The 10 Commandments of Notifications, as revealed to Reddit

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 21, 2016

Book_of_Exodus_Chapter_21-1_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media) Sweet Media (Wikimedia Commons)

You gotta love Reddit. In between all the bickering, wannabe 4Channing and general one-upmanship of the site, occasional gems float to the surface, like this brilliant list of the ten commandments of notifications. The list was revealed to Redditor el47000 for the benefit of developers, so they can live a pure life, free from angry users that want their head on a stick for generating too many push notifications.  Read on, developers, and wash away your sins.

The 10 Commandments of Notifications

1) Thou shalt not nag or remind me to open thy app.

2) Thou shalt have one button to turn off all notifications from thy app, and then if ye wish it, thou may include more fine-grained notification controls.

3) Thou shalt make it easy to set thy app’s notifications to silent, which means no sound and no vibration.

Nexus 6P Marshmallow Silent Mode notifications vibrate

4) Speakingeth of vibration, thou shalt vibrate only when specifically requested, and ye shalt never set notification vibration on by default.

5) Remember: place no icons in my status bar by default, only when I specifically requesteth them.

6) Thou shalt not make notifications persistent and hard to dismiss without good reason, like if thine notification has an actionable button or something else worthwhile and good.

7) Honor thy limits on repetitive notifications: no more than one notification over a reasonable period of time. Basically, if someone sends me ten messages over a 30 second period, I should get ONE notification, not ten. For cryingeth out loud.

8) Honor thy limits on priority: thine notifications should not be special by default. Only messaging and communication apps should “pop up” by default, everyone else shall remember thine appropriate place and get out of my face.

Android Authority Marshmallow notifications

9) Thou shalt not create custom notification sounds without permission, just use the default notification sound by default.

10) Thou shalt not make your notifications settings inconsistent or hard to find in your app.

Bonus 11th Commandment: If thine app is Candy Crush, thou shalt never notify me nor anyone about my candy crushing.

Consider the path to a righteous developer existence laid down before thee. If you have some more commandments to share, hit the comments below or share them on the original Reddit thread, which also has some funny in-character commentary going on. Nice work Reddit, today you earned your daily bread. Salvation is at hand.

  • thatikey

    “Wannabe 4Channing”. You can stop looking, guys, I found the 4Channer

  • Randy Allen

    Thank you! :-)

  • Diego Opazo SV-Cross

    A lot of apps don’t comply with this commandments.
    Like news republic or whatsapp.

  • Joshua Miller

    Yeah, whenever I have an app that isn’t a social media app or a messenger app that sends notifications, like a game or something, I turn the notifications off right away or delete it. Sometimes when the app updates, it resets your notification preferences, like the game subway surfers.

  • Taylor Ducote

    How are you guys going to post this article when your new app breaks almost every single one of these rules?

  • staylow

    20 minutes of setting up a new phone is going through each and every app and either disabling the app completely or turning off the notifications for 98% of them. I honestly don’t need hourly pop ups from Google Books and the Play store about every nickle book and app that goes on sale. How do the less tech savvy survive not knowing how to disable notifications? It must be a horrible life some people lead, first world problems I know.

    • EngineerGunter

      IKR? Every time I see my mother’s phone, there are no less than 10 notifications just sitting up there. It’s a miracle she ever notices that I chat with her…

  • Stefano Gonzales

    Why is Noah white?

  • Christian Baumler

    I have seen many people that constantly have notifications on their lockscreen and up in the notification bar. I just do not understand how someone can be cool with some ad from a free wallpaper app popping up constantly. It is so very annoying.

    • EngineerGunter

      You lose the whole point of the notification bar when it’s full of crap… Keep mine as clean as possible.

  • Nayib

    Speaking about notifications, the new AA app is beautiful, but even though I chose to get notified once a day, it does like every hour