Intuitive Magic

By Andi Gladwin - Wednesday, August 28, 2019


In the user interface design world, we refer to a design as being "intuitive." While there's no formal definition of this term, most designers know it to mean that a user is able to understand and use a system immediately without consciously thinking about how to do it. They use it intuitively.

It occurred to me that Legacy is one of the very few magic tricks where the method is intuitive. Most multiple out effects (sorry for tipping the method a little there!) require you to remember a sequence of "outs." Think about Vernon's "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" and how one must work through the scenario in your head in order to correctly reveal the card. But Legacy is completely intuitive — you simply look down at the spread of cards and immediately know how to bring the effect to a conclusion.

Therefore, unlike other self-working effects, this one doesn't really require the magician to even remember the sequence. That's not to say that the performer shouldn't practice, rehearse and fully understand the effect, but that if he or she ever draws a blank, the effect is intuitive enough to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Are there other effects that are intuitive? I'll certainly be on the lookout for them now.


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