Keep Them Coming Back: 23 Habit-Making Insights for Product-Minded Founders


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 20, 2023

4 min read


Keep Them Coming Back: 23 Habit-Making Insights for Product-Minded Founders

Behind every great product is an understanding of human psychology. While the features and functionality of a product are important, what truly matters is how users feel when using it. As a founder, it is crucial to have a clear vision of the emotional experience you want your users to have and engineer your product accordingly.

To create a habit-forming product, there are two key criteria to consider. Firstly, your product must satisfy a user need and provide real lasting value. Secondly, it must have sufficient frequency of use. If your product is not used again within a week's time or less, it becomes difficult to change consumer habits.

Understanding how your product makes people feel is essential. Many products are built to provide entertainment and maximize the user's entertainment value at any given moment. By tracking your user's emotional valence and designing for emotional payoff, you can create a product that resonates with them on a deeper level.

Game design principles can also be applied to product design. Games are built with toys that are fun on multiple levels, indulging in playful exploration and creating moments of pleasant surprise. If your product exhibits these qualities, you are on your way to building a great game-like experience.

Creating habits is like capturing the monopoly of the mind. When users form a habit around your product, they don't even consider whether the competition is making a better product. It is crucial to focus on capturing the user's mindshare and becoming an integral part of their daily routine.

The hook model provides a framework for creating habit-forming products. It consists of four steps: triggers, action, variable reward, and investment. Internal and external triggers prompt users to take action, while the variable reward keeps them engaged. The investment phase involves users putting something into the product to increase the likelihood of their next interaction.

To make your product stickier, you can leverage the concept of stored value. The more data, content, followers, or reputation users accrue on a platform, the more invested they become. This investment makes it harder for them to switch to a competitor, creating a competitive advantage for your product.

Understanding human needs and motivations is essential for creating habit-forming products. People want to feel successful, admired, financially secure, and loved. By designing your product to fulfill these needs and incorporating the ability chain model, you can create a sense of progression and motivate users to continue using your product.

Incorporating simplicity into your product design is crucial. The simpler the solution, the more likely people are to adopt and use it. People tend to follow the Law of Least Effort, so making your product easy to use and integrate into their lives increases the chances of habit formation.

Cultural diffusion and societal acceptance of a product or service play a significant role in its adoption. It is important to consider whether a culture is welcoming and accepting of a new technology or behavior. Additionally, balancing asynchronous and synchronous interactions can enhance the social feeling of community and reduce loneliness.

The best founders are great psychologists who understand human behavior and apply these insights to their product design. They identify trends that can lead to new habit formations and look for growth hooks in their products. The ability to rise above the noise and provide reasons for users to invite others to join is essential for achieving viral growth.

To create a truly impactful product, it is important to bring the user's life energy into it. By highlighting the effort and time users put into their content, you can enhance the sense of value and curiosity. This can be achieved by showcasing the time spent on a post or the effort put into creating something.

In conclusion, creating habit-forming products requires a deep understanding of human psychology and emotional experiences. By focusing on how users feel, incorporating game design principles, and leveraging the hook model, founders can keep users coming back. Additionally, simplicity, cultural acceptance, and the inclusion of young minds in the design process can further enhance the habit-forming potential of a product.

Three actionable advice to create habit-forming products:

  • 1. Understand your users' emotional valence and design your product to provide a satisfying emotional experience.
  • 2. Incorporate game design principles and create a product that is fun, playful, and provides moments of pleasant surprise.
  • 3. Leverage the hook model and design triggers, actions, variable rewards, and investment opportunities to keep users engaged and coming back to your product.

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