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Building collaborative and productive SaaS applications with notifications - Pt 2

Hana Mohan

Last updated on

Case Studies: How notifications enhance collaboration and productivity in SaaS applications

Now that we have explored what a good notification system looks like in theory, let's look at some real-world examples that illustrate how a good notification design can create more meaningful, productive, and collaborative customer experiences .


Pitch is a presentation software that focuses on real-time collaboration, smart workflows, and intuitive design features. Pitch makes it fast and easy for teams to create and deliver beautiful presentations.

Source: (Pitch)

Pitch's notification system

Notifications play a key role in building collaborative presentation software, and Pitch is aware of this. This is why in 2021, Pitch decided to redesign its notification experience using MagicBell.

According to Pitch, a user gets a notification when another Pitch user does the following:

  • Assigns you a slide
  • Mentions you in a comment
  • Replies to your comment
  • Resolves your comment
  • Invites you to a workspace
  • Invites you to a presentation

Benefits of Pitch's notification system

The in-app notification box gives users a quick overview of all changes in their workspace: Pitch has a notification inbox that gives users a view of all relevant information pertaining to them. As a result, users no longer have to dig through a pile of email notifications. Instead, they can open the Pitch app and click on the bell icon. Users with unread notifications will see a red badge on top of the bell, which they can attend to.

Source: (Pitch)

Cross-platform notification experience helps ensure consistency: Via MagicBell’s cross-platform notification API, Pitch can give its users a unified and consistent notification experience across all channels (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, or web browser).

Source: (Pitch)

Actionable notifications help users be more productive: With actionable notifications, Pitch users can click on any notification and navigate to the specific presentation, reply to comments about the presentation, delegate tasks to other team members, or change the status of the presentation.

Source: (Pitch)


Figma is a collaborative browser-based graphic editor, prototyping, and design tool that allows viewing and interacting with Figma design files in real time. One of the unique selling points of Figma is that it is web-based, so teams can collaborate on a Figma file as they would on a Google Doc. This helps teams create, share, test, and ship designs faster and better.

Source: (Figma)

Figma's notification system

Notifications are critical to the Figma experience. They keep users in the loop about changes and edits within a design file. The primary notification channels Figma uses are email, Slack, and a notification panel within the Figma application. According to Figma's notifications resource, Figma will send notifications for the following activities:

  • Invites to a file, project, or team
  • Changes to user role
  • New comments or replies on a file you're contributing to
  • Any time someone @mentions you in a file
  • Likes or duplicates to a file
  • Likes or installs of plugins and widgets created by a user

Benefits of Figma's notification system

Notification inbox helps users stay updated with relevant information: Figma has a notification inbox that displays all the notifications pertinent to the user. Figma also notifies users of new notifications to their accounts by displaying a red dot over the bell icon. This feature ensures that users stay updated regarding all the changes related to their design files. Users can monitor likes, updates, new comments, or replies to a file they are contributing to.

Source: (Figma)

Notification customization helps users personalize their experience: Figma allows users to fine-tune their notification experience to suit their needs. For example, users can disable email notifications. Slack channels can be configured to receive Figma notifications for specific files, projects, and teams. In addition, users can subscribe or unsubscribe from updates to channels and customize the frequency of notifications for each subscription.

Source: (Figma)


Vsimple is a full-service workflow management platform that simplifies workflow for manufacturers, distributors, and dealers by pulling order and quote management, documentation, stage gate approvals, communication, collaboration, and data reviews into one efficient platform.

Source: (Vsimple)

Vsimple's notification system
By incorporating MagicBell's notification API, Vsimple has created a sophisticated notification experience that drives customers toward productivity. Vsimple notifications help notify team members of project status updates, approvals, and shipping details.

Benefits of Vsimple's notification system
Smart notification inbox reduces notification overload:
Vsimple has an intelligent notification inbox that allows logged-in users to get tailored notifications based on their roles and preferences. For example, someone assigned to an account in sales can configure their notification inbox to receive sales-specific notifications, such as price quote updates, instead of getting notifications across the entire account pipeline. Additionally, once the system decides a notification is relevant to a user, it would push the notification to their device according to their individual preferences.

