Building Habit Forming Products
This week I’m covering “Hooked” by Nir Eyal a writer, teacher and a consultant who has long adviced start-ups and other businesses on designing successful products.
Hooked explains how and why we integrate certain products into our daily lives, and why such products are the ultimate goal for any consumer faced company. The book provides concrete advice on how companies can make their products habit forming, while simultaneously exploring the moral issues that entails, which will help you avoid becoming a glorified drug dealer.
Anyone who wants to understand how habits are formed, design highly successful products or understand how some products take advantage of our tendency to form habits.
Sidenote: due to time limitations and as motivation to buy/read the book, I will only provide key takeaways, for concrete examples and detailed advice, please refer to the book.
Habit-forming products are the ultimate goal for consumer oriented companies: they create a loyal following and practically sell themselves. People form habits through the so-called Hook Model, where a trigger makes them take action, which in turn results in a reward, after which the user begins to feel invested due to the time and effort they’ve spent on it, and the cycle begins again.
Many people struggle when trying to change their habits. But the simple secret to forming a new habit is repetition. Whatever daily routine you wish to pick up, just repeat it frequently when you’re getting started and you’ll find that you’ve integrated it into your everyday life in no time at all.
Learn to spot habit-forming products
To understand how habit-forming products take advantage of your basic psychology, try to identify all the various triggers that get you to use products during a single day. Is it an external or internal trigger that cues you? If you think about it rationally, do these products manipulate you into doing something negative or do they enhance your life?