Ever felt that sudden urge to scroll through your social media feed for no reason at all?
Scroll scroll scroll…
YES? (you aren’t alone)
Scroll scroll scroll…
Then don’t just blame yourself, blame your unconscious mind too.
In his book Thinking Fast & Slow, Daniel Kahneman divided the human mind into two systems. System 1(Unconscious) & System 2(Conscious). These systems are an artificial construct, used just to demonstrate the utility of years worth of research.
System-1 is unconscious, fast, automatic and error-prone. They come into play for your everyday decisions. System-1 thinking is involved when someone asks you “What colour t-shirt are you wearing?”
System-2 is conscious, slow, lazy but very reliable when used. They come into play when you make complex decisions. System-2 thinking is involved when someone asks you “What is 24×31”
You have no conscious control over System-1. It is a locked door and weird things happen behind that door that affects a major portion of what you do & who you are. All of it without your notice.
Glad you asked 🙂
The world today is full of distractions. Everyone wants a piece of your attention. Friends, family and the most eager of them all — The Companies
“Thank you for choosing us as your favourite app”. But is it you, the conscious (System-2) you, that they really have to thank? Sometimes, but mostly, it’s the unconscious (System-1) part of your mind that does most of the work for them.
Designers have leveraged the System-1 for some time now. Don’t get me wrong when I say leveraged. Much of it has helped us in ways we couldn’t imagine.
What makes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter some of the most used apps on the planet?
How do they manage to get you and me “HOOKED”?
Well, you can divide the process into 4 simple steps, known as The Hook Model (As described in the book “Hooked” by Nir Eyal)
- Variable Reward
A trigger can be anything that motivates the user to act. They are of two types:
- External Trigger
- Internal Trigger
External triggers are things in your environment that tell you what to do next. It can be the “call-to-action” buttons, marketing ads or that tiny “red notification thingy” on your phone.
They are external entities that try their best to motivate you to use a product.
But what designers don’t think about enough are Internal Triggers.
An internal trigger tells us what to do next, but the instructions are stored inside your head i.e. you are self-motivated.
One thing to take particular notice is that most of the times the internal motivation is a negative emotion.
For example, What do most of you do:
- When bored? You scroll through Instagram.
- When lonely? You go through Facebook.
- When uncertain? You Google it.
Your brain loathes all these uncertainties and boredom. Companies, harness this fact to your benefit and many a time to theirs.
What is even more interesting is that you do all of these with no or little conscious thought.
Even before you deliberate why you are using a product, you are already online.
This is you, under the control of System-1. Most of the time you don’t deliberate simple actions like opening an app because they have become second nature. System-2 being lazy, would simply play along with System-1 until YOU push your lazy System-2 to be the decision maker.