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Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Posted on: January 28, 2014

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming ProductsHooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great read for product developers. Gives insight into how to get the users hooked to the product or service. The book describes what the user calls the hook cycle through which the product or service needs to take the user to have the user “hooked” on to the product or the service.
The author states that a user goes through the following cycle
1. Trigger: This is either an external trigger or an internal trigger. This leads the user to first pickup the product or use the service. The first few triggers may be external. In a good product or service the repeat triggers have to be internal, i.e. coming from the user herself.
2. Action: The user performs certain action using the product or to exercise the service.
3. Variable Reward: As a result of the action the user gets a reward. The author suggests that this reward should be a variable. One should build an element of surprise around the reward that the user gets. This suspense is what make the user come back to the product or the service.
4. Investment: The fourth and the last step in the cycle is investment. The user invests his time, or money in product or the service. When the user does this it is an indicator that the user is getting hooked. Once the user goes through this cycle multiple times one can be assured that the user is “Hooked”

The author has illustrated this through a variety of examples in each chapter. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. are commonly used examples through the book.

In the last chapter the author discusses about the morality of using this cycle. He highlights that it is up to product developer to use this to her and to the user’s benefit and not for a wrong purpose, like using advertisement to sell cigarettes. It is harmful for the user and adds not value to her life. It only benefits the manufacturer of the product.

A very good read for all the newbie product developers.

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