Addictive Experience

There are some features or way of doing things that trigger addiction in users.


Seeming to have multiple choices

  • Menus, catalogs, lists, etc. are examples of apparent choices.
  • In reality someone or an algorithm limited the user to those specific options.

Slot machine behavior

  • Red notification counters, number of likes, etc, are like slots machines that create addiction
  • The addiction is created by variable reward. The result always changes.
  • This is why we constantly go back to check the statuses of the apps.

Fear of Missing Something Important (FOMSI)

  • inducing a “1% chance you could be missing something important.
  • not being able to unsubscribe from newsletters, groups, unfriend people, etc.

Social Approval

We’re all vulnerable to social approval. The need to belong, to be approved or appreciated by our peers is among the highest human motivations.

  • when you get tagged in a picture by a friend who was incentivized by the app

Social reciprocity

  • follow me and I follow back
  • receive a message, respond a message
  • add in linkedin, add back

Bottomless bowls, infinite feeds, AutoPlay

Designed to seduce the user into consume longer

Instant interruption

The instant part of an interruption gives an urgent tone that it's hard to ignore

  • millions of interruptions all the time
  • instant messages, push notifications, pop-ups, etc.

Bundling Your Reasons with Their Reasons

When the tech companies make the user believe that he choses to do what he is doing, but in reality the user was induced to think that

Forecasting time

  • Apps should start forecasting time required to spend on a specific CTA before clicking on it.
  • Like Medium warns the readers how long will it take to read an article.


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