hab·it [hab-it] noun
- an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains how habits are formed and what it takes to break an ingrained habit. The book references a 2006 study from Duke University that found that 40% of the actions that people perform each day are habits, not purposeful decisions. Habits impact our daily lives in many different ways, even in how we interact with websites and applications. Being aware of how habits may influence interactions users have with your products can help you design better user experiences.
The Habit Loop
Duhigg breaks down how habits are formed into a very simple habit loop:
- A cue triggers your brain to respond in a certain way
- You respond by doing a routine or action, which could be physical, mental, or emotional
- A reward is given for doing the routine, telling your brain that the habit is worth repeating in the future