Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”?

  • I am looking for an easily identifiable awarding scheme, but without using metals, specifically "Gold, Silver, Bronze".

    Does such a thing exist?

    What is wrong with gold, silver and bronze? The context in which you are going to be using this may be helpful so we can cater the suggestion to that situation.

    There is nothing wrong with Gold, Silver and Bronze, I am just looking for alternative awarding schemes. For example someone here has suggested different coloured ribbons. I was wondering if there were any more?

    Solutions to this issue may be too context-dependent to make the question useful to others. For example, on an airline site you could progress from glider to biplane to jumbo jet, but those categories aren't likely to be useful outside that context.

    I would like the awarding scheme to be easily identifiable - pretty much everybody knows that Gold, Silver and Bronze are often awarded, and everybody knows their value in relationship to each other. Is there anything else like this?

    Gold, Silver and Bronze is an existing award scheme that works in any context (any context I can think of). It's easily identifiable. It has universal acceptance. Is there another award scheme like this, or similar? If not completely universal, near or approaching a universal acceptance? I feel like if I gave anyone here the context I am using I wouldn't get a universal awards scheme like "Gold, Silver, Bronze", instead I would get something very specific to the context I am working in - I dont want something specific to one context, I want something that is more universal than that.

    Are you looking for an award system that implies simply order, value, or both? For example, "First", "Second", "Third" implies order but not value. "Gold", "Silver", and "Bronze" implies an order that's based on value.

    Easily recognisable depends on your audience e.g. "Ace, King, Queen, Jack" or "King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight" are raking schemes for card and chess players respectively.

    @Jayfang I agree with your general point, but your examples are problematic: There are card games where the order is different, e.g. Ace counting as 1 or Ten being higher than King. The same applies to card suits. In chess, bishop and knight are often considered as being of equal value. Kings topping Queens is also kinda sexist.

    As usual, Wikipedia has something to contribute to the matter.

    It's worth noting that Silver is better than Gold if the Olympics are attacked by werewolves.

    @bjb568: Their order is not inherently clear; conventions vary a lot between countries and cultures. See, for example, school marks, which are sometimes numbers, sometimes letters, sometimes counting upwards and something counting downwards. **However**, if the number is expressed as the count of a "tangible object", it may work again - e.g. coins or diamonds - the numbers may work again, because then the inherent metaphor "the more, the better" starts working.

    Depending on your context, you could use a single rating. You're either "special" with a cool icon by your name or "normal" without.

    @O.R.Mapper It should be obvious enough with higher ranks being higher on the page, for example 3 bars left to right with 1st in the tallest middle bar or a list of rankings like SE's reputation legues.

    I vote for *Titanium* and *Unobtianium* to be added to the main three.

    I worked with one company in which the marketing department had decided that our default system of indicating customer priority as Gold/Silver/Bronze was making a value judgement. So if a customer found out (and in theory they could) that they had been marked as Bronze, then they might feel upset about their value to the company. Even though the company had marked them objectively as Bronze because they were not high value. We swapped icons/text to a industry specific variant; something like Sun/Planet/Moon

  • Jamezrp

    Jamezrp Correct answer

    7 years ago

    The struggle for a good top-rating system is...nightmarish. I've gone through it several times, and agree that gold/silver/bronze isn't particularly great. Here are some alternatives:

    • Smiley faces: Special rankings can be given with any number of different smiley faces using either custom or existing emoji. Unfortunately, ranking those individually is a challenge.
    • Jewels: Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, etc. Follows the same as metals however. Not as recognizable.
    • Stars: star ratings are typically considered big, but if it isn't a rating, then you can easily give 3, 4, or 5 stars as awards, where more stars is better. The amount doesn't really matter (1/2/3 or 3/4/5 work equally well, though the latter begs the question where do 1 & 2 stars go?)
    • Custom: Obviously the hardest, but depending on the context, potentially the most relevant too. If it's a halloween game, for example, instead of stars you could use skulls. If it's a medical forum, then high-ranking members may be displayed with a stethoscope, for example.

    Play around with it and see what you like. If you don't like gold/silver/bronze, then don't use it for sure. Because that's going to drive you crazy for a long time, and if you're the one who has to use the thing you're building...

    Instead of 3->5 stars, you could always just have 1->3 stars. Works well enough for restaurants - see Michelin Stars

    The 1->3 star design pattern works both if a user is being judged against other users, or against themselves. Mobile gaming relies heavily on this pattern to give players an indication of how they perform on individual levels (ex: Angry Birds)

    Why just not `Red Orange/Yellow Green?` (colours of traffic lights?)

    @jbutler483 traffic light colours may work, for sure. Even more so over here, in Portugal, as those are our flag colours, so they usually feel nice and comfortable. But as to question at hand it may not be a suitable replacement. Gold/Silver/Bronze are "degrees of goodness", they all have a positive tone (bronze medal is fine, right?), while Green/Yellow/Red has some negative connotation for Red (stop!) and only Green is really positive

    There is irony in the post editors receiving bronze badges for this answer.

    Of note on the star designs, bear in mind the stars need not be arranged linearly, depending on your UI layout. One star obviously has no dimension, and two stars have to be next to each other, but 3 stars can be arranged in a triangle (for either 1/2/3 or 3/4/5), and in a 3/4/5 scheme the 4 stars can be arranged in a square and 5 in a pentagon. Of course linear always remains an option if that fits your layout better :)

    A benefit to the star-based system is that they have greater accessibility. While you *can* carefully tune your gold/silver/bronze colors to maintain easy differentiability even for colorblind or low-sight users, counting stars is easier for either class of user than trying to differentiate color.

    If you were to go with the jewel theme, you could improve ranking differentiability by increasing the number of sides of the jewel on higher ranks, and keeping the colors in spectral order (e.g. ruby, topaz, citrine, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, diamond). The side count can be differentiated by a fully colorblind user, though less than the star counts for low-sight users, while fully sighted users will quickly learn to correlate the spectral association with rank.

    If having icons is no real requirement, you could have custom application-specific titles. To quote Graham Nelson's "The Craft of the Adventure" (2nd Ed), from section Scoring in chapter 6: > Another amusing touch is that ranks tend to be named for the player's profession in the game - so, a musician might begin as "Novice" and rise through "Second Violinist" to "Conductor". One of the wittiest is in the detective game 'Sherlock', where the lowest rank - of zero achievement - is "Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard".

    The OneWorld alliance of airlines uses Ruby < Sapphire < Emerald for its frequent flyer cards. Although they're always listed and displayed in that order, it isn't immediately obvious which are better. British Airways uses Blue < Bronze < Silver < Gold; Blue is one of the colours associated with BA - the colour of part of the logo and until recently plane interiors (now black)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM