Making badges more discoverable

Discourse has great and complex badges system but unfrotunately too little users are aweare of them or at leats give them the right attention.

There are two type of badges, we can categorize them as award and title. Awards are the one that user achieve when do something like: First like, first edit, …
And title are the one that are granted because of certain engamente with the community like: Contirbutor, Editor, …
those are like ranks in army and can be use as title.
Each of these categories has different levels of importance: bronze, silver and gold.

Discourse notify users when they earn a new badges but it notify always in the same way: a message in your notification box.
Which i think is good for low level badges liek bronze or most of the awards
But i think there shoudl be some more “glourious” way to assign an important badge like a gold title one.


  • Because we want user to feel honoured about what he/she have done
  • Because we want he/she to know all the new possibilities he/she has now that new badge was granted.

Question is: How?
In particular, how to do that without visually disturb users.
Many game/dating/sport apps use badges system and they are quite successfullly in keeping the users engaged but they overwhelme them with notification about what they just achieve or how close they are to achieve the next one.
Where this technique can work for a game or when user want to achieve a goal, it wouldn’t work for a forum.

Some idea and discussion about it are already happening here but maybe with a good brainstorming we can go further.

My first thought would be to improve the profile page and how important badges as associates to the users card.
If user has a nice profile page with badges display there, it will be more engaged to earn more or to show them as title.
following the philosophy of: don’t explain to them, let them care about it.
If user care about showing their title, they are going to search by their self how to change it.
And we shoud lmake this operation as easy as possible.

So, if i enter in a forum and i see users with nice award or title next to them, i want to have it too. So i’m going to search how can i do it, and i shoudl easily find it. Where i will go as firts place to change something related to my personal info? My profile page.

Wherever people look examples about badges, they refer to Stackoverflow.
So looking at it, what make badges so easy to find for users? And why they catch their eyes so easily, even if there are no new badges earned?
In my opinion is this:

Always in your face you have: How many badges you have, which level, and a nice cup icon which just call you to click on it!
What about implementing similar icons next to the search icon?

Any ideas or feedbacks?



I like this idea, but I’m not sure displaying it like the StackOverflow rep system works really well. Maybe just the badge count would be nice? Some of the badges are very lofty (such as being liked by people or having things happen that you can’t control) and adding a very visible progression might just frustrate people. SO’s badge system actively annoys me in this respect: I get privileges from silly questions that happen to get a lot of views, for example.

yeah i also think that counting could be too much for Discourse (in general for a forum). But i would put the “badges” icon there.
Which can lead to a nice badges page (like now but i would revisit a bit the graphic)

Some low-hanging fruit improvements that come to mind:

Any group-based title should be clickable

  1. I see someone with the “Plugin Author” badge
  2. I click on it,
  3. I’m now on the group page where the group - and how to join it - is described

(“Contributors” should also be a group, not just a badge.)

Change order of profile badges page to “Gold first”

on /u/erlend_sh/badges we currently display badges in the order of bronze, silver, gold. It should be the opposite.


Agree with both ideas!

“I’m now on the group page where the group - and how to join it - is described” you mean this page, for example?

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Actually I was referring to the group page, like the Plugin Authors group. But now that you mention it, that might just be confusing. And while there won’t always be a group to link to, there will always be a badge. So yeah, your example is how it should work.

1 Like

Another small improvement to badges. When looking at a profile, clicking the badge should link to the user specific badge page instead of the main badge page. For example, clicking on Bug reporter should link to /badges/114/bug-reporter?username=jomaxro instead of /badges/114/bug-reporter. Clicking a badge from /badges should not add the ?username= parameter (as is the case right now).