Notifications are made to bring the attention of the users for something and it is this way the apps can send messages to you. There are also alerts in each application that can be different from notifications and are also used very frequently for sending information in the applications. Before finding out how User Experience could be improved for notifications, we need to discuss in brief about alerts and notifications.
Types of alerts
Essentially three types of alerts are there available on the latest smartphones and these are badges, banners/visual alerts, and the audio alerts.
It is a numeric count and it appears against the icon of an application. It lets you know the figure in numbers about how many weather reports haven’t been seen by you or how many people have tried to contact you at Facebook, etc. About 99.99% of all alerts come in the form of a badge and when the badge alerts are activated it is better to take to the source of these alerts. You should be able to clear the badges once the badges have served the purpose.
These alerts are more than a badge and it may include news items, etc. Keeping the alerts silent and making them informative can help to make quick decisions to read or junk the alerts.
Inclusion of audio alertsby application designers can be a very good way to improve the mobile UI/UX Design. Except for the SMS that justifies the inclusion of sound, all other audio reminders should be set silent.
An email alert can be a simple example of notification and in case of a notification a flash message can appear on the screen of the smartphone. You can open the notification or you can even dismiss it by simply sliding across. The notifications are mainly intended to announce the arrival of emails and you may get a precise description of the matter of the emails without opening the same.
Different types of notifications:
It is a very common and very engaging notification and the most common example of such type of notification is mobile messaging. These notifications are targeted to specific users and the other examples of such types of notification are comments, likes, and posts that you make in social media.
It is also a very rapidly growing notification and here a notification is generated by an application that is based on the permission of the users. The best example of such type of notification is location-based notification, and the updates for meetings and sport.
These types of notifications are generated by apps that are based on the applications. One of the best examples of such notifications is the security alert that requests you to reset the password.
Any notification can be considered as push notification as the notifications are pushed almost always by the system. There are two types of push notifications and in one type you have to take action immediately and the other one is passive type. An email notification requesting to change your password or a notification offering a sales discount with a discount code can be examples of active notification. On the other hand, a passive notification provides only information to the users and no immediate action is required like the weather update notification.
These types of notifications are unique in their ability to deliver to each application and the apps can be sensitized to release such notifications. The objective of making such notification is to ensure that immediate actions are taken by the users and for this, the timing of such notifications is very important. You can also track the smart notifications and also can analyze the results to enable the system to improvise the quality of such notifications.
Way to make the notifications better
For making a good UX Design experience in mobile and tablets, notifications can be made better by the following actions:
Use of non-interfering notifications
Notifications are meant for timely alert, but it can distract the users and cause inconvenience to the users. Therefore, to make a good notification, care should be taken to make it non-interfering. It can make a timely warning to let the users know that some important thing is coming.
Notifications should be small in size
A precise and exact notification can be very effective to convey the message fruitfully to the users. A calendar notification is an example of a simple as well as unobtrusive notification. These small size notifications usually appear at the top of the screen of mobiles.
A push-notification based on location is a contextual type of notification that can alert you when you are near a retail store. It works on your shopping pattern and the wish lists that you create while doing online shopping.
Notifications should serve to warn
A notification can be made very well when it acts as providing a confirmatory message. When you delete important messages or delete applications it can send a timely warning to the users about the incidence of deleting something permanently form the mobile.
When the notifications should not be used?
Implementing good UX design elements also call for not using notification in every instance as it may cause annoyance to the users if it is used frequently. It can be better if the notifications are not used in the following cases:
- When a user has never used the app.
- When there is no value of bringing the user if the user has not seen you for a while.
- In operations where the involvement of the user is not required like the syncing information.
- In case of error state where the application may be able to recover without needing the interaction of the user.
Way to make notification design
It is possible with a good UX Design research to make meaningful notifications that do not compromise with the UX. You can find a few tips here for designing effective notifications.
Designs made on the basis of the importance of the message
Different designs for different types of notifications should be made for getting the best effect. You can choose a lighter design for making a passive notification whereas for making a design that requires immediate action, you should choose colors like red, etc.
Provide adequate information
For a notification to become successful, it should be able to provide detailed information about an event to encourage the users to take action. Make sure that you design notifications with adequate information to help the users understand the purpose of such notifications and to take the action required to be taken.
Users should gain control
A UX design gets accentuated if the users have a feeling of control of the notifications and have the choice of switching off the notifications easily. You can go beyond it and give the users the choice to select the type of notifications that they will like to receive.
Smart handling of multiple notifications
In case there are many notifications that are of the same type, you can create one particular notification that can summarize everything. The summary notification can further be expanded to show the snippet of each message.
Use A/B testing
To verify whether the design of the notification is right or wrong, you should put the design under rigorous testing. You can test the different types of designs and try to find out what design is best in persuading the users to take desired actions.
A well-designed notification in mobile and tablet can be very effective to promote a useful engagement of the users. At the same time, a bad notification can result in the user’s annoyance and can fail to promote user satisfaction. Therefore, it is very important to design well thought and well-researched notifications that can improve the UX aspect very well.