Seems to me there are some simple solutions to this which could please the majority.
RN = rep notification box (like when you have positive rep notification you have a green box with +5 in it)
No RN active
If you currently have no RN active and a single notification type occurs:
- Rep gained = green RN with total rep earned (no change)
- Rep lost = red RN with total rep lost (new RN)
- Bounty awarded = blue RN with total bounty earned (new RN)
- Rep cap limit reached = red RN with white cross (new RN)
So removing the negative rep changes from the inbox messages area (where it currently is) and putting it with the RN so all rep changes are in the same place!
Then the "inbox messages" area can be for "you have a comment", "you earned badge" etc.
Separating messages from rep things, and mainly keeping all things rep (up, down, bounty, cap) in their own area.
Positive & negative rep fight
If you already have RN for either rep gained or lost, and the other one becomes active (so now you have both positive and negative rep to notify of):
- Orange/Tan RN with white exclamation mark
Orange/Tan is from the mix of red/green (brown, although accurate, might not be nice).
Exclamation mark signifying there are multiple things to view - some positive and negative rep.
I thought instead of exclamation mark, showing in the RN the total of positive rep minus negative (which ever is higher minus lower etc), but that would be, confusing .. maybe ?
All other combinations
If you have a combination of any of the other RN other than just positive and negative rep:
- Black shiny RN with white exclamation mark
So if you have any combination of:
- Bounty awarded
- Rep cap limit
- Rep gained (with something other or additional to rep lost)
- Rep lost (with something other or additional to rep gained)
Stop receiving RN at certain total rep
Problem with saying
No RN for positive rep if your total rep is > 10K
Is there may be many users with >10 rep who like receiving the positive RN.
I can see why if you get positive RN a lot it would be annoying, especially if you don't bother looking at them, however with the notification which shows when you have more than just positive rep (green RN), all users can utilise the RN to their liking:
- Orange/Tan RN with exclamation mark
Users who don't care for looking at their positive RN can ignore them when green, then when orange/tan can look to see the negative rep.
I think that's win-win!
Well, best you're going to get on a site with millions of users :)
It might sound complicated, but once people click a few times they'll get it. There are only a few colours to get used to.
Besides, a bit more info such as this suggestion can be less confusing than when there's not enough information!
I mainly suggested this as I hear the developers looove case/switch statements... :P