What’s a habit-forming product.

Nicole Hsieh
4 min readAug 1, 2021


You got me! This comfy bed totally forms my habit! That’s why I’m so lazy.

First to mind wins. Instead of relying on expensive marketing, habit-forming companies link their services to the users’ daily routines and emotions. — Hooked

Why do you check your Facebook while you’re waiting for the bus, and why do you search on Google when you have questions?

Because you want to kill your time and because google always knows the answers. It’s a habit, and it all comes from your internal triggers.

Four laws of behavior change.

Four laws of behavior change concept by James Clear.

First, it’s necessary to know how habits form. According to Atomic Habits by James Clear, there are four laws to create a new pattern.

  1. Cue

A cue makes us remind of something. We have tons of experiences in life, and if the experience is excellent, the next time you see a cue, it triggers you to do the things.

Tips: if you want to build a habit of reading, you should put your books in an obvious place that you will have a more significant opportunity to pick them up.

2. Crave

After you see the cue, you will start craving the rewards that it brought you last time.

Tips: if you want to build a habit of reading, make the rewards more attractive. Do your favorite thing after finishing reading.

3. Response

This is the time you take action against your craving. Then, you respond to what you desire, and it’s beneficial to make it easy to execute.

Tips: if you want to build a habit of reading, put your books in the living room that you can reach them every time quickly.

4. Reward

The reward is definitely the reason that triggers you to action. So not only it needs to be attractive, but it also needs to satisfy you immediately.

Tips: if you want to build a habit of reading, give yourself the reward you wish to the most RIGHT AFTER you read. Immediate rewards will urge you to stick to the habit.

This can also be used to create users’ habits.

Today, small start-up teams can profoundly change behavior by guiding users through a series of experiences I call hooks. The more often users run through these hooks, the more likely they are to form habits. — Hooked

Have you noticed many products now use the method to form habits for users to stick to their products? I found that the book “Hooked” by James Clear mentions “the hooked model,” and it’s highly relevant to “four laws of behavior change.”

The Hooked Model

The Hooked Model companies use to form habits.
  1. Trigger

A trigger is just like the “cue,” and it’s the actuator of behavior.

There are two types of triggers: internal and external. Habit-forming products often start by building users’ external triggers. They use methods such as e-mail or website links.

And what companies want is to turn the external trigger into the internal trigger like Facebook and Google. They become customers’ “first to mind” and become users’ everyday routine.

2. Action

The action here combines the “crave” and the “response.”

After users’ been triggered, they take action because they anticipate a reward.

3. Variable reward

A variable reward is like the “reward,” and it’s the key to creating a craving.

In this case, companies could add some variability to make users more desire the reward since predictable one’s eagerness doesn't stay long.

4. Investment

The investment is the one for companies. In this phase, when customers invest their time, data, effort, social capital, or money in the products, they are more likely to make another pass through to the cycle in the future.

To sum up

No matter for personal or company, you should make good use of these tactics to form habits. So start to do it, and it doesn’t matter if the step is small because you can find yourself greatly improved in a few months.

Content inspired by the books Atomic Habits by James Clear and Hooked by Nir Eyal.



Nicole Hsieh

Sharing some important life perspectives with the cute Corgi photos.❤️