notification fatigue

From IndieWeb

notification fatigue is (AKA notification overload or sometimes alarm fatigue) a form of information overload, when a person receives so many push notifications that they become overwhelming, often interrupting actual work & priorities so much that people start ignoring notifications; using a social reader and an IndieWeb site instead of silos is one way to reduce notifications and avoid fatigue.

Why reduce

You should reduce and eliminate notification fatigue if you can for many reasons


web instead of native apps

Receiving too many notifications makes people not want to use a (presumably native) client, and instead use the web.

E.g.: 2014-10-03

Once again, not checking notifications. Using web, not client. Too many notifications. Will check later.

devices with fewer notifications

A billboard advertising an analog watch and caption identifying its use for seeing time not emails.Analog watches advertised as an alternative to smart watches.

Alarm fatigue

alarm fatigue is a form of notification fatigue when even the notifications for alarms, e.g. for emergencies or things going wrong, are so frequent that people start ignoring them as well. Example alarms related to IndieWeb sites:

  • security alerts
  • site outages
  • other infrastructure outages


Articles about notification fatigue, examples thereof.

  • 2023-10-01 "needy tech" usage in a Hacker News comment:

    "โ€ฆ I'm strongly of the opinion that all this 'needy tech' is a net negative and I try hard to keep it out of my life. But some of it, mostly associated with my kids schooling, is very hard to avoid. 10 emails per week about some school portal with 'an important message' (which you need to separately logged into, of course the message is so important that it can't be entrusted to mere email, even though the account recovery does use that same email) that ends up being nonsense but you're not able to block it because one day an actually important message might show up.

    Tech should serve us, but meanwhile instead of having terminals to the internet we are now the terminals to the internet. Push notifications and all manner of intrusive interaction have become the norm, not the exception that they should be."



How to send fewer notifications

On the flip side of turning off notifications, there is the possibility of better design to send fewer notifications.

Some suggestions in the answers to this Reddit post: (to-do wikify seemingly useful answers, especially if folks here have )

  • 2023-08-02 Reddit post: Too many Notifications

    I am a PO at an IoT company. We send on average 70 notifications a day to our users about things going wrong on their site/ equipment. This is causing a lot of frustration with our customers to a point where people are just ignoring our notification.

    We are looking to decrease this and found we can get our system to be a bit smarter so we only end up sending 30 odd notifications a day. I still find this too high for someone to deal with. On top of all of this, we are just one system out of 6/7 systems that they use everyday.

    Question - I was wondering if anyone has come across any studies regarding the number of notifications a person can deal with everyday?

See Also