We describe the iterative design, development and learning process we undertook to produce Gabber, a digital platform that aims to support distributed capture of spoken interviews and discussions, and their qualitative analysis. Our aim is to reduce both expertise and cost barriers associated with existing technologies, making the process more inclusive. Gabber structures distributed audio data capture, facilitates participatory sensemaking, and supports collaborative reuse of audio. We describe our design and development journey across three distinct field trials over a two-year period. Reflecting on the iterative design process, we offer insights into the challenges faced by non-experts throughout their qualitative practices, and provide guidance for researchers designing systems to support engagement in these practices.