In a recent twitter conversation with @DanSlagan and (Bryan) @Clagett we were discussing some of Twitter’s recent acquisitions and what they might mean going forward. We had a lot of back and forth on the topic over the day.
At one point about half way through Bryan said this:
— Bryan Clagett (@Clagett) January 17, 2014
@Clagett removing friction should be more about improving slide by improving product/service
— Andy Newbom (@Brewbom) January 17, 2014
I love the whole concept of removing friction. It is smart, objective focused and can lead to great UX. Which can lead to great growth which can lead to great revenue. However I have long advocated that instead of focusing on making it easier (Reduce friction) for customers to buy your product/service or take the next step we should focus more energy and time making our products/service more desired/needed (Improve slide) by customers.
I had never before said it like that though till yesterday. I think I like the way it encapsulates the ideas visually and viscerally.
Before focusing on ‘reducing friction’ focus on ‘improving slide’ for your customers.
Obviously in today’s modern world customers are in the choosing seat more than ever before. It is essential to any solid growth hacking program (aka marketing) that we relentlessly remove the friction that causes our customers to not engage with our products/services. Let’s face it: too many of us are just plain lazy and are not willing to work that hard to buy or use a product that puts up even a modicum of barriers in front of us.
But removing friction is useless if there is no slide. If customers are not motivated to buy or use your product/service it does not matter how frictionless your sign up form is or how easy you made it to click a button.
If your product/service has removed all of the possible friction and made it impossibly easy for customers to buy and use it BUT you have not taken the far harder task of making a product/service that they actually want and clearly and convincingly conveyed that to them then you are simply serving yourself.
There is no magic or secret sauce in business (not even lines of code however magical seeming they may be). You can reduce all the friction you want but if you haven’t already made your product/service so slippery that customers are falling all over themselves to buy and use it then you might want to read up on how Slip ‘n Slides work and rethink things.