Here is a review of a few products which attempt to enhance personal safety and below are my highlights from reading Hooked; How To Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

→ To initiate action, doing must be easier than thinking

→ Habit ==  a behavior done with little or no conscious thought

Fogg’s Behavior Model: Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger


All humans are motivated to:

  • seek pleasure and avoid pain
  • seek hope and avoid fear
  • seek social acceptance and avoid rejection

Dr. Edward Deci’s definition of Motivation: the energy for action

Motivation defines the level of desire to take that action

Denis J. Hauptly in his book Something Really New: Three Simple Steps to Creating Truly Innovative Products

  • understand the reason people use a product or service
  • lay out the steps the customer must take to get the job done
  • once the series of tasks from intention to outcome is understood, simply start removing steps until you reach the simplest possible process

“Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time… Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

→ Consequently, any technology or product that significantly reduces the steps to complete a task will enjoy high adoption rates by the people it assists.

Fogg’s Elements of Simplicity:

  • time – how long it takes to complete an action.
  • money – the fiscal cost of taking an action.
  • physical effort – the amount of labor involved in taking the action.
  • brain cycle  – the level of mental effort and focus required to take an action.
  • social deviance – how accepted the behavior is by others.
  • non routine – “How much the action matches or disrupts existing routines.”

→ Treat simplicity as a function of the user’s scarcest resource, understand what makes it difficult for the user to accomplish the desired action.

→ The easier an action, the more likely the user is to do it and to continue the cycle through the next phase of the Hook Model.

→ Appearance of scarcity affects the perception of value.

→ A product can decrease in perceived value if it starts of as scarce and becomes abundant.

→ The mind takes shortcuts informed by our surrounding to make quick and sometimes erroneous judgments. The Framing Heuristic not only influences our behaviors; it literally changes how our brain perceives pleasure.

→ People often anchor to one piece of information when making a decision

Seductive Interaction Design by Stephen Anderson – built a tool called Mental Notes to help designers build better products through heuristics. 


→ all business help users achieve an objective, reducing the steps needed to complete the intended outcome increases the likelihood of that outcome.

→ Variable Reward Phase: you reward your users by solving a problem, reinforcing their motivation for the action taken in the previous phase.

→ Nucleus Accumbens  is activated by anticipation to pleasurable results. Variablitly increases activity in it and spikes levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, driving our hungry search for rewards.

→ To hold our attention , production must have an ongoing degree of novelty

→ Habits help us conserve our attention for other things while we go about the tasks we perform with little or no conscious thought.

→ When we encounter something outside the norm we suddenly become aware of it again. Novelty sparks our interest , makes us pay attention.

Rewards of the Tribe, the Hunt and the Self:

→  Our brains are adapted to seek rewards that make us feel accepted, attractive, important and included.

→ Rewards of the tribe keep users coming back, wanting more.

→  Rewards of the self:

  • fueled by “intrinsic motivation” as highlighted by the work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. Their self- determination theory spouses that people desire, among other things, to gain a sense of competency: we are driven to conquer obstacles, even if just for the satisfaction of doing to.
  • Adding an element of mystery to this goal makes pursuit all the more enticing.