Human scale tools

Strive to build tools at human scale.

If a system is to serve the creative spirit, it must be entirely comprehensible to a single individual.

The point here is that the human potential manifests itself in individuals. To realize this potential, we must provide a medium that can be mastered by a single individual. Any barrier that exists between the user and some part of the system will eventually be a barrier to creative expression.

Alan Kay


By favoring tools over technique, we can unlock human potential that might have been missed due to lack of access. When building tools, strive for low floor, wide walls, high ceiling.


How can you make tools accessible to a single individual when the problem space is complex? Consider making a procedural paintbrush.


Tools are just one of 4 ways to augment thought. How can human-scale tools be complemented by human-scale language, methodology, and training?


Goal: access to tools, human-scale tools, for a range of fundamental needs.


Tools have highest creative leverage when human scale. Stories have highest emotional impact when human scale.