That mysterious down arrow on notifications

Today allow us to discuss that mysterious down arrow on the bottom of notifications.

Screenshot_20240315_162232_Chrome Beta

You will observe to the right of it is the word “dismiss” and a check mark.

So the check mark gets an explanation.

But the mysterious down arrow… well, tough luck!

Every other user knows what it is except guess who…

So in the interest of fairness both should either have explanations or both should not have explanations.

It’s just not fair for one to have an explanation and the other not to.

Yes I am posting this to let you know what the worldwide average user thinks. No I’m not talking about one particular installation. I’m talking about defaults for the general public.

Sure after one gets all used to everything then all those explanations are just a drag, but at least the default state should have them.

What text would you put next to that arrow?

FYI On desktop it does have a ToolTip: “View All Notifications”.

I’d personally hate this to be written as the button text. Discourse interface is nice and compact.

Maybe “Expand” would do it? Or “See All”? (For English, obviously)

Surely after hitting this button “once” you get it and henceforth will never worry it’s just a down angle, though?


First we will never hit it once because we are afraid of things that we don’t know what will happen…
Sorry to say that after decades of Internet experience that’s the trend, at least in my brain.

Second there is an assumption that we will remember what the thing does for a long time.

Buttons with destructive or far reaching consequences are usually made obvious.

Well in the real world of other apps there’s even buttons that slide in in full page ads, trying to fool you into thinking that you were still on the original site or whatever, so we’re already pretty scared of those buttons.

For instance that little arrow might just wipe out all your notifications. You never know! At least that’s what some of us users would fear.

It’s meant to be an “expand” button that takes you to the full notification page. And people get used to the interface, so we don’t need to add the extra text.

Unlikely we’ll add text here any time soon unless it becomes a more widely reported issue, the functionality of these buttons is non-essential. You can happily use Discourse without ever clicking them.

From the perspective of design trends on the web as a whole, it’s very common to have unlabeled buttons like this… Android has a few of their own in the same screenshot.


I think it’s really obvious what it means. It’s to see more of the same.

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