I work with teams of varying size and we work together to build solutions on many different technology platforms. I often come across product or project managers who steer every design or strategy meeting with a PowerPoint deck. I’m not suggesting that these sessions should be agendaless; they are necessary evils intended to keep participants focused and on track - but maybe that’s not in the best interest of the design team.

Great design sessions tend to be random, cover dozens of topics and are an important forum for the team to interact, weigh in, evaluate options and prioritize goals. PowerPoint decks are a linear crutch. Design by PowerPoint negatively affects the artifacts generated by these sessions. 

Instead of ‘death by PowerPoint’ give me 30 square feet of whiteboard, a dozen dry erase markers and a camera. White boards are visual, they support developing a collage of design artifacts. Several team members can use the white board simultaneously, it’s easy to retrace (or erase) rapidly. A digital camera quickly captures the whiteboard contents and acts as the design team’s memory.

Lately we’ve integrated iPhones and iPads into our design sessions. With one quick snap of a camera, we can rapidly share design diagrams among the team members…and start fresh with a clean board.

Improve your designs, ditch PowerPoint.