Skip to main content

Anti-Pattern: Mystery Magic



The user does not want to be confounded, confused, or otherwise left in the dark as to how an algorithm has generated its result. 

Example of playful and vague language ("Your website totally rocks here!") used instead of providing context on how the numbers were arrived at in a web score generator.
The results of this AI measurement tool don't expand to show the details of how the outcome was reached, leaving users confused and uncertain about how the results were achieved or what to do next.

Anti-pattern response:

The system obfuscates the underlying algorithm and instead uses playful language—or indeed, no language at all—to suggest that the system is more than just a math machine (It's magical!) at inappropriate times.



The system explains nothing and hopes the user will either be unbothered by this, or perhaps will even be wowed at the "magic".