There is notification icon in the header. Should it display the number of notifications? Sometimes the numbers looks bad and not centered, so I wonder to remove the number. Is it necessary for the user to know the number of notifications?

I have attached 3 versions of the Notifications. Which one would you use and why?


  • It depends on the users' goals. If their primary objective is to know how many unread notifications there are - then display the number. However, I am inclined to say this is not what they want, so we need more context.
    – ralien
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


Numbers add urgency to the notification icon. These numbers may modify user behavior and add to stress levels by pushing users to pay constant attention to apps. Numbers act as a reminder of how many tasks need to be done. When doing testing designs with numbered badges, users often comment the need to "clean" badges, to tidy up after themselves. This may hurt their focus on their current workflow or task.

It all depends on your business model and value proposition and how much you want to keep your users engaged to. If you don't want the user to unnecessary hooked up to your app go for

enter image description here If you want constant user engagement like in productivity apps that require the user to take instant action, numbers may make a lot of sense. Please go for enter image description here

number 3 is a mix of both that should be your last choice.

Please remember one more thing: users may pick up negative feelings if we keep them hooked to an app with little to no value


I guess it depends on the context of those notifications, take a look for example at Slack App. It shows option-1 no number when you have notifications from Muted channels and it shows you option-2 two symbols number when you have notifications from channels/people that you haven't muted.

I guess the option with 9+ is not effective as you are not aware on how many notifications you have received, but depend on the context; if I were receiving notification for chat things, I would like to know if within a frame of time like 5 minutes I received 1 notification, 5 notifications, 10 notifications or 25 notifications. If I received more than 9 notifications within 5 minutes, I would like to know if someone is keeping writing me up something in chat or not. And the 9+ doesn't show me that, it just show me a constant 9+ notification and I am not aware if from the last time I saw my notifications if it went up or it stayed still the number of notification or event someone is trying to send me.

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