Book Review: Hooked - Building habit forming products

Pragmatic Nerdz
Jan 29, 2021 - 2 Minutes

Seventy-nine percent of smartphone owners check their devices within fifteen minutes of waking up. Industry experts believe that we check our phones around 150 times per day!

I've just finished reading the book Hooked (by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover) that explain how to build forming habit products. Products that customers use with little or no conscious thought.

1. Trigger

Everything starts with a trigger. A trigger engages the customer to prompt the customer to take action with your product. There are 2 types of triggers:

  • External Triggers: It's a trigger you have to initiate. Example: Email invite, an Ads, a Push Notification. 
  • Internal Triggers: It's a trigger initiated by the customer internal feelings. Example: Getting bored, you open Facebook 

The key is to use external triggers to form habits, so that future engagements are prompted by  internal triggers. Customers initiate the trigger by themself without even thinking about it.

2. Action

The trigger promise a reward. In order to get the reward, customer must take an action. The action must be very simple so that the customer can easily access his reward.

To form a habit, the action to take should be simpler than thinking, so customer take action without even thinking!

Think how easy it is to open a Facebook after receiving a notification!

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3. Variable Reward

After taking action, the consumer need to receive his reward.

And to form the habit, the reward has to be variable, so that the customer cannot anticipate it, otherwise he will loose interest to the product!

Every time you open the a Facebook after receiving a notification, you don't know what to expect: is it a new like? a new video? a new comment?

4. Investment

Once the consumer receive his reward, make him invest a little bit in your product by adding some value.

Because people value more their own work than what's it's actually worth. By having consumer investing in your product, they will value your product disproportionately.

Every like or comment or share in Facebook, is a small investment you make that increase the value of the platform, but also increase your attachment to the platform.

Social Media platform (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.) all mastering the Hook Model: a compelling trigger that is prompting an action that delight us with a variable reward, then we are too happy to make a small investment on the product.

Nir Eyal
Habit Forming Product