Do you know the modern alternatives to using a whiteboard?
29/06/2020 7:37 PM by
A great way of collaborating a team or presenting a new solution to a client is using a visual display of your recommendations. Using a whiteboard is a great way of collaborating and brainstorming which works quite well. But a physical whiteboard is a large ugly object that takes up a fair amount of room, often isn’t kept clean, and doesn’t allow for people to collaborate remotely. There are modern alternatives that work even better, let's have a look at them.
Software consultants often use architecture diagrams to present a solution to the client. These graphical representations are used to help all of the stakeholders, the developers, the designers and the clients visualise the high-level structure of the system or application to ensure it covers all of the client requirements.
- Figure: An architecture diagram exists on established projects after many discussions.
- Figure: When working with people online, drawing on some paper, taking a photo, and emailing it… is the *least* collaborative way to work.
- Figure: Teams Whiteboard is a good collaborating tool while working online.
#1 Laptop and cast to a monitor (recommended)
Using your laptop or Ipad and then sharing your screen in a remote meeting and is easily saveable/sharable for later. There are many apps that allow you to sketch what you're talking about e.g.:
Mural (collaborative app)
- Microsoft Teams Whiteboard
- Microsoft Whiteboard
- diagrams.net (was draw.io) - often collaborative sketches generated above enable the creation of a beautiful architecture diagram (Do you make awesome documentation?)
Note: these work fine with a mouse, they work even better with touch screens, or pens/styluses
- Figure: Pens/Styluses help to draw better sketches
- Figure: Using Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams
- Figure: Using Microsoft Whiteboard App
#2 Tech Whiteboard replacement
Samsung Flip ($3k AUD)
- Figure: Using Samsung Flip
- Figure: Samsung Flip can be flipped from horizontal to vertical
Microsoft Surface Hub 2 (about $12K AUD)
- Figure: Using Microsoft Surface Hub
#3 Paper Whiteboard (Low tech – a large piece of paper)
Old school but it is great to have a pen in hand, you can always just grab a big piece of paper and draw on it together.
- Figure: Paper whiteboards don't work when someone is in Sydney and the other attendee is in Melbourne
#4 Whiteboard and marker - Low tech (ugly)
The traditional whiteboard.
Quote from Adam Cogan (apparently not a fan of whiteboards in a tech office):
I believe whiteboards are a sign of an old office… and they are ugly. They’re not a sign of a modern office.
Sometimes they are useful and I know some people really like them (generally older people).
I have seen the digital whiteboards (usually targeted at teachers) but I think they are horrible to use.
The common scenario is for a spec review. I am always happy when I see devs using their device and casting to the TV. And the subsequent notes get saved to Microsoft Teams.
- Figure: Whiteboards are not a sign of a modern office.
#5 Writable wall - Low tech (ugly)
Low tech (ugly) – Paint a wall to be writable or put some writable film on an office glass wall
- Figure: Writable walls can be dirty even after cleaning up
Do you feel this rule needs an update?