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The Hook model is a design tool that’s used to encourage people to actively engage in an activity. Appropriately rewarding someone when they perform an action increases the likelihood they will regularly return and develop habits that last. The model gained some notoriety over fears that it can alter the way in which we behave, and not always in a positive way. As with so many things, it all comes down to what it’s used for. In the right hands, can it actually be a force for good?


exercise gaming

What is the Hook model?


The Hook model overlaps with three key theories: behavioural theory, theories of habit formation, and theories of motivation. This creates a four stage canvas that forms a repeating cycle of engagement.




The first stage of the model is a call to action, or trigger. This can arise internally from thoughts, or externally from prompts and events. They remind the user of new opportunities for action and engagement on an ongoing basis.




Following the trigger, an action is performed. This is the minimum desired action a product designer wants the user to perform. It could be something as simple as opening an app or sending a message. Ideally as many points of friction will be removed as possible, lowering the barriers to action.


Variable Reward


Here’s where it gets interesting. Reward refers to the user pay-out after they’ve performed the desired action; variable rewards, however, provide uncertainty that keeps users on their toes. If a user is unsure of what awaits them they are more likely to return, hungry for more—the chance of receiving a larger reward actually acts to keep them engaged.




Last but not least comes the concept of investment. The underlying premise here is that users value things that they have contributed to. A product built with the Hook model in mind should require user inputs such as time or effort. This feeling of contribution builds a bond between the user and the product.



How does this apply to exercise gaming?


Put simply: perfectly. Any keen gamer will tell you that gaming can be a rather addictive passtime… but what if the time and money invested in games could be combined with fitness gains too? This is fitness gaming. This is Quell.
Quell is an RPG with depth, an immersive storyline, and compelling characters—all the elements that we think makes gaming great. We’ve taken this premise and combined that with truly effective exercise. Our wearable, the Gauntlet, has built-in, customisable resistance that builds muscle tone and endurance as you play,using  your fists as the controllers.
When used in exercise gaming products such as Quell, Ring Fit Adventure, BoxVR, and Fightcamp, the Hook model can help people develop healthy habits. Gaming provides a tangible feeling of progress and reward that helps overcome the barrier posed by the delayed gratification inherent in conventional exercise. That’s why we combined real gaming with real fitness, building something to help people commit to—and more importantly, love—working out.
Wondering how you can join the action? Here is a handy link to our pre-order site on IndieGoGo!


Pre-Order Quell Today

Quell is still available on Indiegogo. Don’t miss your chance to grab your copy before pre-orders close