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How To Drive User Engagement By Creating Habits

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In an age of ever-increasing distractions, quickly creating customer habits is an important characteristic of successful products. How do companies create products people use every day? What are the …

In an age of ever-increasing distractions, quickly creating customer habits is an important characteristic of successful products. How do companies create products people use every day? What are the secrets of building services customers love? How can designers create products compelling enough to “hook” users? Companies need to know how to harness the power of hooks to improve peoples’ lives. This presentation provides a powerful toolkit and framework for creating better products.


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  • 1. #B2Conline How To Drive User Engagement By Creating Habits Presenter: Nir Eyal Author, Speaker, Consultant at NirAndFar.com @nireyal
  • 2. #B2Conline Hooked @nireyal
  • 3. Products can profoundly #B2Conline CHANGE OUR BEHAVIORS.
  • 4. 100’s of millions of users… …and 100’s of millions of dollars. #B2Conline
  • 5. #B2Conline
  • 6. I wrote this … #B2Conline … more at: NirAndFar.com
  • 7. Vitamins OR Pain Killers? #B2Conline
  • 8. #B2Conline PAIN KILLERS address a burning need.
  • 9. #B2Conline VITAMINS are “nice to have.”
  • 10. #B2Conline Vitamins OR Pain Killers?
  • 11. With habit-forming technology PLEASURE SEEKING behavior becomes #B2Conline PAIN ALLEVIATING behavior
  • 12. #B2Conline What do we mean by PAIN?
  • 13. #B2Conline Close your eyes.
  • 14. #B2Conline HOW DID YOU FEEL?
  • 15. When we FEEL AN ITCH we seek to SCRATCH IT. #B2Conline
  • 16. #B2Conline The SOLUTION TO OUR DISCOMFORT is found in the product’s use.
  • 17. We are not designing for addiction NOT must be in graphic #B2Conline Do not design for addiction.
  • 18. hab·it #B2Conline A BEHAVIOR DONE WITH LITTLE OR NO CONSCIOUS THOUGHT
  • 19. #B2Conline HEALTHTAP REFRE EM LUMO SH.IO ODT Habits can be used for good. REV PANTRY 7POCKET BIALABS CUPS
  • 20. #B2Conline
  • 21. #B2Conline 1. FREQUENCY
  • 22. #B2Conline 2. ATTITUDE CHANGE
  • 23. #B2Conline Harnessing HABITS can be VERY GOOD FOR BUSINESS.
  • 24. #B2Conline However, forming new habits is HARD WORK
  • 25. #B2Conline AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE.
  • 26. #B2Conline But if your business requires “unprompted user engagement,”
  • 27. A design pattern to help FORM BETTER PRODUCT HYPOTHESES. #B2Conline
  • 28. #B2Conline BUILDING IS EXPENSIVE
  • 29. INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF SUCCESS. #B2Conline
  • 30. #B2Conline
  • 31. #B2Conline
  • 32. #B2Conline
  • 33. #B2Conline A - A hook has 4 parts: T - Trigger A - Action R - Reward I - Investment
  • 34. #B2Conline
  • 35. #B2Conline HABITS ARE BUILT UPON like the layers of a pearl.
  • 36. #B2Conline Triggers come in two flavors: EXTERNAL & INTERNAL
  • 37. #B2Conline EXTERNAL TRIGGERS The information for what to do next is within the trigger. Billboards SODA
  • 38. Optimizing external triggers = Growth Hacking #B2Conline
  • 39. INTERNAL TRIGGERS #B2Conline The information for what to do next is informed through an association in the user’s memory.
  • 40. #B2Conline Negative emotions are POWERFUL INTERNAL TRIGGERS. lonesome indecisive powerless tense dissatisfied confused inferior fatigued discouraged fear of loss bored lost
  • 41. #B2Conline People who are DEPRESSED CHECK EMAIL MORE OFTEN.
  • 42. #B2Conline When we feel LONELY we use
  • 43. #B2Conline When we feel UNSURE we use
  • 44. #B2Conline When we are BORED we use
  • 45. #B2Conline Do you know your customer’s INTERNAL TRIGGER?
  • 46. #B2Conline What triggers make so habit-forming?
  • 47. #B2Conline external triggers
  • 48. #B2Conline solves the pain of losing the moment.
  • 49. #B2Conline But is also Lonely a social network. Stresse d Urge to preserve Curious Insecurity Bored
  • 50. #B2Conline
  • 51. #B2Conline The SIMPLEST ACTION in anticipation of a reward.
  • 52. #B2Conline Scroll
  • 53. #B2Conline Search
  • 54. #B2Conline Play
  • 55. #B2Conline According to BJ Fogg, for any behavior to occur, we need MOTIVATION, ABILITY, and a TRIGGER b=m+a+t
  • 56. #B2Conline mo·ti·va·tion “THE ENERGY FOR ACTION” -Edward Deci
  • 57. #B2Conline THERE ARE SIX FACTORS THAT CAN INCREASE MOTIVATION. Seeking Pleasure Avoiding Pain Seeking Hope Avoiding Fear Seeking Acceptance Avoiding Rejection
  • 58. Seeking HOPE #B2Conline
  • 59. #B2Conline Seeking PLEASURE
  • 60. Avoiding FEAR #B2Conline
  • 61. #B2Conline Seeking ACCEPTANCE
  • 62. #B2Conline ABILITY the capacity to do a particular action
  • 63. #B2Conline
  • 64. #B2Conline MOTIVATION Level of motivation and ability determines if action will occur. TRIGGER SUCCEEDS TRIGGER FAILS Fogg Behavior Model ABILITY
  • 65. #B2Conline Simplicity is a function of your scarcest resource at that moment. -BJ Fogg
