A digital routine
Is a series of repetitive steps in a user journey that leads to the desired outcome.
How many times do you have to enter login credentials, shipping address, billing information, payment details before confirming your order everytime you do online shopping?
Requesting a Ride Routine
How many times do you have to confirm destination and then select an Uber ride before requesting a ride, every morning at 8 am when you leave home for the office?
Send money Routine
How many times do you have to enter a bank account or phone number, amount you want to send, confirm your transaction before sending money to the same person you frequently send money to every 1st of the month?
We all experience these digital routines, frustrated, got used to them and moved on but we don’t have to leave with them. Amazon addressed the checkout routine with Amazon 1-click. When you place your first order and enter a payment method and shipping address, 1-Click ordering is automatically enabled. When you click Buy now with 1-Click on any product page, your order will be automatically charged to the payment method and shipped to the address associated with your 1-Click settings.
Routine with least resistance
In their series of workbooks, Irrational Labs, Dan Ariely, Jason Hreha, and Kristen Berman talk about The Path of Least Resistance a behavior that is most easily done in a given environment. It is the behavior that has the fewest number of obstacles ahead of it. Obstacles create friction, and the Path of Least Resistance is the route with the smallest amount of friction.
As a rule of thumb, anything you ask your users to do or think about is considered friction.
Now that we have an understanding of the path of least resistance, let’s see how we can reduce frictions in requesting for an Uber ride routine flow.
Requesting an Uber ride
We are going to list down all the steps in the flow and pinpoint the potential frictions and remove them to simplify the routine flow.
Routine: Take an Uber to work between 7:30 am and 9 am
- Confirm destination
- Select an Uber ride
- Request a ride
Both Step 1 (Confirm destination) and Step 2 (Select an Uber ride) can be considered as frictions in certain situation based on how many times the user picked a destination (e.g Office — 1455 Market St #400, San Francisco), between (e.g 7:30 am and 9 am), and ride (UberX) we can predict the routine and provide a default choice.
As users consume these products along the way they introduce new digital routines which we may not foresee but through the lens of data. Their needs may vary but they share the same behavior. Let’s keep in mind and an eye of digital routines in our products and reduce their frictions to deliver better customer experiences.