5 Tips for Perfect App Notifications

How to avoid frustrating users with notifications and create the best mobile app user experience

19 October 2021
  • App
  • UX
  • +2

More than 70% of users delete mobile apps from their smartphones because of annoying notifications

Team Conflux

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19 October 2021
  • App
  • UX
  • +2

The Top 7 Reasons Users Uninstall Apps

Users receive hundreds of notifications from Apps on their devices every day, but not all of the information is relevant to them. According to App Iterate Survey, more than 70% of users delete mobile apps from their phones because of annoying notifications. That’s why User Experience designers have an important task in providing users with the necessary, optimally designed communications, following a process analyzed in detail.


Image courtesy: UX Planet

According to a study from the Telefonica Research Center (Study of Mobile Phone Notifications), users get an average of 63.5 notifications a day on their device. That number only gets bigger each day. Now more than ever, designing push notification interactions needs to be handled with extreme care if we don’t want user experience to suffer.


So what would the ideal notification look like? Smart notifications should take advantage of shared user data to deliver useful and personalized information when the user needs it the most. That way we can avoid the dreaded “notification overkill”–when users simply ignore notifications because they can’t keep up with them.

The Importance of Mobile App Notifications

On a digital platform, navigation definitely shapes the user experience in an important way but, especially in the case of apps and platforms used daily on mobile devices, the experience can come from push notifications the registered users see.


What’s more, recent studies suggest, push notifications are much more effective than marketing emails: open rates for emails is less than 2%, whereas push notifications are opened at an average rate of over 20%.


This makes it even more important to know how to handle notifications and warnings so that the app can aid users in accomplishing the specific goals it was designed for. It boils down to an essential design principle: push notifications have to help people carry out tasks, not hinder them.

Esemi delle notifiche

Image courtesy: Intercom

As a general rule during app or platform development, we need to map and test use cases for helpful messaging and interactions with the app itself and its content.


The way these warnings or notifications are delivered to the user can change depending on a few factors:


  • the type of info that’s being communicated
  • whether the info is urgent and has to be seen right away
  • if user action is required afterwards


Notification systems factor in big for the usability of the product and, as a consequence, for the resulting conversion rate. As stated previously, push notifications have a higher open rate than marketing emails, able to funnel a larger number of users into the app and bring with it a notable increase in conversion.


In specific contexts, a notification system is so integral to the UX that without it, there would be a fundamental part missing for handling user interactions. UX designers have a crucial job to do in defining a coherent notification framework that also takes signal strength into account.


Here, the design entails understanding what level of attention messages on the periphery require. Some warnings or notifications can be “louder”, because they’re connected to necessary or mandatory actions. Others might be “softer”, instead communicating less pressing messages or requests.

So What Are Our Tips for Great Push Notification Design?

The first step of notification design involves breaking it down into 3 levels of required attention: high, medium and low. Notification types and their attributes then need to be defined using these levels as a guide, including confirmation, success, warning and error messages, as well as status updates.


We’ve summed it all up in 5 key takeaways for notification design:


  1. Start notification design work ahead of time
  2. Break down notifications into 3 levels of required attention: high, medium and low
  3. Color code, assign icons and determine locations for notifications to appear
  4. Categorize by type: persistent, toast, pop-up, banner, dialog box etc.
  5. Incorporate them into a design system

Wrap Up

Notifications need to be treated as the fundamental piece of a digital touchpoint that they are. This is especially true in mobile app design. If done correctly, well-designed push notification forms an integral part of the digital touchpoint’s user experience, creating moments of interaction and aiding users in carrying out their to-dos. When done badly, notifications run the risk of annoying users and ruining their experience.


In terms of app functionality, notifications can truly shine and engage more users, but only through a human-centered and targeted approach. App notifications are an effective tool and can see increased returns on investment in the range of 3500%.


It comes down to understanding how, when and why we use notifications so that we can guarantee the best user experience possible, making sure to stay aligned with business objectives.

If you need some backup creating your digital product or service and delivering an amazing user experience, or would like a consultation to breathe new life into a digital touchpoint, we at Conflux are here to help. When it comes to apps, websites, software and much more, our experienced and knowledgeable UX experts will guide you and your business towards creating a product best-suited to your needs.

  • App
  • UX
  • UX Design
  • UX Research

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