Full Review - Hooked, Nir Eyal

Learn how to create products that engage and captivate users in this behavioral design guide.

“Hooked” is a groundbreaking book that explores how technology products create habits and influence user behavior. Written by behavioral design expert Nir Eyal, it's a practical and fascinating guide to designing products that engage and retain users.

The central themes covered include:

  1. The Hook Model : a four-step process (Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, Investment) that businesses can use to create product habits.
  2. The importance of habits in the success of the products. Products that create strong habits have a huge competitive advantage.
  3. The role of psychology in product design. Understanding what drives human behavior is critical to creating engaging products.
  4. Ethical implications behavioral design. With great power comes great responsibility.

Eyal argues convincingly that In an increasingly fun and competitive world, creating product habits is critical for long-term success. Successful businesses don't just sell products, they sell habits.

“Hooked” is distinguished by its balanced approach, combining theory and practice, ethics and efficiency. Eyal doesn't just explain how to create habits, he also explores when and why it's appropriate to do so.

Critical analysis

“Hooked” is a game-changing book for anyone who designs or markets digital products. Nir Eyal has succeeded in transforming complex concepts of psychology and behavioral design into an accessible and actionable guide.

One of the major highlights of the book is The Hook Model itself. By breaking down the habit formation process into four clear steps, Eyal provides a powerful framework that businesses of any size can use to improve engagement and retention.

Examples and case studies are another key asset. Eyal has a remarkable ability to dissect the success of the most addictive products of our time and to draw universal lessons from them. Anecdotes on Instagram, Snapchat, or Zynga make concepts tangible and memorable.

But “Hooked” is not just a handbook of manipulation tactics. It is also a nuanced reflection on ethics and responsibility in product design.. Eyal addresses the moral implications of creating habits head-on and provides guidelines for doing so ethically.

Perhaps the only downside is that some of the psychological concepts may seem a bit simplified. Eyal clearly had to find a balance between academic depth and accessibility, and sometimes the balance tilts a bit too much toward simplification.

Nevertheless, This is a minor weakness compared to the immense value offered by “Hooked”. It's a book that doesn't just theorize about user experience design, but gives readers a practical framework for implementing it.

Eyal's great strength is to make behavioral design both fascinating and accessible. Her enthusiasm for the potential of this discipline shines through every page and her writing style is engaging and persuasive.

With “Hooked,” Nir Eyal has produced what is arguably the definitive book on creating habit-forming products. It's a book that has the potential to transform the way we design and experience technology..

Things to remember

“Hooked” is full of valuable insights and lessons for anyone looking to design engaging and habit-forming products. :

  1. Habits are the new competitive capital. In a world saturated with choices, businesses that create strong habits have a huge advantage.
  2. The Hook Model is a four-step process for creating product habits. : Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, Investment.
  3. Triggers are the starting point for habits. They can be external (like a notification) or internal (like an emotion).
  4. The action should be as simple as possible. Reducing friction and simplifying the process increases the chances of the user taking action.
  5. Variable rewards are the secret of addictive products. Unpredictability and novelty boost dopamine and reinforce the habit.
  6. The user's investment increases the chances of them coming back. The more time, effort, or data a user invests in a product, the more likely they are to continue using it.
  7. Understanding psychology is essential for designing engaging products.. Designers need to put themselves in the user's shoes and understand their motivations and behaviors.
  8. Habit creation must be done ethically. Designers have a responsibility to create products that improve the lives of users, not who exploit them.
  9. The best product habits align with the wants and needs of users. They do not create new needs, but respond to existing needs in new ways.
  10. Habit formation is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Designers should constantly monitor, measure, and optimize the Hook Model.

By integrating these lessons, businesses of any size can start designing products and experiences that integrate seamlessly into the lives of their users, creating long-term value and loyalty.

Similar books

  • “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger
  • “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Author Background

Nir Eyal is a world-renowned expert in the field of behavioral design and product psychology.. He is considered to be one of the most influential and innovative voices in the tech world today.

Eyal started his career in the world of tech startups, working in areas such as advertising, video, and gaming. It was through these experiences that he began to observe and be interested in the psychological factors that drive people to compulsively adopt and use certain products.

This fascination led him to study psychology, marketing, and design in depth, seeking to understand the fundamental principles behind habit formation and user engagement.

The culmination of this research was the development of Hook model, a four-step framework that businesses can use to create product habits. This model, first introduced in “Hooked,” quickly became a key concept in the world of product design and user experience.

In addition to his work as an author and speaker, Eyal is also a sought-after investor and consultant, working with Fortune 500 companies and startups to help them design more engaging and more familiar products.

Eyal's influence on the field of product design cannot be overstated. His ideas have shaped how many tech companies design and develop their products. From giants like Facebook and Twitter to the most innovative startups, Eyal's concepts have become a core part of user-centered design strategies.

But Eyal is not only a theoretician, he is also an outstanding communicator. Her engaging writing style and talent for making complex concepts accessible have contributed to making “Hooked” an international success, with translations in over 20 languages.

Beyond his expertise in behavioral design, Eyal is recognized for his thoughtful and ethical approach. It not only seeks to understand how to influence behavior, but also when and why it is appropriate to do so. This ethical concern pervades all of his work.

With “Hooked,” Nir Eyal has given the world a precious gift: a clear and practical guide to designing products that truly improve the lives of users. His legacy continues to inspire and guide a new generation of designers and entrepreneurs who seek to create products that are not only engaging, but also meaningful.


Do you have to be a product designer to benefit from “Hooked”?

No, the principles of the Hook Model are useful for anyone involved in creating or marketing products, from marketing to management to entrepreneurship.

Is the book suitable for beginners in psychology or design?

Yes, Eyal excels at making complex concepts accessible to neophytes. However, some familiarity with basic marketing and psychological concepts is helpful.

Does the book provide step-by-step guides for implementing the Hook Model?

Yes, Eyal devotes a large part of the book to explaining each step of the model in detail, with concrete examples and practical tips for implementation.

Does Hooked” address the ethical implications of creating product habits?

Yes, that's one of the highlights of the book. Eyal devotes an entire chapter to the ethics of behavioral design and provides guidelines for creating habits in ways that are responsible and beneficial to the user.


In conclusion, “Hooked” by Nir Eyal is a groundbreaking book that has the potential to transform the way we design and experience products.. With its clear and actionable Hook Model, fascinating examples, and ethical, nuanced approach, it's much more than just a design book — it's a guide to creating products that truly improve the lives of users.

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned product designer, or simply someone curious to understand the psychology behind the products we're obsessed with, “Hooked” will give you the insights, tools, and inspiration you need to create truly engaging and meaningful experiences.

A fascinating and powerful book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the intersection of technology, psychology, and design.