We aim to make our users feel welcomed and invited and to make their lives easier. In organizations dedicated to helping people, this user-centered ethos feels like more than good business – it seems like the right thing to do. But what happens when our low barriers make it too easy for some to act badly? When our encouragement to use free services leads to abuse of the system? When our desire to not put up barriers costs our institutions money and/or negatively impacts the much larger community of “good” users?
This discussion will dip into both the philosophical and practical aspects of introducing friction into the user experience. How do we determine that it’s necessary, and are there cases where a bit of resistance is beneficial to users? What are some good design and content practices for introducing speed bumps into a user’s journey? We’ll unearth some ways to tackle content and UX design in an era when it sometimes seems like basic civility has broken down.
What you’ll discuss:
- Frequently-spotted examples of user bad behavior across higher ed, libraries, and museums, and some of the things you won’t even go near because of the potential for user abuse (hello, comment threads!)
- Design strategies you’ve used or considered to help nudge users towards good choices or, in some cases, block or dissuade bad behavior
- How to decide when each kind of approach is warranted
- Examples of where friction in an interface isn’t necessarily a bad thing