My company is making Android apps, mostly little games... Most of them have a view with the users profile and a view with a ranking list.

In the users profile you can see what rank the user is and of course you can see it in the ranking list. The ranking list shows ranks 1 - 100 and if the user is rank 35476 we are showing ranks 35466 to 35486 too, so whatever your rank, you are always in the ranking list.

Now my boss wants me to scroll the ranking list to the users position and I don't understand why you'd want this. You can see the rank in the profile and in my mind, when I go to the ranking list, I want to see the top guys and see how much points or whatever they have and I am not interested in seeing rank 35475 or 35477...this just doesn't make sense to me.

Is there some consensus on where to scroll the ranking list?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is actually quite subjective and very much down to opinion. If your boss is wanting to scroll to the users' position then I suggest that you do just that. Unless you have a tangible reason that your companies game should do it otherwise then there is no reason to change it. As this is very much an opinion based answer I am voting to close. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2014 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe we should still wait a bit, somebody might have arguments, pro or contra. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElDuderino
    Jul 21, 2014 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


Actually there are consequences to players whether you use one system or the other.

I quote

However, it can be very de-motivational for those at the bottom or even not on the leaderboard at all.[...] try to solve this issue by showing a users position relative to others of a similar rank.[...] you are less aware of how far down the list you are!

The rationale is that absolute leaderboards can be demotivational to many players, seeing how impossible is for them to reach the top. On the other hand, if you show only the players right above/below them, they can get encouraged to overcome "that guy just right over me".

There are also several possible mixed solutions, beyond the basic just show both. One that I like particularly is using a relative leaderboard for the general player list, and an absolute leaderboard for your friend list. That way, you don't know your general position in all the game players, but you know that you are 5th in your friend list. This isn't as aggravating as your friend list usually is not that big, you can have a shot at the top position and it encourages competition between friends.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good source! A very handy point. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2014 at 9:50

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