Whiteboarding

What is whiteboarding?

Whiteboarding involves brainstorming and visually collaborating on ideas in a shared space. It can be done using a physical whiteboard and dry-erase markers, or with digital whiteboard software. Whether done face-to-face or remote, whiteboarding gives team members the opportunity to engage, ask questions, and share potential ideas for solutions.

Benefits of whiteboarding exercises

Whiteboarding exercises provide your team with a clear understanding of concepts and enable you to collaborate efficiently. Typically, these are done on the spot – where you can create and iterate during meetings in real-time. Here are a few of the key benefits of whiteboard exercises.

Visuals are easy to understand

Concepts are presented visually, so everyone on the team is able to easily absorb the information that the presenter is trying to introduce or explain.

Sessions are interactive

Not only is the presenter sharing ideas but the rest of the team contributes by asking questions or suggesting solutions. Everyone has the opportunity to collaborate ideas, making the entire process more engaging for all participants.

Creative thinking is stimulated

The interactive nature of whiteboarding sessions stimulates collaboration and creativity. The more ideas that are shared, the more likely it is that the end result will be creative and unique.

Meetings are more effective

At the start of a whiteboarding session, it can be helpful to write out the purpose of the meeting. This ensures all team members are aligned on the goals of the session. The risk of inefficient communication or wasted time decreases dramatically when all members are visually cued on the desired outcome of the meeting.

More concepts are explored

Because concept creation is happening visually and in real-time, your team can draft a large number of concepts in a short period of time. You have all the space you need to pitch ideas and iterate on them as needed.

UX whiteboarding design challenge

A whiteboard challenge is occasionally included in the hiring process for a UX designer. Candidates are posed with problems and asked to draft a solution on a whiteboard, then explain their design strategies. This is a quick and easy way to test problem-solving and communication skills in real-time before hiring a designer onto the team.

In a whiteboard challenge, time is limited, and candidates must be able to brainstorm solutions quickly. Candidates should focus on the purpose of the solution – how it affects the end-user and solves their pain points throughout the user flow. At the conclusion of a whiteboard design challenge, a candidate should clearly demonstrate how the user flow addresses the specific problems provided. This process provides employers with valuable insights into how a UX designer approaches problem-solving and applies strategic design thinking to their work.

Relevant Terms

Sketching

UI sketching is the process of drawing out your user interface ideas before diving deeper into the design process. It can be done with pen and paper or with a variety of online tools.

Prototyping

Prototyping is a crucial phase of any design project that uses an interactive, navigable version of wireframes to simulate how the final product will work.

Low-Fidelity Prototypes

Low-fidelity prototyping is a fundamental phase in the web design process. Ideas and concepts are presented using simple lines and shapes without concern for aesthetics or detailed content.

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