Book Review : Hooked

As many of my regular readers will know, I’ve got a bit more than a passing interest in how we all make decisions, how we make (and break) habits and how we’re  influenced and persuaded into taking one route over another. It’s such a in depth interest I’ve even written an ebook on the books I’ve read which help me make better decisions every single day (you can pick this up for free here).

However this weeks review is a view of decision making and habit forming from a different perspective. This weeks book looks at decision making and habit forming from the perspective of “product design”.

Have you ever wondered, especially if you’re in business, how some firms seem to build loyal customers by the millions and ensure that these customers return to using their service time and time again? Have you wondered why we seem compelled to use some products and services daily but we find others less compelling?

Some of the answers you’re seeking (if you’re seeking answers for these questions) can be found in this weeks book…

Hooked (22)

by Nir Eyal

In this book Nir (who can also be found at his brilliant blog – explains a process which designers, business owners and professional people can use to design more compelling products. However the book is an interesting one for a few extra reasons…

Firstly, as I’m reading it, I find myself thinking about the products I’m ‘hooked’ on and what compels me to carry on visiting time and time again.

Secondly it helped me think about product designed and what we potentially could have done better (and also what we did ok at) when designing AE in a Box.


Lastly it made me think about how we continuously improve our platform, AE in a Box,  to make sure it meets not only the needs of it’s users but also how we could make it both more helpful, useful and compelling at the same time. The book also gave me a few ideas on what I mind want to think about developing next…

An interesting chapter in the book talks about the ethics of ‘addictive products’ and Nir shares a simple yet insightful model for you to test whether your product (which could potentially be more ‘addictive’ with the help of Nir’s book) is ethical.

Personally I believe every business owner or product designer should consider whether their product is being designed, built and launched helps as opposed to hinders people in their lives.

The debate is an interesting one The fact that a product is addictive to use doesn’t mean that it’s not detrm. One particular example is how Fitbit have turned fitness into a game to the benefit of millions of people (including me) now leading healthier lives.

However there are digital products you could argue which are addictive but aren’t particularly positive, for example, online gambling.

My only criticism of ‘hooked’ is that it won’t be for everybody (which

It’s a book written for designers (and aspiring designers) of products, start up founders and individuals interested in how products are built.

If you’re looking for a page turner of a novel then ‘hooked’ probably isn’t for you (The next review will deliver a review of a book you must read!)

However if, like me, you’re interested in business or digital product design or psychology then Hooked is really worth picking up…

You can pick up your copy of “Hooked” here…

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