(This may be a pure opinion question, in which case feel free to close...)
I'm trying to come up with the list of pros/cons of two forms of user notifications around messaging. Think of email, or text messages, or alerts, or what have you.
I've seen two typical models:
Count of unread messages. To reduce the count, a user must visit the individual message and 'view' it.
Count of new messages. 'New' being defined as number of new items since you last viewed the list of items.
Option 1 seems more prevalent...especially in the context of email. Is there some strong arguments for using #2 instead?
The one argument I have is simple personal annoyance. I don't read every single email I get, so when my iPad shows 2,134 unread messages, I don't care. And I probably won't notice when it says 2,136 unread messages next time to know that there are 2 new messages there.
The question is: Do you see strong arguments to stick with one or the other out of a) familiarity or b) other issues I may not be considering?