Cut down on notification noise

I think we all are familiar with apps that are overly chatty with notifications and make our phone buzz all the time, just to get our attention as often as possible, and distract us from what’s important right now.

I see a similar issue in Discourse right now: while my phone doesn’t actively buzz all the time, it still very aggressively notifies me about a lot of things that I really don’t care about:

  • The badge is nice, but I don’t want to interrupt my work for it
  • Same with likes: they are there to show approval without producing threads full of “me too” messages. The author themselves really don’t need to be notified about them that much
  • A reply! Now this I want to see.
  • Some chatty DM about “thanks for spending time with us”? Do I really need to be notified about that?

Now compare that to StackOverflow:

  • Replies are individually tracked in the “Inbox” menu.
  • Upvotes and downvotes can tracked in the “trophy” menu
  • Badges are relegated a submenu in the “trophy” menu

That way I can mentally distinguish between notifications I want to see and all the gamification noise that I don’t really need.

So here is a proposal on how to cut down notification noise:

  • Only show replies in the main notification tab
  • Put badges and upvotes in a “tropy” notification tab
  • Don’t show DMs in the main menu, but only in their individual tab

What do you think?


You can skip all onboarding and first time badges on your profile preferences. This is also prominently asked on first login now.

You can disable or tune down likes notifications on your user profile preferences.