Summary: Friction is anything that prevents your website visitors from finding what they want. Friction reduction results in a much higher quality experience for your visitors and encourages them to stick around longer.
Your website visitors will leave if your layout is too confusing or the design is too hard to use. Good design will appear simple, clean, and self explanatory.
If things are confusing and cluttered, with too many options, your visitors will leave.
Truly effective website design, particularly for eCommerce websites, must appear clean, simple, and very easy to navigate.
- The end goal is to be extremely clear not clever.
Friction Reduction Action Steps
1 – Website Speed
Seriously, nothing will tick visitors off more than a slow website. Website speed is one of the top considerations when taking steps to removing friction and helping visitors find what they want as easily and quickly as possible.
Your visitor absolutely has an expectation about the speed of your website. If you don’t meet that expectation there is a severe penalty, the visitor leaves. It’s particularly true for sales and landing pages.
- Constantly check your website speed. Reducing page load speeds should be at the top of your ongoing to-do list.
2 – Simplify Website Options
When you give visitors too many choices, almost all will experience decision panic and will avoid making a decision. If your website is confusing, has too many options, or is not clear about the differences between options, you guessed it, visitors will leave.
- Seriously, look at how many options you’re giving visitors. Can you cut down the number of options to make the differences between the options more obvious?
3 – Make Search Obvious and Available
One of the fastest ways to put your website visitor at ease is to give them the ability to search in an obvious position at the top of the page.
- Look at your website search with a critical eye? Best practice is to include search ability in an obvious location something a visitor will notice immediately upon landing on your website.
It’s easy to fiddle with your website, adding content etc. and overlook some of the above friction points. Visitors have zero patience/tolerance for these friction points and will leave. Don’t take these things for granted, it you don’t pay attention and correct these friction points your visitor will not even wave goodbye, they’ll jump to the next website on their list.