Contextual and Granular Notification Controls

I love getting notifications on my phone. I’ve written a lot about notifications, at one point calling the notifications screen “my home screen.”

But I don’t like how we are forced to control notifications, which ones we want, which ones we don’t want, how we want them, etc through the settings in the mobile OS, and/or through the settings in the mobile app. And the controls we are offered are not granular enough for my needs.

What I want is contextual and highly granular notifications controls. What I mean by that is I want to be able to tap on the notification itself (or swipe it, or use some other gesture on it) and get the ability to control it with a lot of granularity.

I have Twitter set up to notify me when certain people I follow tweet. Yesterday I was getting tweet notifications from a Patriots fan I follow. I wanted to mute my friend temporarily from my notification channel and I wanted to do it right from the offending notification.

I get notifications from the NBA App when games are close in the final minutes. This is an awesome feature. But there are only certain games and certain teams where I want that notification. I’d like to be able to tap on a notification telling me that the Lakers Phoenix game is close and tell the NBA app that I don’t care about the Lakers or the Suns and don’t need that notification.

I get notifications from Dark Sky when there is some weather event coming. I’d love to be able to click on that notification and tell Dark Sky to notify me when a rainstorm is coming but not a snowstorm.

Part of what I want is the ability to change the notifications settings in context, right from the notification that generates the desire to change the settings. And part of what I want is way more granularity in the notifications I get.

So for this user experience I want to show up, we need the Android and iOS folks to build more functionality into the way their notifications services work, specifically contextual notification control. But we also need app developers to make their notifications smarter and to give users the ability to control them with a lot more granularity.