How to create concepts online with RealtimeBoard

Anna | 4 min read

When you start working on any project, there’s always a ‘magic point’ – the point where your  ideas go somewhere from your mind and become not a random set of thoughts but a visible and harmonical system. We at RealtimeBoard love these magic moments and provide you with a lot of tools that can help you on your path to success, and the possibility of creating concepts online on the canvas is among them.  At the initial stage of a project concept maps can help you organize your thoughts, stay focused, easily explain your ideas to others and, finally, connect the dots. Learn how to create collaborative concepts online with RealtimeBoard – you’ll see that’s it’s super easy and fun.

3 things concepts can do for you when you develop your ideas

It is safe to say that picture worth a thousand words, and that’s true about all the projects. Hundreds of thousands of projects started from pen and paper, from a whiteboard, and, in a *future* paperless world, from online visualizations. And we think that there are 3 simple reasons why we need to make a concept before we start implementing anything:

#1. Concepts make you understand better causes and sequences at the initial stage of any project, hence, the probability of the mistakes during the next stages of project is much lower. It’s useful when you are starting your new business, working on an interface or plan an event.

#2. Concepts help you stay focused and organized. When you make anything visual, it becomes practical, and you can develop the idea and always see how the project evolves, describe what is more important and what is less important, etc.

#3. Finally, concepts help us explain things to others – they make us structure our chaotic thoughts and explain complex things in a simple visual form.  From our point of view, it the most important role of concepts as it really saves a lot of time and keeps everyone in the team on the same page.

Two major types of concepts online – notes and pictures

There are two major types of concepts – notes and pictures. That is not a methodology, but a simple way we use at RealtimeBoard to categorize the two types of concepts.

EXHIBITION (1)

Notes are usually used to describe processes, tasks and develop ideas. They can contain texts, sticky notes, links and simple shapes.

Pictures contain more visuals than words and include drawings, mockups, sketches, screenshots, pictures, videos etc. They are usually used to design the appearance and explain the behavior of the things – application, website, product or service.

While notes can be used anywhere and do not require preparation, visuals are usually a bit more complex and require special tools. RealtimeBoard allows you to create both types of concepts online and collaborate with your team in real time.

Notes

Idea boards

Idea board is a simple representation of your ideas, and it can be easily created with post-it notes. You can also use different colors for different types of ideas, mark up the most important things or things that you’ve already done. Idea boards help you visualize your creative thoughts quickly and stay focused.

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Concept maps and mind maps

Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts indicated by a link. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases, specify the relationship between the two concepts.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind map

Mind map

Tools may look similar and really have much in common, but actually they are different – mind maps are more flexible and they are can have only one single parent, and relationships in concept maps are usually more complex. See a short list of the differences below.

concept map

With RealtimeBoard tools you can create both collaborative mind maps and concept maps quickly. Just use texts, shapes and link tool to visualize a concept. Colors can also help in making a map more visual and attractive.

Business canvases

One of the most popular visual business tools, Ostervalder’s Business Model Canvas, allows you to visualize the concept of your business in simple 9 boxes. In our library you can also find Lean Canvas, App Development Canvas and Project canvas. Check our Visual Canvas Guide to learn more.

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Pictures

Sketches

A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. Sketches are widely used for different purposes: they might record something that the artist sees, they might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.

Use RealtimeBoard brush tool and different colors to create sketches for your projects. You can also add some icons from Iconfinder for better idea representation.

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Mockups and wireframes

Mockup is a scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for teaching, demonstration, design evaluation, promotion, and, of course, mockups and wireframes have become and essential part of a digital workflow. The wireframe depicts the page layout or arrangement of the website’s content, including interface elements and navigational systems.

Mockup

Mockup

You can also create a UI Map to see how the elements of your website or application are related and connected to each other.

Service design maps – experience map, empathy map, service blueprint, customer journey map and others

Service design tools include a lot of maps that can explain the users’ behavior and design better products and services. RealtimeBoard allows you to create service design concepts online with built-in templates, which include Customer journey map, Service blueprint, Empathy map and Personas (you can create other maps using RealtimeBoard tools – texts, shapes, colors, icons and more).

service blueprint

Try to create your concepts online with RealtimeBoard!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send us a note.

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