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Good products reduce negative emotions

2 minutes to read

Collecting recipes on how to make products bump-free could be more than a hobby. We’re chasing checkmarks in the quest to avoid complaints: remove friction, make it faster!

Yet, such recipes are meant for the majority of products. Is yours one of them?

Positive friction creates memories, experiences that connect your customers to the brand.

So, how do we create positive friction?

Just add water

In the 1940s, Pillsbury started making instant cake mixes. You could bake a cake with their mix. Just add water. They eliminated all friction, and yet the product failed to get the traction they anticipated.


After talking to customers, they stumbled upon a surprising finding: instead of being a source of frustration, making cake was a way to express love. At the time women felt it was their moral, social, and emotional responsibility

Psychologist and marketing expert, Ernest Dichter, posited the “egg theory”: allowing women to add eggs to the mix would ensure that they felt like they fulfilled their cooking responsibilities.

Sales picked up, and cake mixes still rake in millions to this day. Adding in the right amount of friction made their product more rewarding and therefore appealing.

Worthy experiences

Most products deliver core functionality without a hitch. When they look at what’s next to get ahead, eyes drop on new features rather than upgrading the status quo.

Every experience is a flow of emotions and we enjoy sharing those that made us feel like raising above the bar.

We value speed because products like Uber and Takeaway make life frictionless. I pay to reduce the anxiety of waiting, squirming through traffic, and the annoyance of dealing with cash. That’s how we avoid the top half of the wheel of emotion: fear, anger, sadness.



Yet, it’s the bottom half that contains the emotions that build loyalty. Joylove, and surprise transform a product that gets the job done into an experience worth repeating.

Great products amplify positive emotions

We’re no strangers to the struggles of coming up with the best solution for a problem: balancing ease of access and security, clear and short, to get the user in the right spot is challenging. Going a layer above requires attention.

Figuring out the right flow of emotions in your product brings clarity on how to further improve it.

When an experience has the potential to explore love, joy, and surprise, lean into it: slow down the tempo.

Good products reduce negative emotions by solving an important problem. Great products do all that and look for ways to imprint what made your journey with them, special.


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