What Is The Hooked Model In Behavioral Design?

The Hooked Model is a framework developed by Nir Eyal to explain how some products or services can become habit-forming for users. The model is based on the idea that there are four stages or steps that users go through when forming a habit around a product or service.

The four stages of the Hooked Model:

1. Trigger

The trigger is the initial prompt or cue that prompts the user to take action. Triggers can be external (e.g., a notification on a smartphone) or internal (e.g., an emotion or feeling).

2. Action

The action is the behavior that the user performs in response to the trigger. This could be anything from opening an app to scrolling through a newsfeed.

3. Variable Reward

The variable reward is the variable and unpredictable benefit or satisfaction that the user receives from completing the action. This could be anything from discovering something new to getting a message from a friend.

4. Investment

The investment is the step where the user puts something into the product or service, making it more likely that they will continue using it in the future. This could be anything from personal data to customization settings.

According to the Hooked Model, if a product or service can create a loop that takes users through these four stages, it can become habit-forming and create a strong user base.

Problems with the Hooked Model

The Hooked Model has many problems and does not seem to be based on reliable science. For an in-depth review of the issues with the Hooked Model, you can read the following piece: Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products Is Wrong

For more information on Behavioral Design and other behavior change models, you can check out our Behavioral Design overview.

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