How to pimp your virtual whiteboard for a remote workshop? ☁️ 🖥

Jérémy Jodeau
July 14, 2020

Advice, tips, and reflex to optimize your virtual whiteboard


2 months ago, work patterns changed all of a sudden and left us very little time to prepare ourselves for this new organization. We had to learn how to run Design Sprints remotely.

Indeed, before this crazy period, we were all familiar with running design sprints from a room with all the participants around the table. We used to work with slides, post-its, whiteboards… But from home, it gets complicated! Now we do them around a virtual whiteboard.

So how do you make a perfect whiteboard for remote design sprint?

Don’t worry, collaborative applications such as whiteboard apps help you do just that. But you have to follow some rules and tips ….

How to prepare your whiteboard or remote workshop/design sprint support?


Humanize the whiteboard and participants
: By using pictures, especially of the participants, it will make it easier for participants to visualize the speakers. It can also remind them of who is facilitating a particular workshop.


Tell a story:
When you are making a PPT presentation, you often tell a story as your slides are scrolling. You have a hand in the presentation. In a virtual whiteboard, you don’t have the hand and the participant has the ability to navigate the whiteboard on their own. He or she must then understand just by navigating the board the story you want to tell in the workshop. Add arrows, comments, reflections … the whiteboard must be self-supporting and explicit enough about the approach you want to implement.


Add the agenda
: Most of the tools offer a feature that allows you to have an agenda on the right side/side pannel. It is important that the participants can estimate all the activities.


Indicate the instructions
: As in any workshop, it is important to indicate the instructions for the activities. May you encounter a technical problem during your presentation, having the instructions annotated will allow participants to do the exercise even if you are not there.


Repeat the instructions next to the features/zone
: Feel free to repeat the instructions as close as possible to the feature. Participants may be beginners and may not be familiar with how whiteboards work. It is therefore important to accompany them throughout the workshop.


Estimate the right number of post-its
: If you are planning a post-it workshop, it is important to plan the right number of post-its. Avoid putting too many. This way, your participants will not be embarrassed if they only have one idea and your tool will not be slowed down.


Provide summary areas:
In order to avoid having to search through the whiteboard, it may be necessary to provide areas to summarize activities from the previous day. For example, It could be interesting to place the long term goal or the most voted question sprints from the day before in your Day 2 area.


Add a parking lot zone :
in order to keep good ideas during discussions or sharing They are often lost because there is no place to put them on the boards.


Plan a back-up solution
: As with videoconferencing tools, disruptions can occur due to too many connections. It is therefore important to always have a backup solution: a collaborative google slide for example or a word file accessible to all.


Use in-whiteboard emoji
: In some tools, it is better to user in-house emoji and not your own high-quality emoji or image.

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👏Finally, we would like to thank you a lot for your support!👏

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