Design Frictions for Mindful Interactions: The Case for Microboundaries

Anna L. Cox, Sandy J.J. Gould, Marta E. Cecchinato, Ioanna Iacovides, Ian Renfree

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Design frictions, a term found in popular media articles about user experience design, refer to points of difficulty occurring during interaction with technology. Such articles often argue that these frictions should be removed from interaction flows in order to reduce the risk of user frustration and disengagement. In this paper we argue that, in many scenarios, designing friction into interactions through the introduction of microboundaries, can, in fact, have positive effects. Design frictions can disrupt " mindless " automatic interactions, prompting moments of reflection and more " mindful " interaction. The potential advantages of intentionally introduced frictions are numerous: from reducing the likelihood of errors in data-entry tasks, to supporting health-behaviour change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI EA '16
Place of PublicationNew York, New York, USA
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781450340823
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016
EventACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016


ConferenceACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2016
Abbreviated titleCHI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


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