Source: (Vsimple)

Notification wait time eliminates duplicate cross-channel notifications: Instead of sending all user notifications to multiple user channels (emails, desktop, and push), Vsimple incorporated an automated notification timer that waits for a specific period before sending cross-platform notifications. For instance, if a push notification sent on a desktop is not interacted with within a particular time, let's say 10 minutes, the notification can be pushed to another channel (based on the user's individual preferences) like email to enhance visibility. Also, the automated system only sends notifications that are immediately relevant to each user (for example, action items connected to a user's status within a project).


GitHub is a collaborative code hosting platform for software development and version control using Git. Git simplifies working with other people and makes it easy to collaborate on projects. Team members can work on files and easily merge their changes with the project's main branch. GitHub offers the distributed version control and source code management functionality of Git, plus additional features like project management, feature tracking, and continuous integration and deployment through GitHub Actions.

GitHub's notification system

Notifications aid in the collaborative process of GitHub. They provide updates about the activity on GitHub that users have subscribed to. Customers can use the notifications inbox to customize, triage, and manage updates to an account or a GitHub repository.

By default, GitHub sends notifications for:

  • A conversation on a pull request, gist, or specific issue
  • Activities in a repository or team discussion
  • Continuous integration activities, such as the status of workflows and deployments in repositories set up with GitHub Actions
  • Repository issues, pull requests, releases, security alerts, or discussions

Benefits of GitHub's notification system

A cross-platform notification experience ensures users stay up to date: Users can choose to view notifications through the notifications inbox on the website and in the GitHub Mobile app, email, or a combination of these options.

Source: (GitHub)

Granular notification configuration helps users customize their notification settings to fit their requirements: GitHub allows users to choose the type of activity on GitHub that they want to receive notifications for and how they want these updates delivered. Users can either subscribe to updates at the organization level, at the repository level, or for a specific issue, pull request, or discussion. For example, they can choose only to be notified when updates to one or more types of events (issues, pull requests, releases, security alerts, or discussions) happen within a repository and ignore all other notifications for a repository.

Source: (GitHub)

Custom email routing helps keep notifications organized: Users can set the preferred email address for each GitHub organization they create using custom routing. For instance, users can select which types of workflows to which GitHub will send email notifications and configure the specific email addresses to receive these notifications.

Source: (GitHub)

Robust notification inbox experience with advanced filtering and grouping allows users to sort notifications quickly: GitHub offers advanced notification configuration options to help users take control of their notification experience. By default, the GitHub notification inbox has filters for when a user is assigned a task, participating in a thread, requested to review a pull request, or when the user's username is @mentioned directly.

Source: (GitHub)

GitHub also offers custom filters for users to focus on a group of notifications in their inbox on or GitHub Mobile. For example, users can create a custom filter for an open-source project they contribute to and choose to only see notifications for that repository in which they are mentioned.

Additionally, GitHub allows for inbox triage. Users can:

  • Remove a notification from the inbox with Done
  • Save a notification for later review
  • Mark a notification as read or unread
  • Automatically unsubscribe from specific notifications and updates

Source: (GitHub)

Notifications are key to the success of collaborative SaaS applications

With an effective notification system in your SaaS software, you can empower your users to become more productive by taking action faster and staying updated on tasks that concern them. For example, Blink, a last-mile delivery service for eCommerce, uses its notification center to help customers resolve delivery issues faster, communicate better with delivery teams, and create a more streamlined work process. ThymeBase, a client management platform for event planners and professionals, has been able to help its customers communicate faster and more effectively on events by leveraging its robust notification system.

Actionable multi-channel notifications are no longer just a nice to have but essential to the success of any SaaS product in the modern age. Ultimately, applications that optimize the notification experience for their customers will undoubtedly deliver more meaningful customer experiences and increase profits.