Hooked! How to Build Habit Forming product

from Shubha A T.

Speaker – Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal, speaker and author of Hooked, How to Build Habit Forming product is curious about how habits can be used for good. Connecting your user problem, with your solution with enough frequency to form a habit. Nir has found that all the habit-forming technologies, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, or even Slack on the enterprise side have four basic hooks –

1. Triggers

  • External – tell the user what to do next. The information on what to do is within the trigger. Click here, Buy this … are all triggers.
  • Internal- tell the users what to do next, but the information of what to do, is informed through an association in the users mind. In certain situations, emotions especially negative, dictate what we do. “People suffering from clinical depression check emails more” – They fail negative emotions more, check email more. When we feel lonely we turn to Facebook, when we feel bored, we turn to stock prices, news, reddit, we seek all side of tools to get out of negative valence states.

As a product manager, understand the psychological requirements of your product. What itch are you solving for your customer that addresses an internal trigger. What is the external trigger that prompts these to action?

2. Action – simplest behavior done in anticipation of a reward. Something as simple as scrolling on Pinterest, or searching on Google, very simple action, the BJ Fogg model predicts the probability of a behavior based on motivation, ability and trigger.

B=m+a+t (Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger)

Motivation – There are several different motivations people operate on, fear, pleasure seeking, pain, love are all motivations for people.

Ability – The better we get at doing something; the easier it becomes to do it. Several factors affect ability, time, money, physical effort, brain cycles, social deviance, non-routine activities. The more we do something, it becomes easier to do it, and hence they eventually become habits.

As a product manager, if you are struggling with why people are not doing the intended behavior. Ask your self these questions about your product. A lack of motivation, ability and trigger, will lead to a lack action by the user.

  • Does the user have sufficient motivation?
  • Does the user have sufficient ability?
  • Is there a meaningful trigger?

3. Rewards – The nuclear accumbens is stimulated by variability. The anticipation of rewards excites human beings.

  • Rewards of the tribe – have an element of variability and come from the community. Often comes from social networks.
  • Rewards of the hunt – have an element of variability and come from our primal need for food. In the online world, the feed is a great example. Searching
  • Rewards of the self – have an element of variability, but come from intrinsic needs. Gameplay, mastery, completion, and perfection are great examples of the rewards of the self. Getting the next level in candy crush, checking your inbox to read every mail.

Fundamentally a reward has to connect to the trigger, it has to connect with the motivation your app is trying to address. If you are trying to address boredom, the reward has to be fun.

4. Investment –What the user puts in, to get to the next hoop of the product. When you send someone a message on Whatsapp, you put in my investment. The little red notification, telling the user about a message, loads the trigger, baiting the user to come back.

As a product manager think about the investment the user does in your product, which is significant for him/her and makes him want to come back to your product.

Technology products appreciate with the more we build on trigger. The more followers I acquire on Twitter, the more valuable it becomes to me. Reputation scores, are an example of stored value that appreciates with time, and make it tougher to leave a system.

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