Showing rep gains in the top bar as separate numbers enter image description here is silly and obnoxious.

  • Rep gains - especially individual upvotes - become super meaningless after 1k rep or so, and so does the notification.

  • A positive rep change does not warrant any action. The point of notifications is to make you aware of action you need to take.

  • While it shoves upvote notifications in your face, the top bar fails to highlight the one type of rep change that does warrant an action: downvotes.

  • It further enhances the impression that rep gains are the only thing that counts in this place, instead of providing quality content and caring about the community.

Instead of the number, please show a highlighted stats icon:

enter image description here

you are notified of new badges in a similar way already . Or brighter:

enter image description here

Perfectly sufficient, no? Impossible to overlook, and everything else can be seen with one click.

Then, there could also be an indication when you receive downvotes:

enter image description here

Not to make it 100% red so it's not too alarmist. But downvotes you usually want to check out and see what's up.

And if all else fails, please at least disable it for 10k+ users.

  • 14
    I dunno. I barely gain rep at all any more, the number can be nice sometimes. Makes me feel good about myself. What about an option to choose one or the other? Dec 8, 2013 at 2:10
  • @Gnome SE is traditionally averse to options. It will only be one way or the other.... and is a highlighted "rep" icon really not enough? If you click it, you can see all your upvotes. But it's really obnoxious if the thing lights up all the time... for all your accounts on the f-ing network
    – Pekka
    Dec 8, 2013 at 2:11
  • 16
    Hey, I happen to like the number. Especially after I hit the rep cap, seeing more accepts come in is wonderful. Don't take that away from me! Dec 8, 2013 at 2:16
  • 1
    @Martijn but it'd be one click away in the menu. And you'd still see when something good happens, because the icon would be lit up.
    – Pekka
    Dec 8, 2013 at 2:19
  • 1
    I missed the indicator for gained badges before; not visible enough in my opinion. Dec 8, 2013 at 2:21
  • @Martijn added a brighter suggestion.
    – Pekka
    Dec 8, 2013 at 2:24
  • 1
    Ugh, you are no designer, are you.. :-P Dec 8, 2013 at 2:25
  • 3
    I like the number but still +1 for that. I think the highlight (the first one) is a nice compromise: you still get a notification but it's not that highly visible.
    – Szymon
    Dec 8, 2013 at 2:31
  • 23
    Rep gains become super meaningless after 1k rep or so, and so does the notification. Speak for yourself; I love every tiny piece of dat sweet sweet repz. Dec 8, 2013 at 2:34
  • @Pëkka Oh, I can see how that would be annoying. I only really use gaming, so I didn't think about that. Dec 8, 2013 at 2:36
  • 4
    Your point about downvotes is well-taken, though. If we're going to see rep changes, let's see them all. I assume Jeff's thing about not putting up a "you suck" notification was the reason behind it, but downvotes aren't "you suck"; they're supposed to be "your post needs work".
    – jscs
    Dec 8, 2013 at 3:15
  • Indicating downvotes would indeed be nice. Haven't noticed that this doesn't happen yet though. The problem seems to be for only a small number of people though. I don't get that many rep changes that it gets annyoing for me.
    – Devolus
    Dec 8, 2013 at 9:08
  • 1
    I disagree with the idea that every single downvote is a call for action. That sounds rather unhealthy. Your posts will get downvoted, occasionally for no reason, and more often than not if there is an actionable reason why your post was downvoted you'll get a comment out of it. Besides, when you open the dropdown to show your reputation changes, you can still see your downvotes there, and you can tell there are any because the counter reads (say) "+13" or (oh the humanity!) +11 instead of "+15".
    – badp
    Dec 8, 2013 at 15:26
  • 1
    +1 for the suggested "highlighted icon". That's much nicer.
    – Kerrek SB
    Dec 8, 2013 at 16:31
  • 2
    @badp It will get downvoted, sometimes for no reason, and sometimes you just realize yourself that you were wrong with something. I like the idea of showing downvotes with the icon coming (partially) red. I'm neutral on hiding the chiffres, I don't really care about that thing.
    – yo'
    Dec 8, 2013 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


Seems to me there are some simple solutions to this which could please the majority.
Colour schemes!

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


Rep gains become super meaningless after 1k rep or so, and so does the notification.

Well, hitting the rep cap is not meaningless no matter how much rep you have. Though it can be meaningless after you get the rep-cap-hit badges I guess.

A positive rep change does not warrant any action. The point of notifications is to make you aware of action you need to take.

It does. After you hit the rep cap it makes you aware of an important action you need to take: "take it easy, get some rest, get some sleep".

It further enhances the impression that rep gains are the only thing that counts in this place, instead of providing quality content and caring about the community.

What's "quality content"? I can give you a hint - it's about "quality". And quality is measured by the community's response, which is correlated with rep. It's all connected somehow, not very strictly I agree, but it's not something completely different as your statement seems to suggest.

  • I agree that hitting the rep cap might be a useful thing to notify about - but the new bar doesn't do that. Quite the opposite, it shows you new upvotes even if you already hit the cap.
    – Pekka
    Dec 8, 2013 at 3:58
  • @Pëkka I've used it in this way - I kept watching the number until it reached 200. But I agree that it's not straightforward.
    – BartoszKP
    Dec 8, 2013 at 12:53
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    I don't agree with "rep is a measure of quality". Rep itself measures very little, as was, is and will ever be discussed here plenty of times. I honestly consider it stupid that the new topbar so much emphasizes the rep. People care to much about that meaningless 1-to-7 digit number, instead of caring about giving and getting real feedback, listening to comments they get -- positive or negative, etc. I quite agree with the OP that getting a downvote is much more singificant than getting an upvote, yet the new topbar currently hides this. What the heck?
    – yo'
    Dec 8, 2013 at 18:51
  • @tohecz Well I didn't say that rep is flawless. But it is the only thing we have here, don't we? Even if it's not perfect, it is a way to measure quality. You are right with the asymmetry though, negative rep should be emphasized.
    – BartoszKP
    Dec 8, 2013 at 19:01
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    @BartoszKP Yes, and positive should not be emphasize, since rep is not a good measure. However, I agree that it's the only quantitative measure here.
    – yo'
    Dec 8, 2013 at 19:15

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