5

Setting the stage:

We have a mobile-app with multiple services from different domains. Each with their own alerts. We are only talking about PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

Problem

We send alerts from those different services. On different times of the day, guided by AI. Now we are wondering if we should allow the user to set those alerts? More precisely; does the user actually care about the settings of his push notifications enough so that he will start looking to adjust it?

Question

Should we allow the user to adjust the settings in our own app? Will they even use those settings or is it enough to rely on the device/app settings?

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  • For some merely anecdotal info, while I practically never went into a particular app to adjust notifications per topic, I do disable them altogether when they become irrelevant (at the time of getting a popup that I find irrelevant). Maybe the app itself, in a sense, is the topic, considering I have dozens of apps on my phone. Power users may appreciate finer setting details, so then it becomes a question of implementation and future maintenance time vs return; if you have a lot of time to spend on this, you can also measure notification success rates, setting change rates etc. Feb 19 '20 at 19:40
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It depends on how many notifications you are sending, how frequently they are sent, and how relevant they are to the user at the time.

If you are only sending one or two notifications a day (excluding chat notifications) that are likely to be relevant to the user then it's fine to leave it up to the OS/browser to disable notifications if the user doesn't want them.

If you have multiple sections or features of the app that provide distinct notifications then you definitely need to consider providing options to the user to enable or disable different types of notifications. I may want notifications of replies to comments but I might not want promotional notifications for example. In that case you may drive users away by sending notifications they do not want.

The main thing to consider before sending the notification is whether it is relevant and useful to the user and whether it is timely (sent at the right time for the user to act). If you can't guarantee its relevance with the data you currently have you should definitely be asking the user whether they want to receive it by providing settings.

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  • I completely agree, except for a tiny detail: I don't think you can yourself determine whether a notification will be relevant and useful to the user. So if you have more than one kind of notification (which the user could turn on of off for the whole app), make them all controllable inside your app. Feb 22 '20 at 18:42
  • Add that newer Android (at least since 9) shows the option to disable notifications for the app right in the notification screen if the user usually dismisses them. Feb 25 '20 at 7:16

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