Progressive Web Apps Part 3: Engagement

Progressive web Apps seek to improve engagement with your users using Push Notifications (just like the ones you get on your iOS or Android phone). For progressive web Apps this is achieved using two different technologies in combination: Push and Notifications. For the purposes of this post, it doesn’t matter that they are two different technologies as we are going to focus on how your organisation can best use them!

What Are Push Notifications?

Push Notifications are very short messages (a bit like text messages) that appear on your progressive web App users’ device when you send them from your server. Users must give permission for your progressive web App to display the Push Notifications before they will see them, so they are not a guaranteed method of communication.

Am I Going To Annoy My Users?

If you use Push Notifications incorrectly then you will annoy your users. Generally you should use Push Notifications sparingly. If you bombard your users with a new notification every few minutes they will immediately unsubscribe. You should also avoid pushy sales notifications as this will also lead to users unsubscribing. Finally (especially in the modern GDPR world) you should not include personal data in Push Notifications. Your users will not be happy if they are giving a presentation on their laptop and a Push Notification about their bank balance appears on the screen!

You should seek to make your push notifications short, relevant, useful and content-based. Your notifications should tempt your users to click on them to view a specific piece of content in your progressive web App. Examples of good Push Notifications are:

  • “Your drive to work is busier than usual.”
  • “We are shutting down the email server at 2pm today for one hour.”
  • “FTSE rises by 13% this morning. Is it time to trade?”
  • “A new Star Wars article has been published on”
  • “A new user has registered. Please check their identity.”

Each of these quickly delivers a short message that the user can then act on or ignore appropriately.


Short, content-based Push Notifications that will be useful to your users are much more likely to lead to a maintained Push Notification subscription and better engagement.

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Nick McKenna
Nick McKenna is a (polymath) computer programmer and scaled Agile consultant. Nick has been a professional programmer for over 20 years and an Agile guru for nearly as long! Nick's specialities include progressive web app development, mobile app development, the Internet Of Things, Azure cloud development, systems integration, Scaled Agile Framework, Scrum, Lean, LeSS, Scrum At Scale and much much more.