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Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  37,786 ratings  ·  2,134 reviews
How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?

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 produc
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Portfolio (first published December 25th 2013)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  37,786 ratings  ·  2,134 reviews

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Jan 04, 2015 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. It covers a lot of the same stuff in this review, but is likely a bit more polished: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ted-mcc...

I’ve heard a great deal about this book in the past month - first, I saw Eyal give a talk here in San Francisco (I hadn't heard of him, but someone recommended I go - the talk w
Otis Chandler
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
Jun 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 216 students. The study, conducted over the course of a month, found correlation between
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is buzz about this book in the SF tech scene. After reading it, I know why!

It's well researched. It's interesting. And it's thought-provoking.

Nir Eyar masterfully weaves his insights of technology, business and psychology into his four-fold model, which explains how to create habit-forming products.

Whether you are an entrepreneur just getting started, a psychologist seeking depth or an avid reader wanting to know more about the world around us, you'll love this book!
Joe Soltzberg
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Hooked is an excellent (short) book on the use of psychology in product design. As technology becomes increasingly available to entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, design has become just as important as engineering. Correspondingly, all entrepreneurs should have a good understanding of the principals behind building habit-forming products. In that respect, this book does a great job. This book may not provide any grand revelations or have particularly unique/fascinating case studies, but it is sti ...more
This book is great. It has a very clear structure, all information is relevant and to the point. It's pretty short, easy to read, but provides a comprehensive view on the topic.

What I loved the most was the fact that author backed up all his statements with evidence. At the end of the book he provides citations, lists scientific studies and articles he mentions. Little personal opinion, a lot of useful info.

It's curious how the tech-related psychological research lines up neatly with what I've
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book, because I am a long-time follower of the author's blog. Being a psychologist that works in user experience design, I at first was not sure how much I'd gain from a book written on a subject I consider myself to have deep knowledge of. However, I found it to be a great book and I did learn a lot. I'd recommend this book for anyone that's interested in learning how psychological mechanisms can be used to form habits, and therefore keep people "hooked" on their products ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) Really good stuff, actually actionable

In particular, I like the directives at the end of each chapter driving you to think about your own product, how you can use the Hooked principles to improve its stickiness. Also liked the Bible case study he added, though I think he should've made the analysis more rigorously follow the principles, if only in a data sheet format saying how each of the principles are applied. Then dive into the cooler narrative.

But this is really well organized and wri
Ryan Hoover
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been an avid read of Nir Eyal's blog (nirandfar.com) for over a year. When he asked if I wanted to work on the book with him, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. I have learned an incredible amount since then that have and will continue to guide my product decisions and perspective on technology.

Although I'm clearly biased toward the book, I would not have spent several dozen hours writing and working with Nir if I didn't believe it would be valuable for others.
Kartik Santhanakrishnan
I'll start with a complaint because I want to get my grumpiness out of the way before I take it out on someone at work. This book should have been 50% as long as it is. Perhaps even shorter. Do authors seriously think that more words is the same as getting your point across? In all fairness, there were synopses at appropriate places in the book, so you could skip any nonsense and go through just salient points. Despite that, the book should have been way shorter. Take a star off. There. I feel b ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, well-written book. I've been reading Nir's blog for a while now so was already a fan. Nir and Ryan do a great job of bringing everything together in the Hooked process and laying it out in a logical and motivating way. The book takes you through the theory, giving examples to bring the theory alive and then provides exercises at the end of each chapter to help you take what you've learned and immediately apply it to your own product or service. It was refreshing to see a lot of new st ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Would've given it 1 star, but since it got me to actually download the Bible App to see why Goodreads is constantly #8 to its #7, I threw it an extra star. ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book for anyone building a technology company or anyone who has interest in products.

As someone who's spend the last couple of years reading extensively about product and user psychology, I didn't find the book extremely insightful, but the book is very good for anyone who wants to get a baseline understanding of how to build and reinforce habits in products.

Books like this are worth their value because they give you a new lens to see the world. The success state would be
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, design
As a product designer, this book is a perfect introduction to behavioral product psychology. It’s written in a humble and inquisitive tone. The objective literary style spoke to my research-based soul. I'm constantly seeking to follow the works (and words) of those who are solving real problems in the world. Nir Eyal is one of them. I definitely recommend the book. It’s a quick read, with the feel of an extended blog post (my only criticism, really).

After completing Hooked, I emailed Nir to tha
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Yep, one way or another, we are all gonna get hooked.
Abhishek Anbazhagan
Jun 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
When I was furiously networking in the summer of 2017, a chance encounter lead to a conversation on books and I heard my quarry say - "I don't read business books that are less than 10 years old". I remember coming away from that exchange thinking - Waw! What a tool! However, this book has now made me see the wisdom in that offhand comment.

