Deep collaborations between tool-makers and tool-users may support insight through making

One of the key claims of Insight through making is that Effective system design requires insights drawn from serious contexts of use. But Great tool-makers are often not great tool-users, and vice-versa, so it’s difficult to create powerful contexts for thinking thorough making. Groups researching tools for thought need enough capacity to build prototypes suitable for serious work. One approach is to closely pair a tool-maker with a tool-user. Ideally they’re deeply immersed in each other’s work, perhaps to the point that they can produce (bad) original insight in their counterpart’s domain.

This approach also allows each person to remain focused and avoid switching costs: Mental states of deep software development and deep research thinking are mutually exclusive.

More on these collaborations: