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10 Ways to Identify User Friction & Improve UX Design Accordingly

10 Ways to Identify User Friction & Improve UX Design Accordingly

Good designs are frictionless, allowing users to complete the task most efficiently. But how do you know customers are having trouble using your website or app? Let's figure out how to identify user frictions and fix them in the best possible way.

In this competitive digital world, creating a website that creates an optimal user experience has become a challenge for UX web designers. Users want a smooth, frictionless, and delightful digital experience to continue to use your website or mobile app. According to a survey by HubSpot, 88% of people are less likely to return to a website with poor UX.

This is why UX web designers put their best efforts into creating a solid UX design to attract more customers, retain existing customers and delight their customers. If users find it hard to interact with your website, chances are they may stop exploring more, cancel their subscriptions and the worst thing they can do is, share negative reviews about your company on public forums.

It has made it essential for UX designers to create a great and awesome UX design to build trust, convert new users and boost customer retention. Identifying user journey pain points is vital to ensure your product's success and delighting your customers. UX designers and developers should carefully consider creating a user interface design that offers users an easy and repeatable experience.

However, if your website is experiencing a high bounce rate, low conversion rate and engagement, and increased abandonment, it shows that it has some user journey pain points. It's high time to identify and fix user frictions in your web design or app and make it easier for users to navigate, interact and convert.

What is User Friction in UX Design?

What Is User Friction Web Design

User friction or UX frictions are different pain points and usability issues that users face when interacting with your website, mobile app, or digital product. User experience friction prevents users from fluffing some goals, such as signing up for a newsletter, making purchases, navigating a website, and finding the desired product โ€“ to name a few.

When users cannot accomplish the desired action, it creates frustration, confusion, and adverse reaction to interact with your product. Therefore, your UX design team, mobile app development team and product managers should carefully analyse why user friction happens, figure out all possible reasons, and do their best to reduce it.

Poor design experience is one of the significant causes of user friction. If your design team doesn't follow the best UX practices, your digital product will have user friction.  

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Importance of Creating a Great UX Design

Creating a killer user interface design is essential for creating a positive brand image. If you offer a valuable product with unique features, but there is any sign of user friction, it clearly shows that users find it difficult to interact with your app. So, investing in a fantastic user experience design is essential to create a top-notch digital product and building a successful business. 

Today's consumers expect a good user experience from their favourite brands. With so many mobile apps, websites and SaaS products coming to the business market every year, delivering a cheerful UX design is the most crucial success factor.

Some clients, startups, and amateur designers still wonder why UX design is essential. A great UX design is vital to start an excellent digital product cycle. Companies must improve their website or mobile app's UX design to gain a competitive edge.

Here are the benefits of improving the UX of your website or mobile app.

Benefits of Improving UX Design

  • Builds trust and credibility
  • Generate more revenue
  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Improve the customer buying experience
  • Saves users' time
  • Reduce the cost of mobile app development
  • Attract and convert new users
  • Boosts customer retention
  • Reduces customer churn rate
  • Improves SEO rankings
  • Minimise the need for customer service
  • Make it easier for users to use your digital product
Benefits Of User Experience

Different Types of User Friction

Whether you are a designer, app developer, or product manager, knowing different user friction types is vital to fixing your website or mobile app. User friction can be divided into different categories, including:

  • Emotional Friction
  • Cognitive Friction
  • Interactive Friction

Emotional Friction

Emotional friction is the most common user friction that directly affects customers' feelings. It occurs when users cannot complete a particular task or perform a specific action. Many users encounter emotional friction when interacting with a mobile app or website, which results in negative emotions.

Creating a digital product aims to make users feel positive about your brand and evoke positive emotions. Apps or websites that are easy to use will allow users to complete a task and successfully create positive feelings.

Cognitive Friction

Cognitive friction occurs when an interface design fails to fulfil users' expectations and requires too much cognitive effort to complete the desired action. UX design teams can avoid cognitive user friction by making UI design simple and intuitive, guiding users to complete a given task.

Interactive Friction

Another common type of user friction is interactive friction which occurs when a mobile app or website is too confusing due to complex navigation. According to statistics, 37% of consumers leave the mobile app or site due to poor navigation. They leave the page without exploring or finding the information they want.

Interface designs with simple and easy-to-use navigation experience have higher chances of converting more leads. Imagine someone utilising an invoice generator to create an invoice. If the website is simple to use, it will return time and time again. However, if the navigation is difficult, they won't return and won't promote the site to others.

Significant Problems that Cause User Frictions in UX Design

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Understanding different causes of user friction are essential for your web design and mobile app development team to create a frictionless user interface design. You must know all the hurdles your users face when interacting with a website or app. Here are some common difficulties many users commonly face:

  • Unclear or non-intuitive user interface design
  • Too many steps
  • Poor navigation
  • Lack of immediate reward
  • Complex user interface design
  • Slow loading time
  • Bugs in your app
  • Non-standard design language/ Unfamiliar design patterns
  • Poor visual feedback
  • Inappropriate use of animations
  • Too lengthy content
  • Too much clutter
  • Broken links
  • Inappropriate use of colours and styles
  • Unclear value
  • Too many features/ Hiding features

As a designer and developer, you should record each complex user's experience and tweak the interface design accordingly. Pay attention to these signals that indicate friction in UI design. Let's learn the ways to identify user frictions in UX design.

10 Ways to Identify User Friction

User Friction Flow

1 – Repeated Rapid Clicks

It is one of the most common signs that show that users are frustrated when they don't get the desired response. When users fail to achieve a task, negative emotions will come from users through repeated clicks. If the button isn't working, the system is not responding, or the site is not loading quickly, chances are users click or tap repeatedly on your site or app. Remember, clicks are not always beneficial for your website or app. Repeated or rage clicks occurs when users are frustrated and find it hard to interact with your digital product.


Click Tests helps the UX design team and app developers analyse how users interact with the UI design. Some clicks tracking tools allow your team to analyse user behaviour and measure usability in your website, software product or mobile app.

You can quickly figure out the unsatisfied behaviour of users, where repeated clicks occur, and what is troubling users. Once you spot the causes of rapid clicks, try to collect users' insights, and do your best to fix specific cases.

2 – Prolonged Inactivity between Sessions

Users are expected to make quick decisions; if they have to think a lot or stay inactive between sessions, there is something wrong with your website. You need to know how much time users spend on your website or app to complete a given task.  

Long average session duration indeed shows that users are engaged and interested in your products or services. As website owners, we want users to stay longer on the website and interact with the features, explore more pages, browse more products, and read more content. But if users are inactive during the session and spend too much time on the page, pay careful attention and take some measures.


Measuring the length of a visitor's session is essential to figure out user engagement. The average session duration is one of the most important Google Analytics metrics that tell a lot about your website design, content, CTA, and more. According to a recent survey by Databox, the average session duration on mobile and desktop is up to 3.5 minutes.

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If the average session time rises and you observe prolonged inactivity in a visitor's session, it's the right time to take action. Figure out how to modify the UX design, like removing extra buttons from the form or tabs and using easy-to-understand text. Make every possible effort to make UX design intuitive.

3 – Low Conversion Rate

Mobile App Conversion Rate

If you are observing a sudden drop in the conversion rate, it's high time to perform a detailed design analysis of your website to figure out the cause. There are different reasons for the low conversion rate:

  • The design is too cluttered
  • The layout is confusing
  • The UI is too complicated

According to a survey, a neat and clean UI can increase the website conversion rate by up to 200%, and a stunning UX design can increase the conversion rate by up to 400%. These statistics show that investing in a good UX design will make converting users easier. Keep track of your website conversion rate by analysing the funnel to identify the problem.


Tracking your website conversion funnel will help you identify the barriers that cause users to leave the website without converting. For instance, if you are an eCommerce store, only a few users will go to the thank you page after completing a purchase. With the help of conversion funnel analysis, you can identify how many visitors finally reach the last step and highlight the problems they face during the user journey. 

When you analyse the user journey, you will figure out which page or section needs to be redesigned and why they didn't convert. Fix it and try to create a flawless UX.

4 – Your Copy isn't engaging

Believe it or not, if your website has an unpersuasive copy, or you sound too academic or use jargon, chances are people cannot understand the message you want to communicate. It would be best if you revised your content marketing strategy immediately to make it easier for users to understand what you want to convey.


Improving the quality of content is the easiest way to reduce user friction, increase user engagement and improve the conversion rate. When your website copy is informative, well-written and persuasive, people will emotionally connect with it and take a specific action. It is advised to write in the present tense and keep the font readable. Using too small fonts or complex terminologies can hurt your conversion rate and brand image.

Create copy by keeping your target customers in mind, persuading them to buy a product or service. Include power or action words to encourage people to buy.

5 – Form abandonment

Users will likely abandon a form if your website form isn't designed according to the best UX design standards. Filling out an online form with never-ending input fields is a frustrating experience for customers; if your form has unnecessary questions and requires irrelevant information, the chances of form abandonment.  

Follow the “less is more” approach when designing a signup form for your website. Depending on your offer, you may need more input fields in the form. If that is the case, you can divide the form into different steps to minimise the cognitive load. Adding a progress bar is a great idea to inform users about the status.  

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Create short and simple forms that are easy to fill. It is advised to carefully watch browser sessions and session replay to identify where users abandoned and which fields cause friction. Identifying the causes of form abandonment will help you spot user friction and fix those issues accordingly. This UX design practice will surely help your mobile app development and web design team to achieve high conversion rates.  

Furthermore, some excellent user behaviour analytics tools will help you understand how users interact with the form. You can get valuable insights about the form fields that frustrate users to optimise the form to reduce user friction.

6 – Poor Navigation

Example Bad Navigation Web Design

There is no denying the fact that navigation plays a crucial role in creating a satisfying user experience. People need websites and apps that are simple and easy to navigate. Intuitive navigation can guide users to move from one point to another. If users cannot navigate through your website, they will never return.


Whether you are an eCommerce business or a real estate agency, designing straightforward navigation is equally crucial for all types of websites. Align your navigation in the best possible way to offer a pleasant user experience. To smooth your navigation, you can use a search bar, breadcrumbs, filters, sorting, categories, and other options to help users find the desired information.

You can try user testing methods such as card sorting to understand how users access your website or mobile app content. This information will help designers and developers adjust the navigation to fulfil users' needs.

7 – User Error

If your website or mobile app is too complicated or confusing, user errors will eventually increase. Many UX designers find it challenging to create a UI design that minimises users' risk of making mistakes. UX designers and app developers should know their products clearly and know where errors can occur. Every design and development team should understand that users do not always cause errors, but a poor UX design is the reason behind those errors.  


Minimising user error by creating a user interface design that is too simple can prevent users from making mistakes. Design an interface by keeping errors in mind to reduce all the possible obstacles that cause users to make mistakes. Performing user testing allows you to identify problems in your UX design and fix the design to avoid user errors.

You can prevent errors by following some effective strategies, such as:

  • Send timely confirmations
  • Give real-time warnings or signals
  • Provide helpful constraints
  • Allow users to undo the last actions
  • Alert users before the action
  • Preview results
  • Offer suggestions

8 – Lengthy Checkout Process

Complex or inconvenient checkout processes can ruin a shopping experience and hurt your conversion and sales goals. Many prospective customers leave the online store because of the complex checkout process. The extra effort required to fill out the form and check the data will prevent customers from making a final purchase decision. Therefore, following the standard checkout layout design practices and adding essential checkout elements can help you provide a memorable shopping experience.

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Complications in the checkout process are why users abandon the cart and don't complete the purchase process. Identifying the weak areas in your checkout flow is vital to ensure a smooth checkout flow. So, sift through the checkout design and do your best to create a frictionless checkout process.


When designing the checkout flow for your website, it is crucial to figure out the type of checkout process that best fits your website โ€“ one-page checkout or multiple checkouts. Your UI/UX design team carefully checks the interface design and removes anything unnecessary. If your website has a live chat feature, display the live chat button at checkout to help customers find the answers to their queries.

Allow your customers to edit the order to add or delete items at the checkout stage. Moreover, you can automate the form filling to make it easier for users to fill in the fields. Providing diverse payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, and Apple/Google Pay is a great idea to ensure a smooth checkout process.

9 – Design Inconsistency

The secret to creating a killer UX design is design consistency. Unfortunately, many UX designers don't follow a consistent design approach when creating a UX design. It creates user friction and usability issues.

Users want straightforward user interfaces that are easy to interact with. They don't want to learn new presentations or toolsets to perform tasks. However, simple and user-friendly design elements can make user interactions easier and eliminate confusion.


Consistent designs are intuitive and frictionless. Create a solid visual hierarchy to ensure design consistency. Using the same fonts, sizes, buttons, and labels throughout the design will ensure visual consistency. It will increase the predictability of the product and will make users feel safe and secure.

Furthermore, implementing familiar patterns into your digital product design will ensure a smooth user journey and prevent unwanted surprises. Incorporating the same typography, colours, space, size, positions, grid, and patterns will improve the usability and learnability of the product.   

10 – Broken Links

When a user lands on your website and shows a 404 message, it will create a horrible user experience. Believe it or not, user experience matters most for higher search engine rankings. Broken links can devalue your SEO efforts and negatively affect your rankings. If your website contains broken links and can't access the desired information, they may move on to your competitor's website.


According to Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines, the number of broken links reflects the quality of a website. You should maintain the quality of your website by identifying and fixing broken links. Several tools help you find broken links on your website:

  • Google Search Console
  • Screaming Frog
  • W3C Link Checker
  • SEMrush
  • Xenu
  • Ahrefs
  • SEOptimer

Are You Ready to Improve Your UX Web Design or Mobile App?

Websites or apps that are easy to use, frictionless and work smoothly can make users happy and satisfied. Eliminating user friction and optimising your website by following the best UX design practices will increase your website's usability, reliability, and credibility. So, identify frictional factors in your website, fix them, and create a killer user interface design to ensure a successful digital product.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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