It’s become pretty obvious that we have a love-hate relationship with Notification Center on iOS. The general consensus on the internet is that while the basic functionality of Notification Center is great — its got some real flaws in visual design and user experience.
No one likes the linen — it doesn’t make sense. If there’s linen behind the screen (seen when you use Siri or the app switcher) then how can you also pull down a curtain of the same material over the screen? Its inconsistent and visually blah.
The second major issue with Notification Center is the tiny little close x buttons that you have to tap twice. The iOS Human Interface Guidelines specify a tap area of 44 pixels squared — these are clearly in violation. Tap above or below the x and you’ll hit a notification banner. This needs to be painless and really should be a delightful experience.
Here’s my hypothetical redesign of Notification Center. It’s an evolution of the current design — not a conceptual overhaul. The linen is gone and in its place is a faithful representation of the notification banners — grouped by app, organised chronologically. To dismiss a block of notifications just swipe to the right and drag them off screen.
Contact me on Twitter if you have any feedback — I’d greatly appreciate it! I believe Apple has a responsibility to do the right thing for its users, and we have a opportunity to help them innovate. Lets get the conversation started.
Alex is an interactive design director based in Brooklyn.