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Illusive Design Pattern
Optimizing algorithms without feedback for retention.
- Content and interactions that the user is familiar with and relies upon suddenly change with no feedback. Examples include follower count lowered from bot removal and search results updates.
- Algorithm promotes posting a lot to not lose out. The exposure and visibility is determined not by the quality, but by how active you are and the number of followers. The less you use a platform, the less you’ll appear in search results.
- Buying followers.
- Products like Twitter and Instagram limit the exposure of content for money.
- Products like Twitter allowing the use of bots to drive engagement.
- Fear of reading reviews or medical symptoms due to disproportionate number of complaints.
- Products like Facebook primed users when adding their own email address as default.
- Products like OKCupid uses their algorithm to manipulate what profiles users see.
- Intentionally limiting a users reach without feedback, also known as shadow-banning.
- Negativity Bias
- Loss Aversion
- Anxiety: Unexpected changes bring uncertainty.
- Status Play: Lowered if losing followers causing negative emotions.
- Personalization e.g. Did I do something wrong?
- Overgeneralization e.g. I’m always screwing up.
- Jumping to Conclusions e.g. Is it because of me?
- Transparency: Reduce anxiety by removing uncertainty and explaining algorithm updates.
Don Norman Principles
- Feedback: None is provided.
Jakob Nielson Principles
- User Control: No choice is provided and impact is immediate.