Reducing User Friction

A few nights ago a Domino’s Pizza commercial got my attention. It is called “Sarah Loves Emoji.”

At the end, the fictional character Sarah finishes by simply saying “only Domino’s gets me.

The idea of texting an emoji, tweeting, using a Smart TV, or a smartwatch to automagically order pizza fascinates me. What Domino’s is attempting to do here is to reduce user friction, which is defined as anything that prevents a user from accomplishing a goal.  After researching Domino’s Anywhere user accounts, I found a negative post of a frustrated user, of course! Thus proving that even if the system is designed to reduce friction, the human element on the process is bound to fail at some point. Regardless I think is pretty cool that consumer oriented companies are thinking “outside the box.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.30.45 PM

As a long fan of building Instant Messaging (xmpp/jabber) and SMS (Twilio) bots, I understand how these technologies can actually increase productivity and reduce user friction. Even single-button devices (think Amazon Dash, or my Staples Easy Button hack) can actually serve some useful purpose.

I believe we will start to see more use cases, where input is no longer tied to a single Web UI or mobile app. Instead we will see how more ubiquitous input process like text, twitter, etc. can be used to start or complete a process. After all it seems like email and text are here to stay for a while, but that’s the content of a different post.

I think we should all strive that our customers will ultimate say that we “get them.”


  1. Back in my day (2004), we ordered pizza from the command line and we liked it.

    ./pizza_party -p 1 large regular

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