Have you ever tried communicating a concept design over text message?
Or perhaps you’ve had difficulty understanding instructions relayed over the phone?
Such communication limitations are now a thing of the past with the introduction of virtual whiteboard software.
We have reviewed three powerful virtual whiteboard solutions to help you maintain crystal clear clarity in all of your conversations.
Our review measures the effectiveness of each software in satisfying the following criteria:
- Ease of use
- Ease of installation
- Ease of collaboration
- Visual Clarity
The products below are not listed in any particular hierarchy:
Microsoft Whiteboard is a free digital canvas available on both Windows and IOS platforms.
It has been built with real-time collaboration as its core feature.
For best results, it is recommended that an integrated touch screen is used with a stylus.
We particularly like the myriad of illustration options available which includes different drawing profiles, colors and even posted notes.
With such a wide variety of presentation options to choose from, this software makes the visual communication of ideas an engaging and enjoyable process.
Installation is simple and free, just directly download it from the Microsoft website or via your mobile application store.
Setting up collaboration takes only a few steps.
Once you are signed in, click the “invite” button next to your name at the top of the screen and invite all collaborators.
Latency between devices is incredibly short; the contributions from all collaborators are visible in real-time across all devices.
3.) Visual Clarity
When collaborating live, the displayed information is crystal clear, although when exporting the canvas some have complained about a degree of blurriness as well as the inability to resize some components such as sticky notes.
Realtime Board is an online collaboration tool with over 2 million users.
It boasts an infinite canvas- if you run out of space merely zoom out to see the big picture.
There are many design templates to choose from, including flowcharts and roadmaps.
The software offers integration capabilities within a range of plugins including Google Docs and Dropbox, so you can access and edit the components of your project within their native formats.
This software can be installed on a mobile application on both IOS and Andriod by downloading it from the appropriate application store.
It can also be installed onto your computer (both Apple and Windows) by downloading it from the Realtime Board website.
The software is free with limited features. If you wish to upgrade to the paid subscription, prices start at $40 per month for five users when billed yearly.
Collaboration can either be performed live, or users can just add to the board whenever they log in. Any changes and additions are highlighted to help all users keep track of updates.
To invite other collaborators, after you have created a board, click the “invite members” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
3.) Visual Clarity
The canvas maintains a clear display of all information regardless of the number of user additions.
When zooming into the canvas, all components maintain clarity and focus.
You have the option of exporting each frame in different formats, including images, pdfs, and .csv files (.csv exports are used to transport task boards).
Aww App is a free virtual whiteboard software. It includes an integrated voice call capability that can conference up to 5 people at a time
The software can be directly accessed via any browser. It does not seem to offer a mobile application version.
The free subscription offers limited functionality and includes all of the fundamental tools required for collaboration such as free-form sketching, shape creation, and adding textual elements.
Upgrading to a paid subscription will give you the option of uploading images and files and also removing the irritating Adsense ads that take up much of the canvas real estate.
Premium plans start at $10 per month.
They offer a 14 day free trial of the premium subscription.
To add collaborators, click the green collaborate button in the left upper corner of the screen.
Aww App offers the option of sharing copies of the primary board with collaborators – original edits of these copies will not be displayed on the original canvas.
3.) Visual Clarity
Some users have raised the issue of collaborators not having the same objective reference coordinates. This results in collaborator edits being displayed in incorrect areas.
The software also does not offer templates to accelerate the design process (e.g., timeline, taskboards, etc.).
But regardless of the minor downfalls, if you are seeking a free and instant virtual whiteboard solution to communicate an impromptu thought process to a colleague or client, Aww App is perfect.
Communicating the breadth and depth of a creative process is exceptionally difficult within a one-dimensional voice or text conversation.
The tools above offer powerful visual solutions to help make remote team collaboration feel like everyone is in the same room.