Goodbye, InVision. Hello… Whiteboards?

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" > presentation of ui/ux design on a whiteboard

A couple of months ago, we shared news about the closure of Google Jamboard, and we are starting this year with a similar announcement. Unfortunately, by the end of 2024, we’ll be saying goodbye to yet another familiar face – InVision.

After the acquisition of Freehand (a well-known and loved visual collaboration tool) by Miro, now came the time for InVisions’s main design features to be officially shut down in December. We are sure that for many of us who tinkered a bit with prototyping, it’s a bittersweet moment, tinged with nostalgia.

But if you were not familiar with it or maybe started your design journey after the early 2010s – let us explain.

ui/ux designer working on their designs
Image: Canva.com

So… What is happening?

Well, even if you have never used InVision in your life, you should know that its closure certainly makes many designers feel sentimental, as they probably did their very first mockups right there, maybe even back in 2011.

Because, you see InVision back in its heyday, stood tall as THE design collaboration platform, being the designers’ go-to space for creating interactive prototypes and facilitating feedback on their designs. But, as it usually happens in the tech world, within a couple of years everything shifted, with new competitors emerging and resonating even louder with the design community.

Now, InVision’s role as a prototyping leader is being seamlessly assumed by Figma, a design tool boasting the same or similar built-in features that allow its users to create clickable and interactive designs. Figma’s additional offering, Figjam, further solidifies its standing with a digital whiteboarding tool similar to Miro or Mural.

So, what does InVision’s shutdown signify? Well, it can certainly serve as a poignant reminder that the design landscape is in a constant state of evolution. After all, witnessing such shifts allows us to gauge the features designers need and spot the rising stars in the ever-changing design tool arena.

It also begs the question: what’s next? How long will the Age of Figma last? When will that sun set and what will be the key feature or behavioral change that brings it about?

ui/ux designer drawing their ideas on paper
Image: Canva.com

What’s the bigger picture?

Well, in our opinion, one overarching point is that the evolution of digital tools is progressing rapidly. Countless digital tools are changing quickly and eating, copying, or outshining one another. However, they also have one key component in common: they’re digital! Despite this computerized frenzy, there’s a notable group of designers who cherish the tangible feel of analog tools – paper and whiteboards – especially during the initial ideation stages. After all, the act of sketching holds a unique charm like no other, fostering imagination and innovation. It’s often faster, more efficient, or more free-flowing than its digital counterpart. It can be appreciated if we’re doing it live or in front of a team or client, where you have to think fast and create even faster.

The challenge with purely analog solutions is that they don’t blend well with an otherwise digital workflow. All of that handiwork and initial ideation, essentially, has to be redone to be available to the cornucopia of digital tools upon which our teams rely. If only there was an app that could allow you to sketch up a wireframe on a whiteboard and then easily turn it into a digital file…

a presentation of ui/ux design
Image: Canva.com

ShareTheBoard bridges the digital-analog gap

Meet ShareTheBoard (STB), a revolutionary tool designed for those who find moments to excel with analog devices. STB allows designers to draw their ideas on a whiteboard (or even a simple sheet of paper) and effortlessly convert their creations into digital files – in real time. This approach allows them to retain the collaborative and spontaneous essence of sketching while simultaneously delivering the convenience of digital editing, etc.

With STB, the transition from a traditional whiteboard to digital content is effortless. The tool enables users to capture their plans and outlines, saving their work automatically every step of the way. And since it works in real time, it also makes hybrid and online meetings much easier, allowing you to share your physical canvas with everyone across the world! It not only identifies and amplifies any handwritten content, making it actually legible (anyone who has had the pleasure of using video conferencing tools for a whiteboarding session knows the struggle) but also removes the obstacles – in this case, the whiteboard user – keeping the ideas at the forefront. Finally, with the magic of AI, everything written on an analog surface can be instantly digitized or analyzed. No more rework, no more compromises.

Perhaps most importantly, STB shifts the focus back to the creator (vs. the tool), prioritizing people over digital doo-dads, and celebrating the charm of using traditional mediums. Designers can now draw their ideal wireframes on a whiteboard and preserve the instinctiveness and creativity associated with the well-known act of drawing by hand. The rest takes care of itself.

Summary

While InVision’s closure marks the end of an era, we’re also watching the beginning of a new one. It’s time for many of us to equip ourselves with not only brand-new tools but also fresh minds. Remember that true design power lies in our imagination and skills, not software.

That’s why with ShareTheBoard, we want to emphasize preserving the magic of analog while still embracing the advantages of the digital domain. We believe this combination will last much longer than a typical product life cycle.

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