Session type:

Session duration:
60 minutes

Presented by:

Cristina Viganò


About this Tutorial

When designing products, a lot of effort always goes into reducing the friction to make user journeys smoother and stickier. But is design friction always against the interests of the user? In this session, I will talk about how friction can be used to help users to stay in control of their actions.

Positive frictions (similar to the concept of micro-boundaries) are defined by human-computer interaction researchers at UCL as frictions that “can disrupt mindless automatic interactions, prompting moments of reflection and more mindful interaction”.

Positive frictions make interactions better - not because they help users achieve their goals quicker and more efficiently - but because they put users in control of their actions and help raise their awareness. In this session, I'll explain some examples of using positive friction, like:
  1. Making the interaction more engaging: more challenging tasks are proven to be more engaging in specific contexts.
  2. Preventing errors: some interfaces stop the user flows to ask them for confirmation and to double check what they really need.
  3. Setting boundaries for work-life balance: we are sometimes overwhelmed with notifications coming from both private life and work. How can an interface put us in control and let us reach a more balanced life?
  4. Helping people with mental health issues: making interfaces accessible also means thinking about people who might have issues with excessive spending, for example. How can the interface create enough friction for them to stop thinking about it before acting?

I will discuss how we can apply examples like these to our products.

The last section of my session is a practical exercise. We will build together a user journey from which we will learn how to identify the critical points and best ways to use the right type of design friction.

About the Speaker

Cristina became a UX designer after indulging her passion for academic research.

Drawing on her fascination with the human mind, usability and human-computer interaction (HCI), Cristina has worked on a wide range of projects achieving the best experience for users across industries and contexts: from websites and apps, to multi-touch walls to paper letters. 

Fascinated by design trends, Cristina enjoys blogging and public speaking: she has shared best practice for usability testing, workshop running and persuasive design. In 2016 she also spoke at SXSW (Texas) about Dark Patterns and Ethics in Design.

Cristina also enjoys giving back to the community, contributing to projects such as BIMA D-Day community schemes, developing the next generation of designers. 


Tickets are available now

Buy tickets

See the full programme

Full programme