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Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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Voted one of the best business books of the year by Goodreads readers.
"With concrete advice and tales from the product-development trenches, this is a thoughtful discussion of how to create something that users never knew they couldn’t live without."
“A must read for everyone who cares about driving customer engagement."
—Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup
“The book everyone in Silicon Valley is talking about.”
—Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, founder of The Next Web
“Hooked gives you the blueprint for the next generation of products. Read Hooked or the company that replaces you will.”
—Matt Mullenweg, Founder of Wordpress
“The most high bandwidth, high octane, and valuable presentation I have ever seen on this subject.”
—Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather
"You'll read this. Then you'll hope your competition isn't reading this. It's that good."
—Stephen P. Anderson, Author of Seductive Interaction Design
"Nir's work is an essential crib sheet for any startup looking to understand user psychology.”
—Dave McClure, Founder 500 Startups
"When it comes to driving engagement and building habits, Hooked is an excellent guide into the mind of the user."
—Andrew Chen, Technology Writer and Investor
“I’ve learned a great deal from Nir, and you will too. He’ll help you design habits to benefit your users, and your company.”
—Dr. Stephen Wendel, author Designing for Behavior Change
About the Author
Nir Eyal spent years in the video gaming and advertising industries where he learned, applied, and at times rejected, techniques described in Hooked to motivate and influence users. He has taught courses on applied consumer psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and at Fortune 500 companies. His writing on technology, psychology, and business appears in the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.
To learn more or to get in touch with Nir, visit nirandfar.com
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
The Hooked Model does an excellent job of outlining the psychology behind each step in the model and makes a strong case for the reason each step is taken and in the order they occur.
The model was abstract enough to be able to think about almost any product or project, yet provided enough examples to get a good understanding of how it can be applied. It might have been helpful to have more examples that weren't social networks (i.e. Pinterest, FB, Twitter), and maybe more examples of products that were tools or in other domains (i.e. Mint.com, Amazon, Mailbox), but overall it still did a great job of outlining the examples in the context of the chapter.
Lastly, the "Do This Now" section was fantastic and we even white boarded ideas after each chapter in order to get a better understanding of how our product might function. Picture included.
Overall, highly recommended for anyone designing or thinking about designing products and in particular software.
As a consumer and someone who's intensely interested in how much our world is changing with technology, the idea of engineering products based on psychology (and even Neurology) is really cool. It also puts a complete different perspective on the apps, games and products that we see every day - do they understand the Hooked model, which ones work, which ones don't, etc.
The other aspect that I found really interesting and useful was the clear and concise model. I don't currently do any product design but the concepts apply at some level to any kind of marketing and could be used (at least in part) for promoting a service business, a tangible product or even just ideas. Obviously those kinds of marketing efforts or products and services aren't likely to create new habits but it's still useful to think of them in some different ways.
It's a quick, easy read and one that I think most will get value from.
It didn't take long before I picked up the kindle version so that I could start taking notes because the content is so interesting. As someone that has a passion for user engagement, Nir presents a 4 phase model that really helps create that engagement.
His writing style makes the book easily digestible for someone that isn't a marketing or design pro and I have found that I was able to start picking up the model and using it almost immediately. I began really starting to understand habit formation on a whole other level.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.