This is a repost of my earlier answer (25 votes) on the New Profile feedback master list. According to Oded's edit, that thread has been abandoned and we should raise our issues through the usual channels. As that issue went unaddressed...

I was dismayed to find that badge progress is unavailable for tag badges1.

When I heard of the badge-tracking feature, I was excited to begin tracking my progress toward the gold javascript badge:

So, I clicked the cog in the badge widget to configure my Next Badge...

... only to find that my desired badge was unavailable:

Kendra notes that, according to the blog post:

Once you’ve earned all the privileges, the “next privilege” bar automatically starts tracking your progress toward your closest tag badge (or another one of your choosing).

So, tag badges aren't treated like other badges; you have to earn 20k rep before tracking them... in a separate widget... which is both unexpected and disappointing.

I imagine that design discussion went something like this:

Engineer: Are we really going to put all these tag badges in the unfiltered select your next badge view? That's going to cause a performance hit.
Designer: That, and it's really going to clutter the view. By the way, I need something to put in the next permission space once a user has all permissions. I hate wasted space...
Unicorn: Guys, guys... two birds with one stone! We'll track tag badges in the space used for next privilege... and since they'll need 20k rep, that's only like 1% of our users who will ever potentially see it! Performance hit averted and, as a bonus, we can promote this feature as a "reward" for high-rep users. It all hangs together so perfectly! #guitar-riff #rainbow-trail

Unicorn's solution, while certainly expeditious and spin savvy, leaves a bit to be desired. I'd suggest one of the following:

  • Add some UI cue which indicates to the user that suddenly tag and non-tag badges will be treated differently... you know... just for this aspect of the site... for some unknown reason.
  • Simply add tag badges to the whole badge-tracking feature instead of setting them apart. Maybe filter by favorite tags or offer a 6th tab? I personally don't care that I won't have a next permission to track at 20k. There will still be plenty of badges... in the badge tracking UI. Just put a "you're awesome" sticker in the next permission slot.

1 I'm referring to my profile on stackoverflow (not a child meta site) in case that's not clear from the javascript tag. I only have ~18k rep.

  • 7
    Unicorn needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. May 22, 2015 at 19:14
  • 5
    +1 this is absurdly confusing, I can't see any reason to hide this really useful screen. There should be a simple "Tag badges" button on the "Select your next badge" screen (and a simple non-tag-badges button on the tag badges screen to switch back). For those of us not in the 20k club, you can see what you're missing here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/256068/… Jun 9, 2015 at 10:12
  • 1
    Yeah, you'd hope that after two months, 60 upvotes, a bounty and two sets of free design mockups they'd have at least noticed this question... Jun 18, 2015 at 14:05
  • 1
    I was expecting them to troll us by dropping a one-line answer "Unicorn says no, status-bydesign" seconds before the bounty expired to claim the automatically allocated points... Jun 18, 2015 at 14:28
  • 1
    FYI this has now been (sort of) fixed Sep 2, 2015 at 16:13
  • This should be status-bydesign. It's not in the standard badge. Apr 15, 2020 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


Update: you can now track tag badges with any amount of rep. But the interface design is currently... somewhat eccentric. Tag badges aren't in the logical place, with other badges, under "Badges". They're hidden away under "Reputation" (I guess… because tag badges involve reputation…? Wait, they don't, they use a different system), and requires two steps to reach it:

  1. First you use the cog next to the privilege tracker (which is intuitive, because the words "Tag", "Badge" and "Privilege" all contain the letter G), and turn off privilege tracking:

  2. Then you use the other cog, on the opposite side of the "Reputation" box, to change which tag badge you track. This process requires two different cogs, because the phrase "tag badge" contains two different words.

Here's my original suggestion: Just put tag badges as a tab in the place people already go when choosing which badge to track.

This is better than splitting the action of choosing a badge to track across two completely different sections of the UI. The "Select your next badge" screen is where people go to see what badges they can track, so it is the logical place for options to do with tracking badges.

For 20,000+ rep users, the empty privileges space could be used to track a second badge, of either type (tag or regular). Why not let the user choose?

SE profile pages already have a UI pattern for tabs which we can use, so users don't need to learn anything new and no new CSS needs to be written. Here's a simple mockup of one option based on the "title on the left, tabs on the right" pattern used in various places such as the top of answer lists:

enter image description here


enter image description here

Alternatively, here's a fully mocked up other option based on the "tabs on the left, serving as titles" pattern seen on profile pages:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Either of these options would also solve this other issue: New profile - select your next TAG badge to track

(second image borrowed from How does the "Next tag badge:" determine the badges to display?)


Your imagined dialog isn't too far from the truth. It went more like this:

Developer Ok, what does Jon Skeet's privilege tracker look like? "A Winner Is You"?

CM What about tag badges? Now that you can close duplicates with a gold badge they're kinda like privileges.

Manager: I'm sick of talking about the new profile. Ship it.

I'm afraid the problem was that these trackers were never the focus of the profile project. If you have an hour to waste, listen to this podcast for more of the story. I wasn't part of the project until the home stretch and I was sick of hearing about it. This plus the fact that not all of the sites have the new profile yet explain why we haven't addressed this feature request yet.

My suggestion would be to leave tag badges in the privilege tracker and allow people to select them before they run out of regular privileges. It's not an ideal UI, but it would give people a chance to stop pursuing reputation and start pursuing greatness in a particular tag without giving up on pursuing regular badges.

  • 2
    Please, just put it somewhere normal users can access it! I still don't understand why you don't want them as a simple tab in the place people would actually look for the feature (tag tracking) but please prioritise putting them somewhere, anywhere where 99% of users aren't arbitrarily excluded Aug 10, 2015 at 8:34
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    @user568458 We are working on fixing this. It's currently blocking a 25k privilege that's already built. It was an oversight and we're planning on making this feature useful for everyone. Aug 10, 2015 at 16:40

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