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E281: Managing Notifications: Striking the Balance

by Sean Boyce

In this episode, Sean discusses the importance of managing notifications in software and SaaS applications. He draws a parallel between the widespread disregard for car alarms and the potential negative impact of excessive or irrelevant notifications. Sean emphasizes the need for generating notifications that provide value and are valued by users, highlighting the significance of striking a balance in notification management.

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Key Points

  • Excessive notifications can lead to user fatigue and result in unsubscribing, marking emails as spam, or ignoring notifications in software
  • Notifications should be generated at appropriate times and provide specific value to users and customers.
  • Carefully monitor the actions users take in response to notifications to ensure their effectiveness.
  • Designing notifications with a specific purpose helps ensure their value and relevance.
  • Notifications that fail to provide value can drive users to use software less or cancel subscriptions.
  • Balancing the frequency and content of notifications is crucial for maintaining user engagement and satisfaction.
  • Notifications should not disrupt the user experience but rather enhance it by delivering timely and meaningful information
  • “Notifications have become like car alarms, completely ineffective and ignored.”
  • “Car alarms going off frequently have conditioned people to disregard them, even the car owners themselves.”
  • “Generating noisy notifications can lead to user dissatisfaction, unsubscribing, or marking emails as spam.”
  • “Notifications must happen at the right time and provide value to users.”
  • “Watch how much action users take from the notifications you generate to gauge their effectiveness.”
  • “Balancing notifications ensures they are valued by users and not seen as a nuisance.”
  • “Design notifications with a specific purpose and avoid overwhelming users with excessive noise.”