How to Reduce Friction for Better Design

Friction refers to what impedes any sort of action by a user on a website. Friction brings down the level of user interaction, which in turn affects conversions leading to loss of prospects and business. No matter how well a user interface is designed, friction, more or less, makes it a nightmare. Reducing friction to the zero level is the best antidote for the user interface of any website. Frictionless design makes user interfaces keep all complications away and encourage smooth interactions. Let me show you how to keep your website interface user friendly by reducing friction.

Friction can be any type and may arise in any form. It can be slow loading or poor navigation. Friction also refers to anything unnecessary or unwanted in the interface design. A web design expert who knows and understand the minutiae of user interface can identify presence and type of friction. The following issues can create friction:

  • Cluttered user interface
  • Low-quality, distracting visuals
  • Inconsistent design elements in interface
  • Unnecessary features of user interface
  • Lack of white or negative space

Whatever it is, even the slightest interface friction can cause disruption of interaction and conversion. There are different processes to minimize friction whether a new website is optimized or an existing complex website is cleaned up. Cognitive overload that results from the use of too many design elements and too much content can be minimized.

The user should not be overloaded or overwhelmed with content of one type: text or visual. The content of a webpage or user interface should be balanced in different types including text, image, graphics and animation. Make sure to use text and visuals in the right proportion to create a positive cognitive process. It results in a rhythmic user interaction with minimal cognitive load.

Friction can create a roadblock on the way to call to action. Professional designers having knowledge of how humans interact with things online make sure to remove all textual and visual friction from the way to call to action. Excessive or unnecessary content creates cognitive overload, which prevents the user from hitting the ‘call to action’ button. Redesign of ‘call to action’ button in bold, large font can be another solution.

Friction can be anywhere in the range from graphics to typography in layouts. Sharp focus on content helps to match the user expectations through the best practices in place. More space for better typography and bold headlines can be created by limiting content to what is needed only. One of the best practices is dividing complex content or a long piece of content into smaller sections, which does not overwhelm the audience and improves the user experience, leaving no room for friction.

If user interface reflects consistency of design elements, it ensures smooth pace of user experience. If every two or three design elements are in difference with each other, friction will surface to hold the user back. Friction finds no space where there is harmony.

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