Hooked is roundly recommended by every product person and builder of any repute in tech. Either these simple haven't read the book or they are just plain stup
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: start-ups
Absolutely loved this book! Nir's writing is down-to-earth and accessible, his ideas are actionable with section-end bulleted summaries and short exercises. This is the practical guide you to building your own habit-forming product grounded in valid principles of psychology!! A must read for every entrepreneur and product professional. ...more
Mario Tomic
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you ever wondered why makes people come back to Facebook, Twitter or games like World of Warcraft this books has the answer. It's really a must read so you understand the psychology behind what drives our behavior in a world where there's so many services competing for our attention. ...more
Arshad Pooloo
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meticulous, well research and concise. This book has received a lot of attention in and for good reasons. If I was building a business right not and had to solve the problem of engagement and was allowed only one book to reference from, this would be it and I think that in itself says a lot. It is not perfect, but Nir gets his ideas and research across very clearly which is something valuable.
Lukas Ramonas
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
A book written by an alien who pretends to be an app creator. The advice in the book is sound, even if self-evident in a lot of cases. But the tone and the cheerful, bubbly voice the author uses to talk about hooking people on digital apps is creepy.

When the author talks about apps and digital marketing, he almost passes for homo sapiens. But then he starts giving examples from other areas and the mask slips off. He says that people loved watching Breaking Bad because the show provided variable
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe content and ideas in this book are valuable upgrade to product development. Creating products that have high engagement rate is the first step in Lean Startup methodology. I experience this book as a "habit creating tool" inspired by human psychology and behaviour. Everyone devoted to Lean Startup and product development should read this book!

Jason Schwartz
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I teach a class at General Assembly on Product Management and I always recommend the author's blog to students. I will now be recommending this book instead.

I have personally implemented these tactics at multiple startups. They get results. If you want to know why the software you built isn't taking off, the answer is contained in this book.

Critical must read for entrepreneurs.
Karen Chung
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is chock-full of practical cut-to-the-quick advice that start-ups can't afford to miss. ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick read into the Hooked Model - which in essence describes the process how the companies can encourage or manipulate users behavior, with following structure: trigger => action => variable reward (the Tribe, the Hunt, the Self) => investment.

Best bits:

Yet talking to users to reveal these wants will likely prove ineffective because they themselves don't know which emotions motivate them. People just don't think in these terms. You'll often find that people's declared preferences - what they sa
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
The parts I actually found somewhat interesting could probably be condensed into a quarter of this already short book.

The most interesting case-study is probably the Bible App one.
For the rest it is as if the book is just stating the obvious. Taking all the apps that have made a huge impact and now praising them for how the do it in hindsight.
Yes there were probably some thinking involved, but this is by no means going to work for every new app you create.

Also the book doesn't give you any usefu
Jan 24, 2021 rated it did not like it
Jan 2021 update. I guess I read this a handful of years ago and just saw it in my "design" books tag. Back then I rated it 4 stars. Over the last few years of designing at Google and reading a lot more, I'm revising my rating to 1 star because I think the whole premise of this book (maybe Eyal's work generally) is particularly disturbing (Eyal himself must've even been clear-eyed about his profiting off of helping businesses 'hook' people because a couple of years ago he came out with Indistract ...more
Sarthak Pranit
Oct 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: design, non-fiction
If you are a product person, I am pretty sure you would have heard about this book. Now, read it.

Hooked explains the utopia of product designers - building something that your users can get addicted to, something that if your users don't use, it hurts them. I am pretty sure people who have tried to overcome the 'Whatsapp-addiction' will get me.

Definite recommendation to all stakeholders of a product as well. Having said that, 'Don't Make Me Think' still remains the closer one to strike home.
Abhijeet Jain
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved the way author presented his ideas. The book is amazingly structured and would definitely make you think about the technologies that have hooked you.
The best way to get over social media addiction is to understand how it actually works! And this book will definitely help you in understanding that.

Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
While the content of the book is not bad overall , it feels like a lot of repeated information. While this may indicate that I already have enough background on the concept, I was hoping for some updated and relevant information pertaining specifically to app development.

If you havent read up on habit forming, then this is a good primer.
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A must read 1 41 Dec 20, 2013 09:25AM  

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Nir Eyal is the bestselling author of "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" (a finalist for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards) and "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life." (nominated for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards)

He has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His writing on technology, psychology and busi

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