Digital whiteboards in the meeting room are a powerful way to facilitate collaboration for hybrid teams. However, if they are not easy to use, they can hinder collaboration instead of helping it.
Overview: Many digital whiteboards come equipped with multiple diverse features and configurations, offering versatility and range of use. However, the intended result is frequently unachieved. Each feature can become a potential tripping point that detracts from user-friendliness. Team members often stand around scratching their heads in confusion or poring over manuals to determine the best way to accomplish a task. Even worse, they may simply give up. Meanwhile, they accomplish nothing.
Ease of use is important for digital boards because the intention is to facilitate whiteboarding. If they don't do that, there's no point in using them. A digital whiteboard should be easy enough that users don't need a manual or tutorial to operate it. They should intuitively know how to use the digital whiteboard with little-to-no effort. If your digital whiteboard is not easy to use, it may be time to consider a different option.
Intuitive to use, yet digitally smart.
A proper collaborative whiteboard must be intuitive enough for anyone to use while also packing in features that allow collaboration.
1. Whiteboards that are intuitive for everyone - Choose a digital whiteboard with a simple interface, as a complex interface will be more difficult to use. The interface should be intuitive enough that even an unskilled individual can walk into the meeting, pick up a pen, and start engaging on the whiteboard. One way to accomplish this is to choose a whiteboard that looks and feels like a traditional analog dry-erase whiteboard. To test a new digital whiteboard in the meeting room, leave it turned on and see if a new, untrained individual gravitates to it and can use it without assistance.
2. Yet, the whiteboard must be digitally smart - Unless the whiteboard feels natural, team members will rarely utilize it. At the same time, it must have enough digital capabilities to make it superior to a traditional dry-erase whiteboard.
But here comes the hard question: what digital features are necessary? The answer is contingent on the intended audience. The team may require pre-existing templates, or they may want to create their own. Perhaps they have numerous projects that need sophisticated file management. The necessary digital features depend on the team and what it aims to accomplish. Yet, with hybrid work becoming a common need for many organizations, digital smart must include the ability to support hybrid work.
The digital whiteboard must include capabilities for team members to collaborate, such as the option to save digital copies of whiteboard content, exchange digital whiteboard content with remote team members, and use digital tools to annotate that content. The ability for local and remote users to collaborate as though they are in the same room is one of today's most significant distinctions between whiteboards.
Summary: For a digital whiteboard in the meeting room to be useful for your hybrid team, it must be easy to operate and have essential collaborative capabilities. Two essential questions that any IT manager must ask are:
1) Is it possible for new, untrained clients to use the meeting room whiteboard?
2) Can remote individuals contribute to the board as though they are in the same room while collaborating?
The answers to these questions will help you select the most productive whiteboarding solution for your hybrid team.
Learn more about FlatFrog's hybrid whiteboard solution at https://www.flatfrog.com/.