The Hooked Model

A how-to guide for building better products by influencing user behavior.

Alin Mateescu
Jan 18, 2017 · 3 min read

What is it?

A four step process embedded into products to create and increase user engagement by subtly influencing their behavior.

Why use it?

The Hooked model helps build habit-forming products, that prompt users to return and use those products over and over again, without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

How does it work?

The basic idea is that, to create habit-forming products, you must move a user through a loop that over time to help them develop the habit of returning and using that product.

The loop consists of four components:

(1) Triggers:

  • External — What gets the user to the product?
  • Internal — What does the user really want?

(2) Action — What is the simplest behavior in anticipation of reword?

(3) Variable Reward — Is the reward fulfilling, yet leaves the user wanting more?

(4) Investment — What is the ‘bit of work’ done to increase the likelihood of returning?

It’s important to note that a behavior only happens when there is motivation, ability and a trigger. If you’re missing one — it won’t happen. The easiest way to build the marketing into a product is to focus on making the action as effortless as possible, as motivation varies among users and is difficult to gage.

Who was it created by?

Nir Eyal

Who uses it?

[Let us know if you are aware of any uses cases.]

How can I learn more about it?

From the source.

  • The presentation:
  • Nir’s blog:
  • Nir’s YouTube Channel:

Read the book.

  • Title: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  • Purchase: buy from Amazon (Note: affiliate link).

Watch a presentation.

Take a course.

[Let us know if you are aware of anyone teaching a course about the Hooked Model]

Attend a workshop.

Attend a meetup.

[Let us know if you are aware of meetups discussing Hooked Model]

Attend a convention.


  • The Official Hooked workbook, designed to guide you through thinking and applying the lesson in Hooked to your own business:

About this article.

This article is part of a series of articles guiding readers in exploring the many frameworks and methodologies in product management. You can browse all articles here:

We want your feedback.

Tell us if this article was useful, if we made any mistakes, how we can improve it, and if you want to see similar articles for other Product Management frameworks and methodologies (and which ones).

If we think your suggestions add value to the article, we will update it accordingly.

Please use the responses box of this article to leave your feedback.

I want to be a Product Manager when I grow up

Advice, lessons, tips and tools for aspiring and existing Product Managers.

Alin Mateescu

Written by

Product Manager, Web, Merchant at Former Product Manager at and Bell Media ( &

I want to be a Product Manager when I grow up

Advice, lessons, tips and tools for aspiring and existing Product Managers.

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