Category / Users

How to create habit-forming products

When Nathan Bashaw, CEO of Hardbound, reached out about doing a presentation around my book Hooked, I jumped at the chance.

Let me know what you think of the format below and please share with others.

The Science of Habit-Forming Products Click To Tweet

Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), has a quirky way of deciding which companies he likes. It’s called “The Toothbrush Test.” According to the New York Times, when Page looks at a potential company to acquire, he wants to know if the product is, like a toothbrush, “something you will use once or twice a day.”

How to Make a Customer Habit of Your Infrequently Used Product

Page clearly understands habits. As I wrote in my book,Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” frequently used products form sticky customer habits. But what if your product doesn’t pass Page’s Toothbrush Test? Perhaps you’d like people to use your product or service frequently, but it just doesn’t make sense to do so.

A few months ago, I was hired to present at a gathering of 700 real estate agents. The master of ceremonies made a gracious introduction, saying, “Now we’ll hear from Nir Eyal, an expert on consumer habits. Nir is going to teach us how to make home buying and selling into a habit!”

Learn how to hook users to your product in 3 steps

Changing user habits isn’t easy — but understanding how to conduct Habit Testing will increase your odds of success.

In this video, I provide a brief introduction to the three steps of Habit Testing. I explain how product designers use these steps to identify their devotees, codify what makes the product habit-forming, and modify the user experience accordingly.

Let me know what you think of the video and your own experience designing user habits in the comments section below.

Find out how to get users #Hooked to your product in three steps. Click To Tweet

Also, here’s a graphic to help you remember the 3 steps to Habit Testing — Identify, Codify, and Modify. If you find it helpful, don’t forget to share it.

Learn how to hook users to your product in 3 steps

My original article can be found here:

pablo

In years to come, conversations will breathe new life into software—particularly the boring enterprise tools millions of knowledge workers begrudgingly use every day. Conversational user interfaces (CUIs) work because of our familiarity with messaging. Even the most technically complex interactions can look as simple as getting an SMS text when presented as a conversation.

There are three benefits conversational user interfaces have over traditional software and we believe these lessons can inform and inspire the redesign of countless online services. To illustrate the potential of conversational interfaces, we’ve reimagined what Google Analytics, one of the most widely-used (and widely-despised) pieces of enterprise software could look like as a conversation.

Die Dashboards, Die! Why Conversations Will Reinvent Software Click To Tweet

What’s it all for anyway?

Before diving into our redesign, it is important to consider some fundamental questions. What is enterprise software for? What job does it do for the user?

Nir’s Note: This guest post is an excerpt from the new book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Factors that Shape Behavior, written by my friend and Wharton School professor, Jonah Berger.

book coverBeing different, the notion goes, is the route to success. Think different was even Apple’s motto for a period. And Apple is often held up as a poster child of the benefits of this ethos. Conventional wisdom suggests that products like the iPhone and Macintosh succeeded because they were different from the rest. Steve Jobs was a visionary because he thought different from everyone else.

There’s only one problem with this advice. It’s wrong.

In this video I discuss the psychology of sending good triggers. The video is based on an earlier post written with Ximena Vengoechea.

What do you think? What are some examples of well-timed triggers? Let me know in the comments.

About a year ago, I wrote an essay about how to win your competition’s customers habits.

Today, I’d like to share a quick video of the ideas in that article. Let me know what you think about this format and if you’d like to see more videos like this one…

Last week’s Habit Summit was amazing! It was wonderful to see so many blog readers and friends enjoying the keynotes — not to mention the Stanford sunshine.

Below is my opening presentation highlighting examples of companies changing user behavior for good.

Let me know if you can think of more examples in the comments section below.

BTW – If you couldn’t attend the Habit Summit, you can get a video pass to see all the talks you missed here: http://HabitSummitVideoPass.eventbrite.com

Whenever I feel uncomfortable writing about a topic, that’s when I know I should write about it. So here goes. This article is about how a new way of designing apps changed my life. But to explain the power of this trend, I need to tell you about poop. That’s the uncomfortable part.

For the past five years or so, I’ve struggled with intestinal discomfort. (I’ll spare you the gory details.) I spent countless hours crawling the web searching for a possible diagnosis and tried dozens of different remedies and diets. Nothing seemed to help.

Finally, I saw a gastroenterologist. He listened for all of five minutes while I described my symptoms and quickly jotted down a prescription for antibiotics. They worked for a while but soon the symptoms returned. I went back to the doc. A few tests were done and more antibiotics were dolled out. But the problems came back. Then again. And again.

If your new product or service isn’t gaining traction, ask yourself “What’s my California Roll?”

White dude eating sushi

I’ll admit, the bento box is an unlikely place to learn an important business lesson. But consider the California Roll — understanding the impact of this icon of Japanese dining can make all the difference between the success or failure of your product.

If you’ve ever felt the frustration of customers not biting, then you can sympathize with Japanese restaurant owners in America during the 1970s. Sushi consumption was all but non-existent. By all accounts, Americans were scared of the stuff. Eating raw fish was an aberration and to most, tofu and seaweed were punch lines, not food.

Then came the California Roll. While the origin of the famous maki is still contested, its impact is undeniable. The California Roll was made in the USA by combining familiar ingredients in a new way. Rice, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds, and crab meat — the only ingredient unfamiliar to the average American palate was the barely visible sliver of nori seaweed holding it all together.