Marketing in the Frictionless Age

The digital world has changed so much over the years. Sometimes it can be tough to keep up with the copious changes that leave our inboxes full of fresh articles with the latest tips and tricks for world domination marketing.

I remember the first time that a certain individual who I’ll leave unnamed mentioned the words ‘Frictionless Design’, on second thoughts, we can call this person Fred. I met Fred at a local marketing meet, and we were discussing some of the pitfalls for UX, then out of nowhere – what are your thoughts on a frictionless user experience. At first, I thought they were joking around, turns out it’s a thing.


Follow the path of least resistance

As an avid motorbike rider there is one mantra that has stalked me throughout my life, follow the path of least resistance. This actually summarises the definition of frictionless design.

The logic behind something being simpler with less resistance along a predetermined route creates a faster process. Everyone wants things done quicker, things ordered sooner, humanity has become incredibly impatient.


Who started off the fad?

Hands down the companies with billions of dollars trying to make everyone else look bad and raise the expectations for the masses, of course, I’m talking about the likes of Amazon and their incredible app that offers such a refined and simple process to one click order my favourite whiskey straight to my desk.

In truth, there are so many companies that started to refine their mobile apps for one seriously awesome reason.


Simplicity converts

There is no doubt that a website where you have to take ten steps to order is going to annoy a few people. Take the Amazon model on the other hand which takes a maximum of a few steps and keeps you updated at all times via push notification or email.

People crave simplicity because we are all in a hurry, and it converts because people like things to be easy.

Some websites out there that are poorly designed can feel like it is our willpower being tested when all we want is our cat’s new bed in the post on the way to our home.


Friction makes for… a painful experience

Making things complicated really messes with growth. It can be one tiny thing wrong with the UX that’ll hold you back from doubling your bottom line. It isn’t necessarily that it is too complicated, but again, people expect more.

Not only that, but the faster a process is, regardless of it is ordering food or paying your bills, the higher the likelihood it’ll be a service that is used again.


So how are you supposed to market yourself?

For all companies out there, you could learn a thing or two from the likes of Amazon and co (fortune 500). Look at how they have refined their services, nothing is off limits. A few things you can start to refine?

Payment gateways and ordering products. There are so many businesses out there that take this one for granted. It could be that you have three pages for filling in details about the order and a million redirects before you can finally check out. Keeping every contained into a sleek one-page checkout ultimately improves the user experience.

Navigation and the flow of a website are also imperative. Far too often sites are confusing and restrict a user from completing their goal. Step back and think of that goal and how they might use the website or application.

Forms are the bane of the frictionless world. They can make or break you. Keep them simple, cut the rubbish and offer users a callback option if they don’t want to spend their lunch break filling out the form.


In summary…

Frictionless isn’t a design principal or some fancy jargon, it’s just something that is said to sound cooler than “You guys have gone a little over the top with the processes on your website, maybe chill out and simplify it?”.

Like anything in the digital world, you should really take the time to consider tracking data to find useful stats about the changes that you are making, then it is a case of testing, testing, and testing a little more.


Author Bio

Jamie Fuller is a digital marketing executive at AppInstitute. He spends his days building links, creating content, and drinking far too much coffee at one of the world’s leading DIY App Builders (over 70,000 apps built).

AppInstitute regularly provides leading publications with app analytics, business data, case studies, white papers and statistics for established publishers across the world. They were named in the top 50 creative companies in England by Creative England.

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