A brief glance at the screen is enough to have you breaking out in a sweat: you realize you’ve forgotten to charge your phone overnight, and it’s proudly running on its remaining 2% battery charge. As you rush down the street, full of hope and faith, you dim the brightness of the screen and hunt down the right app icon across the home screen. Of course, at that exact moment a slew of notifications cascades down your screen, asking for your undivided attention for new followers, updates, reminders, and messages.
Chances are high that you know way too well what this feels like. How likely are you to act on the cascading stack of notifications in that situation? And how likely are you turn off notifications altogether as another reminder reaches you a few minutes later, just when you missed your connection? That’s one of those situations when notifications are literally getting in a way in the most disruptive way possible, and despite all the thoroughly crafted user flows and polished, precious pixels.
We can’t deduce that one group of triggers is always more effective than another, but some notifications from every group tend to be much better at capturing attention than others:
- People care more about new messages from close friends and relatives, notifications from selected colleagues during working hours, bank transactions and important alerts, calendar notifications, scheduled events, alarms, and any actionable and awaited confirmations or releases.
- People care less about news updates, social feed updates, announcements, new features, crash reports, web notifications, informational and automated messages in general.