If you’re reading this, chances are that this article is just one of many pieces of content you’ve consumed today.
And if this is the first, it likely only marks the beginning of your daily screen time, which averages about 5 hours and 43 minutes for American adults, according to Nielsen’s 2020 audience report. If you’re thinking to yourself, not me…just head over to Settings on your iPhone and click Screen Time to see your personal daily average.
Yeah, it’s excessive. For many adults in the U.S., that’s nearly 25 percent of our entire day spent staring at a computer, tablet, TV, and/or phone. To top it all off, the same Nielsen report shares that we’re connected to some form of media, including radio, 50 percent of the time at about 12 hours and 20 minutes per day. We’re addicted to put it lightly, and comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan recently took to Instagram to share his latest book recommendation on this very subject.
Rogan calls Adam Alter’s “Irresistible” a “sobering read” for its coverage, not only on behavioral addiction, but also the root of our compulsions. Alter, an associate professor of psychology and marketing at New York University, dives into the intentional design choices that are made specifically to keep consumers in a constant loop of interaction, addiction, repeat. In addition to exposing the power of today’s products, he offers ways to use them productively and constructively, as well.
Though “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked” was originally published in 2017, the book is only more relevant today, as COVID-19 has likely increased our daily usage significantly.
For more information check out Adam Alter’s TED Talk:
Read ahead for more recommendations that hack how product developers, marketers, and technology companies hack user behavior.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal explains the Hook Model, a four-step process many successful companies embed into their products to encourage user return. Written for product managers, designers, and anyone else who’s interested in learning how behavior is influenced.
INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan offers all the tools for success, from tips on how to structure a strong product organization to advice on delivering products that drive engagement and business. The product management thought leader shares his own stories as well as profiles of some of the most prominent members of today’s tech giants.
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk uses science and research to help designers increase effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability through their work. This book is the ultimate guide to understanding how people tick.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger questions how things become popular and answers what qualifies content to have viral potential. By looking at the way information spreads via social media and word of mouth, Berger offers techniques for making your own products or ideas worthy of sharing.