Issue 123 - 06 | A New Superpower: Building Habit-Forming Products

By Nir Eyal
Published Nov. 12, 2014 12:00 p.m.
“A 2011 university study suggested people check their phones 34 times per day. However, industry insiders believe that number is closer to an astounding 150 daily sessions.

Face it, we’re hooked.

The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions. …

How do companies, producing little more than bits of code displayed on a screen, seemingly control users’ minds? What makes some products so habit-forming?

For many products, forming habits is an imperative for survival. As infinite distractions compete for our attention, companies are learning to master novel tactics to stay relevant in users’ minds. Today, amassing millions of users is no longer good enough. Companies increasingly find that their economic value is a function of the strength of the habits they create. In order to win the loyalty of their users and create a product that’s regularly used, companies must learn not only what compels users to click, but also what makes them tick.”

About Nir Eyal | Nir Eyal spent years in the video gaming and advertising industries where he learned, applied, and at times rejected, techniques described in his book, Hooked, to motivate and influence users. He has taught courses on applied consumer psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and at Fortune 500 companies. His writing on technology, psychology, and business appears in the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

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