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Lisa Min
Lisa Min

Akendi Alumnus

Innovation Techniques in Disguise: Hooked book review

As we know, successful product innovation is something that all product managers strive for. There are plenty of resources out there that provide various tips and tricks on how to achieve product innovation success. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret – innovation techniques are really user-centred design methodologies in disguise. I was recently reminded of this fact after having read ‘Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products’ by Nir Eyal.

In the book, Eyal describes the Hooked Model, a tool to help companies create innovative and addictive products.

The model consist of 4 steps: Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, and Investment and was developed based on understanding how humans form habits (a popular area of cognitive psychology research).

I won’t go into too much detail about the book, but I will highlight two key elements that struck me as UCD principles masked as innovation techniques.

  1. The Hooked model is based on having an excellent understanding of your user.  In fact, Eyal argues that the best products are created when the inventor is solving for a personal problem.  Though ideal, this is not always the case and there are several user research techniques that can come in handy to help address the gap.  These include but are not limited to ethnographic studies, experience journey mapping, and personas.
  2. Testing concepts with real users is also encouraged in Hooked.  Validating concepts by involving real end-users is really just another form of usability testing.  In order to do this well, you’ll likely have to create some rough prototypes to test out which is a key step to interaction design success as well.

So, executing the Hooked Model requires rigorous user research and design and validation exercises - all parts of the user-centred design life cycle.

Lisa Min
Lisa Min

Akendi Alumnus

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