Date Published: December 26, 2013

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products:

TL;DR Summary

Unleash the secrets to creating irresistibly engaging products that keep users coming back for more!

"Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" reveals the science behind the addictive quality of successful products and services. It provides an actionable framework that developers, designers, and entrepreneurs can utilize to craft compelling, habit-forming products.

The central thesis of the book is the 'Hook Model' - a four-step process ingrained in products that subtly encourages customer behaviors, leading to long-term engagement and repeat usage. These steps are: Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, and Investment.

Triggers can be internal or external prompts that nudge users to take action. Facebook notifications reminding you of a friend's birthday is an example of an external trigger. The feeling of boredom that compels you to scroll through Twitter is an internal trigger.

Action is the next step users undertake in response to the trigger, such as clicking the notification or opening the app. The book presents the concept of 'cognitive load', suggesting that the simpler an action is to complete, the more likely users are to do it.

Variable rewards fuel the compulsive nature of habits. Just as slot machines work on the principle of uncertainty and surprise, habit-forming products give varying rewards to keep the user engaged. A new post from your favorite celebrity or an unexpected message from an old friend are examples of variable rewards on social media.

Investment is the user's commitment to the product that hooks them further. Whether it's time, data, effort, social capital, or money, the user's investment creates a feeling of ownership and increases the likelihood of repeated engagement.

This book provides a valuable lens to understand human behavior, making it indispensable not only for product designers and entrepreneurs, but also for anyone curious about the subtle yet persuasive tricks that habit-forming products use to keep us hooked.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products:



Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products:


Behavioral Psychology: The book delves deep into the minds of users, revealing why they become attached to certain products. It discusses concepts like cognitive load and variable rewards, with examples from successful companies like Facebook and Twitter.

Product Development: The book presents the ‘Hook Model’ as a framework to guide the product development process. It suggests using user psychology to create habit-forming products that encourage repeated usage.

Ethical Responsibility: Along with strategies to create addictive products, the book emphasizes the ethical responsibility that comes with it. The author advises against manipulation and advocates for designing products that improve users’ lives.

User Engagement: The book consistently highlights the importance of user engagement in creating successful products. It explains how to make users invest their time, data, and effort into your product, thereby increasing their likelihood of repeated engagement.

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