Category Archives: ideation/creation


Hook Model

Word: Hook Model

Definition: The cycle a successful product follows in order to reach the goal of unprompted user engagement, where in users return to the product consistently and often.

Reference: The Hook Model comes from Nir Eyal’s book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.

Thoughts: In Eyal’s book, he describes the Hook Model process as a cycle, consisting of a trigger (external and/or internal), an action, a variable reward, and then an investment. Rinse and repeat.

Let’s break down each step a bit for a better understanding: The trigger is the actuator of the behavior, like an alert or notification. The action comes next, which is essentially, the behavior a user performs in anticipation of a reward. The next step is the variable reward, which is the Hook Model’s way of creating user craving by initiating intrigue. Finally,  investment is when the user takes the step to input some work into the product or service. By investing time and energy, the odds increase dramatically that a user will pass through the Hook cycle again.

The Hook Model is an important tool to not only understand as a designer, but to build habit-forming products as well.


Double Diamond Process Model

Word: Double diamond process model

Definition: A graphical representation of the design process by breaking it into phases (discover, define, develop, and deliver). Each mode of thinking is displayed through diverging and converging paths.

Reference: The model was developed by the UK Design Council in 2005 to simplify the mapping of the design process.

Thoughts: Yes, I know it kind of looks like a maze, but let’s play follow the leader. The discovery portion typically includes a variety of research methodologies to better understand user needs. Next is the define phase is when the discoveries are aligned with business needs. This is followed by development where design solutions are developed and tested. And finally, the double diamond concludes with delivery, which includes final testing phases, approval and product launch. Don’t forget, that the beauty of this method is the diverging and converging of phases. Make sure not to slip down the waterfall.




Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Word: Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Definition: The smallest experiment that either proves or disproves assumptions about a business idea.

Thought: The MVP it is commonly misunderstand to mean the minimum feature set needed to create a working product. In that case, it might be better to use the MoSCoW Method instead which is created to facilitate feature prioritization.

Reference: The term minimum viable product was coined by SyncDev CEO Frank Robinson and later popularized by IMVU founder Eric Ries. For a deeper look on this topic the article “Putting the VP into MVP” on UX Booth is a great place to start.


Design Studio Method

Word: Design Studio

Definition: An ideation method that consists of rapid sketching, critique, and iteration. Typically performed in small groups, the purpose is to get all thoughts and ideas out and on paper as fast as possible and distill down the best ones. Often times, design studios will consists of a few rounds of sketching that are defined by various constraints. For example, you must draw 6 ideas in 5 minutes, no exceptions.

Thoughts: Design studios work best when they consist of diverse groups but balanced skill sets. The process is meant to be iterative, creative, and full of critique. This is not the place for thin skin. All thoughts and criticisms should be welcome. The idea is to work together and push teammates to think on their feet and be creative! I recommend conducting a design studio with large sheets of paper and a thick sharpie. The sharpie is key! When sketching quickly with a sharpie you are less likely to worry about the small details and focus on the larger more concrete ideas. This is not the time to sweat the small stuff!

For a deeper look into the intricacies of design studios, this is a great resource!

Question: I personally love this form of ideation no matter the size of the project. Do you? If not, what’s the drawback?