For timely reminders and helpful "nudges", notifications can be an effective tool to motivate and keep your users engaged. The Notifications section of the Dashboard allows you to create scheduled notifications to be sent to members of your community or organization.
Before you get started, see our guide on What makes a good notification? so you can create the most effective content.
The Notifications section is broken into two tables: Queued and Delivered notifications.
Queued notifications are not yet delivered, and can be edited or deleted. You can edit or delete notifications up to 5 minutes before the scheduled delivery time.
Delivered notifications show a history of the messages sent previously, so you can track the history of your notification efforts.
Figure 1 - Notification Overview
Both the Queued and Delivered notification tables display information about your notifications.
Subject is the headline of the notification. This may be a unique piece of text for a General notification, or it will be the name of the Challenge for challenge notifications. The notification's subject should be short and explain the context of the message.
Message is the main body text of the notification.
Send Date is the date and time the notification will be sent out. The time zone is indicated in the header of the table, and is based on the time zone of your computer or browser.
To Delete a notification, click the [X] button next to the notification. A modal screen will prompt you to make sure you really want to delete it. Only Queued notifications can be deleted.
To Edit a notification, click the "Edit" button next to the notification. This will take you into the Create/Edit notification page (see below). Only Queued notifications can be edited.
To Create a new notification, click the "Create Notification" button at the top right of the page, above the table. This will take you to the Create/Edit notification page.
Creating and Editing
When creating or editing a notification, you will use the Create/Edit dialog (show below).
Figure 2 - Create/Edit notification
General/Challenge - The first step is to select if this notification applies to a specific Challenge, or if it is general information. (see the article General or Challenge if you are having trouble deciding).
For General notifications, you can fill in the notification's subject. General notifications are not linked with any content, and are for informational purposes only.
For Challenge notifications, type the name of the challenge to search for it, and then select the Challenge you wish to reference in the notification. This will automatically fill in the Subject of the notification with the Challenge name, as well as create a link to the challenge from the In-App notification (see Delivery, below)
Figure 3 - Select Challenge
Message - Enter the text of the notification. The message is limited to 140 characters, including spaces. Keep in mind that different types of devices and screen sizes have different amounts of space, so the message may be truncated on some device type views.
Send Date/Time - The date and time the notification will be sent. Notifications can be scheduled a minimum of 5 minutes after the current time, to allow for processing. The time zone the notification will be sent is indicated above the time field, and is based on your computer/browser's time zone settings. Notifications will be sent to all users at the same global time regardless of their time zone (see Delivery, below).
There are two different types of previews to help you create your notification. The iOS Preview displays the notification as it will appear on the iOS lock screen. Notifications can appear in various formats according to the device's OS version, size, and device settings, so this preview is to be used as an approximation only.
The In-App Preview displays the notification as it will appear in the Notifications section of the app.
Figure 4 - iOS Preview Figure 5 - In-App Preview
The delivery of the notification consists of three elements: format, time, and audience.
The notification will be delivered both as a Push message AND an In-App notification. The Push Message is a notification sent through the device's operating system and will typically appear on the lock screen of the device, and/or in the device's Notification Center (accessed by pulling down from the top of the screen on most iOS and Android devices). In addition, on iOS devices, a red number indicator will also be displayed on the app's icon.
Push messages display only the App icon, App name, and the Message text. This is a limitation of the iOS and Android operating system.
Note: Receipt of Push Messages can be disabled or silenced by the user of the device in their device's Android or iOS settings.
The In-App notification will be displayed inside your app's Notification section. In-App notifications will display a picture corresponding with the app icon for General notifications, or a Challenge icon for Challenge notifications. For Challenge notifications, tapping the In-App notification will display the Challenge.
The Time the notification will be delivered (as set by you in the Create/Edit dialog) will be at the same instant in time across the globe, regardless of the recipient's time zone. Keep this in mind if you expect to have recipients in multiple time zones.
The ability to localize the delivery time according to the recipient's device time will be coming in later updates.
The audience of the notification is all the members of the community or organization in which you created the notification, as indicated at the top left of your Dashboard view. Typically, you will only be the administrator of a single organization or community.