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Designing for habits

8.October.12

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When an investor suggests ways to increase engagement, I’m like

Source: runningastartup.tumblr.com

suggests ways to increase engagement, I’m like Source: runningastartup.tumblr.com NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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The science of engagement

The science of engagement NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Some prerequisites

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1. A vision

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2.A moral compass

2.A moral compass NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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3. A business model

3. A business model Source: Alex Osterwalder, Business Model Generation NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Source: Alex Osterwalder, Business Model Generation

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4. A process

4. A process Source: Eric Ries,The Lean Startup NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Source: Eric Ries,The Lean Startup

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“What do we build?”

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My goal

If your model requires regular, unprompted user engagement

design patterns to help you form better product hypotheses

to increase odds of success.

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Today’s deliverable

3 testable hypotheses intended to increase engagement.

Anything else?

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Me

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Patterns
Patterns
Patterns NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal NirAndFar.com
Patterns NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal NirAndFar.com
Patterns NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal NirAndFar.com
Patterns NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal NirAndFar.com

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“OMG businesses”

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Vitamins or painkillers?

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Selling painkillers

Selling painkillers - Obvious need - stop pain - Quanti ! able market - Monetizable NIR

- Obvious need - stop pain

- Quanti ! able market

- Monetizable

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Selling vitamins

Selling vitamins - Emotional need, not e " cacy - “Makes me feel good knowing -

- Emotional need, not e " cacy

- “Makes me feel good knowing

- Unknown market

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Vitamins or painkillers?

Vitamins or painkillers? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Vitamins or painkillers? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Vitamins or painkillers? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Vitamins or painkillers? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Habit is when not doing causes pain.

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Habit-forming

technology

Pleasure

seeking

Pain

alleviation

Habit-forming technology Pleasure seeking Pain alleviation V i t a m i n Painkiller NIR EYAL
Habit-forming technology Pleasure seeking Pain alleviation V i t a m i n Painkiller NIR EYAL

Vitamin

Habit-forming technology Pleasure seeking Pain alleviation V i t a m i n Painkiller NIR EYAL

Painkiller

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Creating pain? (more of an itch)

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hab· it

/ˈhabit/

Noun, Def:

An behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary, without cognition.

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pref· er· ence

/ˈpref(ə )rə ns/

Noun, Def:

A greater liking for one alternative over another or others.

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/əˈdikSHə n/ Noun, Def:
/əˈdikSHə n/
Noun, Def:

ad· dic· tion

A persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance.

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Habits are good business

Higher life-time value

Greater price inelasticity, can charge more

Word-of-mouth brings down cost of acquisition

= Higher ROI

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Helping people do what they want to do.

Why is this graph “smiling”?

Why is this graph “smiling”? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Inc. magazine, Dec. 2011

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Source: Inc. magazine, Dec. 2011

Holding on to customers

Holding on to customers NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source:Amy Jo Kim,“Community Building on the Web”

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Source:Amy Jo Kim,“Community Building on the Web”

StackOver # ow

Largest technical QA site

Alexa rank 93

5,500 questions answered daily

FT Sta $ : 66

QA site • Alexa rank 93 • 5,500 questions answered daily • FT Sta $ :

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To build habits need

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Frequency and utility

Frequency and utility NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Hooks

Low High engagement engagement
Low
High
engagement
engagement

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The Hook

The Hook NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Remember: ATARI

A - A hook has 4 parts:

T - Trigger

A - Action

Remember: ATARI A - A hook has 4 parts: T - Trigger A - Action R

R - Reward I - Investment

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In summary

Habits generate unprompted engagement (the itch) and user preference.

Creating habits is a function of utility and frequency.

Repeatedly connecting your solution with the user’s problem is called, “The hook.”

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Your turn

Does your business model require habits? Why?

How frequently do you expect users to engage?

What problem are they coming to solve?

5 min activity

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Triggers

Triggers NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Habits aren’t created, they are built upon

Habits aren’t created, they are built upon NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Triggers

External

Internal

Alarms

Calls-to-action

Emails

Stores

Authority

Emotions

Routines

Situations

Places

People

What to do next is in the trigger

What to do next is in the user’s head

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External triggers in tech

Owned - Emails, SMS, noti ! cations

Paid - SEM, ads

Earned - PR, free media

Relationship - Word of mouth, a " nity groups

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Example: Pharma

External

Internal

Example: Pharma External Internal What to do next is in the trigger What to do next
Example: Pharma External Internal What to do next is in the trigger What to do next

What to do next is in the trigger

What to do next is in the user’s head

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Negative emotions are internal triggers

Dissatis ! ed Indecisive Lost Tense Fatigued Inferior

Fear of loss Bored Lonesome Confused Powerless Discouraged

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Emotional triggers Shiv x-framework

Content Excited Bored Stressed NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Content
Excited
Bored
Stressed
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People with depression check email more.

