Improvements to UX with Gamification by Showing Achievements more Publicly

I’m running through a bunch of ideas for how to improve the user experience with badges - the unlocking process of them is really cool, but the actual presentation of them on user cards is very, very “meh.” In particular, there’s no simple way for me to view how important/accomplished a user is to the community without digging deep into his/her card. This ultimately means that the users who are heavily involved in the community don’t really feel accomplished or special for it.

This is a critical aspect to the psychology of gamification, and it’s all but missing in the current implementation. Even the trust levels, which are the ultimate ranking of the community are tucked away in the back.

I’d love to see a better concept of “accomplishments” on the user profiles, both directly in a topic and on the badges. I’ve mocked up a quick version here:

  1. User Fields from the profile
  2. User stats/accomplishments - a quick stat to show how active the user is
  3. Featured badges (only the ones that admins tag as “special”)
  4. This one i’m not so sure about, but I’d love to have a way to show how many of a single badge you have (for the ones that can be awarded multiple times). I want to use this in particular for community event prizes.

How about an increasing circle of stars around avatar?

That could be cool, but it would imply a totally different ranking system,
without actually adding any perceived value to the current badges

AFAIK the badges displayed on the User Card are ordered by “type” the precedence being:
Gold -> Silver - > Bronze

I had an idea that I haven’t explored yet to see if Custom Badges could be granted based on whether or not other Badges had been granted.

For example, a “has (arbitrary) getting started badges”, “has (arbitrary) bronze badges” where the “badges badge” is a level higher and would be more likely to show on the User Card.


Yes, they do sort Gold/Silver/Bronze, but the presentation feels very sloppy and ultimately just looks like a giant list. Our users would need to have a finely tuned understanding of the badge system before being able to appreciate value of the badges in this list, which isn’t a great user experience.

The badge system is sooo close to being amazing, but it’s failing quite miserably on the user value scale. I’d love to see what more you can do to push it.

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We have no plans to put a bunch of “stuff” in the column under the avatar for the forseeable future.

Improvements to the pop-up user card would be more useful. Do you have any mockups for that?

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Or maybe a plugin; if the most important fact is to add “stuff” under the avatar :slight_smile:

This is more a feature for gaming communities or old school forum for me. This adding will be irrelevant on meta for example :slight_smile:

I, for one, hate these sorts of things. They make newcomers feel unaccomplished and rub it in everyone’s face.

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Yea, I’d say both of these can be valid points for communities, like this, around ambient discussion / support. I’d then counter argue that the gamification concept in whole doesn’t really fit in.

The popup card is definitely a viable place for improvements like this - I’ll make a mock up and get back to you guys as soon as I have a few min to spare on it.

Thanks for the discussion everyone!


We finally had a chance to make a mockup:

I want to be able to quickly understand how involved the user is in the community from these name cards- the # of Posts and Badges is useful for that, even if some communities don’t want to highlight involvement in that way.

The badge layout here is at least a little cleaner - I’d like it to only show the badges that are flagged as special, and I really like the idea of showing a number next to (or ontop of, etc) badges that are earned multiple times, although I can imagine that’s a formatting nightmare.

This mock-up doesn’t have the featured badge in the right corner, but I like that implementation.

Thanks for hearing me out!


I thought this was pretty intentional? See here: Because Reading is Fundamental

If I have learned anything from the Internet, it is this: be very, very careful when you put a number next to someone’s name. Because people will do whatever it takes to make that number go up.

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Just a quick note, number of badges is already on the card:

Showing post count is something that has been asked quite a few times. The problem is … does it matter if a user has made 725 vs 813 posts? If we make this more visible, making number go higher becomes a bit of a competition.

Ultimately I think this should be up to site owner, I think we already have a plugin outlet there to allow you to add that.


Regardless the idea that each badge should be just a square image is sound… you can display more images than text for sure.


Yeah, +1 for the option to display badges without text. Maybe by default, since even with a badge title it’s not like you’re gonna understand the meaning of most badges without reading its description anyhow.

I also like the “x3” for badges that have been awarded multiple times. There’s a pretty big difference between having 1x Good Topic and 5x Good Topic.


Love the idea conceptually, but my concern is that we will end up with something like this:

Right now, there are only 5 icons used for badges. If the icons were updated to something like @keith1’s screenshot, it would look great. Otherwise we’d get the above…