Get Started with Digital Badges: Benefits, Design & Tools

Are you looking to recognize skills and achievements in your organization or community? Digital badges are a great way to do that. They are an internet version of traditional badges that contain metadata and are shareable across the web. In this article, we will explore what digital badges are, who is using them, and how you can design and launch your badge program.

What are Digital Badges?

Digital badges are a type of digital credential that represents an achievement, skill, or participation in a specific activity or event. They contain metadata, such as the issuer’s name, the badge name, and the criteria required to earn the badge. Digital badges are shareable across the web, which means that badge earners can display them on their social media profiles, resumes, or online portfolios.

Why are Digital Badges Cool?

Digital badges offer several benefits for different stakeholders in the badge ecosystem. For issuers, digital badges provide flexibility in badge design, data tracking, and engagement. Badge issuers can design their badge programs to drive specific behaviors and track how their badges are being used and shared. For badge recipients, digital badges provide a digital format of their achievements and skills that they can share across the web. Multiple badges can help them build a portfolio of their skills and experiences. For consumers, such as employers or college administrators, digital badges offer a way to verify the skills and achievements of a badge earner easily.

Who is Using Digital Badges?

Many organizations and institutions are using digital badges to recognize skills and achievements. IBM has a design thinking collaborator badge that recognizes participants who have demonstrated their ability to apply design thinking methods to drive outcomes with IBM. Santa Barbara Community College has a badge program that rewards badge earners for completing specific courses. There are currently over 2,000 organizations issuing digital badges, and the number is growing.

How to Design a Digital Badge Program?

Designing a digital badge program requires defining the badge criteria, designing the badge image, and deciding on the badge’s metadata. The badge criteria should be specific, measurable, and achievable. The badge image should be simple, recognizable, and appealing. The metadata should include the issuer’s name, the badge name, the badge criteria, and the evidence required to earn the badge. Issuers can use badge design software such as Canva or Adobe Illustrator to create the badge image and metadata.

How to Launch a Digital Badge Program?

Once you have designed your digital badge program, it’s time to launch it. You can use digital badge platforms such as Badgr, Credly, or Open Badge Factory to create, issue, and manage your badges. These platforms offer a range of features such as badge templates, customizable metadata, badge issuing workflows, and badge analytics. You can also integrate digital badges into your existing learning management systems or websites using Open Badges or other badge integration tools.


Digital badges offer a modern and flexible way to recognize skills and achievements in your organization or community. They are shareable, trackable, and verifiable, making them a valuable addition to your recognition toolkit. By designing and launching your digital badge program, you can motivate your learners, engage your stakeholders, and showcase the impact of your learning programs. Get started with digital badges today, and join the growing community of badge issuers and earners. You may also interest to find out more about Accreditable Digital Badge from our previous post.