Mark All as Optional
If your app makes unread counts an option — and off by default — is that enough?
Here’s the thing: compulsive people will turn on unread counts, because it’s more information, and because it will help them make sure not to miss anything.
The better choice is to decide what kind of app you’re making. If it absolutely has to have unread machinery — counts, badges, bold headlines, little blue circles, notifications, whatever — then fine. Maybe email apps have to have these things.
But if you can make an app that doesn’t need these things, then don’t even make them an option. Because the very people who shouldn’t turn on that option are the people who will turn on that option.