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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
If you're trying to build the next big app, you need user engagement. This book lays down a model building engagement by having users constantly return to your app. In the beginning this is prompted, but eventually it'll become instinct. This is how viral loops are formed.

It lays out the "Hook Model", a basic framework of the 4 key stages of each loop:

1. Trigger: How does the loop initiate? In the beginning this may be through external triggers (such as an email, notification, icon badge, etc) but through successive loops the user eventually creates internal triggers where a particular thought or emotion will send them back to your product.

2. Action: Once the user is aware they need to use your product (through the trigger), what it the simplest action they can perform to get some kind of reward. For example a Facebook "Like".

3. Variable reward: How are they rewarded for this behavior? This could be social validation (e.g. "my friends approve!"), collection of material resources (e.g. add a photo to a collection) or personal gratification (e.g. inbox zero). The "variable" part is important - rewards should not always be predictable, encouraging users to repeat the cycle.

4. Investment: Finally, the user needs to put something back in to increase the chance of repeating the loop. This could be content (e.g. a book in your Kindle), user entered data (e.g. profile information or linked accounts), reputation (e.g. something to gain a 5 star seller review), or a learned skill (e.g. I'm now really good at this software program). The investment also sets up the trigger to for the next cycle of the loop.

This book is a really easy read. I wanted something that would get to the crux of the problem and set out a practical framework of how to apply it with examples, without being overly verbose on history and research. It delivered.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I just finished Hooked last night and if you're looking to learn how to actually design for behavioral change, this is a great resource. If you're in the behavioral sciences field you know how difficult it is to find help in actually applying these sciences to business, particularly innovation. Nir explains how to design for habit formation in layman's terms and at the back of each chapter he actually coaches you on immediately applying what you learned to your own specific project - which I thankfully did. These activities were the best way to take theory to direct application. Nicely done.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As a designer, I'm always interested in user's behavior and motivation. This book provides insights for both in a way that's well structured (hook model as a framework).

I also appreciate the real world examples and stories that show the concepts discussed in action.

This book already changed my design approach and thinking and I'm sure that I'll be using this book as a reference as I do my work.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It is not known how many products which really have the global population "hooked" today had their founders initially think in a structured manner about forming those hooks. But now that one looks at these products from the lens of the Hooked framework, a common pattern is apparent.

And this is what impressed me about the book. It brings structure to a mostly unstructured knowledge base. Many who use these products can list out some of the ways in which user engagement loops have been constructed. But to think about such mechanisms from a common framework requires finding patterns and validating them.

Further, the framework is not just useful for post-facto analysis but also for designing new products. Since this is a generic framework, it cannot list out specifics - user motivations, psychology - for all possible problem domains. But it can help arrive quickly at how to approach the design for the problem domain you are attacking.

I am glad that Nir has also added a chapter on ethical considerations while aiming to build habit forming products. This chapter could easily have been skipped, but I commend the author for giving the topic due importance.

The last chapter gives practical steps which can be taken by existing as well as yet not designed products to construct en effective engagement loop. It would have been good to see a detailed example of thinking about a new product from grounds up and follow the steps proposed. Nir does cover example of an existing app but I felt that it did not fully cover the decision making process to arrive at the final product design.

Will recommend to all product managers and designers looking for insights into making their consumer product more engaging.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
That's what I did and I couldn't be happier! The book is itself habit-forming, as I found it difficult to take a break from reading.

This book has made me think very hard about creating a product that is helpful AND habit-forming; one that derives positive gains for the end user and my company. Nir Eyal's chapters are easy to digest, but they're sticky--you'll think about each chapter while you're on a walk, hanging out with friends, using your smartphone.

In addition to being an interesting read, the book is highly personal. Nir provides takeaway lessons and tasks that were applicable to my product development. This feature in and of itself is invaluable.

Hooked is, by far, the #1 book I recommend to friends and colleagues. It's an essential read for the modern entrepreneur, especially in the tech world. Just read the first few pages, get hooked, and keep reading!
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55 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book touches on the high level characteristics and psychology of engaging products but lacks the quantitative research and analysis required to make this a high value read. The author continuously references Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as examples of successful products without much evidence of first hand knowledge/data to backup his arguments. As a result, many of the insights drawn comes off as anecdotal/subjective commentary rather than scientific evidence. Though this is a well intentioned book, I wish more effort was put into the writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
"Hooked" presents a simple, yet very useful model to channel your thoughts when building a product you want to get in the hands of millions. It's quick to read (only 140 pages), to-the-point and made a world of difference to our concept&design challenges. We used it a lot to model the behavior of our users and figure out specific areas we missed and needed to focus on in order to get engagement.

Another great value of the book is the in-depth analysis of the hooks we are subject to every day (in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc). As you go around the everyday loop you know so well from the user perspective, you see in a structured way the other side of the coin. The side of the people who know how to design behavior patterns and make others tick.

I closed 'Hooked' with a much better understanding of social&scalable products and a lot of interesting ideas for what our team is building. These came from the numerous examples and case studies, as well as the structured questions you can answer at the end of each chapter.

If you'd like to learn about habits and how they are built&changed in general, I'd recommend 'The Power of Habit' book by Charles Duhigg. If you want to understand how habits are formed in the world of technology, startups and software and mobile products, "Hooked" is the book for you. It's built on the same solid research base, yet much closer to practice and much more relevant to today's tech world.

Thank you Nir Eyal for this amazing book!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The most important benefit of this book is the aspect that changing people's behavior is shown from. I've read several books about how to change my own behavior or how big brands change consumers' behavior. This book underlines software products particular qualities and shows relevant examples. Strongly recommend it!
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The best business book I've read. And I've read a lot.

If you design products, software, apps, systems, programs, or companies, you have to read this book. Twice. And everyone you work with needs to read it, too.

I read about 15 to 20 books on business, persuasion, psychology, and product design every year. Sometimes more. And I read blogs on strategy, design, and influence every day of my life.

I've never read a book that covers all of these subjects so well. But that's not all. Nir Eyal's Hooked also give practical steps and tasks you can start using after the first chapter. In other words, this book will make you more valuable to yourself, your family, your products, and your company the minute you pick it up.

But don't just pick it up; read it. Read all. Highlight and take notes. And put it into action.

Thank you, Nir Eyal. You've made the world a better place.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
* Working on your own product or app?
* Want to know how the big guys manage to get their users coming back for more?
* Every single day?

If you answered yes-yes-YES, "Hooked" is your must read for 2014. Nir Eyal shows us how the "hook" model works, step by step, and backs it up with plenty of scientific studies and real world cases that are already making the most of this model. You'll learn how to make the most of external and internal triggers to send users to your product, how to hook them whilst they're there and how to get them coming back through rewards and their own hard work.

"Hooked" is an easy read with lots of juicy information. At the end of every chapter you'll have the chance to apply your new found knowledge. So if you're interested in product design, UI/UX design or your in the process of building your own app, this book is a MUST.
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