Remove friction in your products

Jon Harmer
2 min readNov 20, 2013

I was reading an article today (http://www.fastcompany.com/3021820/work-smart/how-incredibly-lazy-people-can-form-productive-habits ) about how people (even lazy ones) can start forming productive habits.

The core idea is that by reducing the friction and keeping yourself from expending energy on decisions (even small ones) you are more likely to complete a goal or task or develop that habit of going to the gym you have always intended to do.

While the article is about developing habits, the exact same principles apply to product design. You want to reduce the amount of friction and remove decision points for the end user whenever possible. Things like setup wizards with default options (or even better — starting the whole thing out with those defaults unless the customer NEEDS to change something) are examples of this.

And this applies to both the purchase process for the product as well as the use of the product itself. If you make it easier and more seamless for me to buy something (One-Click purchasing from Amazon being a fantastic example) I am much more likely to complete the transaction process. Find ways to reduce the amount of information a user needs to provide, the number of clicks that are required, or the number of decisions they have to make (the old GoDaddy purchase process with tons of add-on options is a good example of BAD design in this regard.)

What do you all think about reducing friction in products? Are there times when more is better?

Originally published at jonharmer.wordpress.com on November 20, 2013.

--

--

Jon Harmer

I understand users and buyers and their problems. I help solve those problems and communicate that value.