Helping a great brand build great connections with its customers


Notonthehighstreet wanted to introduce push notifications to its iOS app.

The main objectives to provide this feature were-

  • Reduce enquiries received by the customer service team

  • Keep customers up to date with their order status

  • Boost app engagement

On iOS user permission is required before push notifications can be sent to users. This project was specifically aimed at obtaining user permission for notifications.

My role

I was involved in the project from concept formation to the execution phase. This included-

  • Desk research

  • Concept creation

  • Designing journeys and UI

  • Validating concepts with usability testing (working with a UX researcher)

  • Stakeholder management

Some facts


of the enquiries processed by the Customer Service team were around updates of orders


of our users said they would subscribe to push notifications- indicated by a survey run by the marketing team


Industry benchmark for push notifications opt-in on iOS


I did desk research to understand iOS guidelines and the best practises as well as competitor analysis for getting users to enable push notifications.

Key learnings from the research which acted as design principles for the rest of the project-

  • iOS allows to show the ‘easy’ opt-in prompt only once

  • Don’t ask users to opt-in immediately for push notifications

  • Don’t interrupt users when they are in the middle of a task

  • Lead the system prompt with a soft prompt

Assumptions and hypothesis

The research helped us make educated assumptions-

  • If we leveraged the tasks for which customers send enquiries they will be more primed to opt into notification

  • Soft prompts will help us show permission prompt to only those who are interested in opting into receiving push notifications

  • Users won’t feel interrupted if we prompted them only after they have finished a task

  • Contextual messaging will help users understand the benefits of notifications easily

Based on the assumptions we formulated a hypothesis-

If we asked users to opt in for push notifications at a moment in their journey where they don’t feel interrupted, and understand the value of notifications so they’d be more inclined to opt-in.

Design solution

Following hypothesis formulation, I created a concept of action-based prompts, which would be triggered as a user completes certain tasks. We decided to use the tasks for which we receive enquiries for as well as the ones that indicated high-engagement.

Journeys we identified to prompt notifications opt-in-

  • Sign-in

  • Successful checkout

  • Abandoned basket

  • Product favourited

  • Messaging seller

  • Product added to basket

We then shortlisted three tasks for action-based prompts -

  • Successful checkout

  • Messaging seller

  • Sign-in

Dealing with rejection

iOS allows to show the ‘easy’ opt-in prompt only once. Users can opt-in for notification with a single tap with the ‘easy’ prompt. BUT if a user declines the permission, the only way to enable notifications is through the settings app. This meant the user would be expected to leave our app, and go into system settings and find their way to app-specific notifications. To account for this scenario we had to design two different journeys depending on whether the user has previously declined permission or not.

User flow

Triggered prompts

Testing our designs

Opt-in from Settings app posed a challenge - it was a much more complex thing for us to communicate and for users to execute. We explored two options to explaining how to enable notifications from the Settings app - one with visuals, and the other with textual instructions. We then put these two variants in front of users using usertesting.com.

What we wanted to learn?

  • If the users are able to enable notifications when they need to navigate to device settings to activate them

  • If users find it easier to understand instructions on how to enable notifications with or without visuals


“... it was clear and the prototype had a pic of every single step that was great.”

From the test we learned that visuals helped a great deal in helping users understand how to enable notifications when it is to be done from the Settings app.

Rollout & impact

Following the usability testing this feature was rolled out for a quarter of our app users in an A/B test format. We monitored the following metrics to ensure to we were moving the right needles in the right direction

  • Notifications prompt engagement

  • Notifications opt-in

  • Conversion rate

  • Checkout abandon rate

  • Average order value

As the A/B test showed a good adoption of notifications and didn’t impact any of the key metrics negatively we rolled out this feature to all of our app users.


of those exposed to the prompt opted in for push notifications


reduction in enquiries around order status


increase in app visits