When we released Boards, we knew teams would discover awesome new ways of using it that we had never even considered. What we didn’t know was that InVision’s own team would do the same!
We often get asked how the InVision team operates. For many of us, Boards is a huge piece of the puzzle.
Over time, Boards have become a flexible space not just for sharing design ideas and inspiration, but for so much more—project management, presentations, design documentation—the list goes on. We talked with our own team about how they use Boards to power their design process, and beyond.
For our designers
At the start of a project, Boards gets everyone on the same page right away and provides a malleable space to let ideas and inspiration run wild.
“Boards provides a flexible ecosystem for our brands at InVision.”
“As creative director, I can create a Board with some quick visuals of what I’m thinking, just to get the juices flowing,” said Aaron Stump, Vice President of Creative at InVision. Then, designers on the team contribute their thoughts and inspiration, using Boards as a freeform environment for ideas.
It’s easy to add assets, take things away, and meander down an idea’s path, just to see where it might lead.
When it comes time to move from inspiration to ideation, Boards provides a “flexible ecosystem for our brands,” Stump said.
The team will take what’s been provided and run with it, adding to the Board and taking things away, creating a family of assets that can be easily reviewed at a glance. When something doesn’t quite fit, it “sticks out like a sore thumb,” making consistency simple. That helps keep all the different assets consistent but also unique in their own right.
“Depending on what the project is, we can dig deeper, move it to prototyping, pull together a quick presentation—pretty much anything,” Stump explained.
“You don’t want twins or triplets—you want each piece to be unique while still looking like a family,” Stump said. “Boards lets us create that family.”
Creating an ideation Board for a project gives the team a 10,000-foot view. It allows everyone to see what’s working and what’s not as we define the direction of the design.
Once the entire design system is all together, putting it into a presentation for easy sharing and review is a breeze with Boards.
“With Boards, it takes less than an hour to create a portfolio-worthy presentation.”
Creating a portfolio-worthy presentation to share with a variety of stakeholders used to take an entire day. With Boards, it’s an hour or less. “Doing this manually takes forever. With a Board, it’s fast and also looks very professional,” Stump said.
Sometimes projects require bringing in collaborators from outside the organization. When we created Marketplace, we knew we wanted lifestyle photos to showcase the store’s designs. Making sure our photographer understood the project’s larger look and feel was crucial.
“Boards are phenomenal for contract work,” Stump said. “I did research into the art direction I wanted to pursue for Marketplace, put together a quick and easy Board that captured that, and shared it with the photographer. It’s professional and easy for creative people to grasp quickly.”
Okay, we know Boards is great for the creative side of things—but what about for someone like a product manager?
For PJ Onori, Product Manager at InVision, “Boards are living documents that persist throughout the design process.” As the team moves along, PJ can add requirements and feedback in a variety of formats to communicate clearly with every stakeholder at every point in the process.
“InVision Boards are living documents that persist throughout the design process.”
“Boards is right in front of you. If I do happen to have my designs in other tools, I can link to those from the Board. If I have sketches, I can include those. If I have a video, I can link to that,” he said.
For PJ, having a single source of truth for a product’s progress is critical. Boards provides that. And unlike in a prototype, where comments can be turned on or off, having all copy, feedback, and documentation within a single Board keeps everyone on the same page.
“Boards provide a single source of truth for a product’s progress.”
For the InVision team, Boards is easily one of the most widely used features, largely thanks to its flexibility. It’s perfect for exploring and iterating on a design idea, but it’s equally as handy when it comes to, well, herding cats.