Today we’re kicking off a new series covering InVision features that get a little less of the limelight—including our tips and tricks on how you and your team can make the most of them.
And we’re starting with a blank slate: our whiteboard, Freehand.
Why we built Freehand & online whiteboarding into InVision
For visual thinkers like designers, the whiteboard serves as a powerful ideation and exploration tool. It lets you quickly convey ideas that might take hundreds of words to describe—all in just a couple strokes of a marker. Plus, its ephemeral nature encourages outside-the-box thinking. Going in the wrong direction? Just wipe it away and start again.
That’s exactly why we built a whiteboarding tool right into InVision. With it, team members and stakeholders around the world—or the meeting room table—can join in to create better prototypes, and hopefully, products.
How to use Freehand to whiteboard in InVision
You can use whiteboards 2 ways in InVision: pull 1 up in LiveShare, or start fresh, with a blank white space.
In LiveShare, you can invite team members into a shared space for a collaborative live session and start drawing right on top of your project’s screens. It’s a great way to quickly show what needs axing, moving, and tweaking.
With a blank whiteboard, the screen is your canvas. Draw wireframes, sketch notes, doodle amazing new 404 page concepts—anything’s fair game.
Benefits of digital whiteboarding
Using whiteboards to collaborate during the design process has a ton of tangible benefits. They’re great for remote teams, they’re helpful for non-designers, and they facilitate quick, real-world actions. Here’s how.
Real-time collaborative space for remote teams
The new design process comes with new best practices. One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen is the rise of distributed teams—people working together from home offices and coffee shops scattered across the globe. With the right tool set and processes in place, physical distance fades from memory, much like the “Let’s Stay Late” office pizza party.
A digital whiteboard bridges the gap between remote workers by providing an online space where multiple team members can discuss and mark up a design (or set of wireframes, new app, etc.).
Even if your teams aren’t distributed, whiteboarding has real value in a packed meeting room. Today, lots of meeting rooms have large displays in place, so a smarter whiteboard’s just a few clicks away.
Share design insights with the team
There comes a point in every design process when you’ve got to make sure everyone understands and is confident in the choices you’re making. When people aren’t confident in a projection’s direction, things get weird, fast.
Whiteboarding with your team can help you explain the thought processes behind your designs in a crystal-clear way. It’s like showing your work in a high school math class: people are just more comfortable with decisions when they understand the underlying logic.
With a few circles and arrows, you can quickly (and visually), call out things you’ve tried, placements you’ve considered, failures you’ve fixed and moved past. And having everyone on the same page is a beautiful thing.
Save “in the moment” decisions, act on them later
Unlike your old-school, IRL whiteboard, InVision’s online whiteboards make saving and acting on decisions as easy as sending an email.
Started with a blank whiteboard and ended with a killer set of wireframes? Email them to the designer. Scoured over your app’s newest feature in search of bugs visual and otherwise? Save the drawings along with some quick text descriptions, file with the developer, and get started on the fixes.
Tracking and logging progress is key to everyone on team moving in the same direction. Some folks like to see changes in a GitHub issue, some like to see them literally drawn all over the mocks. Capturing ideas in all forms is a great way to see things in a new light.
And with the text-input option, you can be sure that everyone can read your comments—unlike your handwriting.
Try whiteboarding with InVision
Every InVision account has access to Freehand’s whiteboard functionality, so log in and start collaborating today!
What InVision features and workflows would you love to learn more about? Let us know on Twitter @InVisionApp!
Clark is a UX designer in Austin, TX. Equal parts freelance, startup, and agency, he’s been rebuilt into a content producer with a designer-friendly interface.