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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
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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.
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.
I believe it a good read for startups and individuals looking to begin framing out their initial models for product development.
In reading many of the other reviews, that were critical of the book, and its message, I did not find it to be offensive or attempting to peddle “addiction” mentality to capture customers. It does point out the difference between the importance of understanding internal (i.e. and more sustainable motivation) and external motivation (which often is not sustainable for a business).
But the bottom line is that there are triggers, actions, rewards, and investment in products and they will be different for different individuals.
The book also has an extensive reference section, and the author makes a connection with other research including David Skok, John Gourville, B.J. Fogg, Charles Duhigg, Erika Hall, Eric Ries, Paul Graham and many others.
While I enjoyed the book, I would also add that business owners and product managers (could be many other stakeholders) should also spend significant time focusing on their business model and determining who the paying customers are! A focus on a business model does not mean that you need paying customers on day one (the timing will depend on your business model), but you need to have a model that determines your revenue streams and how they will be achieved.
The action steps at the end of each chapter helped to solidify the message and made this book more practical in terms of actual use.
Worth the read especially if you are working on the consumer internet space and are trying to brainstorm innovative new ways to redesign your ux/ui or even the core of your product. @walkeen
Most recent customer reviews
I became a big fan of the hook-model.Read more