Badges are designed to reinforce desirable behaviours from users on a forum. They are awarded based on a pre-determined criteria or threshold passed. Earning a badge does not necessarily signify that a user is the best or the most reputable user in the community but rather is a one reward among many within a comprehensive gamification strategy and should be coupled with other elements of gamification to drive the behaviours you want to see in your community.
Vanilla’s Badges add-on automatically creates a wide variety of badges. Some relate to core forum functions like commenting, and some are only triggered by the use of additional add-ons like Reactions and Q&A. Default badges are assigned to users automatically when certain conditions are met.
Vanilla’s Default Badges are;
Name Dropper - Awarded the first time a user @ mentions another user in the community.
Photogenic - Awarded the first time a user updates their profile photo in the community.
Comment badges - Awarded for the first comment and after 10, 100, 500, 1000, 2500, 5000, 10,000, 25,000 and 50,000 comments.
Reaction badges - Awarded once a user has received 5, 25, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, 10,000 of a single reaction. Badges are available for each of our default Reactions.
Answer badges - Awarded once a user has provided their first answer and after providing 5, 25, 100, 250 answers.
n.b. By default the Answer badges will be triggered based on number of Answers posted, however, if you have enabled the toggle to award points for answering questions, the Answer badges will only be awarded based on the number of Accepted Answers posted.
All badges are listed in the Dashboard under “Badges”. This includes all badges that have been created in your forum, listing both Enabled and Disabled badges.
By Default, a list of achieved badges will appear in the panel of the user profile as a grid. Badges awarded incrementally (such as membership anniversaries) will “stack”, meaning only the highest tier badge will show.
Viewing a Badge
You will see a description of each badge by clicking on the badge name. Users can get to this page by clicking the badge in their profile. This page will show the most recent recipients of the given badge.
You can showcase a list of all available badges by adding the following to the end of your community URL /badges/all.
To disable a badge and prevent it from displaying publicly, simply click the toggle to the left, this will indicate it is no longer active. Inactive badges remain awarded to any users that received it previously, however they will no longer display on the user profile. You can re-enable a badge simply click the toggle to the right, indicating that it is active again.
Default badges cannot be deleted, however Custom Badges (link to Creating your own badge) can.
Editing a badge
You can safely edit the Name, Description and/or Image of any badge without affecting its automated functionality. This will also update for any users who previously received the badge.
The “Slug” field is what shows in the URL for the badge’s page. It is its unique identifier. Changing the prefix of a badge’s Slug will cause it to be disassociated with any automation assigned to it. Therefore, do not change the prefix of the Slug of the Badges that come with Vanilla by default.
For example; you can update agree-5 to agree-7, but you cannot update awesome-5 to love-5.
You may change the Points and threshold for a badge at any time. Point changes and Thresholds are not retroactive for users who previously received it.
Creating your own badges
Along with the default badges available in Vanilla, you can create your own Custom Badges. Pick a memorable Name for your badge and give it a Description that explains what the badge is for and how users can earn it. This information will appear on the Badge’s page.
The Slug should consist of only lowercase letters, numbers, and hyphens. A unique slug is required for each badge.
Add a 200x200 PNG for the image.
Custom Badges cannot currently be awarded automatically through Vanilla, they must be given manually or via API. Read more about awarding badges via APIv2.
Creating Automated Custom Badges
Certain badges in Vanilla are automated, meaning that they are automatically given to users based on certain actions or criteria (when they receive a certain number of reactions, change their profile picture, etc).
If you need a custom automated badge, there are a few possibilities:
- Custom Work: talk to your Sales Executive or your CSM to get an estimate on custom work to achieve this. This is restricted to Corporate or higher tier plan customers.
- Feature Request: Think your badge idea is awesome and would benefit our product as a whole? Submit your idea here.
- DIY: This method will require an experienced developer writing code that includes the criteria/action/logic on your side, and then based on that logic, making a POST call to your community to give the badge to the appropriate user(s). See API reference docs.
Giving a badge
The Badges->Give permission is required for a user to give badges. By default, Moderators and Administrators have this permission. Read more about Roles and Permissions.
To manually give a badge to one or more users, click the “Give” button from the Badges list in your Dashboard and type a username in the provided box. You can give a badge to many users at once by typing all their usernames, separated by commas.
From a user’s profile, you may select “Give Badge” from their options menu to give that user a particular badge.
Revoking a badge
You may revoke a badge from a user’s profile by clicking the number which appears next to the Badge in your Dashboard and then clicking Revoke next to the user’s name.
Requesting a badge
For a user to be able to request a badge they must have the Badges->Request permission. Read more about Roles and Permissions.
Manually-awarded badges will have a “Request This Badge” button on their view page. Badges that are triggered automatically do not have this option.
When a user requests a badge, they will be prompted to provide a reason as to why they deserve the badge. This will appear to Admins and Mods as they approve the badges.
Requests for badges are viewable in the Dashboard under “Badge Requests”. Administrators and Moderators can Approve or Decline badge requests individually or in bulk.
Users with the permission to Give badges (Admins/Mods) will be able to see the Badge Requests page. They will also have an option under Notification Preferences in their profile to be notified of new badge requests by pop up or email.
Add-ons that assign badges
Reactions - A badge is awarded once a user has received 5, 25, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, 10,000 of a single reaction. Badges are available for each of our default Reactions.
Question & Answers (Q&A) - Badges are awarded for having your answer to a question marked as the ‘accepted’ answer. Users will receive a badge for their first accepted answer as well as after providing 5, 25, 50, 100, 250 answers.