At the bottom of the "Achievements" dropdown, there is a new section displaying the next privilege & badge, similar to the profile page ones:

screenshot of achievements notification dropdown

It's nice, but for experienced users I don't really see it being that useful, as it adds clutter to an already packed UI, and hides information which I do want to see, forcing me to scroll. Especially on Meta sites, the information it shows may not be very useful for me:

screenshot of progression bar at bottom of notification dropdown

In some cases it may even be bad: reminding me that I only have to upvote 14 more things in order to get the electorate badge, and new or badge-hungry users may go and upvote something just to get the badge. (I believe this has been discussed before, but seeing the "reminder" every time you open the achievements dropdown would make this worse.)

Also, as mentioned in the answer, if it's showing a gold badge, it draws your attention even if you're not directly looking at it, thus being somewhat distracting.

  • Is it really necessary? - Looks like feature creep to me.

  • Could we get an option to disable this? - I know I could write a userscript of some kind, but still.

  • Is it a one time deal (triggers when a new badge is earned) or it's stays there permanently? Sep 5, 2015 at 13:06
  • 1
    @HackerKarma, It's always there. Sep 5, 2015 at 13:07
  • 2
    Ok... then it's definitely needs a change... +1 for your feature-req. Sep 5, 2015 at 13:12
  • 9
    There is? I've never seen this before. And I don't see anything now...
    – Zizouz212
    Sep 5, 2015 at 14:23
  • 1
    Wonder if some sort of A/B testing is going on? Someone mentioned this in chat earlier today but it didn't appear for me then or now either.
    – PeterJ
    Sep 5, 2015 at 14:47
  • 1
    @PeterJ yeah - it's weird - I can see it on one computer (osx) but not the other (win10)... same browser, no extensions. Sep 5, 2015 at 14:49
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    We're currently A/B testing this feature to see how it performs. I personally agree with some of the issues brought up here (such as confusing per-site concerns with global, as raised by Monica in the answers), but we'll see how it goes. No promises on whether we'd add an option to disable it (assuming we decide to keep it), but I will say that if we see overall positive results in user behaviour, we'll put more time into making the next badge/privilege tracker more usable in the dropdown.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 6, 2015 at 6:10
  • I just realized this A/B testing. Even weirder, I randomly see this on my only account, on the same browser. and the only difference is by refreshing the page. Now I see it, later I don't. :/ Sep 17, 2015 at 14:48
  • 6
    The A/B test has completed for now, but we'll probably run another one before making a final decision (for a variety of reasons that don't really make sense to explain here). Either way, if we were to decide to move forward with it (that decision has not been made yet), we'd work towards making it less intrusive. So, for the time being, I'll make this status-review. Sep 24, 2015 at 11:31
  • @ThomasOrozco Did anything ever come from the A/B test ? Did it perform well or not ? Just curious. Jun 16, 2016 at 14:06

4 Answers 4


I agree; this takes a lot of space away from stuff I'd much rather see (more of the regular notifications). It's especially annoying when it covers up new notifications.

This also violates the design intent of the global-notifications pane. That stuff is supposed to be, well, global; nothing else there changes as I move around the network. So the distracting thing that covers up the content I want to see is also dynamic, which draws my attention to it.

It's also peculiar that a notification about badge progress -- that is, stuff about a badge I don't have yet -- is much much bigger than the notification of a badge I actually earned.

If I want my badge progress on my current site it's one click away. I guess the theory is that this might get the attention of people who aren't paying attention to badges, but how many of them are going to start just because they started getting a persistent notification?

If the "next badge" information is important enough to notify in some manner (I'm not convinced it is, but if), how about generating an actual notification for it? So when you get the badge you were working toward, you'd get two notifications, the usual one and then this one, normal-sized and governed by the scrollbar. The notifications would be branded with the site logos, and the notification list would remain global. Just a thought.

  • 5
    We're A/B-testing this tracker right now. Assuming it performs well, we'll put more time into "congrats! you earned X" notifications. (Our initial designs for it interfered with how we decide when to mark achievements as "read" and we opted to run the test without making any changes to that first.)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 6, 2015 at 6:11
  • 2
    @AnnaLear thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, did you consider using the under-utilized real estate in the badge-count hover? Currently if I hover in the top bar over the badge display it just tells me how many of each I have, which is already there in the clear text. (Granted, putting it in the mouse-over helps the vision-impaired, so don't lose that, but you could add to it, maybe.) Sep 6, 2015 at 15:28
  • I don't know if it was considered, but thinking about it now... I'm not a huge fan of putting something up that can be accessed on hover only (for one, that'd never work on a tablet), and changing the click behaviour from going to the user profile to showing achievement progress also sounds suboptimal.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 7, 2015 at 15:11
  • @AnnaLear now that I've thought about it more, I'm not a fan either. (Changing the click behavior there would be bad, I agree. Putting this in the hover might be too invasive, plus, as you say, there's the tablet problem.) If the "next badge" information is important enough to notify in some manner, how about generating an actual notification for it? So when you get the badge you were working toward, you'd get two notifications, the usual one and then this one. The notifications would be branded with the site logos, and the notification list would remain global. Just a thought. Sep 7, 2015 at 16:09

I find this particularly distracting when the next badge is a gold one: the color is bright enough and the rectangle is large enough to demand my attention even if I am not looking directly at it.

The boxes appear to be a continuation of Stack Exchange: where shiny pixels are earned rebranding that began with user profile redesign. Presumably, this is an attempt to make users care about the aforementioned pixels.

The current stage appears to be A/B testing (I see the boxes on one computer but not another), so there is a hope of it being ditched; though given the general direction of Stack Exchange UI, the hope is slim.

  • 2
    +1 as I agree with you. "current stage appears to be A/B testing" how do you get to see this? I can't see this in my SO or Meta.SE Sep 5, 2015 at 20:07
  • 2
    @Hack I see it on all sites I checked. (5, too lazy to check all) Sep 5, 2015 at 22:08

I don't think we should have a option to disable it.

Ergonomics options are often the consequence of application designers being unable to choose and this would be no exception.

We shouldn't have an option to disable it because this tracker should really not be here. There's no reason to put it with the notifications of things really happening.

If we want to see the badge tracker, and it's not every few minutes even for the most addicted users, there's already a perfect location where it belongs, near the progress of all our tags and other badges.

Please don't clutter the interface, and don't clutter the options, simply remove this tracker from the achievements notifications dropdown.


As a workaround, I used the following stylesheet in Stylish to remove it:

@-moz-document domain("stackoverflow.com") {
  .achievements-dialog .modal-content.short {
    max-height: 390px; /* Instead of 297px */
  #next-badge-and-privilege {
    display: none;

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