TRIGGER #step1 of the hooked model - Deepstash
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TRIGGER #step1 of the hooked model

  • A trigger is what starts a behaviour. It is the spark in the engine.  There are two types of triggers: external and internal.
  • External triggers exist as part of the environment. They include phone apps, emails, photographs, etc. Internal triggers are mental and come from within the mind.
“Habit forming technologies start changing behavior by first cueing users by a call to action.”


4.93K reads


INVESTMENT #step-4 of the hooked model

“Before users create the mental associations that activate their automatic behaviors, they must first invest in the product.”
  • Escalation of commitment:  Once you commit to doing something (invest your time and money), you are likely to commit...


1.78K reads

How to use the hooked model

To build effective hooks:

  1. Look for internal triggers. Ask yourself what pain is the product relieving
  2. Find the external trigger. Ask yourself what brings users to your service
  3. Simplify. Make it as easy...


1.59K reads

Make it SIMPLE

Make it SIMPLE

  • To increase the likelihood that an action will occur, product designers should focus on simplicity. Designers can also use heuristics to influence user behaviour.

Elements of simplicity:

  • Time. An indication of how long it takes to complete an action


2.16K reads

The morality of manipulation

With the Hook Model, it is easy to manipulate users. The maker of a product needs to ask two questions: 

  • would I use the product myself?
  • will the product help users materially and improve their lives?


1.93K reads

VARIABLE REWARDS #step-3 of the hooked model

VARIABLE REWARDS #step-3 of the hooked model

  • Rewards are unpredictable in the timing and size of reward.
  • Variable rewards drive more user activity than fixed rewards. Companies that offer a chance at variable rewards such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter get more users hooked to their products.


1.89K reads

Internal Triggers

Internal Triggers

“Internal triggers tell the user what to do next through associations stored in the user’s memory.”
  • Emotions, particularly negative emotions, are powerful internal triggers.
  • Fear, Greed, lust are some of them


3.9K reads



  • User habits are good for business because they create unprompted user engagement.
  • Companies can determine their product’s habit-forming potential by plotting two factors: frequency and perceived utility.
  • Frequency is the level of enga...


6.39K reads

Key to innovative products

To create a truly innovative product:

  1. Understand the reason why people use a product or service
  2. Layout the steps that the customer must take to get the job done
  3. Remove steps until you reach the simplest possible process


3.08K reads

External Triggers

External Triggers

External triggers communicate the next action that a user should take.

For example:

Many e-commerce websites feature prominent buttons asking users to Buy Now or Subscribe.

Types of external triggers:

  • Paid triggers. These include adve...


3.27K reads



The manipulation matrix: Has four quadrants that show the different types of creators: the peddler, the facilitator, the dealer, and the entertainer.

  1. The facilitator. The facilitator helps users create healthy habits
  2. The peddler. 


1.87K reads

Variable reward techniques

Variable reward techniques

Types of variable rewards:

  • Tribe. Rewards of the tribe are driven by our social connections to others
  • Hunt. Pursuing material things and resources is rewarding in itself
  • Self. Humans have intrinsic motivation to better ...


2.07K reads

Some examples of variable rewards

  • Variable rewards can lead to compulsive behaviour on the part of the user. There is email addiction, social media addiction, and even addiction to news cycles. This form of addiction happens because with variable rewards you never know what you are going to get.
  • Only...


1.74K reads

Association with past behaviours

  • People seek to be consistent with past behaviours and also seek to avoid cognitive dissonance.
  • Cognitive dissonance: Holding contradictory beliefs and attitudes that result in psychological stress when challenged. Humans generally seek to avoid cognitive dissonance.


1.77K reads

ACTION #step-2 of hooked model

ACTION #step-2 of hooked model

Action follows the trigger phase.

“The trigger, driven by internal and external cues, informs the user of what to do next.”

Ingredients that are needed to initiate any and all behaviours:

  1. Sufficient motivation
  2. Abil...


2.86K reads

Various forms of investments

Forms of investment in digital products include:

  • Following. Facebook and Twitter allow users to follow others
  • Posting. Users can create content on social media that they see as forms of investment
  • Reputation. Likes and ...


1.44K reads

The power of user investment

  • Companies should create the goal of making users invest as part of the engagement with their product or service. That way, they will be more likely to come back.

“Investments increase the likelihood of users returning by improving the service the more it is used. They enable ...


1.47K reads


The secrets that companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon don't want you to know



17.3K reads



  • The Hook Model explains the four-phase process that companies use to form habits.
  • The four phases are a trigger, action, variable reward, and investment.
  • For companies, the desire is to achieve the goal of unprompted user engagement with their products.


9.23K reads




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Hook Model Step 1: Trigger

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 behavior...

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