Benefits of designing User Experience for a personal financial toolbox using online whiteboard

User Experience techniques focus on the deep understanding of users in order to improve the product or service to meet customer’s needs. It is applied in almost any sphere, but it is of vital importance for startups where effective UX means survival on the market. One of our users — a startup from Amsterdam decided to improve the process of designing user experience and used RealtimeBoard online whiteboard to map the process on the endless sharable canvas.

The results are awesome — “RealtimeBoard helps the whole team save time and be more efficient”, says Marcel Hadderingh, Jr User Experience Designer. We asked Marcel to share some more tips and insights on designing user experience that could be helpful for other startups.

Marcel Hadderingh, Jr User Experience Designer at a startup in Amsterdam.

Marcel Hadderingh, Jr User Experience Designer at a startup in Amsterdam. Previously he worked on freelance UX projects and completed a course in Experience Design at Hyper Island in Amsterdam. He is keen on the whole range of creating digital experiences: from figuring out people’s needs to getting pixel perfect.

Marcel about his team

We are building a personal financial toolbox to help people save money, time and reduce financial risks. Our busy team consists of 10 people who are the founders, developers, designers and content creators. Some of them work full-time, others are part-time employees. We are a small team, so everybody accomplishes a variety of different tasks. I mostly work on the design and functionality of the platform.

Approximately 30% of the time is devoted to collaboration tasks. We discuss projects and make decisions during regular standups and team meetings. Remote colleagues also participate in the discussions thanks to modern collaboration tools.

Challenges of mapping User Experience

Some of my deliverables consist of user stories, scenario maps, wireframes and visual design. And I found it difficult to recreate digitally, what I had created on the wall. I was looking for a solution to combine offline activities with flows in Sketch, cells in Excel, prototypes in Axure and to be able to share the results of UX process easily.

I realized we didn’t have the right tool for the job that could make the whole team see the big picture. I’ve tried some tools, but they just did not feel quite right:

  • it was difficult to share deliverables internally;
  • the tools were designed for personal work, while we wanted to maintain an active collaboration;
  • adding comments to documents could be more efficient.

Actually, we wanted to have an exact copy of what was on the wall, but in a digital platform. That’s how we found RealtimeBoard.

  • RealtimeBoard looks like a real whiteboard but in the browser.
  • RealtimeBoard’s endless canvas is great since I don’t like canvas restrictions at all.
  • It is easy to export RealtimeBoard boards as PDF, JPG or save them to Google Drive. Also, I can easily share the boards with colleagues and create teams.
  • Commenting is a handy feature. I have allowed my colleagues to access the board so they can leave meaningful comments to my work.
User Story Map

User Story Map

Online whiteboarding experience in details

It was easy to get started with RealtimeBoard right away without reading any instructions. The icons and navigation are very clear, so I did not have to think how to use it. Its intuitive interface is one of the reasons I kept it in my armoury.

My colleagues share this opinion as well, so they started to use RealtimeBoard in other projects. Online whiteboarding experience has significantly improved our workflow.

We save a lot of time due to simple navigation, intuitive interface, prompt dragging and editing items. It has a nice screen balance between the canvas and the toolbar. Many tools I have used before have cumbersome menus and toolbars, making the canvas quite small. RealtimeBoard has a sidebar that does not take up too much space. Meaning that I am more focused on creating an end product than on the interface of the tool.

RealtimeBoard interface explained

RealtimeBoard interface explained

Moreover, I can zoom out for a top view, or zoom in for a more detailed view. It is very handy when the canvas gets big. However, I am still discovering other helpful features, like frames, and real-time collaboration.

Achieved results

As I said earlier, I was looking for a solution to combine offline activities with flows in Sketch and to be able to easily share the results of UX process. With RealtimeBoard I can create few different flows with screens and notes in seconds. I just need to drag and drop the screens I designed in Sketch, add some notes, and click Share to start a collaboration with my colleague. So RealtimeBoard helps me and me present my end products in a more neat and professional manner.

Moreover, RealtimeBoard helps the whole team save time and be more efficient. We use it not long ago, but there is a huge improvement in how we share information and how we work with the data.

I would recommend trying RealtimeBoard to all teams who use physical boards because it can improve different whiteboarding use cases. As RealtimeBoard made my user experience workflow readable, shareable and editable, it can improve your processes too.

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