Friction Logs

Programming - Mar 31, 2024

I first heard the term “Friction Log” from Suz Hinton back in April on ShopTalk. The idea makes an extreme amount of sense: Use a thing, and write down moments where you felt friction.

Did some installation step bug out? Did you see something that the docs didn’t mention? Did you have to stop and wonder if some particular API existed or how it worked? Were you confused about why a certain thing was called what it was? Friction! Log it. Then use that log to smooth out that friction because whatever is being built will be better for it.

I mention this because my friend Rick Blalock just started frictionlog.com based on that idea. I’d say that it’s a little weird to watch content of someone else getting stuck, but I know better. People have told me time and time again that they enjoy watching me get stuck and unstuck in screencasts. This is like that, except these moments of getting stuck are moments of friction worth of calling out.

I’d love to see a moment in the industry where you pay people to do friction logs on your product. Like a form of extra-educated customer research.

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