Look Inside. Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions and many more by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Hooked by Nir Eyal. Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop?
What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions and many more by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products.
Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published November 4th by Portfolio first published December 25th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Hooked , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 04, Ted rated it did not like it. Update: I ended up publishing a longer version of this - with a discussion of the trend towards more addictive technology in the tech industry more broadly - on the Huffington Post.
At least within the tech scene, it seems this book is very well-known, and that, to some extent, scares me.
Most of the reviews I've been seeing have been addressing Eyal's execution of the 'Hooked' concept, which I'd give something like a 2. My biggest problem with the book is its basic premise, that 'hooking' people - that is, making them compulsive users of your technology product - is something worth doing.
Eyal makes a number of assumptions about the benefits of technology here - he commonly alludes to Facebook, Instagram, et al as 'solving' our feelings of loneliness, for instance. Among many other occurrences, a line in the book says Instagram "helps users dispel boredom by connecting them with others.
The idea of 'hooking' a user to your product is strikingly similar to that of causing a user 'to be addicted' to your product, including use of the same mechanisms to do it.
The third piece of the 'hook' cycle is the use of variable rewards to help make users habitual users of your product, for example - this is the exact mechanism that makes gambling so potentially addictive.
Even the book's cover art shows a mouse pointer clicking somewhere near the nucleus accumbens of a brain, the dopamine center manipulated by variable rewards that help fuel behavioral addictions.
Eyal discusses how, in the 's, Olds and Milner would stimulate mice in this region, and see them forgo food and water in exchange for more stimulation. Think 'Infinite Jest', with mice in cages. If his book espouses manipulation, at least he's relatively honest about it. But his discussion of morality is too little, too late - during his talk, he spends forty minutes discussing how his model will allow audience members to build the next Facebook, and then five minutes pleading with them to use this information only to improve the world.
That's about it. When I saw the talk, I suspected he added this bit at the end to appease sane-minded audience members and prevent heckling. In the book, at least, Eyal includes a short chapter near the end discussing the morality of this approach, and, perhaps as a way of showing how his 'hooked' formula can be used for good, a case study illustrating how a Bible app - YouVersion - carries out more or less the four steps of the hooked model.
The chapter also employs a nauseating number of religious puns: "Switching to a different digital Bible - God forbid But it's unconvincing; and it's perhaps telling that the best positive example Eyal can find of a technology product achieving good with his model is 'getting people to read the Bible more', which is dubious at best.
I understand that this kind of thing happens all the time - you'd better believe that Facebook, Google, and many other technology companies are many steps ahead of even Eyal in this game. But it bothers me to see it filtered down and formulatized in a set of followable steps.
It might bother me less if Eyal emphasized the ways in which this could be used for good throughout the book - for health behavior change, for instance, an area of technology design that's quickly growing and has shown potential for doing actual good. Eyal references Sunstein and Thaler's 'Nudge', another book I just finished and one that I highly recommend.
Those authors also present methods that could be seen as manipulative, but are careful to include frank and lengthy discussions on how to morally employ these techniques - not a hollow plea to 'only do good' with the methods followed by a flippant reading of a Gandhi quote. The authors of 'Nudge', moreover, fill the book with case studies in which their concept has - or at least, can - produce real, substantial benefit for great numbers of people. Paul Graham has somewhat famously said Eyal even references it that "The world is more addictive than it was 40 years ago We'll increasingly be defined by what we say no to.
View all 22 comments. Extremely valuable book for anyone building products designed to engage people frequently. Given that I think daily about how to make Goodreads better and more engaging for people, this was a useful book. I think I knew a lot of it already, but often being forced to think about things again can be useful - and there are a few useful new ways of thinking about things that I learned.
One of the main useful ideas the book talks about in engaging users is having triggers to bring the user back to th Extremely valuable book for anyone building products designed to engage people frequently. One of the main useful ideas the book talks about in engaging users is having triggers to bring the user back to the product.
This can be an external trigger - like an email or notification or ad that brings the user back - but the best products also form internal triggers. Ever get bored or lonely and find yourself on Facebook? Or wondering what is happening in the world and end up on Twitter?
Or see something beautiful or inspiring and then pull out Instagram? Or feel the need to escape and relax and open a book or turn on a movie or a sports game? Our emotions often drive our behavior, and each emotion is mapped to a set of products we could use to "scratch the itch" of whatever we are feeling. These mappings become habits. And it sent another one on xmas day that did well. Timely matters! Nir then talks about how to get users to take actions. The framework is obvious, but very true, and useful to remember when evaluating products.
It's fairly well summed up in the below quote. There was a lot of good discussion about point 2 in terms of having simple design, being mobile, etc. I've known that variability - or serendipitousness as I like to think of it - is a very important driver of any engaging product. It's why we love sports, gambling, games, Facebook newsfeed, and good stories - not knowing what we'll find is exciting. Nir breaks down variable rewards into three types - the tribe, the hunt, and the self.
The tribe is social validation - think of Facebook likes on content you posted. The hunt is something intrinsic in our brains that dates back to prehistoric times when we literally lived for the hunt - think of hunting for interesting content on your Twitter feed, or gambling looking for payoffs. The self is more for personal gratification - wanting to complete a puzzle you started or beat a video game you started.
View all 4 comments. This book was a huge disappointment. It is full of speculation and misleading 'information'. It has a very big fluff to substance ratio and the little substance it does present is deprived of all nuance. Arguably, that isn't reason enough to give it one star. The determining factor is the authors tendency of quoting studies and then misrepresenting the findings. For example: a study of the internet usage of students.
The study, conducted over the course of a month, found correlation between This book was a huge disappointment. The study, conducted over the course of a month, found correlation between increased internet usage and indicators of depression.
The author of the book presents this correlation with a much greater degree of certainty, he exaggerates the duration of the study, cites methodology that isn't found in the study, selects one possible hypothesis: depressed people use the internet more because it makes them feel better and runs with it, expanding this theory with lush examples of solace seeking Instagram users. The study itself only mentions that it notices an increased number of "chat octets" in the traffic analysis and one of the possible explanations is that depressive people are joining depression chat rooms in order to find relief but they have no way of knowing.
I find this kind of mistreatment of research and scientific certainty repulsive. View 1 comment.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Founder , Wordpress. Founder , The Next Web. This workbook is the perfect complement to Hooked. It is specially designed to help you build your own habit-forming product or service. Once you've ordered your updated edition of Hooked , enter your name, email address, and purchase details below to get access to the free Hooked bonus materials. Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop?
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products [Hardcover]
Nir Eyal answers these questions and many more by explaining the Hook Model--a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive "hook cycles," these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is based on Eyal's years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder--not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products.
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