I have a question I'm hoping you guys can shed some light on. The mobile app I'm currently working on has a feature to send push notifications for important messages like overdrawing a bank account, bills needing to be paid, an high value item being purchased etc. Essentially messages that require immediate action or immediate awareness. There's a request to allow users to read these messages back in case they ignore them or want to read them later. I'm thinking of something like a messagebox like with e-mail, but wonder if push notifications are a suitable medium for this type of feature.

What's a suitable way to notify users of important events immediately while simultaneously allowing them to read this message back? How would this work within an app environment?

  • Hi, we are currently already using e-mail and text, but for mobile they want to use push as the primary tool. I know from the way it sounds e-mail is the logical conclusion, but cx thinks it's too easily lost in the rest of the inbox. Text messages cost them money, that's why they want to step away from that. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 8:44
  • Forgive me if I'm wrong, but this would have to be something the user already needs to have allowed in their email application right? Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Displaying notifications on incoming messages while also allowing the user to browse messages is already implemented by email and text message apps.

Use the same design.

The app that sends the notifications can also be opened. Once opened it displays previous (and current) notifications in chronological order, newest on top. Ideally the icon of the app also indicates the existence of unread messages.

  • I guess you're right, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. I'll propose we send push notifications with a followup email notification if it hasn't been opened in a certain timeframe. Thanks for your input :) Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 9:08
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    Sending an email is a simple solution, but for push notifications I assume you already installed your own app on the device. It should be a relatively simple task to display a list of messages in that app. If you do the thing thorugh emails you don't need the push notification app, because email already does that too. Essentially you want to duplicate a minimal email client with push notifications and an inbox, for better accessibility and branding than using email.
    – Peter
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 9:10

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