Playdoh and Silly Putty

Giff Constable design, product management

Why do we like working with our hands so much? What is it about making something tactile, that gets the brain engaged?

Whenever there is a complex decision to be made, and usually nothing is more hairy than prioritization debates, I like writing things out on index cards (one item per card, bonus if I have time to draw icons and pictures) that people can touch and move about. The data, which on a screen would make people’s eyes glaze over, comes to life when in tactile form.

When it comes to dot voting, should that be useful, I use M&Ms or skittles. The humor factor is nice, but again, I think there is something about making your vote something you can hold, bounce, weigh (even eat).

My theory is that for this to be effective, it’s more than just printing things out on paper. It has to be something you can touch, move, pick up.