Behavioral Design



Why do some products capture our attention, while others flop?

What makes us engage with certain products out of habit?
Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?


Products can profoundly change our behaviours. About 40% of what we do daily is purely out of habit.

“This book introduces readers to the “Hook Model,” a four steps process companies use to build customer habits. Through consecutive hook cycles, successful products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back repeatedly — without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is a guide to building products people can’t put down.

Written for product managers, designers, marketers, startup founders, and people eager to learn more about the things that control our behaviors, this book gives readers:
– Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
– Actionable steps for building products people love.
– Behavioral techniques used by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other habit-forming products.
Nir Eyal distilled years of research, consulting and practical experience to write a manual for creating habit-forming products. Nir has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His writing on technology, psychology and business appears in the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.” (Amazon, 2016).



Habits are build upon like the layers of a pearl. A design pattern companies used to build habit forming products, called a hook. A hook mainly has 4 parts: Trigger, Action, Investment and variable reward.




Connect the users problem to the companies’ solution.

  • A trigger tells us what to do next. Those triggers can be External or Internal.
  • External: Giving us small piece of information on what to do next such as the advertisement to buy the product.
  • Internal: The information of what to do next is informed through an association in the user’s memory.
  • When we experience certain emotion dictates what we do next, the action that we turn to with little or no conscious thought.  
  • Specifically Negative Emotions.
  • People suffering from clinical depression check email more.

To change our mood.. What apps do we open when we feel lonely ? Facebook? Twitter?

When we feel unsure ? we use google.

To leave that painful internal triggered.  That’s where TOTEM comes.


Figure 1: The poster designed by Ciara Hall.


Action: Simplest behavior done in anticipation of a reward.

It is simple as a scroll on Pinterest or a search on google


According to BJ Fogg, for any behavior to occur we need motivation, ability and trigger.

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