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Currently the next privilege progress bar shows 'overall' progress. It would make more sense to show the marginal progress starting from the previously achieved privilege (i.e. reset to 0% after each new privilege is achieved)

For example, in the GIS SE I recently achieved a new privilege at 1,000 reputation, and my next privilege is at 2,000. My current reputation is ~1,200, and the progress bar is ~60% full. I'm proposing that it should show ~20% progress, because I've gained 200 of marginal 1,000 reputation needed for my next privilege.

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    Interesting additional information: Some sites have their Privilege levels moved around (different order) or have different levels from others; in some cases (such as before appointment of pro-temp moderators, and when CMs are busy (and responsibility had been demonstrated)) levels are lowered (such as for Tag Wiki approval) to save CMs having to do moderator duties every few days: meta.stackexchange.com/a/160292/282094 - changing from 'distance to' to 'distance between' would make the journey appear longer than it really is; but would more finely graduate the distance. – Rob Nov 16 at 18:09
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At this moment, everywhere you look (mainly the privilege page and a load of past meta posts), it'll be saying that you'll be getting your next privilege at 2000 reputation total.

While it's true that the gap from 1000 to 2000 is only 1000 points, it makes talking about privilege thresholds a lot harder. Right now I can shout a number (10k privilege, 25k privilege) and a lot of people will know what I'm talking about. Talking in increments isn't nearly as clear-cut, and might even confuse people that aren't as good with mathematics or English.

Communicating privilege levels in increments will likely lead to more questions like some of the ones we already have about badges. I'd expect some other user to come wandering by and ask "I have 1200 reputation, yet the progress bar is showing I only have 200 out of 1000. Is this caching?".

Unless the way sites talk about privilege thresholds changes to also talk about increments. But again: This will likely be more confusing. There's a difference between saying "you get privileges at 5, 15, and 50 reputation points" and "you get privileges after your first 5 points, then after your next 10 points, and then after the 35 points after that". The first one is simpler and more direct :)

So it makes sense for the progress bar to communicate that you're at 1200 out of 2000. Bonus point is that it is a bit less depressing than a nearly empty bar ;)

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    That makes a lot of sense, thanks for that explanation. – Nick Nov 16 at 17:59

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