How Friction Applies to User Experience Design

An important aspect of user experience design is removing as much friction as possible. In the context of web design, what is friction and how might it affect your website?

When it comes to web design, friction is a versatile term. It can be applied to any flaw or mishap that takes away from your user experience. Because businesses have different web design problems, everyone is inclined to define friction differently.

The most popular examples of friction are slow loading times and poor navigation. According to a Next Web article, however, friction can also refer to unnecessary web design elements.

“The devil often comes in many names and many forms. Some define friction as any hurdles the user must overcome, whether that’s loading times or poor navigation. Others use the term for anything excessive or unneeded in the interface. Fans of Steve Krug, writer of Don’t Make Me Think, identify friction as “cognitive load,” basically any thought involved in the task that isn’t required.”

When working to improve the user experience of your website, consider where friction exists and how you’ll remove it. The less friction you have, the better the user experience will be.

"We hired Eric to help CSU-Global Campus build out a new website as our previous one had many issues. Eric listened to our needs, helped us shape the frame for what we wanted, and built it out exactly how we had hoped for. He was efficient and responsive to our needs and changes for the website but while teaching us our to help ourselves with small edits. After the successful launch of the website, we have kept Eric on board for his help in other areas because he is so knowledgeable, friendly, and quick to respond. I would highly recommend Eric to any business who has a need for web services."
Lauren Burns, Senior Vice President Marketing, Colorado State University-Global Campus

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