Horrible User Stories: Episode 00

I like to tell myself, “Raul, you live in the future!” And indeed, I do live in the future. Technology rocks, I even have proof.


Behind every amazing technological innovation is a plan. I’d like to think that some of these plans follow a SCRUM process and they create user stories.

Unfortunately there are a lot of bad ideas out in the wild. Surely these amalgamations of ideas and technology must have had some type of user story or requirement to keep them on track. And yet, no one told them that they were creating a Horrible User Story

As a thirsty driver, I want to purchase a drink from the gas pump.

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This starts off as a good idea. You and your car are thirsty, let’s kill two birds with one stone. Then you get to the execution. A gas station terminal is not a web browser. It isn’t even as sophisticated as modern ATMs. Someone, somewhere, thought that using a gas station terminal to do more than enter your credit card info was a good idea. Surely anyone who is thirsty would choose to walk into the store and pick a beverage over browsing a tiny monochrome screen. This option just seems completely unneeded. It’s not faster, cooler, or easy. Why? It’s a mystery that will probably never be answered.

One last note. Usability is apparently so horrible that they have a five step guide on how to purchase your item at the pump. And the best part? Apparently you still have to go inside with your receipt. And I bet you have to pick out your items yourself. Welcome to the future.

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