Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
The methodology of attracting customers and maintaining a loyal, stable client base is built on repeated engagement. In order to keep the users actively engaged over an infinite amount of time, the product needs to become a habit in their lives. In other words, a habit is an action performed without conscious compulsion – something we do automatically, without thinking, simply because we need to, like brushing our teeth.
Hooking the user: Methodology
Habits cannot be created, Nir Eyal writes in the book “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”, explaining the methodology. Developers and designers can only build on existing habits, and the methodology clearly highlights that a habit-forming product is possible only if the developer understands the users and their needs. It is in the developer’s power to hook the user, which is done in 4 steps:
- a trigger (the desire to use the product),
- an action (what the user does following a trigger with the expectation of a reward),
- a variable reward (a payout that develops a craving),
- and investment (the users invest work, money, or time into the product, and stick with it over a competitor).
There are habits, and there are habits. According to the “Hooked” author, it is the moral imperative for product designers to use a hook for good and build products that contribute to creating a better, healthier, happier and more productive life for their customers.