Push Notifications: Fulfilling needs or increasing irritation

Having smartphone is really a good for any person, having lots of mobile apps in that … wow amazing. My mobile apps are really my life saver, they helps me in day to day life. For my ticket booking, my bills, shopping, groceries, my social networks, my utility apps, my office or business work I have apps in my phone. But wait what is happening, my phone is ringing (beeps)/vibrating very frequently. What is this … Oh These are Push notifications. Some of my chat messenger, some of e-commerce offers, some of discount offers etc. Do I really need so much push notifications, No…!!! then why all apps are throwing my such rubbish offers. I am irritated now.
For business it is a nice way to reach their customers. It directly touches customers through mobile. Push notifications are type of notifications which comes to users directly on mobile, outside their app, which drags user and forces to go into mobile app.

Generally Push notifications are used for sending Chat, sending updates in social network, sending offers, sending recommendations etc. Wait list is not over yet companies are sending Push Notifications for OTPs, sending ads, sending birthday reminder, for reminding that you have not used our app in last 1 week, for updating mobile app etc.

A normal smart phone user has approximately 10-20 active mobile apps. Now days every mobile app has started sending Push notifications. Imagine 20 applications are sending 5 push notifications daily to user resulting 100 push notifications in a day. Let’s say for 1 notification user takes 4 seconds to process. Then He/she is spending 400 seconds in a day.  Means 200 mins/month and 40 hours /year.

Seriously 40 hours, can you imagine if  I could have included 'chat messenger app' in this rough calculation then it could have reached more than 400 hours per year. With the evolution of app based market, Flood of Push notifications has started to end users. Which is now started becoming an irritation for users. Flood of Push notifications is now started affecting complete user experience.

How it is affecting UX

Lots of push notifications leads to ignorance and irritation. Both of them are real danger for a successful business and a better user experience.
Ignorance: User can start ignoring Push notifications when it becomes very frequent. By which user may loss important information, which can affect complete use. Also ‘ignorance effect’ of push can reduce ‘Trust in your BRAND’ which can lead to loss in Business.

Irritation: Frequent push can also irritate user, which can result really bad. User may also uninstall your mobile app, in other words direct cut in customer relations and business.

If you take care for User they will take care for you

For better business a better UX is important and in case of Push notifications this is a deciding factor. Push notifications are really necessary for both ‘Business’ and ‘user’. So keeping this path clean, optimized and relevant is really necessary for both.

How to make Push effective

Only one way you can make your push effective, - “By sending only relevant” in other words, more relevant information in less push. Companies should always keep their Customers prime. Give an analysis on ‘set of Push notifications’ and categorize them in 3 categories
a. Really required for User
b. Really required for Business and user both
c. Required for Business

Now, minimize the count and frequency of Push notifications falling under category c.
User/customer should get feeling of ‘Delighted and Satisfaction’ through your service, which require ‘Push should be very Relevant’.

For UX designers, it is not a task you to design better Push Notification, but design a better communication medium between Business and Customer by keeping better User Experience in mind always.

About Author:

Abhishek Jain (User Experience Designer)


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