What about the data model or database design? Should we be considering that
separate from the technology?
Sometimes I think the data model should be made before the interface because
an interface that strongly reflects the data model is easier to use. That
is, users can more easily create a mental model of the data. Even a
task-based interface should account for that.
However, I've also run across many projects where the data gets modeled
based on how the user wants to approach the problem. This seems to be more
of a case in search and taxonomy however. Also, I've seen many projects
where the data model was so business centric that it was a major limitation
on the usability of the application.
Solutions? My thought is design data related to search functions after the
interface. Data the model for other data before the inteface while taking
into consideration users' mental models. Any one see holes in that?