Tuesday, December 15, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Dismissing Big Sur Notifications

Tyler Hall:

An example of unhelpful alerts that you didn’t opt-in to and can’t opt-out of are hot marketing garbage like this.

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But I digress. Helpful or spam-like, the UX problem is dismissing them.

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Because, in almost all instances of an alert appearing, I want to know about it, but way less frequently do I want to open the entire app behind it.

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For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a 22pt x 22pt target out of the banner’s total 346pt x 78pt. Or 1.8% of the total size.

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If you move your mouse towards the notification intending to dismiss it, the clickable area (without backtracking your mouse) is this even smaller green part.

I usually want to mark a Messages notification as read (which takes multiple clicks) or dismiss a notification from another app (which has a small click target). The big click target is for opening the app, which is rarely what I want.

Nick Heer:

Notifications remain a system feature that, at least on Apple’s platforms, asks a lot from users for such simple benefit. On iOS and MacOS, it is too easy to be zipped into a different app, especially if you are trying to dismiss the notification instead.

Previously:

Update (2020-12-16): Marco Arment:

Big Sur’s notifications are Big Sur’s butterfly keyboard.

(see also: hiding all actions under the “Options” button, and the inexplicable and extremely frustrating loss of multiple Snooze durations in Calendar notifications)

Update (2021-01-01): Dave Mark:

Big Sur brings a frustrating interface change to notifications. This post documents the change in great detail. It’s all about the process of dismissing a notification, which is much harder than it used to be, both in terms of fine motor control requirements and low discoverability.

Update (2021-06-13): Riccardo Mori:

In Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra (and presumably in Mojave and Catalina), Notifications not only have better buttons and UI than in Big Sur, they’re also smarter. When that app has finished updating, the notification will automatically go away. In Big Sur, it stays there.

5 Comments

Just terrible. I hope they fix this in 11.2 or something. Notifications are already annoying in Catalina.

Move your mouse over and swipe right with two fingers (trackpad) or one finger (magic mouse). Much faster to dismiss that way. But I’ll agree most of these notifications shouldn’t be appearing in the first place.

And for the record I got a notification for learning more about ‘my new M1 MacBook Air’ on my 2014 iMac the other day. I don’t have a MacBook Air. Somethings definitely not right.

Move your mouse over and swipe right with two fingers (trackpad) or one finger (magic mouse). Much faster to dismiss that way.

While that’s a nice shortcut, the regular way shouldn’t be this hard to do.

And for the record I got a notification for learning more about ‘my new M1 MacBook Air’ on my 2014 iMac the other day. I don’t have a MacBook Air. Somethings definitely not right.

I read someone else got this as well on their (relatively) old Mac. Probably a glitch.

Got the same M1 MBA notification on my 2015 MBA. Apple pushing ads in their OS really is very, very uncool. If I want ads and bloatware I'll go to Asus.

I keep all of my Macs in perpetual Do Not Disturb mode to avoid notifications. They still pile up but at least they're not distracting, and the iPhone continues to light up with anything important (messages, reminders, emails, etc).

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