Story Interlude

Real Users Will Surprise You

At a company X training session, I had just said, Content-neutral data modelers can model just about anything. Naturally the reaction was Show me. Right then some noise in the hallway got my attention. A man was filling the vending machines and writing on paper. I called a timeout and talked to him for a bit. He had to fill out a report for each stop on his route. When I asked him if I could copy his form, he offered me a blank form. I asked instead to copy the one he had just filled out.

As we reverse engineered, we found that the form had labeled regions filled in with text and numbers (28 cans of diet cola) plus a surprise. The surprise was handwritten text splashed diagonally across the form: ...

Get Mastering Data Modeling: A User-Driven Approach now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.