Source: Kotikalapudi et al 2012, Associating Depressive Symptoms in College Students with Internet Usage Using Real Internet Data

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Internally triggered technologies

When I feel

I use

Lonely Hungry Unsure Anxious Lost Mentally fatigued

Facebook Yelp Google Email GPS ESPN, Glam

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Habits form from frequent problem/solution ! t.

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How ! nd the problem?

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Know the narrative

Find the trigger to attach to.

“Every time you (internal trigger) use (product).”

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Jack Dorsey on narratives

Jack Dorsey on narratives NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Betty Crocker

1952 invented instant cake mix.

Assumed the trigger was hunger and narrative included making a complete meal quickly.

Complete marketing disaster.

What customer really wanted was to feel and show love. “Instant” didn’t cut it.

Source: Finding Betty Crocker, Susan Marks

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Instagram triggers

Instagram triggers NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Instagram triggers

External

Internal

- FB and Twitter - App noti !cations

- Fear of loosing the moment

.

.

.

- Bored, lonesome, curious

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In summary

Triggers are the ! rst step of the hook.

The designer informs what to do next through external triggers.

The user informs what to do next through internal triggers.

Emotions provide frequent internal triggers.

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Your turn

Refer to the problem (you think) users are solving with your product.

Come up with 3 internal trigger hypotheses (emotions, routines, situations )

If you’re stuck, ask “why?” until you get to a feeling.

10 min activity

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Build a narrative

Pick the most frequent internal trigger.

Who is the user?

What are they doing right before they use your product?

What brings them back? “Every time ”

user (internal trigger)

they

10 min activity

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Hypotheses check

Is your internal trigger hypothesis correct?

Is your narrative really happening? If not, why?

“Get out of the building.” - Stephen Blank

Do your external triggers communicate and connect with the internal trigger?

Do they answer “what it’s for?”

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Actions

Actions NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Simple actions before reward

Log-In (Facebook, Wordpress)

Search (Google, Kayak, Yelp)

Open (Twitter, SMS, email)

Scroll (Pinterest, Instagram)

Play (YouTube, online games)

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when doing < thinking = action

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Fogg Behavior Model

B = m.a.t. triggers ability NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University
B = m.a.t.
triggers
ability
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Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University
motivation

Fogg Behavior Model

B = m.a.t. trigger (SUCCESS!) trigger (FAIL!) ability NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Dr. BJ
B = m.a.t.
trigger
(SUCCESS!)
trigger
(FAIL!)
ability
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Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University
motivation

mo· ti· va· tion

/m ō tə v āSHə n/

Noun, Def:

The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action.

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Motivators of Behavior

Seek: Sensation Anticipation Social Cohesion Pleasure Hope Acceptance
Seek:
Sensation
Anticipation
Social Cohesion
Pleasure
Hope
Acceptance

Avoid:

Pain

Fear

Rejection

motivation
motivation

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Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

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a· bil· i· ty

/əˈbilit ē /

Noun, Def:

The capacity to do.

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How increase capacity to do something?
How increase
capacity to do
something?
ability
ability

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How increase capacity to do something? ability NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

Factors of ability

Time Money Physical effort Brain cycles Social deviance Non-routine
Time
Money
Physical effort
Brain cycles
Social deviance
Non-routine
ability
ability

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cycles Social deviance Non-routine ability NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

motivation = marketing

Cross-functional teams

triggers = interface design
triggers =
interface design

ability = product

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Which increase ! rst, motivation or ability?

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Move ability before motivation

triggers ability NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University motivation
triggers
ability
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Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University
motivation

You can try and increase motivation

You can try and increase motivation NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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But often get same result

But often get same result NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Focus on simplicity to increase behavior

“Simplicity is a function of your scarcest resource at that moment.”

- BJ Fogg

Factors of ability

Time Money Physical effort Brain cycles Social deviance Non-routine

Differ by person and context

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Twitter homepage

Twitter homepage 2009 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

2009

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Twitter homepage

Twitter homepage 2010 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

2010

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Twitter homepage

Twitter homepage 2012 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

2012

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Evolution of Twitter

2009
2009
2010
2010
2012
2012

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In summary

Action is the second step of the hook.

The action is the simplest behavior the user can do before getting rewarded.

To increase behavior:

Ensure a clear trigger is present.

Increase ability by making it easier.

Align with the right motivator.

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Your turn

Map the steps users take to solve their problem with your product.

Start with o $ -line internal trigger

through your interface

to the reward, the point where the problem is alleviated a bit.

10 min activity

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Quora mobile app

Internal trigger = Bored + curious

Action =

1 - click app icon

2 - sign-in if not already

3 - scroll

Am I bored anymore? If not, that’s the reward. Reward = see interesting questions

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The “scarcest resource”

Review the #ow and ask where is the action the most di " cult?

Which resource is lacking?

Time, money, physical e$ ort, brain cycles (too confusing), social deviance (too outside the norm) or non-routine (too new)

Brainstorm three testable ways to make the action easier.

10 min activity

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For homework

Does your “what it’s for?” messaging align with your users’ motivator?

Seek:

Avoid:

Pleasure

Pain

Hope

Fear

Acceptance

Rejection

Explore latent motivators you might hear from users.

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Variable rewards

Variable rewards NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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The brain and rewards

The brain and rewards Source: Olds and Milner, 1945 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Source: Olds and Milner, 1945

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Reward system stimulators

Reward system stimulators NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Reward system stimulators NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Reward system stimulators NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Reward system stimulators NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Were Olds and Milner stimulating pleasure? (not exactly)

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The stress of desire

Dopamine system activated by anticipation of reward

And dampened when reward achieved

of reward • And dampened when reward achieved NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal Source: Knutson et al

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Source: Knutson et al 2001

To supercharge the “stress of desire” add variability

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Ann’s story

Su $ erers from Parkinson’s

Treatment includes dopamine boosters

Becomes a compulsive gambler

Why?

Treatment includes dopamine boosters • Becomes a compulsive gambler • Why? NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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The endless search

We crave predictability

Compulsion to make sense of cause and e $ ect

Dopamine system drives the search

Compulsion to make sense of cause and e $ ect • Dopamine system drives the search

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Curious by nature

Curious by nature NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Variable rewards

the Tribe
the
Tribe
the Hunt
the
Hunt
the
the
Self
Self

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Search for social rewards

the Tribe
the
Tribe

- Acceptance

- Sex

- Power

- Empathetic joy

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Rewards of the tribe

Rewards of the tribe NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Rewards of the tribe

Rewards of the tribe NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Rewards of the tribe

Rewards of the tribe “experience taking” NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

“experience taking”

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Search for resources

the Hunt
the
Hunt

- Food

- Money

- Information

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Rewards of the hunt:

search for resources

Rewards of the hunt: search for resources NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Rewards of the hunt:

search for resources

Rewards of the hunt: search for resources NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Rewards of the hunt:

search for information

Rewards of the hunt: search for information NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Dare you not to scroll NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Dare you not to scroll NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
Dare you not to scroll NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Dare you not to scroll

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Search for sensation

the

Self
Self

- Mastery

- Consistency

- Competency

- Purpose

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Rewards of the self:

competency and mastery

Rewards of the self: competency and mastery NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Rewards of the self:

competency and mastery

Rewards of the self: competency and mastery NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Farmville fatigue

Farmville fatigue Source: Sterne Agee analyst report 2012 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Source: Sterne Agee analyst report 2012

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Rewards decay

As rewards become predictable, they become less novel

Finite Variability In !nite Variability - Single-player games - Multi-player games - Consumption of media
Finite Variability
In !nite Variability
- Single-player games
- Multi-player games
- Consumption of
media
- Creation of content
- Communities
- Finishing a race
-
Running for pleasure
or competition

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Gut check

Does the reward have an in !nitely variable component?

Is the reward authentic and meaningful?

Does it satisfy the internal trigger, the problem the user came to solve?

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In summary

Variable reward is the third step of the hook.

Levers for variability include:

Reward type (Tribe, Hunt, Self)

Frequency (how often)

Amplitude (how high or low the valence of emotional response)

Authentic, in! nitely variable, and provides a solution to user’s problem.

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Your turn

Take a look at your user # ow. Does your reward o$ er something that keeps the user looking for more?

Brainstorm 3 ways you could add variability to the reward. Consider the search for rewards of the:

Tribe (rewards conferred by others)

Hunt (rewards of resources)

Self (rewards of personal mastery, control, purpose)

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Investments

Investments NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Investment

Investment • Where user does a bit of “work.” • “Pays” with something of value: time,

Where user does a bit of “work.”

“Pays” with something of value: time, money, social capital, e$ ort, emotional commitment, personal data

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Increase likelihood of next pass

Done in anticipation of future rewards

Makes next pass through hook more likely by:

Loading the next trigger

Storing value

Increase preference

Improving the service

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Pinterest (consumer)

T

Facebook, Twitter, WOM

Boredom, curiosity, mental fatigue

I

Join

Scroll

A

VR

Objects of desire (Hunt)

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Pinterest (curator)

T

Email noti !cation

Lonesome, seeking connection

I

Pin, Re-Pin, Like, Comment

Log-in

A

VR

Communication

(Tribe)

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Loading the trigger in Any.do

Investment into the product with time, data, and social capital

Loads the next external trigger by connecting to calendar.

and social capital • Loads the next external trigger by connecting to calendar. NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com

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Storing value
Storing value

Data

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Storing value
Storing value

Followers

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Storing value
Storing value

Reputation

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Storing value

Storing value Content NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Content

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Increasing

preference

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Endowment e $ect

When chimps given juice bar and peanut butter, 50/50 preference split.

