# Friction Logs

One of the tools that has become most useful at Supabase is a Friction Log.

At Supabase, we ask every new joiner to spend their first week using building something using the Supabase tools. We also ask them to keep a log of their journey so that the team can read it and improve the Developer Experience for our community.

This is a nice pattern because after you have learned a tool, you can never again see it with "fresh eyes". A friction log gives you a clear insight into what it's like for a new user.

# What is a friction log?

A friction log is essentially a methodical record of user experiences, focusing specifically on difficulties and inefficiencies. It's like mapping out the rough patches in a journey, aiming to smooth them out for a better experience.

Friction logs aren't just about finding faults; they're about building bridges towards better user experiences. By methodically identifying and addressing these issues, we can create smoother, more enjoyable journeys for our users.

# What tool should I use?

Collaboration and clarity are essential. Use something like Google Docs and Notion - they allow team members to add comments. They are also easy for pasting screenshots.

# Effectiveness

If you're taking the time to write a friction log, you might as well make it useful. Some considerations:

  1. Detail-Oriented: It's not just about noting the problem but understanding the 'when', 'how', and 'why' of it.
  2. Objectivity: Personal biases are set aside. The focus is on the issue, providing a clear path to solutions.
  3. Actionable Insights: The ultimate goal is to offer tangible steps for improvement, turning pain points into lessons.

Some do's and don'ts for a good friction log:

Do's Don'ts
Capture a full range: the awesome, good, bad, and ugly aspects. Avoid vague descriptions, like "It didn't work."
Focus on a specific workflow, driven by a clear use case. Refrain from nitpicking, such as color preferences.
Explain your thought process and expectations at each step. Don't just highlight problems; offer insights too.
Include all errors, both from the product and user perspectives. Avoid only praising without identifying improvement areas.
Embrace humility: admit when something is unclear or confusing. Don't skip steps in the workflow; each part matters.
Be concise. Make it easy for the developers to find the problem. Be clear about expectations and desired outcomes.

# Resources

  • https://www.bythequick.com/posts/friction-logs
  • https://www.chameleon.io/blog/friction-logs
  • https://developerrelations.com/developer-experience/an-introduction-to-friction-logging
  • https://dev.to/stripe/how-we-use-friction-logs-to-improve-products-at-stripe-i6p
Last Updated: 11/27/2023, 3:18:38 PM