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Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
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A Summary of

Nir Eyal on designing healthy habits – and the psychology behind them

Adam Risman
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Build Products that Create Beneficial Habits

  • Don't build products for addictive use.

The Best Product Doesn’t Always Win

  • Google doesn't differ much from Bing.
  • Google has a greater market share than Bing because it was the first of its kind.

When Should Businesses Take Advantage of Making Habit-Forming Products?

  • Not every business needs to form a habit to be successful (e.g. Car insurance), but the same four steps of trigger, action, reward, and investment apply to every enterprise.

Successful Habit-Forming Apps

  • Pocket allows users to save online articles for later, eliminating an unhealthy habit of media overconsumption.

Well-designed products should answer five fundamental questions.

  1. What’s the internal trigger?
  2. External trigger?
  3. What’s the action?
  4. What’s the reward?
  5. How do we increase the likelihood of the user engagement in the future?

Manipulation in Product Design

  • All design is a form of manipulation.
  • Ask yourself these two questions to determine if your manipulation is ethical:
  • Do you think what you’re working on materially improves peoples’ lives?
  • Are you the user?
  • Golden Rule: “Don’t do unto others what they would not want done to them”

Deeper Design Starts Inside the User’s Brain

  • Product design typically starts with the problem a user is trying to solve.
  • You can go one step further, and build for needs users don’t yet know they have.
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