Friday, May 5, 2017

UXF: User Experience Friction at the Library

A recent post on Designing Better Libraries takes aim at user experience friction. According to the definition from The Pfeiffer Report, UX friction is “basically anything which separates the device we use from that ideal user experience,” and “is the slow-down … that occurs when the user experience of a device deviates from our expectation or knowledge.” (

UXF is often seen in web page designs where unnecessary steps have been added, or where poor or specialized verbiage is used. This latter example is often seen in library catalogs and discovery systems where specialized terminology is used to indicate material statuses (e.g., “in transit”). Additionally, customers seeking materials for current use typically need to wade through listings of materials of varying availability, and these customers may not realize that a physical item is not actually available in their current location until after they’ve sought it out on the shelf.

Basic steps to reduce friction include:
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Removing avoidable steps
  • Mitigating context switching

To read the full post, visit

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