The Paradox of Friction and Frictionless

Without friction in an experience, it’s not possible to *feel* it. So a frictionless experience is by definition unmemorable.

That is ideal when: 1/ it normally tastes like medicine, 2/ it’s expected to be utterly painful, 3/ it’s not something you are really interested in doing.

We add new content (i.e. friction) into an experience to provide education (“this is what it is so you know what you’re about to do and gain” — product marketing), humanity (“it will only hurt a little” or “this will make you get well much faster” — empathy), or familiarity (“it’s like a trustworthy Coca Cola” — power of brand … or, “it’s just like using a calculator <assuming I know what one is>” — power of design metaphor), or seduction (“zowie!” activating lizard brain for maximum irrationality/hunger to embrace risk by only seeing reward).

This is a great point on nudges:

And relate to something that Christian Waitzinger started us on with this popular image:

Which reminded me of Tom Hulme’s talk:

Relatedly my colleague Raj Shah shared this story:.

I am reminded of an anecdote I heard in my undergrad days.  A university had recently opened a new set of facilities, which included a new quad.  Rather than paving the walkways, planting trees or gardening the quad, they planted lush grass and no impediments to people walking on the grass.  Four months later, they knew the most frequent paths people were taking between buildings across the quad through where the grass had been eroded.  That lay out the plan for sculpting the quad. 

Dario Korati pointed out:

AKKA Architects did that. Stephanie Hughes of AKKA gave a talk about that project and their approach at the Euro IA 2017. Here are the slides of her talk though it’s hard to grasp without the actual voice over:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xpt7dx7oy3dfh3k/AKKA%20-%20EuroIA%2028.09.2017%20-%20keynote.pdf?dl=0

James King adds:

I’ve always loved desire paths. It really comes out in the winter, if you treat snow as data. https://99percentinvisible.org/article/least-resistance-desire-paths-can-lead-better-design/

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