I'm making a change in the software which should be unnoticeable to users. What would be a single word that describes it best? I'm looking for an adjective that fits into sentence such as 'This change will be _____ to the end user.'

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    Your title has it. Transparent is the word.
    – Kris
    Jul 30, 2018 at 10:52
  • 1
    How does subtle sound? Jul 30, 2018 at 10:58
  • In software, small often unnoticeable changes are referred to as "tweaks".
    – Patrick
    Jul 30, 2018 at 11:09
  • @Patrick tweaks may be small but not necessarily unnoticeable.
    – Kris
    Jul 30, 2018 at 11:27
  • @Kris that's why I said "often unnoticeable". While it's not the exact word she described I feel that it's a good fit for the context of software changes.
    – Patrick
    Jul 30, 2018 at 11:31

3 Answers 3


In software and hardware engineering the term would be "transparent".

For example:

Some devops heavyweights release software updates thousands of times per day — often so transparently that their users are not even aware.

From: Devops: Farewell to major software releases and welcome to transparent software

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    While transparent is the term that the engineers would use for this concept when communicating with each other, it should be noted that the general public would likely understand the term to mean precisely the opposite: that the inner workings of whatever is talked about are fully visible. The software engineers’ use of the term takes the inner workings themselves to be, metaphorically speaking, transparent, and thus invisible; in other contexts the implied metaphor is that of box, or an envelope that is transparent, so that what is inside it is visible.
    – jsw29
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:04
  • @jsw29 Excellent point. I had assumed (perhaps wrongly) that the mention of "the end user" in the question meant it was not aimed end users. But if it is, then there may be better choices.
    – user184130
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:28

Transparent things can be noticeable. A sheet of glass is transparent/translucent, but may be very noticeable. More transparency leads to less noticeability (thus the answer above talking about 'so transparent' (transparent would not need a quantifier if it was absolute).

Things that cannot be seen are invisible.


You're making a metaphor: if you use invisible or transparent, you're implying it would have been something someone else sees, or that the change would be something seen and not "felt" or "experienced."

So I disagree with using invisible/transparent. But one of the reasons you're in this rut is that you've started with this format:

'This change will be _____ to the end user.'

You're also loading the question by using "_____ to" instead of "_____ by" or "will be _____" instead of "will not be _____."

You're also making a statement about the 'end user' but what about the end user, specifically?

What about "This change will not impact the end user's experience."

That covers 0 performance change, 0 visual changes and does not make a physical metaphor about deployment or ideas towards the software.

If the format is a hard requirement, perhaps:

"This change will be inconsequential to the end user." But, is it? Does it actually make something else more efficient which in an indirect manner does have consequences for the user?

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