As Jeff Atwood wrote, badges are supposed to be nice surprises. How cozy it was, when I logged in to SO and animated sliding bar went off the top of the screen saying:

Congratulations - you have earned the "Nice question" badge. See ...

Such a warm welcome, I felt like home! That was something that addicted me to the site.

Now I have received two badges and no notification bar, no warm welcome... I almost missed them! There is number of notifications, true, but the warm surprise, welcome effect Jeff Atwood speaks about is away. Bring the old notification bar back!

P.S.: in the end ... maybe it's better this way... maybe it is better to be less addicted to the site :)

  • In case you haven't seen it, you can read some of the justification here (SO blog): Revamped notifications. Jun 25 '12 at 16:11
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    I like the idea, but that I had to go to the profile to make it go away instead of just closing it was annoying. Jun 25 '12 at 16:22
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    @jadarnel27, well, the only justification I can see there is that in the Big orange notification bar you had to dismiss every single one by separate click... Well, this could maybe bother top users receiving tens badges daily, but for us "mortal" users, who value each and every badge, it was a rewarding way of notification... :)
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:24
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    @ThiefMaster, no, the old orange notification bar could have been closed by clicking "X" on its right side!
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:25
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    @Tomas: It reappeared when loading another SO page until you actually opened your profile. Jun 25 '12 at 16:25
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    @ThiefMaster Not for me.
    – user154510
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:28
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    @ThiefMaster, wasn't it some temporary error? I haven't noticed this for year of SO practice.. maybe because I always opened my profile :-) ... In any case, this behaviour could have been fixed easily, while keeping the bar...
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:29
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    How about only for Gold Badges which are pretty exciting. Or maybe also silver. But bronze sounds like it will get annoying for some people. I don't think anyone gets 10 Gold Badges a day.
    – Double AA
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:36
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    ...well, maybe Jon Skeet!
    – Double AA
    Jun 25 '12 at 16:49
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    @DoubleAA, us "mortal" users get 1 gold badge per year :) ... no practical difference for us... what we value is each and every bronze badge.
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 17:51
  • @Tomas Hey I'm not Mr. Badges myself! I'm just trying to suggests a compromise that won't bug anyone. Maybe silver badges too is a better idea.
    – Double AA
    Jun 25 '12 at 17:52
  • Compromises always suck, I mean the principle "each of us sacrifice 50% and both of us are happy" sucks :) If you look at the number of notifications per day for example, that would be better idea I think.
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 17:56
  • Another problem with the notification bar is they are site-specific and build up over time. If you post a lot of content on a site then don't visit the site for a period of time, you could come back and have a mountain of notifications pop up. With the new notifications system, you'll see you got new badges there no matter where in the network you are, and they won't confiscate your page. The bar also annoys a lot of people, and it's very unlikely they'll return to it. I think there was a request somewhere to give users the option of which one they wanted, but I can't find it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jun 25 '12 at 17:57
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    @animuson, The bar also annoys a lot of people - can you post any resource to support this opinion? I think there are not many people receiving bunch of badges daily.
    – Tomas
    Jun 25 '12 at 18:14
  • @Tomas: I, myself, found it annoying, as well as here. I can't be bothered to browse for all the people who have complained about it over time, as I'm about to leave.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jun 25 '12 at 18:22

I can appreciate the warm-fuzzy you feel when you receive your first "congratulations" greeting. But it gets old really fast.

The notification-style icon has become a mainstay in user interfaces, thanks to mobile computing platforms like the iPhone and others.

enter image description here

It's about the economy of real estate and ease of use. The notification-style interface allows you to be aware of the event without being bludgeoned with one of those right-in-your-face-right-now-tend-to-it-dammit! intrusions that start to drive you bonkers in no time.

The bonus is that the 'notifications' tab in your inbox provides a brief history of your badges, if you missed them the last time around. It's all … "very handy-when-you-need it, ignore-it-when-you-don't."

You'll come to appreciate it.

  • 2
    Ah! Conflicting emotions! I disagree with the post, but there is an arrow on it!! Maybe if it had a hand-drawn circle I wouldve upvoted, but for now, I disagree. I NEED MY BAR BACK! (Will someone make a grease monkey script that does this?) Jun 26 '12 at 4:16
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    Well my problem with the new setup is the notification doesn't stand off enough (too light a blue). First World Problems.
    – user7116
    Jun 26 '12 at 4:19
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    @RichardJ.RossIII - I don't miss the bar. I get used to changes pretty fast, but I must admit that when I got my gold badges, I did let the notification bar sit on the top of the screen for awhile as a cool, in-your-face reminder of what I've achieved from all of my contributions to StackExchange. Maybe only gold badges should use that notification bar, since they're so hard to obtain.
    – jmort253
    Jun 26 '12 at 5:04
  • I agree this approach is more modern and "correct" for those sites. Curious to know though, did you consult any external advisers or is this purely the team? :) Jun 26 '12 at 5:35
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    Well Robert, maybe this solution is "modern", but also cold and impersonal. The warm effect of nice badge surprise is away... and it was this feeling, which attracted me to SO. And I still enjoyed it after a year.
    – Tomas
    Jun 26 '12 at 7:48
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    BTW, I just wonder why so many people hated the notification bar. Maybe it was used for other things than badges? Who could be bothered by badges? Reading through questions here at Meta, I guess they were bothered by messages like "Welcome to ... Check out the FAQ" and "Welcome back, don't forget to vote". Why not just enable the bar for badges?
    – Tomas
    Jun 26 '12 at 7:58

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