Problem summary

We adjust our personal behavior to reflect positively on how peers or the public perceive us


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Reputation is what your audience knows about your knowledge of the subject.

Reputation depends on:

  • Achievements or acknowledgments from others in the area, such as, awards and testimonials.
  • Your experience and the amount of years you have worked in this area.
  • How involved you were with this topic – are you a key character?
  • Your expertise should be verified. Have you earned certifications or have other ways of showing off your proven expertise?
  • Your contribution to the area, perhaps through blogs, books, papers and products.
  • Your authority

Authority and reputation are usually predetermined before your users meet you, why it can be difficult to change the audience’s mind about it directly in the situation. However, it’s easier to change people’s perception about how trustworthy and how alike you are in the situation.

  • Let people build reputation. Let users share information, contribute content, connect to other people, keep a record of their personal activities, and perform other activities that are in line with the purpose of your community.
  • Encourage wanted behavior. Highlight how specific behavior on your platform can boost reputation growth, access, and capabilities. Similarly, discourage unwanted behavior by either not allowing it or making it harder to perform.
  • Promote track record. Provide easy access to testimonials, reviews, accomplishments, papers, and anything that can build on the values of honesty, ethicality, and compassion.


Allow users to build reputation by contributing content, sharing information, connecting people, and performing activities that are in line with the purpose of your community. Consider ways to draw in data from external social identities built up on other sites.


1 Jebb, Richard C. (trans.) (1909). The Rhetoric of Aristotle. Cambridge: University Press.

2 Manzoor, et. al. (2020), Influence via Ethos: On the Persuasive Power of Reputation in Deliberation Online, Cornell Universitiy, arXiv:2006.00707

3 “Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 Pillars of Public Speaking and Persuasion
": by Gini Bequiri

4 Designing your reputation system – a presentation by Bryce Glass from Yahoo on the competitive spectrum.

User Interface Design Patterns