This might be slightly broad, but I think most of the questions on this site are somewhat subjective and broad anyway.

Since about late 2019, the number of pop-up notifications and potentially similar types of notifications has suddenly increased dramatically. Every other time I open a website or a program on my computer, even if it's something I use every day, I keep having to dismiss notifications that I simply don't care about. Quite often these notifications are designed to let the user know about certain updates and UI tweaks . . . but they're completely irrelevant 99% of the time and are quite stressful and distracting from the core features of the website or program.

Stack Exchange responded very well to a related question and has generally kept their sites very clean from this type of thing. Personally I feel that is one of the reasons Stack Exchange is as popular as it is: While it does provide notifications, they are generally relevant, and they are generally not distracting pop-ups that have to be dismissed.

In that context, notifications are great, but pop-up notifications and irrelevant distractions are deterrents against continued use of a site. So why, just about everywhere else except SE, have pop-up notifications suddenly multiplied since late 2019, and why do UI designers not see this as a bad thing?

  • 3
    I submit that ux folks do not think constant pop up notifications are ok. But instead they are often forced on us by folks who truly believe that the message they want to deliver is important to the user. What is lacking is user testing.
    – ph33nyx
    May 19, 2020 at 20:41
  • 2
    It might not be that pop-up notifications are increasingly being implemented and used by designers, it could be that business decision makers are requesting them to be switched on by default, maybe to try and meet certain design objectives or metrics.
    – Michael Lai
    May 19, 2020 at 22:10
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    I am not a full-time web designer, but part of the reason may just be that browsers, server-side software and libraries have only started implementing it in the last couple of years, so it is now much more feasible than before to use them.
    – chaosflaws
    May 23, 2020 at 10:49

2 Answers 2


I think very recently we've seen a quick change in the industry. Web designers, graphic designers and digital designers have broadly been replaced with UX designers from a HR/Job Title perspective, however that doesn't mean these are UX mature organizations or that these designers are experienced UXers.

Don't get me wrong, this is a great step forward. But we're in a bit of a buzz-wordy, lip service level of UX for most organizations. No real UX work is being done but after designs are made Leads will ask "What about the UX?" "Will this be clear for the users?" Without research, evaluations and testing in place to actually say users are able to complete task, notifications/tool tips/guided experiences are put in place as a quick fix. I've ever seen those approaches recommended in these threads here numerous times.


One area of web I noticed a large uptick in is websites asking to show you notifications or to use your location data or various other permissions. Those are enforced as popups by browsers as far as I know.

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