Get rid of friction

If you want to get people to use your service, get rid of the friction.

This really hit home with me the other week, at an event I attended as part of my work at the Department of Health, which was about the patient of the future.

It struck me that what will make the real transformative change in healthcare (for example) is when people’s access to services, data and indeed connections is entirely frictionless.

Downloading an app is friction. Signing up for an account is friction. Finding a wifi connection is friction.

This is where I think internet of things stuff comes in. When your coffee cup has an internet connection, when lamposts have an internet connection, when wifi is everywhere, friction disappears.

This isn’t so far away. You can already get a coffee cup that measures the calorific contents of what you are drinking. When everyone, everything and everywhere is networked, everything changes.

The friction is replaced, of course, by a bunch of other issues – mostly ethical ones. Another, technical one, is how we handle and what we do with all this data.

2 thoughts on “Get rid of friction”

  1. Completely agree with getting rid of friction, but I often think we are all a bit guilty of creating small amounts of friction, in order to justify what we do.
    Take the wifi example: it’s not in an IT managers interest to make it completely frictionless. They need to show some effort and love has gone into wifi installation and maintenance, and often this manifests itself as a little bit of friction: a special password, a brand for the wifi with a special home screen, neither of which are really needed. Maybe I’m being harsh?

  2. Totally agree! This is what prevents people from changing their lives for the better. Social programs were put there to make better communities. We shouldn’t prevent qualified people from using them.

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