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Team of Industrial Engineers


Mastering User Engagement: The Hook Model Decoded

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

A 4 phase process to forming habits and improving user engagement


Introduction In the era of ever-evolving technology, creating products and services that not only attract users but keep them coming back is an art. Nir Eyal's Hook Model provides a strategic framework to understand and implement the psychology behind habit-forming experiences. This model, comprised of Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, and Investment, serves as a roadmap for designers and businesses aiming to build engaging and sticky user experiences.

Phase 1 Trigger:

Hook Model_Phase 1 Triggers

At the heart of the Hook Model lies the Trigger—the initial spark that prompts user engagement. Triggers can be external (such as a notification) or internal (emotional cues). Effective triggers create a seamless transition from awareness to action, laying the foundation for habit formation.

Phase 2 Action:


Following the trigger, users perform an action. This can range from scrolling through a news feed to clicking a link. Reducing friction in this step is essential to encourage users to take the desired action, ensuring a smooth and intuitive experience.

Phase 3 Variable Reward:

Three types of Variable Reward

The Variable Reward component introduces an element of surprise and unpredictability. By providing users with variable rewards—whether it's personalized content, discounts, or social validation—the Hook Model taps into the pleasure centers of the brain, making the experience not only engaging but also addictive.

Phase 4 Investment:


The final phase is Investment, where users invest time, effort, or data into the product or service. This step closes the loop, increasing the likelihood of users returning. Investments create a sense of ownership and commitment, solidifying the user's connection with the product.



The Hook Model is a powerful framework that sheds light on the psychology of user engagement. By understanding the triggers, actions, variable rewards, and investments that drive habitual use, businesses and creators can craft experiences that not only capture attention but also foster long-term user loyalty. Incorporating these principles into product and service design can be a game-changer in the competitive landscape of the digital world. Embrace the Hook Model, and watch as your users become not just consumers, but devoted enthusiasts.


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