Justin Williams talks about the friction of using an app. Pretty well written. Here’s an excerpt:

Here’s what happens when I download a new application from any app store.

  1. I launch the app and judge how long it takes to let me see content.
  2. I look at the user interface to gauge how I will respond to it.
  3. I tap around to see what functionality is in there.
  4. I create data.
  5. I delete newly created data.
  6. I invite my friends to join if it’s one of those new social networks and I like it.

If at any point in that process I see a crash, frustrating design decisions, confusing experiences or perceive a lack of functionality, I delete the app and go on with my day. Put more succinctly, if at any point in the first use experience I experience friction, it’s game over.

There is a previous step, though, a Step 0, that is even harder for consumer-oriented applications: paying. I’ve been thinking about that step a lot lately: how do you get consumers to spend money on your app (product) and how do you create marketing with non-social-oriented games without spending a fortune?

It’s an ongoing endeavor.