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.

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