I first discovered the word entropy in the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Mental (or psychic) entropy is this crazy thing we all deal with when we’re not enjoying an optimal experience. Now, apply that to the online experience, as a customer trying to complete a task on a website such as order your favorite book, subscribe to your coffee-of-the-month club, or apply for a financial service online.
In that article above, the author uses entropy as a model of thinking about web design. He mentions Steve Jobs, and his ability to fight entropy, which is how he made such a huge footprint in the world’s ability to access information. I knew there was something about Steve Jobs. It was that he could recognize entropy and design with it in mind, resulting in an efficient and enjoyable product.
“Fighting entropy on a website means giving form to and then reducing the resistance of the critical path.”
This may seem like an obvious model to design by, but I think we lose sight of this and possibly forget how to be passionate about designing to reduce friction for the end user.
I enjoyed the article – figured you might also find it interesting.
I also highly recommend you read the book Flow to understand in simple terms why you should care about this idea of “flow”.