User Stories From The Blokechain

bləʊk ʧeɪn Noun: any technology which attracts clueless men

User Stories are great! A simplified snippet to help you understand the problem you're facing. There are, of course, a vanishingly small number of genuine use-cases for the Blockchain. So cryptobores have to resort to ever more baroque explanations to sell their wares.

I recently stumbled on this absolute gem of a user story, and feel compared to share it with you in all its horror.

Description As a single girl having some fun at a dance club, Jasmine wants a disposable controllable "phone number" that she can easily give it to guys while dancing, and decide later if she wants to date them. So the guy dancing with her shouts, over the techno, "I really want to see you again, please give me your DID!" She shouts back, "I'm Jasmine who loves to dance." The phone number is actually a keyphrase that points to her DID, and is easily remembered. Once entered by the suitor, it associates his DID, that includes his photo so she can remember him, and just happens to include a verifiable rating for a VR game he developed, indicating that he actually has a job... unlike her ex who was a DJ and hopelessly unemployable. Also, there are a number of web of trust credentials from friends swearing he's a great guy. One friend is a friend of her friend, as indicated by the decentralized social graph, so she can check up on him before calling back in the morning. She does, and her friend reveals, "He looks sweet, but he's a total player." So she burns the DID connection so he cannot reach her, and the system offers a polite "decline to connect".


I'll grudgingly admit, there's the kernel of a good idea in there. If you can look past the misogyny and self-loathing. And the outdated colloquialisms.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Should user-stories contain such fully-realised characters? Does it help you understand the full context of what you're designing if you have a picture in your mind of your hypothetical users' deepest psychosexual neuroses?


But - please - don't create user-stories which just reinforce your desire about how the world should work. Go out and speak to real users. Yes, even girls. Find out what they want, how your products can genuinely help them, and what threat models they face.

Users are real people - they aren't cyphers for your fantasies.

Shout out to Robin Wilton for coining the term in 2015 - albeit in a different context.

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