DISCORD INBOX

PERSONAL / ADD A FEATURE

overview

Making it easier to track and manage Discord notifications

PROTOTYPE

Role:
Research
UX/UI, Prototyping
Visual Design

Tools:
Figma
Illustrator
Notion

Duration:
80 Hours

Discord makes it easy for anyone to connect with friends and communities online.

With 140 million monthly active users (2021), friends and strangers can join servers (communities) and socialize over similar interests via text and voice chat channels.

*This is a personal conceptual project.*

Problem

More servers = more notifications

Frequent Discord users join 5 to as many as 100 servers.

Consequentially, they recieve hundreds of notifcations from various sources based on their activity.

Not all notifications are treated the same.

I reviewed online forums and interviewed 5 users to identify how they manage their notifications. Different users value different types of notifications and manage them in their own unique way.

Power Users

Server Mod: Needs to stay updated with server news and activities.

Too much going on: Gets overwhelmed with notifications and wants to quickly locate them.

Casual Users

Staying connected: Pushes all notifications in servers with friends.

One-off servers: Only wants to hear from a few channels in servers that she's less active in.

Current State

The Inbox Feature is Discord's quick-fix for notifications:

0

Centralized location for all notifications, split into Unread Messages and @Mention pings.

1

Filter between mentions and unread messages

2

Clear all notifications or by channel.

3

Adjust notification settings per server or channel

Inbox is hard to find

However, Inbox currently leaves much to be desired:

Solution

Enhancing the Inbox will improve how users manage their most important notifications.

Increased visibility: Make it more visible and accessible.

Upgrade current functions: Keep what’s working - Inbox doesn’t need to be completely rebuilt.

Complete ecosystem: Introduce Inbox to Discord Mobile for a seamless experience between all platforms.

increased visibility

centralized notifications

Ideate

Modifying Discord's information architecture can make Inbox more accessible and easy to use.

Give Inbox its own page instead of hiding it in other pages.

Notification grouping should make sense - either by server or channel.

Incorporate existing filter and sort interactions into Inbox.

Feedback confirmed design direction with minor optimizations

“I put my most active servers at the top. Inbox reduces that time I need to spend scrolling and clicking to specific channels in servers that I’m less active in.”

“I can change my settings so that specific channels send notifications to Inbox and if I want, I can jump straight to the channels from there.”

Clearing notifications should be quick and painless

Before

4/5 users felt that the X icon for closing mentions was destructive and meant erasing the messages entirely.

After

Clearing notifications is quick and painless. Provide positive reinforcement with consistent copy and iconography.

Final Design: A New and Improved Inbox

Quickly access Inbox from anywhere

Increased visibility: Locate the Inbox on the universal server sidebar for quick access, no matter where you are in Discord.

Old: Clicking through every channel

Powerful ways to clear notifications

Purge the red notification badge: Mark all notifications as read in one click. No need to individually mute or click through every server.

Clear by channel: Review notifications by channel - move at your own pace.

clear by channel

clear in bulk

Customized viewing of notifications

Cut out the noise: Filter for what’s important via specific @Mention types. View Messages in any chronological order.

A cross platform experience

I translated the new Inbox to Desktop ensuring that users can stay on top of their notifications regardless of where they use Discord.

Like the Mobile Version, Inbox can be quickly accessed via the sidebar.

Retrospective

Everything cannot be solved in one sprint.

In doing this exercise I uncovered larger adjacent issues: Redesigning server organization or reevaluating the relationship between Direct Messages + Friends. Focusing on these issues one at a time allows for clearer ideation and evaluation.

Potential next steps

Notification settings control what is and isn’t sent to the Inbox. Tying these two functionalities together could create a unified notification experience on Discord.