Currently we have a notification features like SMS/Email to inform the user about their latest status, but sometimes users don't get noticed by them, thus i need them to allow their browser notification which will prevent any new missed in the future.

My question is how to convince them to click "allow" button rather than "block"?

Update: This is what i mean, because every people i've met for testing always block it or accidentally block it.

enter image description here

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    Is there a benefit to them as well as to you? Do they see it as a benefit? If they don't, that's your problem.
    – MMacD
    Jan 7, 2017 at 20:35
  • @MMacD I'm sure, the user want to know about their latest financial stuff status because they applied it. Jan 8, 2017 at 5:13
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    No, Rob, all you really know for sure is that they said "yes" when you first asked. If they said "yes" then, but are blocking you now, that means they changed their mind. Why did they change their mind? Do you send them notices too often? Did your notices interfere with their ability to concentrate on something else? Was blocking you the only way to get your messages to stop because you didn't provide a way to temporarily suspend them? All these questions are important.
    – MMacD
    Jan 8, 2017 at 14:17
  • I see, well good advices @MMacD i will think about it, FYI we will send them notification just everytime their status get updated (Processing, Rejected/Accepted). Jan 8, 2017 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


Notifications are generally considered bad because they distract the user from whatever he is doing. Even for things such as emails, new messages from chat etc. people get annoyed pretty fast especially if 1)these come in bulk and 2)have some sound or flashy visual feedback attached to them. Combine these two and you get a very, very pissed off user who will leave your site and never return no matter how valuable information you offer. Do take a note also that your site might not be the only one that uses notifications in the current session which would make the chance of 1) and/or 2) happening skyrocket.

That said notifications are necessary depending on the use case. However notifications don't need be intrusive. If you have a sidebar or similar component in your website you can place your notification there. Example: SMS messages or emails on a smartphone. Of course there is the poorly done notification and the good one. The good one appears in a place which 1)is always there such as the bar where signal strength, time etc. are shown and 2)takes a very small part of the screen. Notifications that cover whatever the user is doing are annoying...very, very annoying. If you place your notification at such a location which is visible to the user all the time and he looks at it (even with just part of his vision but enough to notice a change) you will make sure that the user will see it and at the same time the notification will not be viewed as something intrusive.

UPDATE: The notification type you have posted (should have done it at the very beginning omho to clarify things) has two flaws even though it's a very widely used one - it covers contents of the page and in addition doesn't give any information about the nature of what the user is supposed to allow or block.

  • Due to it's size the first one might not be such a big issue (although it really annoys me where such a notification covers something that I'm currently reading LOL).

  • The second issue namely missing explanation is something that I view as a more serious one. If a person is asked a question that he doesn't have enough information about you might think that there is a 50/50 chance of him pressing the "Allow" button. Well, no. At least in my experience you have a much higher chance of him pressing the "Block". This is due to the nature of most users being suspicious (human nature actually). If they don't understand something they often try to avoid it or reject it...or ignore it if no alarm is triggered.

I will talk about the second problem since I view it as the core problem here. If the screenshot you've provided is indeed what you give the user and ask the question "Allow/block notifications" here is a counter example for a better notification (though not perfect) of a very similar nature which we can dissect in order to see what you can improve in your own:

enter image description here

There are two important things here:

  • the notification explains what has happened and why it has appeared namely an outdated Flash plugin is obviously an issue for the browser (it even offers a perk - you can go and download a newer version by clicking on a provided link which give the user a fast way to fix the issue). It gives the user important information followed by an informed (due to the provided info) decision that he has to make
  • the notification offers multiple choices to the user how to handle this information it has provided namely:

    • Close (the X sign in the top right corner) - the user is allowed to continue blocking the plugin
    • Allow Now - the user can unblock the plugin just for this session so he is offered the ability to reverse the decision by just starting a new session (more on that later)
    • Allow and remember - the user can unblock the plugin permanently thus avoiding some tedious decision making if he is sure that he is okay with an outdated plugin

