Discover more from Afterhours
If it won't take off
You know how planes fly; air rubs against the bottom of the wings and slows down, thus pressure increases compared to the top of the wing. Without that friction, the plane stays stuck to the ground.
I find it interesting that there are situations in which it’s beneficial to add friction rather than remove it. It’s true with flight, but I’m also thinking of some forms of benevolent deception in human-interface interaction. Many loading screens, for example, don’t show something actually loading; they’re just a means to convince you that the appropriate effort is going into whatever process you started. Another example is the artificial noise that fills up the pauses during your web calls to reassure you that you’re still connected.
I take new clients through a discovery workshop as part of their onboarding. It takes days, and it’s expensive. It’s a lot of friction, but it does three things for me: it helps me make them happy later, it shows that I understand that their challenges are unique, and it weeds out people wanting a more transactional relationship, which I can’t help.
No friction at all, and you’re stuck to the ground, but add the right amount of friction in the right spots, and there you go, lift-off.