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The Curious, Inquisitive, and Socratic badge family (i.e., the "asking days badges") are awarded based on two criteria:

  • Achieved a threshold number of qualifying days (days when one's asked a positively-received question, and asked no negatively-received questions)
  • Have a question record score of at least 0.5

The badge "progress" for these badges in the user profile is based entirely on one's progress towards the first criterion, without regard to what the question record score is for the second one. This can, in turn, lead to a situation where the user apparently has 100% progress toward such a badge but hasn't earned it. This was filed as a bug report in the past, but marked as by design.

Per How is the recommended next badge determined exactly?, so long as the user has earned or is ineligible to earn four higher-priority badges, the "Recommended" badge is the badge with the highest progress out of badges that have at least 50% progress. This is normally intended to recommend the badge that is the "easiest" to earn out of the many available to track. This is set as the default badge to track, and if the user changes it to a different one and earns it, it will revert back to that default selection.

However, this creates an interesting situation with the asking days badges, if one's in the above situation of having enough qualifying days but not having a record score 0.5 or higher: the "Recommended" badge will always be that badge, since it's at 100% progress. But it's possible that the user may be way off from earning that badge as their record score is much lower than 0.5, and so a different badge with below 100% progress would be "easier" to earn.

This situation is more common than you may think, especially considering that a question being negatively-received, closed, or deleted has each of those count against the record score multiple times, not only once. As an example, a user who's asked eight questions on separate days, five of which were positively received, and the other three of which were two of negatively-voted, closed, or deleted, will have five qualifying days but a record score of only 0.25 ((8 - 2 - 2 - 2)/8). They'll need to have asked at least four more questions with no negative marks to reach a score of 0.5 ((12 - 2 - 2 - 2)/12), or six more if one of those happens to get one negative mark ((14 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 1)/14).

Also, the fact that the badge indicator shows 100% progress with no badge awarded continues to confuse users again and again and again and again. While there's another feature request asking for question record scores to be factored into the badge progress indicator, preventing this badge family from being the "Recommended" badge will solve at least part of the problem, especially the fact that the system continues to recommend a badge that was apparently supposed to have been given out but wasn't. It will make it so that the problem is seen by fewer people, only if they actually go through and scroll through their badge tracker selection rather than automatically by default to more people.

To be clear, this proposal would not prevent users from manually selecting one of those badges if they so choose; it would only prevent those badges from being automatically chosen if they're currently ineligible to earn them on the basis that their record score is too low.

I thought about other solutions to this overall issue, such as showing the progress as zero if the user doesn't have a 0.5+ record score, but that's not a viable solution because a user may want to see how many qualifying days they have toward the badge family even though they don't have the required record score.

Can we please prevent the Curious, Inquisitive, and Socratic badges from appearing as the "Recommended" badge if the user doesn't have a question record score 0.5 or higher? It's disheartening to work hard toward a badge that the system recommended you work towards as your next badge, only to be told after you've completed its progress that you aren't eligible to earn it because your record score is too low even though you have the required 100% progress.

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    I think this is the most elegant solution to the problem. It would also be a consistent solution as one could argue that you are ineligible for the badge as long as you dont have the required question record score.
    – Luuklag
    Dec 4, 2020 at 10:11
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    IMO, this is the wrong solution. Someone who doesn't have a "positive question record" striving towards achieving a "positive question record" is a very good thing, IMO. Not allowing users to select these badges for the reason you propose is counterproductive. It would be much better to spend developer time to have the "question record score" be something that is displayed for the badge, so the user can work on that metric, rather than just not permitting the badge to be recommended, or not allowing the user to select the badge as the one they are working on.
    – Makyen
    Dec 5, 2020 at 21:45
  • @Makyen This question does not propose that users be disallowed from choosing to have those badges as the one that they're tracking. Rather, this question only asks for those badges to not be the recommended (i.e. automatically selected) badge to be tracked, because the actual progress toward earning the badge is not actually 100% and isn't actually reflected in the percentage. Implementing this request as written would still give users the ability to manually select and track those badges. Dec 5, 2020 at 21:47
  • If the point of the "recommended" algorithm is to select the badge that is the "easiest" to earn on the basis that it has the most progress, then it may possibly be choosing the wrong badge if the user has the required qualifying days but not the required record score. This question simply asks to fine-tune that algorithm so it's more accurate more of the time. Dec 5, 2020 at 21:49
  • I appreciate the clarification, but it doesn't change my POV on the request. I feel it would be better to spend the time to make it such that the user's progress towards the required metrics was shown, rather than spend the time to just not recommend the badges.
    – Makyen
    Dec 5, 2020 at 21:51
  • @Makyen Okay, alright, I linked to another feature request that asks for that, which you can support. I believe that that request would be much more time-consuming to implement technically, as it would require a rewrite of how progress toward that badge is calculated. On the other hand, implementing this would be just a simple tweak to the badge recommending algorithm, which is the second link from the top of my post. Implementing that other request would also not exclude this one from being done as well, they're not mutually exclusive. Dec 5, 2020 at 21:56

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