When I first moved to New York, I bought many things on Amazon and I got literally one or two packages every day for weeks. It was very easy and convenient to buy all different kinds of products for my new place but I became addicted. When these deliveries eventually stopped–when I had everything I thought I needed, I felt like I was missing something. Not that I had forgotten to buy something, or that anyone item hadn’t arrived; it was more like I missed the feeling of waiting for a new thing to arrive. Or I missed having a new thing every day. And so, I kept shopping on Amazon, even though I needed nothing.

How come the activity of buying became so easy, less than a minute with one click, where I had no realization of spending money, only the joy of receiving a package every day? This made me think of the need for stopping or slowing things down in the age of convenience.

How can designers design services to empower people instead of making them blinded racing horses?

As a metaphor for my argument, I’ve chosen to use horse blinder to represent the influence of frictionless design on users. Blinders block the peripheral vision of working horses, making sure that they are not distract

ed or frightened, thereby increasing the animal’s productivity. Technology acts as a blinder for humans, making us passive, allowing us to blindly pursue ever more frictionless experiences. The power dynamic between humans and technology has shifted. Technology no longer simply facilitates human living experience; rather, it controls human perception and action. Given the current trend of frictionless design, I am questioning whether designers are creating a desirable future or eroding human ability. Are we moving towards what we want to be moved toward?

As we blindly follow rapid technological advancement, we can see that we are being manipulated by the very tool that we created for manipulating the world. Now humans have become the blinded horse, docile and compliant.