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Astro Guide's clever, cosmic permission priming

Getting users to opt in to receive notifications is an essential part of any mobile user engagement strategy. But more often than not, asking users to allow push notifications without priming them for the request is a recipe for failure. That's where permission priming comes in.

Permission priming involves helping users understand the value they stand to receive by granting your request. It's also an opportunity to inject some personality into your UX early on, instead of just interrupting the experience with an annoying popup.

For an example of clever permission priming done well, look no further than this fun mobile modal from Astro Guide, a horoscope app from Vice:

astro guide mobile app push notification example

Why this is really good UX:

  • The design looks and feels like part of the overall user experience, rather than a popup that was added as an afterthought. In fact, this mobile modal almost blends into the underlying interface—it's differentiated by a thin blue line and subtle differences in background color.
  • We like that the sparkly push notification illustration breaks the frame of the modal—it creates visual interest and makes it feel more dynamic.
  • The copy is clever (it's actually our favorite part of the experience). By now, mobile app users are so familiar with permissions requests that these messages are often dismissed or accepted automatically. Astro Guide combats user apathy with fun, on-brand copy that deviates from standard permission requests but still does a great job of conveying the benefits of opting in ("so you never miss a Mercury Retrograde again").