Do’s and Don’ts in Push Notifications Design


Push notifications are messages you get while you are on your desktop screen or your mobile apps. Notification are very necessary.

It may give you a message about a task you performed or:

  • Getting some information you care very fast.
  • Email, SMS and GPS notifications are very useful
  • Getting emergency services through notifications
“There are two types of notification in mobile. One is generated by mobile and other is sent by mobile operated company.”
Notification can be on the top of screen or in the screen.


good and bad notification design



Here below message is not on top of screen but in the screen.



Good and bad push notification design
Notification is also called instant message:



Here are samples of web notifications:

1- Success
2- Error
3- Info
4- Warning


Good and bad push notification design

Good and bad push notification design

Good and bad push notification design




 Do’s and Don’t for Useful Notifications:

1- Inform users about the content and message they care and  are important at the moment and place of the getting the message.

For example: When a user gets a push notification regarding the traffic jam before he gets into his car in the morning it is very valuable for him.

2- Don’t interrupt them for “Sales” offers, respect their quiet time , and even let them choose quiet time in your system.

3- Stay away from SPAM languages and words such ” Win Now”,”Limited time”.

4- Personalize the message as much as you can.

For example ESPN, allows users to pick a sport, a team, what kind of alerts, and how often they’d like to get them.

If customer can pick, choose, filter and customize the content they receive they ‘d love the push they get.

4- Consider push notification as part of your brand. The same way you treat your email marketing, banners, advertising you should care about the language, design and content of the notifications.

5- Just because it is an alert, success or error message, doesn’t mean it cannot be creative.  

6- Engage them: Send information that engage them better.

7- Be short but valuable.  When user opens the app and see a notification of a storm coming today, or a school closing alert right across his screen, the trust and connection he builds with your app and brand becomes deepper every single push.

8- Work on it as you get more feedback. Like any other activities that relates to User Experience you have to analyze your data and customers feedback about your notification.

9- Study your clients in-App -Behaviors, buying, reading, selecting habits and customize as much as you can based on these.

10- Location and relocation: They don’t need to get a push in a trip mile by mile. But it would be nice that you let me know that you can adjust the push based on their new location.


Samples and Designs:

Like all other design related work, there isn’t one answer for good notifications design. However, the most important factor is to consider that passing the information in the best way is the main function of the it and design should facilitate this function.


Good and bad push notification



Using white background, colored or black, all depends on the other screens and function of the app.


Good and bad push notification

In the above app many messages are on one screen and still it is not crowded. With dimming the background light we can read the messages better.


Good and bad push notification

Use of yellow color gives a good contrast and can draw attentions.


good and bad push notfications

Using brand and logo makes a stronger connection with the brand and also gives a point of attention.


Good and bad push notfication


In this sample the simplicity and minimal design works well with the language of the notification.

Good and bad push notification


It is clear how much care and attention placed in the design of the above notification. Even though there are many design elements in the push but still those didn’t overwrite the simplicity and readability of the note.


Good and bad push for notification design

In some occasions,  design just means simplicity.




The main role of the push notifications is passing important information such as error, emergency, success, and alert messages to users. They need to be short, concise both in design and language. For this reason, they need more attention in developing them. Don’t forget that notifications are part of your brand.

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