When you look at your phone, small little red dots draw your attention to all the things you missed. It’s a signal for your attention. It’s so simple, yet so effective.
When I’m on other webpages, their logos in the tabs sometimes have small little dots next to them that make it seem like there is a notification that I’m missing, but really it’s just them giving off that feel so I spend time on their site.
There is a growing amount of signals out there, but they are mostly noise. As everyone is seeking a shortcut, a way to hack the human attention system, the system itself begins to shift. Perhaps one of the best ways to not need to send so many signals is to show up in the right place, with the right message that makes it seem like you aren’t just more noise.