Are push notifications interruptions?

Yes.

But they don’t have to be.

Any time your phone vibrates you are tempted to take a peek. Did someone just like your picture? Leave you a congratulatory comment? Nope, it’s just a message from the shopping mall you’re standing in. It knows you’re outside of Banana Republic, and there’s a sale. Go inside! Go!

In today’s Attention economy, companies are fighting more than ever for people’s eyeballs. With a direct link to their user’s pocket, push notifications are deployed as a strategy to re-engage users.

App companies are trying to drive their usage metrics up and use notifications as a little nudge to say “Hi! Don’t forget about us. Come click around, stay awhile.” This leads to people getting annoyed by all the spammy messages that keep their pocket buzzing.

UX writer John Saito has come up with three questions to ask to determine when it’s ok to send notifications:  
are push notifications interruptions

1. Is it timely?
Try to send notifications when it matters. If the notification gets sent too early or too late, it might just be seen as annoying.

2. Is it relevant?
Only send notifications if you’re confident it’s relevant to the recipient(s). If there’s only a small chance that they’d be interested, don’t take that risk. Find other ways to inform them—like in the product or in an email.

3. Is it useful?
Try to only send notifications that help people. Would the user say “thank you” for getting that notification? If so, that’s a good sign it’s useful.

At Red e App, we are leveraging the same push notification technology but for a different purpose. We don’t want our users to stop what they’re doing. We don’t want to interrupt their workday.

Our users consist of previously disconnected employees who now have direct access to their company and colleagues. They use Red e App to communicate and be better informed — resulting in improved productivity.

Through our workforce platform, the answer to each of those 3 questions listed above is always yes.