Indicating user experience/reputation on the avatar

Continuing the discussion from What is the best practice for displaying user's Authority, "flair" or "role" in the forum?:

One thing I miss after moving my forum to Discourse was the indication of contribution/authority/reputation near the user’s avatar wherever they post.
On Discourse a “flair” mini-image can be added to a Group of users’ avatars - but this indicates membership of a group, which can have a range of meanings.
Each user has Badges, but tbh I never even check my own badges, let alone anyone else’s.

So: How about an additional discrete embellishment to the avatar image which indicates this? It could be a partial ring around the edge…The ring could be organically linked to overall badges received somehow.

Using my superior “Paint” skillz, I have mocked up these:


Lots badges:

You know, like this, but much (much) better :wink:

Could this even be done in CSS like the Christmas hat trick?


I like the UX solution. Not too fond of this as a standard feature though. Would probably have to see this be used as a plugin in some select communities first.


If the additions become possible, I’d like an easy way to suppress them.

I prefer to focus on content, without the distractions of author metadata.

Background: after MacRumors Forums moved to XenForo, a bunch of readers shared tips and tricks on how to hide unwanted features. Examples: with and without distractions.


I agree. On most of the online communities I’m active in it is clear who the active and useful contributors are. If someone wants more info on Discourse then there is the user card/profile.

And, at the risk of sounding like Oscar the Grouch, I can’t stand it when some forum has snow falling or blinking Christmas lights up.

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I imagine a handful of visual indicators that might be useful in any community, and this handful is experience-related, but not quite in the way envisaged by @precessor. If allowed within a community, it should be for the user to choose – from the outset (without gaining rep) – whether indications such as these are shown:

  • English (or whatever) is not my native language
  • I’m dyslexic
  • my spelling is not great

It is polite when people choose to write a preamble about their imperfect writing :slight_smile: … I wonder whether that politeness can be complemented – reducing the need to repeatedly apologise in advance – by allowing something in the avatar area to indicate apologies in advance.

(Maybe not much of it in Discourse Meta e.g. Search results for 'apologies english' - Discourse Meta but in some other forums, the preambles are quite noticeable.)