  • 66. #B2Conline through the years 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
  • 67. #B2Conline through the years 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
  • 68. #B2Conline through the years 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
  • 69. #B2Conline
  • 70. #B2Conline It all starts with the NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS studied by Olds & Milner.
  • 71. #B2Conline The nucleus accumens is activated when we crave.
  • 72. Were Olds & Milner stimulating pleasure? #B2Conline Not exactly.
  • 73. They were stimulating the STRESS OF DESIRE. #B2Conline
  • 74. Our reward system activates with anticipation #B2Conline
  • 75. … and calms when we get what we want. #B2Conline
  • 76. That’s the ITCH we seek to SCRATCH. #B2Conline
  • 77. #B2Conline There is a way to supercharge the stress of desire.
  • 78. #B2Conline
  • 79. #B2Conline THE UNKNOWN IS FASCINATING. Variability causes us to focus and engagement
  • 80. #B2Conline …and increases behavior.
  • 81. #B2Conline The nucleus acumens is stimulated by variability.
  • 82. #B2Conline 3 types of VARIABLE REWARDS TRIBE HUNT SELF Habit-forming tech uses 1 OR MORE
  • 83. #B2Conline SEARCH FOR SOCIAL REWARDS TRIBE
  • 84. #B2Conline empathetic joy partnership competition
  • 85. #B2Conline We Like social rewards.
  • 86. #B2Conline We LOVE our tribes.
  • 87. #B2Conline We value recognition and cooperation
  • 88. #B2Conline SEARCH FOR RESOURCES HUNT
  • 89. #B2Conline Stems from the hunt for food and resources
  • 90. #B2Conline Hunt for variable material rewards
  • 91. #B2Conline Hunt for variable material rewards
  • 92. #B2Conline Hunt for variable information rewards.
  • 93. #B2Conline Hunters on scroll pages.
  • 94. #B2Conline SEARCH FOR SELF-ACHIEVEMENT SELF
  • 95. #B2Conline Leveling-up reflects MASTERY and COMPETENCY.
  • 96. #B2Conline Inbox or task management reflects CONSISTENCY and COMPLETION.
  • 97. #B2Conline WARNING Variable rewards are not a free pass. Your product still must address the itch.
  • 98. #B2Conline Build variable rewards that scratch the users itch, but leave them wanting more.
  • 99. #B2Conline
  • 100. #B2Conline Users “invest” for future benefits. Money Social Capital Emotional Personal Commitment Data Time Effort
  • 101. #B2Conline Investments increase the likelihood of the next pass through the Hook in TWO ways.
  • 102. #B2Conline 1. INVESTMENTS LOAD THE NEXT TRIGGER OF THE HOOK.
  • 103. #B2Conline Each new message posted on
  • 104. #B2Conline is an open invitation for an external trigger to be returned.
  • 105. #B2Conline Loading the next trigger with Pin It button
  • 106. The External Trigger: Facebook, Twitter, WOM Hook #B2Conline Interesting objects (Hunt) Re-pin, follow, comment Scroll (Early User – “Consumer” )
  • 107. The External Trigger: Emails and notifications Internal Trigger: Fear of losing content, boredom Hook #B2Conline What did friend post? (Tribe) Interesting objects (Hunt) Install Pin It button, Pin, Re-pin, follow, comment (Experienced User – “Curators”) Log-in
  • 108. #B2Conline 2. INVESTMENTS STORE VALUE, improving the product with use.
  • 109. #B2Conline CONTENT
  • 110. #B2Conline DATA
  • 111. #B2Conline FOLLOWERS
  • 112. #B2Conline 30 REPUTATION
  • 113. INVESTMENTS CREATES PREFERENCE.
  • 114. #B2Conline We value things more when put work in them. 3rd Party Bids $0.05 Expert Origami $0.27 Self-made Origami $0.23
  • 115. #B2Conline As we invest, we seek to be consistent with our past behaviors. Group 1 Group 2 76% 17%
  • 116. Changing attitude and perception to avoid COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. #B2Conline
  • 117. #B2Conline We change our preferences, tastes and attitudes.
  • 118. #B2Conline
  • 119. #B2Conline Each pass through the Hook helps SHAPE USER PREFERENCES AND ATTITUDES.
  • 120. #B2Conline
  • 121. #B2Conline A - A hook has 4 parts: T - Trigger A - Action R - Reward I - Investment
  • 122. The HOOK Canvas #B2Conline 1. What internal trigger is the product addressing? 2. What external trigger gets the user to the product? 4. Is the reward fulfilling, yet leaves the user wanting more? 5. What “bit of work” is done to increase the likelihood of returning? 3. What is the simplest behavior in anticipation of reward?
  • 123. #B2Conline THE MORALITY OF MANIPULATION
  • 124. #B2Conline Designing habit-forming products is a form of manipulation.
  • 125. #B2Conline Users take our technologies to bed.
  • 126. #B2Conline They check our devices before saying “good morning” to loved ones.
  • 127. #B2Conline Quite possibly, the “CIGARETTE OF THIS CENTURY.” - Ian Bogust
  • 128. #B2Conline What RESPONSIBILITY do we have when changing user behavior?
  • 129. #B2Conline THE WORLD IS FULL OF PROBLEMS TO FIX. Help others find meaning. Engage them in something important.
  • 130. #B2Conline Build the CHANGEin you want to see THE WORLD.
  • 131. #B2Conline Read this … … more at: NirAndFar.com
  • 132. Free OnDemand Webcast: How To Drive User Engagement By Creating Habits Follow Us: