Every site has a legend on its badges page. Assuming people read from top to bottom, the unformatted text is:

"Gold Badges are rare. You’ll have to actively work toward these. They’re something of an accomplishment! Silver badges are awarded for longer term goals. ..."

It kinda looks like silver badges are harder to get than gold ones.

Things are slightly better for tag badges, but even the tag badge legend is redundant once any user earns any gold tag badge.

The gold/silver/bronze medal system is already well-known across the globe. Let's just remove the legends; they're pointless at best and confusing at worst.

  • 4
    Shouldn't just the order be reversed? Bronze at the top, Gold at the bottom? – Jonas Heidelberg Sep 16 '11 at 17:11
  • That would also work, but if anyone is going to make a change, I think removing the whole thing would be better (and easier) than reordering. – Pops Sep 16 '11 at 17:37
  • The tag badge legend has information that isn't specified somewhere else, although people still get confused by that, so I guess it's not terribly effective where it is anyway. – Tim Stone Sep 16 '11 at 18:30
  • We reordered these and slightly re-wrote the descriptions. – Jeremy T Jun 18 '13 at 21:08

I disagree with with removing the legend, but otherwise I see your point.

"Longer" is a comparative; since gold badges were talked about immediately prior, the comparison is between gold and silver badges. The text thus states (yes, explicitly states not implies) that silver badges are awarded for longer term goals than gold badges. Which is both unambiguous and wrong.

I like Jonas' idea of reversing the order, so that bronze badges are described first. Bronze - silver - gold is more of a natural progression in my mind anyways; you get bronze badges easily, put some effort into silver ones, and have to work hard to get gold ones.

Alternatively, I'd propose changing "longer term" to "long term" or "medium term" in the Silver description. Even "longer-term" would be clearer, but still wishy-washy. It should be clear instead of saying "yeah, these are kind of long-ish, for certain values of long".


I do not see the ambiguity. Silver has Silver badges are uncommon, but definitely attainable if you’re interested right after it. Combined with the fact that Gold > Silver > Copper, it seems very obvious what is meant there.

I will agree that the graphics may present some redundancy. But, I don't really see benefit in their removal either. Given the option between motion and non-motion, non-motion is always easiest.

  • Yes, that's what it means, but the way it's phrased really bugs me for some reason. I know, it's a weird thing to be bugged by, but that doesn't make it bug me any less. And yes, I do realize that this is a very, very minor issue, and I'm not claiming otherwise. – Pops Sep 16 '11 at 17:37
  • 1
    TOTALLY understand that. – cwallenpoole Sep 16 '11 at 17:52

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