Building better products: Idea boards at work
Having a pool of ideas in front of you is great for switching on your creativity. But when you’re working in a team, it’s hard to collect everyone’s idea in the one place and time. Some people might have scribbled their ideas into a note book, others have notes in their phone, or even on sticky notes. So when it is time to share them, some ideas will invariably get lost and forgotten.
So when an organizational system isn’t put in place when it comes to idea generation, it can become time consuming and meaningless. This is why the concept of an Idea Board is a game-changer. By using an Idea Board you’ll be able to generate more ideas, then prioritize, organize, and refine those ideas to achieve more effective and productive brainstorming meetings. You will also experience further benefits such as centralized ideas that you can easily refer back to later.
So what is an Idea Board?
An Idea Board is a technique to generate a variety of ideas and then organize them in a clear, visual manner. All content, such as sticky notes, quotes, statistics or images, are arranged on a wall. While in the past this has been a physical wall, teams are turning to digital platforms as it’s much easier to store and safely retrieve their ideas.
So what sort of tasks are Idea Boards perfect for? We’ve found that teams love to use Idea Boards for brainstorming sessions, problem solving, and decision-making processes. The benefit of using digital Idea Boards is that they can be repurposed and constantly edited over a long period of time.
“We’ve eliminated the loss of information from one department to another, and it is especially useful because it is easy to forget verbal comments, but when posted on a board, one can read even what was written many months ago.”
–Cristina Udangiu, White Image Marketing
For example, a marketing team can benefit by using this as a brainstorming technique at the start of the year. Then next time you need ideas for your next marketing campaign, you can refer back to this great pool of ideas. Product design teams might use an Idea Board to combine customer feedback on one Idea Board and then generate more ideas from that feedback. Designers may find an Idea Board useful to pull inspiration for future designs, or to evaluate competitors products. The possibilities are endless!
Idea Boards in Conceptboard
If lack of inspiration is what’s stopping you, never fear, we’ve done the hard part for you and created a ready-to-use Idea Board template. It is fully customizable in terms of colours, sizes and shapes, so you can create an Idea Board that matches your personality or business branding.
And while there are no solid and fast rules around Idea Boards, we have put together some best practice tips for you to get the most out of your Idea Board in Conceptboard.
Creating your Idea Board
It is often helpful to create a welcome screen with tips and suggestions on how to leave comments or feedback, so your teammates know exactly what to do. Then you can invite your team to join the board and start contributing to the brainstormings session by clicking on the share button.
Adding to your Idea Board
Remember, no idea is a bad idea! The more ideas on your boards, the easier it will be to find a solution. When you are in the early stages of a productive brainstorming session, add anything that you come across that relates to the subject on your board!
Adding content into a board is very simple to do in Conceptboard. Simply drag and drop any image or text from your computer or the web directly into your board. You can insert most file formats. Any file types that are not supported can be accessed via the ‘Downloads & export’ dialog. Or, if you’ve found a relatable website that you would like your team to see, simply copy the URL link and paste it into the board. This will create an automatic sticky note.
Note: Sticky notes can be changed to the needs of your team. Color code them and change the size of the font to match your own style.
Sharing your Online Idea Board
Apart from taking a physical Idea Board off the wall, there are very limited ways you can show it to others, especially if you’re part of a remote team. This type of workflow tends to be static and not useful in today’s rapidly changing work culture. This is why a real-time collaboration tool is so valuable so you can easily share your Idea Boards with as many people as you need.
You can invite other users or guests to a board, so they can add their thoughts and ideas, by opening the access boards management dialog. When the group is finished jotting all ideas down, make the board “Read-only” by accessing the boards settings. This mode will still give other users and guests access to the board, but they cannot make changes to it.
It is also possible to make a physical copy of a board! Export your entire board to save it on your computer or to print it. You can also export specific sections from your board with ease. Remember, all comments and mark-ups will be exported as well, as long as the arrow-head of the comment is over the section.
Get started on your own Idea Board
Idea boards are flexible for any situation or work process. When used correctly, you can adjust them to the needs of your teams in the innovation process or for inspiration for future projects.