I've mentioned that even though better this notification still has a flaw (at least from my point of view) namely the fact that it assumes that the user knows that he can reverse the decision (unblocking for the current session or "till death do us part"). In order to reverse the decision the user has to again click in that tiny area right in front of the address bar:

enter image description here

enter image description here

It doesn't give this information during the initial decision making (namely the allow or block xyz question) and as a new user if I get annoyed by the notifications I will have too google how to reverse my decision. For a user that is already annoyed (but lacks the knowledge how to reverse the setting) having to look on the Internet how to block the notifications is way too much work. Sure, the tiny arrow at the top left corner indicates that something is going on in that area but is this really enough?

In your case you offer a similar choice to the user. In your case your notification lacks any information that might help the user make up his mind. No matter what the notification does it has to inform the user what he is about to do and why the notification has appeared in the first place. The decision making is optional but in your case present too just like the one for blocking the Flash plugin. If you just use the default

https://... would like to use your:

  • Notifications

you are not giving your user any information about what kind of notifications he will get. Some web sites for example use a very intrusive way of advertisement through notifications. The missing explanation, the fact that this feature gets abused out there and the missing information how to adjust the settings once a decision has been made lead to mistrust in your user hence the tendency of choosing "Block" instead of "Allow".

A rule of thumb:

Always inform your user whenever you require him to make a decision about something especially if it's about a feature which (according to you) will improve his user experience.

Along with the information what the notification is all about never assume that you know perfectly what the user needs or will use from your feature set. Statements such as I'm sure, the user wants to know about ... because they applied it. will shoot you in the foot one day. Always allow things to be turned on and off upon user's request. Restricting the freedom of a user even for something seemingly small as turning notifications on and off is a sure path to failure. Make this clear in the information in that Allow/Block notification (again - something missing from the example I've posted above about the Flash plugin!) otherwise your general user will see a one time deal and this is a pretty tough decision to make for anything. A power user will just delete the cookie(s) that you app provides or just know how to open the notification for Block/Allow again and reverse the decision he made and that's that but this isn't exactly a normal way to change a setting, right? :D

PS: My initial post still stands due to the fact that email/SMS notification can easily come in bulk and create a mess. Personally I would try to do some sort of stacking (not familiar with the implementation side of these sort of notifications to be honest). For example: show parts of the message which has arrived first and then add some sort of a counter to indicated that there are more messages after it that require attention.


Notifications take up my time and intrude into my life and I already get dozens of them every day. My personal instinct is to automatically block all notifications until I understand them and see a benefit in allowing them.

Tell the user why the notifications are worthwhile in clear terms. What will they be sent notifications about and how often. Clearly explain how to turn notifications off if they allow them and don't want them anymore. Ideally this would be explained before the choice to allow notifications is presented.


Tragedy of the Commons is the problem

I spend some of my online experience in FOMO. Checking email anytime see a red circle with a 1 in it. Digging through Facebook and twitter. Text messages. Phone. Those are the platforms where I put my antenna up and react to input directed at me by others: I am pushed and interrupted. Ding! Facebook notification must click etc. Call it reaction mode.

One place I don't have that is the browser. I open a browser, I choose my sites, choose my activities. (ironically, many are to log onto reaction-mode sites). But when I leave those sites, reaction mode is over.

Haven't you ever realized the time was midnight, your desktop is covered in tabs, and you spent the last 2 hours recursing into the TVTropes site, Worth1000 or Wikipedia? Isn't that wonderful? That's explore mode, the opposite of reaction-mode. Some people hate it but others thrive there.

Another explore-mode is binge-watching Netflix til 1am. Obviously, these are things people love to do.

If I say yes to your notifications, it'll only be part of a greater habit to say "yes" to many other sites. So the issue becomes the aggregate effect of dozens of sites like yours on my browsing experience. This will become a "tragedy of the commons" that will be the permanent end of explore-mode.

And I really like explore-mode.

They're not snubbing you. They're snubbing everyone.

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