When given PB !rst, 80% chose to keep rather than exchange.

The “endowed” item was preferred

Only worked for food

Source: Brosnan et al 2007

“endowed” item was preferred • Only worked for food Source: Brosnan et al 2007 NIR EYAL
“endowed” item was preferred • Only worked for food Source: Brosnan et al 2007 NIR EYAL

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Labor is love

Labor is love • Value own work almost as much as an expert’s. • Even if

Value own work almost as much as an expert’s.

Even if other’s don’t.

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Source: Ariely, Mochon and Norton, 2012

Labor increases value

People who pick lottery numbers assign greater odds.

Source: Langer, 1975

Labor increases value • People who pick lottery numbers assign greater odds. Source: Langer, 1975

Others’ labor increases value

Others’ labor increases value Source: Buell and Norton, 2011 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Source: Buell and Norton, 2011

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Others’ labor increases value

Search took same time.

People “seeing” the work perceived more value.

Source: Buell and Norton, 2011

• People “seeing” the work perceived more value. Source: Buell and Norton, 2011 NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com

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As we invest, we endow and tend to overvalue.

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Rationalization and commitment

Rationalization and commitment Jesse Schell, Professor of game design, Carnegie Mellon University NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com

Jesse Schell, Professor of game design,

Carnegie Mellon University

NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Preference cycle

Preference cycle Investment: “Should I ‘spend’ on this?” Con ! rmation: “Since I spent on it
Preference cycle Investment: “Should I ‘spend’ on this?” Con ! rmation: “Since I spent on it

Investment:

“Should I ‘spend’ on this?”

Con !rmation:

“Since I spent on it before, and I am not an idiot, it must be good.”

Rationalization:

“Only an idiot would have ‘spent’ on something not good.”

Rationalization: “Only an idiot would have ‘spent’ on something not good.” NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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“Adaptive preference formation”

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NIR EYAL
NirAndFar.com
@nireyal

Changing preferences to be more compatible with the situation.

We acquire preferences to serve our need to be consistent.

Relieve pain of cognitive dissonance.

Source: Jon Esler, 1983

Little investments, big results

Little investments, big results Source: Freedman & Fraser, 1966 Group 1: 17% accepted Group 2: 76%

Source: Freedman & Fraser, 1966

Group 1:

17% accepted Group 2:

76% accepted

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Acquiring taste

Think of the ! rst time you tried spicy food or alcohol.

Acquiring taste follows similar patterns of rationalization to avoid cognitive dissonance.

Change ourselves as we change our preferences.

“I’m a

drinker.”

• Change ourselves as we change our preferences. • “I’m a drinker.” NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
• Change ourselves as we change our preferences. • “I’m a drinker.” NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

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Creating preference

We overvalue the results of our labor (endowment e $ ect)

But need to rationalize this irrational value (cognitive dissonance)

One way to do this is to change our taste (adaptive preference formation)

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In summary

Investment is the fourth step of the hook.

Small amounts of work to increase the likelihood of the user returning by:

Loading the next trigger

Storing value

Increasing preference

Improving the service

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Your turn

Take a look at your user # ow. Is your user asked to invest after or before the reward?

Brainstorm 3 ways you could add small investments into the user experience to:

Load the next trigger

Store value

Increase preference

Improve the service with use

10 min activity

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Hooks create engagement

Low High engagement engagement - External triggers - Low preference - Internal triggers - High
Low
High
engagement
engagement
- External
triggers
- Low
preference
- Internal
triggers
- High
preference

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The hook canvas

Trigger

2. External trigger - What gets the user to the product?

1. Internal trigger - What does

the user really want?

Investment

5. What makes the user want to

come back? Has the user put in a bit of work to increase the odds of returning?

Action

3. What does the user

have to do to receive the reward? How can it be made simpler?

Variable Reward

4. What’s the reward?

Does it give the user what she wants? Does it maintain an element of surprise?

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T

Icon on phone

Email

Procrastinate, anxiety, thoughts of others

I

Write back

A

Open unread messages

R

Tribe, hunt and self

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T

I

Facebook

A

R

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With more hook cycles

With more hook cycles Greater loyalty, increased price inelasticity, greater satisfaction. NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
With more hook cycles Greater loyalty, increased price inelasticity, greater satisfaction. NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal
With more hook cycles Greater loyalty, increased price inelasticity, greater satisfaction. NIR EYAL NirAndFar.com @nireyal

Greater loyalty, increased price inelasticity, greater satisfaction.

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3 hypotheses

What will you test?

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Now go test it

Thank you!

Please take this survey:

OpinionToUs.com

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