The secret of Tinder


The Presentation inside:

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The secret of Tinder


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Or.. The hunter’s loop And how to apply it to your products


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Ever wondered why Tinder is such an addictive dating platform?


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There are of course many reasons


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But I think that more than anything, Tinder is actually a casual game. (With benefits).


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Backboned with one of the most addictive loops I know: The hunter’s loop.


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Which is a primal, instinctive model wired to our brains.


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This model can be applied to almost everything, digital and tangible.


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Applied right, this could boost your product to a never before seen engagement.


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But before I spill the beans and tell you what it is..


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Make sure you have 5 minutes. This is the average reading time for this deck.


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I’ll introduce myself


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My name is Dori Adar, creative director at TabTale. I love games, digital products and junk food. [email protected]


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The hunter’s loop has 6 phases.


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Phase #1 Spotting patterns


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Spotting patterns 1 Spotting patterns is something that we are wired to do.


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Spotting patterns 1 Our brains loves this activity. We do it passively most of the time.


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Spotting patterns 1 Until we spot something that triggers an emotion.. the prey.


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Phase #2 Envisioning the prize


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envisioning the prize 2 Upon spotting the target, the hunter starts to feel her heart pounding faster


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envisioning the prize 2 She might look at an antelope, but what she really sees..


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envisioning the prize 2 Is the prize.


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envisioning the prize 2 If you ever filled up a lottery ticket and immediately started thinking of the millions to come, you know what I’m talking about.


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envisioning the prize 2 Envisioning the prize fills our hunter’s head with a “let’s do it” feeling


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envisioning the prize 2 Caused by the sweet dopamine doses the nerve cells now release


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This dose is just enough for what I call: the small act.


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Phase #3 The small act


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The hunter decides to act. A small, simple act. The small act 3


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She moves to place, aiming, waiting for the right moment to attack. The small act 3


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Phase #4 Anticipation phase


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During this phase dopamine keeps on kicking, ensuring she were more focused Anticipation 4


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Making the reward even more desirable. Anticipation 4


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This build up is extremely important. Without it the hunt would be emotionless.


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Phase #5 The big act


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The big act 5 Everything is channeled to the moment when the hunter goes for the battle!


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Phase #6 The reward


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The reward 6 (And if all went as planned) Winning the reward, the prize.


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This marks the end of the hunters loop, leaving the hunter hungry for the next one.


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Spotting patterns Finding the target Imagining the reward The small act Anticipation phase 1 2 3 4 Action starts. The reward 6 Action stops A few minutes The hunters loop


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Some casual games use this loop as the backbone of their game mechanic


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Although it is usually one phase shorter. No “big act” (phase #5) in a casual game.


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Or the game might become too complex and hardcore.


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Let me show you what I mean while deconstructing “Angry birds”


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1: spotting patterns


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1: spotting patterns 2: Envisioning the reward


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1: spotting patterns 2: Envisioning the reward 3: The small act


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1: spotting patterns 2: Envisioning the reward 3: The small act 4: Anticipation phase


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1: spotting patterns 2: Envisioning the reward 3: The small act 4: Anticipation phase 5: The (variable) reward


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This also works in Candy crush saga.


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1: spotting patterns 2: Envisioning the reward 3: The small act 4: anticipation (Chain reaction) 4: The (variable) reward


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As you can see, no “big acts” are needed here.


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But I want to stress out the importance of variable rewards, that we have just seen in those games.


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A variable reward is changing all the time. Sometimes small, sometimes big,


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Sometimes none.


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In a nutshell - this variability is what gets us hooked.


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Nir Eyal, the author of “Hooked” described it nicely:


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The light in the refrigerator is a nice reward, but constant. It’s always there.


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Therefore, not very exciting. This door will remain closed until we are hungry.


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However, if each time we opened the door we’d find a different snack inside...


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We would open this fridge A LOT.


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(BTW each time you share this presentation you will also see a different snack.)


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Now lets see how Tinder does it.


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1: Spotting patterns, finding the target


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1: Spotting patterns, finding the target 2: Envisioning the reward Whatever you imagine….


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1: Spotting patterns, finding the target 2: Envisioning the reward Whatever you imagine…. 3: The small act


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1: Spotting patterns, finding the target 2: Envisioning the reward Whatever you imagine…. 3: The small act 4: Anticipation Waiting for the answers...


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1: Spotting patterns, finding the target 2: Envisioning the reward Whatever you imagine…. 3: The small act 4: Anticipation Waiting... 5: reward


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Since tinder is also a “real-life” game, “It’s a match” is sometimes just triggering the big act (chatting, flirting, meeting)


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And the hunters could continue and get their tangible reward in real life


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Whatever it may be.


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But since most of the “tinder relationships” ends with “it’s a match” I argue that this phase is the digital reward.


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And because of Tinder’s mobile nature, it is all happening pretty fast, too.


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Which makes it a tight and perfect hunters loop.


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This reward is also variable. You know, “Some girls are bigger than others”.


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So what can we learn from applying the hunter loop into a digital product?


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1. Make sure the reward is super understandable and desirable, so the users could envision it.


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Make sure that the “small act” is indeed small, understandable and easy to do.


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Try to complete the loop within the digital realms, saving “big acts” for real life


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Remember the variable reward.


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I want to leave you with 2 more thoughts:


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Thought #1: Almost everyone is a hunter.


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People hunting for dates are a big market and their reward is clear.


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But people also hunt for art, food, jobs, experiences..


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Basically anything.


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Think how you can apply the hunters model in your product.


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Thought #2: There are also the gatherers.


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Gatherers act differently than hunters. Pinterest, for example, is a good product for gatherers.


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Think of your users. Who are they? Hunters or gatherers?


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Subscribe to get my next presentation on the gatherers loop


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And feel free to drop a line should you need some insights on your product!


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[email protected]


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P.S Did you learn something from this presentation?


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If the answer is yes.. Please share it!


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Though I lied about the different snacks appearing when sharing :P


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Thank you <3


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