You’ve joined the ranks of the addicted! And thanks to a greater understanding of how our brains work, the ranks are growing. Product designers are increasingly savvy about how to create cues and triggers that bring about addictive behavior in users.
Some experts are sounding the alarm. Sean Parker, of all people, is wringing his hands about how Facebook is destroying children’s brains. But for every post or piece about the dangers of behavioral manipulation, there are two more that explain exactly how to go about it.
And we’ve been reading them. While much of the work we do is about encouraging trial for new products, we get bonus points for retention…
Test Your Willpower
Gambling is one obvious form of addiction, but casinos mess with your brain in subtler ways than you might think. It’s not just about the undeniable pleasure of pressing red buttons; there’s a lot of statistics too. Think you can’t become addicted? Try this slot machine test and see for yourself.
Send The Sunshine
Ever wonder why Instagram is so addictive? Maybe it’s because its co-founder, Mike Krieger, took a class with B.J. Fogg, the founder of “behavior design.” This piece delves into the world of triggered responses, where your most basic emotional needs are fulfilled before you even realize what you’re looking for. If you are wondering about the ethics of designing for addiction, this is a good place to start.
Build Your Own Addictive Product
Looking to build your own addictive product? Read this book or (more briefly) keep these 5 things in mind for driving “engagement.”