Mobile App Retention From First Principles: Part 2: Building Habits
In part 1 we talked about the importance of turning app use into a habit. Now let’s talk about how habits are formed.
The mechanism is repetition of three parts of a sequence:
- the context
- the work or action
- the reward
Each time an agent goes through some sequence of context, work, and reward, a habit gets stamped in slightly more. What a designer must do is figure out how to get the user to go through that loop a bunch of times.
Here’s an example of how that might look:
- Context: sit down on bus, feel bored
- Work: take out phone and open app
- Reward: gold and gems that you can immediately collect
Whatever it takes to get the player to run through that loop a bunch of times will be serving the goal of making a habit that drives retention.
Read more about habits: