What is The Hook Model of Behavioral Design?

A hook model, also known as a hook canvas, is a user engagement tool or framework. Its goal is to guarantee that a person participates in an activity or interacts with a product on a regular basis.

In other words, it’s a set of tools that designers may employ to create something addictive or habit-forming. The paradigm combines behavioural theory, motivational theories, and habit formation theories, notably the Habit Loop.

In the world of social media and gaming, the Hook model is extremely prevalent. Part of the goal of goods in these sectors is to keep customers interested. This is necessary in order to keep “eyes on screen” so that advertising may be targeted at them.

How does the Hook Model Works?

Four stages are depicted on the Hook canvas. Trigger, action, changeable reward, and investment are the four elements. These steps are part of a continuous engagement cycle. The Habit Loop is made up of three components: trigger, action, and reward.

what is the hook model of behavioral design?


Triggers are a wake-up call. People are motivated to act by internal ideas, external circumstances, or stimuli. They either remind individuals of prior activities they’ve taken or alert them of fresh possibilities for action and involvement.

Triggers include notifications from social media networks, for example. Each message is intended to prompt a certain response. Most of the time, they cause the necessary application to open and interact with it.


The idea of triggers in the habit development loop is quite similar to that of cues. However, the word trigger connotes greater control and intention than cues. This is acceptable since addictive items are created with triggers in mind.

Variable Reward

The action is the bare minimum you want the person to take in order to connect with your product. In many cases, all that is required is to open an application and examine it. It may be to send a message or to interact with it in some cases.

Product designers strive to eliminate as much friction from the action process as feasible. Time, effort, and cost are all elements that make it simpler for a customer to complete the prompted action. As a result, the likelihood that they will do so increases.

It’s worth mentioning that many of these kinds of goods rely on advertising to make money. The primary goal of the activity is frequently to encourage people to look at displays so that tailored advertising may be provided.

The pay-out to the user for doing the activity is referred to as the reward. Rewards in traditional habits can take a variety of forms, including physical pleasure. However, rewards linked with social proof (being acknowledged by others), mastery (becoming better at things), and hunting (finding items / obtaining deals) are common in digital products.

The majority of products are made to generate varied rewards. Because ambiguity is more addicting than certainty, this is the case. Individuals are less inclined to behave if they know what benefits they will receive rather than if they are uncertain. When we don’t know what rewards we’ll get, there’s always the possibility that we’ll get a big one, which keeps us interested.


The Hook model incorporates the notion of investment into the Habit Loop. This section of the Hook canvas is based on the idea that individuals appreciate things to which they have contributed more than things to which they have not contributed.

This means that a product should be built to need a certain degree of user interaction from the start. Users’ involvement (whether in terms of time, effort, or anything else) strengthens their attachment to the product. As a result, the chance of them continuing to engage with it improves. Simply said, it aids in the product’s addictiveness.

Power of Habbits

“If it cannot be used for evil,” a reader recently commented to me, “it is not a superpower.” He is correct. And by this standard, habit design is a superpower. When employed constructively, habits may enrich people’s lives by providing them with pleasant and even nutritious routines. When exploited, habits may deteriorate into costly addictions.

However, whether we like it or not, habit-forming technology has already here. The fact that we now have more access to the web through our different gadgets also means that businesses now have increased access to us. As businesses combine this increased access with the capacity to gather and analyse our data at unprecedented rates, we risk a future in which everything becomes more addictive. This holy trinity of access, data, and speed opens up new avenues for habit-forming technology to seduce consumers. Businesses must understand how to use the power of Hooks to better people’s lives, while consumers must grasp how behaviour engineering works in order to protect themselves from undesired manipulation.

Important Considerations When Using the Hook Model

The extent to which a business can use a hook model to create habit-forming technology will increasingly determine whether goods and services succeed or fail.

Without the need for marketing, communications, or other external stimuli, habit-forming technology establishes connections with “internal triggers” that prompt users.

Associating internal triggers is accomplished by assembling the four components of a “Hook” – a trigger, an action, a variable reward, and an investment.

Consumers must grasp how habit-forming technology works in order to avoid undesired manipulation while yet benefiting from these advancements.

Businesses must grasp the mechanics of habit development in order to boost user engagement with their goods and services and eventually assist consumers in developing positive routines.

Advantages of using Hook Model

  • Helps in identifying the internal trigger personality like the place, emotion, routines and feeling.
  • Time Estimation
  • Cost Estimation
  • Physical Efforts required in the task

Disadvantages of using Hook Model

  • Requires time and effort to analyse.
  • Understanding the Variability can be crucial.

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