What is Cognitive Friction?

What is Cognitive Friction?(complete guide)
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We spend our days crawling with statistics, however, we don’t observe as it’s so natural to us. We absorb all this knowledge in the course of the direction of a standard workday – from what time you ought to awaken for an interview or meeting, how much energy is in that sandwich my colleague is consuming on her ruin (2 hundred!), and even in which I’ll have the ability smooth get right of entry to while journeying next week! however, have you ever stopped yourself? questioned why these things remember…after which found out having been there before without realizing exactly where I was headed with each minute element given recognition attention.

As product designers, we spend several time looking to apprehend personal friction and clear up it in the goods we build. Doing so is without a doubt critical to handing over delightful stories to our customers. I find though that now and again groups are only perceiving and solving the most simple types of personal friction and aren’t taking over some of the harder-to-perceive but relatively important higher-degree kinds of friction that customers are experiencing. So I wanted to proportion how I think about the hierarchy of user friction and offer examples and high-quality practices for fixing every.

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What is Cognitive Friction?

Cognitive friction occurs when a user is faced with an interface or affordance that appears to be intuitive but delivers unexpected results. This mismatch between what should happen and how it does causes frustration, which will impair your experience if not jeopardize it completely! User research can help uncover these problems for you to generate a design free from any kind of cognitive Harlow’s Harmful Friction.

person interfaces that be afflicted by cognitive friction can negatively affect the person’s enjoy, leading to frustration and in all likelihood the abandonment of a product. avoiding cognitive friction is the task of the consumer to enjoy the layout crew, at the side of the UI and interplay layout groups. To discover locations in which cognitive friction may arise, the crew would possibly engage in in-person interviews, create venture flows, and design easy-to-use statistics architectures in advance of improvement. expert critiques and usability checking out with customers throughout the improvement of a product can spotlight problems and factor in answers for them. Remembering that cognitive friction can rise throughout more than a few conventions is vital. at the same time as areas such as mouse and keyboard layout (consisting of the entrenched nature of the QWERTY keyboard) seem obvious, designers need to stay aware of capability pitfalls, set up norms, and the need for getting rid of user frustration.


When is Cognitive Friction Good?

2-Factor Authentication or 2FA is a fantastic example of designers creating friction to improve cybersecurity. The extra step for user logins and confirming critical functions like bank payments reduces the risk of someone else completing these tasks when you’re not authorized, as it requires both factors: something they have (a code) AND that knows them personally such as their mobile device fingerprint scan.

Designers have used UI dialogs or modals to confirm critical non-reversible actions, like deleting something. For example: “Are you sure?” This design ensures users do not accidentally delete projects that take many hours of work!

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When is Cognitive Friction Bad? (And solutions for improvement)


Design inconsistency

Design consistency is a critical component of user experience design. It helps create familiarity, making interfaces and interactions more predictable for users to make sense of them easier-to use without getting stuck on tiny details like what color each button should be or whether an indicator light will blink when you hover over it with your mouse cursor. 

Systems such as creating one library-filled approved component reduce errors significantly by eliminating guesswork from designers’ shoulders -all they need do now.


Too many steps

Designers must think of every step in a task, no matter how essential, as an opportunity to improve the user experience. UX teams can use usability testing and interviews with customers to understand their journey while identifying areas for improvement – sometimes these improvements come from optimizing UI components or input fields so that users don’t have too many actions on tap; other times we might need to remove steps entirely! This example uses a dropdown rather than buttons because it’s easier (and perhaps more intuitive)for people at varying levels on mobile devices–plus those who suffer dexterity issues will also find themselves.


Unfamiliar patterns

Designers use internationally recognizable design patterns to solve fundamental usability issues. For example, everyone expects a hamburger icon will open the primary navigation and that’s how it works in most cases but when users have been using these same systems for years on end without any changes or improvements then what was once intuitive becomes second nature which makes them even easier targets as consumers become more ingrained into your company culture over time because everything just feels right until one day something goes wrong due either consciously or unconsciously adapting back onto old ways after being away from familiar surroundings too long.


Absolute knowledge of the feelings of your customers takes in-depth consumer interviews regularly inside the subject wherein your customers are and spending time getting to truly recognize them, their aspirations, their dreams, and their frustrations, and inspiring them to percentage their feelings related to your product enjoy. This is not an easy consumer studies challenge. however essential in case you’re in the long run going to solve for the emotional friction that would ultimately be retaining your product returned from its full capability.

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I hope this gives you an outline of the hierarchy of personal friction across interaction friction, cognitive friction, and emotional friction, and offers you the gear to recognize and resolve every form of consumer friction on your product enjoy.


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