Editor’s Note: This excerpt is authored by Nir Eyal and appears in Michal Levin’s new book, Designing Multi-Device Experiences. Nir Eyal is also the author of Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit Forming Products and blogs at NirAndFar.com.
Allow me to take liberties with a philosophical question reworked for our digital age. If an app fails in the App Store and no one is around to use it, does it make a difference? Unlike the age-old thought experiment involving trees in forests, the answer to this riddle is easy. No!
Without engagement, your product might as well not exist. No matter how tastefully designed or ingeniously viral, without users coming back, your app is toast.
How, then, to design for engagement? And as if that were not challenging enough, how should products that touch users across multiple devices, like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, keep people coming back?
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