Unlike notifications for the incoming messages, this number is absolutely POINTLESS. It requires no actual action to perform, yet it jumps in the eye with the same force. I don't like no pointless interface elements, Thank you.

Besides that, what I am supposed to do by noticing it? To race and see which of my answers were rewarded? To cherish such a vanity? Or what?

Update. These two paragraphs above can be considered as two separate feature requests. I am not as far as proposing a second one (though I'd be happy if this number were turned off for all, as it does more harm than good - but it seems the mission impossible). What I am asking is a setting to turn it off.

  • 4
    It show the reputation changes, that's not pointless. Unless reputation is pointless? Dec 5, 2013 at 7:50
  • 21
    Fully agreed. People were already obsessing over their imaginary unicorn points, the notification can only make things worse.
    – yannis
    Dec 5, 2013 at 7:50
  • 6
    @ShaWizDowArd Not entirely pointless, but not significant enough (imho) to have every +5 or +10 displayed so prominently (and after a while, annoyingly).
    – yannis
    Dec 5, 2013 at 7:55
  • 6
    @ShaWizDowArd It makes reputation seem more important than we would like it to be Dec 5, 2013 at 7:58
  • 5
    Such gamification extras provoke users to use stackoverflow little more (my opinion). Some bonus and reward for the users maybe stimulates them to be more active in the comments and answers. If this helps this project being so active, strict, reasonable and useful for a huge societies, maybe no-so-proved UI elements as we think, make great sense. I think we can live with it. We have this large resource with real specialists from all over the world for free, instant and guaranteed with the votes. Wow, right? Dec 5, 2013 at 7:59
  • 3
    @AntonRadev we don't need to promote answers. We need to promote community moderation. Dec 5, 2013 at 8:01
  • 1
    I avoid clicking on it so that it stays. And I seem to have gotten used to it.
    – devnull
    Dec 5, 2013 at 8:01
  • 5
    @AntonRadev yes, no doubt reputation points provoke the answers quantity. The problem is answers quality. Dunno for other tags, but PHP section is FLOODED with answers written without any knowledge or even without reading the question at all. While I believe that a good answer can be written only out of a desire to share knowledge (which already a great stimulant) and never out of desire to see more green numbers. Dec 5, 2013 at 8:03
  • 1
    It would be nice if there was a way to make it fade away after popping up and the user seeing it. Then at least it wouldn't remain an eyesore (even if it would still appear as one originally).
    – jmac
    Dec 5, 2013 at 8:08
  • 2
    @Yannis people used to hover their display name in the old top bar to see the reputation changes. See other requests here to bring it back. With the new design, no need to hover like crazy anymore, it's always there visible and live. And those are many people as far as I can tell. Still not significant enough? :) Dec 5, 2013 at 8:09
  • 4
    So? "People want this" is never a good reason to build a feature @ShaWizDowArd (see countless requests for poll questions). Also, people hovering like crazy is a sign of obsession. Certainly significant, but not something I'd want to encourage.
    – yannis
    Dec 5, 2013 at 8:19
  • 2
    @Yannis so you can also take badges away, using this same logic. Bottom line, the team had their reason to put this feature in place same way they had reason to put the reputation changes hover-box before. Nobody really asked for it, and it's OK to have two different opinions. :) Dec 5, 2013 at 8:22
  • 2
    I tried the corresponding dropdown menu on day one and haven't opened it since. I find the indicator bothersome only when the number of digits increases, which fortunately happens at a logarithmically decreasing rate. I'm holding out for a bug report when it reaches 5 figures if it encroaches on the inbox space. Dec 5, 2013 at 9:20
  • 2
    @jadarnel27 how dare you contradict a man with a Heavy Metal Umlaut? Seriously though - yeah, you're right of course. But reputation as a "ohh look, I got +10 again!" is meaningless, and skewing the system to put even more emphasis on that aspect is the wrong way to go.
    – Pekka
    Dec 5, 2013 at 23:01
  • 2
    @Pëkka That umlaut is pretty rock 'n roll. I don't know what I was thinking. Dec 5, 2013 at 23:02

3 Answers 3


For a serial answers downvoter like me, this friggin' light turns on every time next piece of garbage is removed from the site (happens quite frequently).

I am of course glad that site gets rid of low quality content, but not to extent to celebrate it with obtrusive green fireworks every minute or so. Especially since numbers that pop up don't even come close to how much rep I gained since the last time I checked...


  • 8
    Loving your artistic work.
    – Luke
    Dec 5, 2013 at 10:04
  • 2
    @Coulton real artistry is when top bar turns boring stuff like -1 -1 +1 +1 -1 -1 -1 into bright green +21. A Kind Of Magic
    – gnat
    Dec 5, 2013 at 10:07
  • @gnat: You are refering to a bug
    – juergen d
    Dec 5, 2013 at 13:59
  • 1
    @juergend even if the numbers were reasonable, it would not change my desire to turn these "obtrusive green fireworks" off. Changes these celebrate simply aren't worth breaking my attention
    – gnat
    Dec 5, 2013 at 14:03
  • 2
    +1 for "green fireworks" Dec 5, 2013 at 14:36


I made a couple of userscripts that either hide the green notifications entirely, or alternatively just hides the numbers (the rep icon still turns green but it's much less intrusive).


While I wish every feature change could make everybody happy, I'm pretty convinced that this specific change is a net plus for the vast majority of our users.

The strategy of many other sites is to offer multiple panels of preference checkboxes so that users can customize things like this. Not only are we philosophically opposed to that approach, it also makes things like caching very difficult for a high-traffic site like ours.

  • 6
    No, not a net plus for many users. I (and others) don't care about every stupid rep change. This only supports rep-hunters, which is wrong.
    – yo'
    Dec 5, 2013 at 19:57
  • 4
    It's not just a nuisance for anybody who is a bit more active on the sites - like it was said in the comments above, showing rep changes this obnoxiously puts even more emphasis on the gaming/rep-hunting aspect of the site. Is that really the message we want to send?
    – Pekka
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:02
  • I assume it's fairly effective in engaging new users, @Pëkka. It drives me up a wall too, but unless we all ragequit in annoyance I suspect from the Stack Exchange side of the fence it's a net win.
    – Tim Stone
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:17
  • Or just ignore it. I haven't clicked on mine in weeks and it's become this static icon that sits on that bar. Doesn't bother me.
    – Mysticial
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:35
  • 2
    The only problem with high traffic is a technology used. PHP-based sites offer good usability telling no such cheap excuses. Dec 6, 2013 at 5:15
  • 2
    @Mysticial I kinda love the attitude. Especially after all the buzzwords telling how important YOU for the site and stuff. YOU are indeed important as long as you make this site run for free. But you are nobody when asks a site to do anything for you. Dec 6, 2013 at 5:22
  • @Mysticial it could be actually useful if it would light up for downvotes, which you usually want to check out. But it doesn't. I just tested. Shaking head
    – Pekka
    Dec 8, 2013 at 2:15
  • The caching argument is completely bogus since this particular widget is by definition different for every user.
    – user219993
    May 21, 2014 at 10:33

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