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In interaction design, friction is used to describe every moment that slows a user down from completing their desired task.

In interaction design, friction is used to describe every moment that slows a user down from completing their desired task. This can range from unnecessary actions to excessive or distracting design elements.

During planning phases of projects it is very important to test your user flow and experiment to create the most efficient design possible. The fewer steps in completing an action, the less friction. If there are any issues with the usability of the design, these should be highlighted during this stage and dealt with appropriately.

Take a payment process, to maintain momentum and ease of use a variety of tactics can be used, for example saving addresses and card details. So next time they come to check out, it will take less time to complete. The modern user has little patience for over-complicated and long-winded steps that impede their progress. ASOS for a long time have taken the user away from the busy main site and utilised a streamlined, well-documented checkout process. The ease of this journey has attributed to their overwhelming online success.

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Here are some basic principles that are very important to keep mindful of:

Bad eye paths

The organisation of a web page should be laid out and guide the user to complete the specified action. Making a web page over-complicated and leading the user’s eye up and down the page will only make the action harder to complete.

Poor navigation

A user should know exactly where they are and what content is where at all times; there are particular trends that will come and go, so staying on top of these is paramount.

Slow loading times

Sounds obvious I know but why put so much effort and thought into a user journey and stunning visuals if it is going to take an age to load? In this fast-paced world, no-one has the time to wait for anything anymore. Especially with the rise of mobile speeds over the years and people paying a lot for high-speed networks, they expect everything in an instant.

Consumers’ need for efficient and frictionless design will only intensify as technology matures and evolves. Noticing these practices and employing them will only lead to a more successful product for your user.

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