I would love your help with something


The thing that is currently bugging me the most about this vBulletin install (aside from the CAPTCHA) is the list of reputation statuses.

This is how it currently looks.

I’d love to swap those out for some UX related phrases, but I need your help to come up with them. Got any ideas?

I’ll award extra rep points to anyone that comes up with one that we use. :wink:


I cannot open the image. Could you please check if the url is correct :).


Sorry! Fixed.


Definitely like the idea of customising these with a UX-geek-inspired series of phrases. Should this list of reputation statuses be a progression from “newcomer to the community” up to “regular and valued contributor”? It’s not obvious to me which order the existing list traverses, if any.


This is an interesting problem! What title can we give groups of people based on their activity? I remember I use to be involved with a pokemon forum (don’t laugh!), where they used gamification to determine status titles. It started out as ‘rookie’ and then progressed through the various gym badges and ultimately ended with ‘champion’. In this case we want to avoid titles that may clash with the job title of individuals. Now that would be confusing. Oops pretty sure I just confused everyone!


I thought of some kind of imagery (i.e. to be more ‘UX’ and ‘UI’ friendly) but I guess it is not possible as you use some kind of a template for the forums. Right?


I do have some flexibility. What imagery were you referring to?


Sorry, let me make it more clear.


I like this thought as a way to add some visual/“badging” appeal. Im thinking the icons would have to be customised.
Maybe the icons can be created from the tools used by UXers. (like post-its, wireframes, pens, sketchbooks, etc…)

Example: If I’m above 2000 posts = Reputation beyond repute - [B]your icon could be a custom icon of a pack of post-its[/B]! LOL. Just an idea - however, keeping the UX theme.


I think using game mechanics in forums is a double edged sword. If the goal is to promote good posts and engagement, then getting to 500 posts for a custom title might seem like a good thing - but the risk is that people will post whatever to get to that reward. If you reward based on quality (thumbs up / thumbs down) then you will probably get better engagement, and more thought out answers.

By the way - this is a pretty general response - for here, the levels should be based on Pokemon characters :wink:


Love it! That’s a fantastic idea. I can totally get that sorted.

You’ve hit on the dilemma of every Community Manager the world over. We all have opinions one way or the other. Mine is complicated. I believe that gamification works for some people and not others. Used in isolation it is generally more detrimental than not, but it can be carefully managed so that the positive benefits are realised without people taking advantage of it. If you have a clear set of post quality guidelines (which we have here) then you can moderate according to those and people can’t bolster post count.

The way that this vBulletin reputation system works is pretty good. You gain reputation points when your peers Like your posts. In order for that to happen, they have to be good posts (= value). You can’t down-vote, which I think is great. That introduces negativity into a community. I would rather that people flagged posts that they have issues with and a moderator can make an unbiased decision on the outcome. Post count has no impact on an individual’s reputation, but it does affect their reputation POWER, which is the weight that one of their likes gives to another post.

So I guess the bottom line here is that this reputation system can’t be gamed by an individual.

So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll stop nagging and get these descriptions done inhouse. I’ll also get Matt to sketch up some badges when he gets a chance and we can use those in place of the reputation bar for a more UX flavour. Sound sensible?


I love TheSirDuke’s idea of a pile of post-its/markers etc growing in size with each increase in level. I wonder what the dimensions of the badge images are? Hopefully we can squeeze enough detail in to communicate this as it’s a great concept and very in keeping with the UX theme! Nice work Duke!

Now we just have to get the descriptions of each level worked out… at least the bar has been set low for improving the default descriptions. They’re just weird :eek:


Unfortunately vB won’t let me customise the reputation images without hacking the code, which I can’t do because we’re cloud hosted. I can add user ranks with associated images, but that is based on post count only, and that is where gamification goes wrong.

So… we’re back to square one with this. I’ll edit the descriptions next week, but we’ll have to rely on usergroup badges (more on that soon) to add the graphic UX feel.


Now that is a sweet badge. Awesome work guys!


Ok, as promised I have come up with a list of replacement reputation status descriptions that have a bit more of a UX flavour. I’d love your feedback. I’m happy to make changes…

is on the road to UX mastery
is consistent
is a leader, not a follower
is a prototyping genius
is more focussed than a focus group
makes the complicated awesomely simple
is impossible to misunderstand
is worth a thousand expert opinions
is worth a thousand pictures
is a UXpert
is a UX Master


Pretty good! I like the positive-minded progression towards UX Mastery, and the use of UX lingo. The hierarchy of the rankings gets a little hard to see in the middle.


Yeah, agreed, that needs more work. Let me iterate. (See what I did there?)


Ok, does this make more sense?

is on the road to UX mastery
is consistent
is more focussed than a focus group
is impossible to misunderstand
makes the complicated awesomely simple
is worth a thousand pictures
​is a leader, not a follower
is a prototyping genius
is worth a thousand expert opinions
is a UXpert
is a UX Master


@Hawk - I agree with Luke yet I absolutely love this list. The progression leading up to UX Mastery is an awesome connection to the community. Getting very close to a golden list.