Rather than attempting to resist large thermal pipeline expansion forces which may be repeatedly applied to pipeline-related termination structures, these termination structures are often designed to allow repeated movement at the termination assembly. An innovative solution that is beginning to find industry adoption is to design the foundation and structure to slide directly across the seabed. This paper provides a framework for designing the direct on-seabed sliding foundation. Firstly, a novel calibrated method which allows the performance of direct on-seabed sliding foundations to be assessed on a site-specific basis is reviewed. This method allows long term foundation settlements and rotations to be predicted. Secondly, critical aspects of the system analysis are presented, which is required to validate long term performance. Design of the sliding foundations requires close interaction between geotechnical and pipeline design teams.