Turning the page is possibly the greatest point of friction we’ll discuss — turning a page is a larger physical action than clicking a link on a web page, for example. If you’ve casually picked up a newspaper you might not pass this point — it’s enough friction to make you put the paper down. But it is, nevertheless, a simple decision: yes or no?
Trying to bring the print experience to the web.
Initially there is very little friction — the pages are almost designed to be friction-free. It’s easy to take in much of the initial content without deciding whether to invest any effort. Your eyes skate over the small images, the headlines and the explanatory blurbs.
It could be that one article grabs you and you’ll eagerly click the article without even thinking. That’s pretty good; little decision-making has to happen there.
But otherwise you now must decide which of the large number of articles you want to read. This is very different to a newspaper front page on which we have a small number of articles but can start reading any of them immediately. Online we have many articles but can’t start reading any of them without performing an action.