Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

This book explains how different apps have been designed to be addictive. The more time we use them, the more personal information we give to be used for commercial purposes or to influence our political choices.

“The tech industry needs a new ethical bar. Google’s motto, “Don’t be evil,” is too vague. The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” leaves too much room for rationalization.

I’d argue that what we ought to be saying is, “Don’t do unto others what they would not want done to them.” But how can we know what users do and don’t want?

I humbly propose the “regret test.”

…If users would regret taking the action, the technique fails the regret test and shouldn’t be built into the product, because it manipulated people into doing something they didn’t want to do. Getting people to do something they didn’t want to do is no longer persuasion — it’s coercion.

So how do we tell if people regret using a product? Simple! We ask them.”