Master the Whiteboard

You can do it.

Whiteboarding is a great way to quickly share ideas with your collaborators. Duh! Everyone knows that. But, how do you go from being the dude sitting at the glass-topped desk with their hands under the table to the person at the whiteboard inspiring and leading people in a creative discussion? It’s not as hard as you think. Everyone has ideas and anyone can do it. Here are some friendly and practical tips:

Focus on bigger concepts

One key thing to remember is that it’s about the concept, not the artistic merit that matters most. The goal is to get your audience to understand a new idea. Practice story telling with pictures. Try to think of quick simple ways to symbolically represent bigger concepts

Tip: use diagrams. Football coaches are known for their “x” and “o” diagrams to explain new plays to their team.

Be as deliberate as possible

Think of your idea carefully before you start drawing. Yes, whiteboarding is a fast activity, but that doesn’t mean you should rush. Take your time and explain what you’re thinking as you draw.

Tip: When drawing diagrams, start with one section at a time and keep the full story in mind as you go. Pause and think about what comes next before you start scribbling away.

Take cues from your audience

This is a collaborative activity. Try to dynamically engage with your audience. This will result in better end content and a more engaging session.

Tip: Ask questions as you go, incorporate feedback into your sketches and propose alternatives based on that feedback.

Express details with visual language, iconography and symbols.

To help express your ideas use simple techniques like careful Handwriting, different types of lines, line weights and symbolic dividers. Bullet points, icons, and signage are very useful as well.

Tip: Learn and employ a wide array of simple iconography. Not sure what to use? Just take a look at the Noun Project.


It might seem a bit trite, or even downright silly, but emoticons work well to communicate emotional concepts and read clearly immediately. Know your emoticons. Happy and sad are easy. Try to learn some more advanced expressions - surprise or doubt for instance. You can get lots of mileage out of them. Here are a few that you should be familiar with.

Tips: Emoticons can help express the key points of an experience where the user should be surprised or happy, ect. Or, in revisions for annotating where users get frustrated.

The Whiteboard Stencil

For ux design at the whiteboard nothing beats the UI Stencils Whiteboard stencil. Iterate quickly and efficiently with your team!

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