Why I’m Obsessed With Friction
Friction kills motivation.
I read a post about friction by Chris Hladczuk that made me rethink everything I know about friction. Everything that prevents you from doing something is friction.
If you want to write, but your phone always distracts you, it’s friction. If you want more email subscribers, but the form asks for a number, phone number, and company name, it’s friction.
Without friction, our lives would be easier. This is why I’m obsessed with friction.
Action is easier without resistance
The more I work on email signups, the more I realize the resistance between “Who is Ben Watkins?” to eventually, “Oh, he has a newsletter I’d like to check out.”
There’s a lot that goes on between who he is and what he can do for me. It’s the difference between readers who trust me and readers who have no idea who I am but want to learn more. I need to make it easier for readers to stay connected, join my email list, and understand my brand.
Friction is every tap that requires more attention. It’s every click that forces them to do more than they want. It’s action meets resistance.
The press for champagne example
A popular restaurant in London is the perfect example of friction. Or rather, how this restaurant removes friction.
This restaurant has a button on every table that says “Press for Champaign.” Customers press it, and they are immediately served bubbly champagne.
There’s no need to call the server over or think about it while the server is at another table or change your mind when the server arrives at your table.
There’s no friction when you order champagne.
It’s instantaneous action met with zero friction.
How I think about friction
Friction exists in every business. It’s what the best brands are obsessed with.
It’s like Chris Hladczuk says in his posts about friction:
“Have you ever thought why Apple made iPhones have face ID?
Think about this through the lens of friction.”
Creating less friction is a work of progress. Ask customers what the most difficult part of your landing page is. Ask them what could have made it easier.
If you never find out the friction, you’ll never know it exists.