1

I'm talking about the tabs provided in the navigation (menu-bar): "Questions", "Tags", "Users", "Badges", "Unanswered" and "Ask Question".

I think "Badges" is a topic in the help center and can be easily accessible from help center like "Privileges":

Help page linking to 'Badges' and 'Privileges'

I think here is no need to provide a tab for "Badges" in the navigation! (It is /help/badges rather than /badges anyway.)

So, let me ask: Why do "Badges" have their own tab in the navigation? Or let me suggest: shun/give-up the "Badges" tab from navigation.

18

To a large extent, the reasons are historical. When Stack Overflow, the original Stack Exchange site, was created, badges were made rather prominent because they have a huge part in reinforcing positive behaviors, and that's pretty pointless if nobody knows about them.

Of course the reinforcement part hasn't changed, but today there are many more onboarding flows and other features that more naturally guide users towards learning about badges than saying "Big button at the top! Read this!".

The fact that the badges page these days is considered part of the help center, instead of being a top-level section of its own, shows how the page's priority has decreased over time.

So if we decide to straighten up the top navigation (in particular, look at Stack Overflow, which already has the additional Jobs and Documentation top level navigation items), the badges link will indeed very likely be the first on the chopping block.

15

No, let's not remove that, for now.

There is a difference between badges and privileges. Badges have always existed to award and stimulate positive behavior. The badges are modeled such that users are encouraged to use specific functions of the site, to help establishing the goal of being a repository of knowledge.

It is important to show those badges and who earned them and with what, for example altruist. When other users see that they might decide to do a similar thing. They are actionable.

For privileges the story is much more difficult. Specially because getting reputation is not something you can directly influence. Reputation and the privileges that come with it only happen to you because you're trusted by your fellow users. You can't create reputation and with that privileges. You can only edit and post and then hope that others value your contribution on its merits.

It also doesn't make much sense to show which users just gained the privilege to vote down, or create a chat room. So there is no interesting follow-up that can trigger a user to do an action. Privileges are much more static and only a fact of life.

That said: I think the badges deserve their place in the menu. I'm sure privileges shouldn't be there as it will sent the wrong message (reputation is important! it is not ...). When there are new items that need a place on the tab menu, I can live with it if badges is being removed as an item, assuming it is going to be replaced with something more awesome.

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