In the top left hand corner of this webpage that you are looking at right now is the word StackExchange. To the left of that is either a balloon like object with horizontal lines through it, or a red circle that has a number in it.

I was driving me crazy as to what it is and what it means. I thought it has something to do with unread messages. I've clicked on it and scrolled down, but nothing was flagged in a way that said, "This might be important". I FINALLY scrolled down to the bottom and clicked on "more inbox messages" and then moved to the next page, and it finally went away. Yet there was NOTHING to state what it was referring to.

This seems to be a HUGELY FLAWED UI design. Could someone tell me what it is referring to? Or is it just to drive people nuts? :/

  • I've never had any trouble interpreting the notifications icon. You realize there are different tabs in the dropdown that appears when you click the StackExchange icon? Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:43
  • @Brad: why did you edit my message?
    – Adrian
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:53
  • 2
    Thanks and salutations are considered not needed. The questions (and answers) here are meant to stand on their own. Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:54
  • Also see the FAQ Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


That tells you that someone has responded to a post or comment that you made.

  • It didn't seem to be flagged in any way. Bolded or such.
    – Adrian
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    A user may have left a comment, then deleted it. The database then didn't get a chance to update before you clicked on it.
    – Kruug
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:42
  • That's probably it. When you guys posted, it showed it with a light yellow background. Thanks.
    – Adrian
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:51
  • 4
    @Adrian: These very comments should be giving you a chance to see how it works. :) Commented May 7, 2013 at 20:53

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