support adding gratuitous complexity by making a special arrangement to opt out of the change.

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    $\begingroup$ I am someone who usually has heated feelings about changes, but finds this one … well, it's not an addition, it's just meaningless UI churn (except maybe it has some positive accessibility impact?), but it's not offensive and, as you say, doesn't change anything important about the functionality. Nonetheless, since this discussion is about a site-wide change, any complexity would be a one-time thing on the part of the MO staff, not a per-user cost in time; and, more or less by definition, anyone who hasn't noticed the change one way wouldn't notice a change back, and so wouldn't be hurt by it. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Jun 2 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ @LSpice Positioning in web pages is a tricky art, unfortunately, so it is likely that reverting this change will bring in more future positioning glitches, especially when more things are changed in future. SE significantly reduced the amount of customization sites can get a few years ago, and the main argument was exactly that the CSS was hell to maintain. $\endgroup$ Jun 4 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni, right, I'm not claiming that this would be easy, just pointing out that it wouldn't be a per-user cost. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Jun 4 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ @LSpice But you also claimed that it is a one-time cost: I was replying to that. There is significant cost over time in supporting multiple layouts within SE. $\endgroup$ Jun 5 at 6:42

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