A leaderboard, containing a list of rankings representing performance in a particular category or overall standings, helps to show users exactly how they are performing in relation to others. This can increase competitiveness and give users a clear indication of how others are performing, which would not necessarily be apparent without a leaderboard.
Examples from user interface design where leaderboards are implemented include online gaming communities, online courses (such as the Leaderboard in the IDF courses ‘Meet Your Peers’ section), Amazon’s list of top reviewers and the top tweeters, as seen in the image above.
Why choose leaderboards?
In competitive communities, leaderboards can encourage users to continue using your product or service as they strive to improve their standing. It is important to make it clear to the user how they are performing compared to other competitors. Therefore, leaderboards provide a visible and concise way of displaying relative performance levels, which can motivate users to try harder and persevere with your product or service.
To show users how they are performing in relation to others, place their username and their current position within the same region as the leaderboard. For example, if you are displaying the top ten players in an online football game, you could put the users name and the number of their current position at the bottom of these, but make sure the user’s position is highlighted and distinguished from the other players, so they can immediately identify the personally relevant information.
Where appropriate, you might also wish to show users further leaderboards, such as a ‘Hall of Fame’ (representing the best performers ever to have played a game, used a service etc), a day-by-day, week-by-week or month-by-month breakdown.
Filters can also improve the user experience, allowing players/users to view select groups of competitors, such as friends, family or a customized list of rivals. Like this, the user can view the desired players/users without having to search for them in a much larger list.