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The Hook Model is a way of explaining somebody's interactions with a product as they go through the four phases: the trigger to begin using the product, an action to satisfy the trigger, a variable reward for the actions, and an investment - in which the user feels that the product is more valuable to them.
After the cycle has been completed by the user, their habits will reinforce the product and therefore a win to the company.
Triggers come in two types: external and internal. Habit-forming technologies begin by alerting us consumers with external triggers like emails, or an app icon.
By continuously doing this, we begin to form associations with internal triggers therefore becoming attached to existing behaviors and emotions.
After forming trigger habits, the companies will leverage the two pulleys of human behavior: motivation and ability.
In order to increase the offs of a user taking intended action, the behavior designer must make the action as easy as possible while boosting the user's motivation.
Companies use variable schedules of reward. This powerful tool shows that our brains are surged with dopamine when expecting a reward.
By introducing multiple variables in effect, it creates a frenzied hunger state and it activates the parts that are associated with wanting and desire.
In this part of the model, the user is asked to do a little bit of work. This is the phase where: 1. the odds where the user will make another pass through the hook model will increase, and 2. the user's brain is swimming in dopamine so the company is now letting up pay for that dopamine.
The investment generally varies between giving a combination of time, data, effort, social capital, or even money.
However, the investment phase implies that this action that the user is willing to do will improve the service for the next go-around.
Whether we like it or not, and whether we've noticed it or not, habit-forming technology is already here and many apps are already using it on us through various devices.
With what they acquire from us, this trinity of access, data, and speed further creates new opportunities for habit-forming technologies to hook a user.
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