Tory Hobson; Product Designer


Ring the Bell


A closer look at Facebook’s new notification animation

I first noticed this animation a few weeks ago. When I did, I immediately closed the Facebook app to see if it would replay when I opened it back up. I was happy to see that it did. I probably did this three or four more times as I’ve always been obsessed with little details like this.

At first, I categorized it as a decorative animation — an animation used solely to delight users. While I still feel that’s the main objective here, I do not think that’s the only purpose. Facebook is also addressing a problem. In a world where a lot of people have gone blind to the common “red dot” treatment of notifications, this definitely helps bring some added emphasis back to it.

It’s not over-the-top though. It’s short and sweet and perfectly executed. You can tell that the designers at Facebook spent a lot of time on the mechanics of it all. The way it swings, the subtle bouncy-ness, the way it comes to a nice, gentle stopping point. It’s a great example of adding that final coat of polish to a product.