How To Apply Visual Thinking to an Online Whiteboard

Nearly 65% of the general public are visual thinkers. This means that they will both learn and communicate best through visual elements, and will process words best as a series of visual references. Being a visual thinker doesn’t mean that you have to be good at drawing or designing, however, it simply references how your brain processes information and one great way to process information is by using a virtual whiteboard. 

Sometimes it is difficult for a visual thinker to explain their thoughts in words, and they may also fail to accurately capture the image circulating in their mind. Eventually, a visual thinker tends to use visual thinking aids such as charts, whiteboards, pictures, and diagrams. This is where online whiteboards come in.

An online collaborative whiteboard, like Fresco, can help engage visual thinking exercises for a distributed team, as well as a well-connected one. Being able to create custom boards and visualize information on them is a great way to promote unique contributions for teams and create channels of communication that are familiar to everyone. To ensure effective communication, it is crucial to understand the role that visual thinking tools play in overall communication. This article will detail some of the benefits of implementing visual thinking and how online whiteboards catalyze these benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Using Visual Thinking on an Online Whiteboard? 

Visual thinking can be beneficial on many different fronts. It can help visual thinkers get ideas out of their heads as well as help others understand complex problems through visualization. During a remote meeting, product display, brainstorming new ideas, virtual client meeting, and online presentation, there will always be a need for visual explanations. This is where online whiteboards come in handy.  An online whiteboard can help you get the idea or message across while offering the following visual thinking advantages

Think Bigger

Thinking about the bigger picture involves looking at the issues, opportunities, risks, and solutions. A big picture thinker has always unique ideas, dreams, and creative solutions to possible problems. Thinking big is essential for any business to grow and succeed, and visual thinking is a great way to accomplish these goals. 

Online whiteboards create a huge editable space to share complex ideas as well as a range of icons, graphics, diagrams, and tools that can be used to great effect. Using these functions on an online whiteboard can help explain big ideas, draw models, create flow charts, or audit design styles. 

Spark Creativity

Using an online whiteboard as a visual thinking tool helps spark imagination, creativity, and innovation. As we know, imagination doesn’t always happen on an individual level. Ideas tend to evolve and get better when they skip between different perspectives. 

Organizations need to facilitate brainstorming sessions and creative thinking exercises in order to accumulate ideas, and online whiteboards are the perfect platform to facilitate these sessions. One of the effective ways to achieve this is through brainwriting. Brainwriting is a method of brainstorming that involves writing down your ideas, and passing them to other members who can try to extend them.

Boost Engagement

We’re often told to keep the text to a minimum during presentations. This is often partly because an excessive amount of text makes information hard to understand, but also because text-heavy presentations are boring. 

Replacing these long lines of text with visuals such as photos, graphs or flow charts can really help boost engagement in your presentations. To actually boost engagement, include activities that actively encourage participation within the meeting. Something as simple as asking participants to use a sticky note to feature their name on the attendee’s list can help people feel more committed and engaged.

Improve Memory and Accessibility

There’s no denying that seeing your name in bold next to an action item is more likely to inspire you to reply than verbally agreeing to something during a gathering. That’s why visual project tracking tools like graphic templates, customer empathy maps, and Kanban boards are great ways to trace group projects.

Additionally, because you’re conducting these exercises on an online whiteboard, these materials will be accessible forever, making the takeaways much more permanent than an in-person equivalent. That allows people to access their board anytime they want, retrieving lost memories and implementing them into their workflow.


Using an online whiteboard might not be the perfect solution for every occasion, but when it comes to visual thinking exercises, they’re incredibly important. If you want to learn more about how visual thinking is different from design thinking, just check out that article here, and for all of your other collaborative content stay tuned to Fresco.


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