How to Detect Cognitive Friction on a Mobile Application?

I’m researching Cognitive Friction on my thesis and found out there’re only 2 works academically studying the topic.

1.The Fiction of No Friction: a User Skills Approach to Cognitive Lock-In

2.Irritating CAT Tool Features that Matter to Translators

Even I’m mostly interested in detecting the subject in an academical manner, I’d also love to learn all the ways practically applicable and you’ve tried to figure out.

Note: There is no proper scale has been studied for this topic.

Since I have to study the topic on an existing mobile application which does not belong to me, I’m framed with the idea of creating scenarios for users and apply it in a lab to observe them where eyetracking possible.

I’m either doubtful about eye tracking because it would not provide any direct details about user’s exact state of determination or failure in this situation.


  1. I’m planning to make users rate the overall User Experience of 3 randomly choosen mobile applications with a pre-defined UX scale
  2. Then make them use and rate the same scenarios for each application to score more accurately.
  3. And last, making further survey with the lower-graded-scenarios to detect for any cognitive friction.

Besides commenting what to do avoid, I’ll appreciate if any other ways you use to detect it in your products and in your case provided.