As a first foray into the design research area, the study described in this paper was designed to improve novice users’ understanding of data modelling. The paper commences with a brief description of design research, then continues with an explanation as to why design research might be a successful methodology to use in information systems. What follows is a description of the genesis of this research project, with reference to the first iteration of the design research project. The paper then proceeds to describe the development of the various components of the experiment, including the evaluation scheme and the artefact, and concludes with brief comments as to the implications of the results.