Many of us may still have nightmares about the blackboard back in school, but whiteboard videos have enjoyed popular success in recent years.
Whiteboard videos, also called scribing videos, are a type of explainer video showing a drawing that is coming to life as the video progresses, illustrating what’s being explained in the voice-over.
Whiteboard videos provide an excellent way of explaining a complicated process by breaking it down into a series of illustrations. They can also help to visualise an evolution, or simply visualise different aspects or a concept as the speaker progresses in their explanation, helping the audience understand and memorise what’s being said.
The use of a ‘board’ means that their educational character is immediately recognisable, making them highly click-worthy and shareable.
A unique feature of scribing is the immediacy of this technique: While a great video format, scribing can also be done live. Illustrators can create whiteboard illustrations in the form of a life-sized fresco, or live on-screen during a presentation for example, adding their personal take – not unlike an interpreter. This type of animation can in turn become input for a post-event video.
These materials created live can later be re-used for distribution in video format, to use the momentum created during an event or training to further engage with your audience for example.
The visual style of a whiteboard video is driven by its primary function, which is to help understanding.
Most whiteboard videos therefore use a simple, cartoon-like drawing style in black and white. They can, but do not always, show the hand creating the drawing.
Tips for a successful live whiteboard video:
- Only go for white-board if the topic lends itself to this type of illustration.
It can be tempting to associate ‘explainer’ with ‘whiteboard’, but not every type of explanation can be translated into a cartoon- or fresco-style image. If you need to illustrate statistics or geography for instance, infographics may be more appropriate.
- Make sure the images are connected.
The drawing coming to life on screen is a narrative, and it needs to unfold as such – both from a logical and visual point of view. This will help understanding, but also create a more enjoyable experience for the viewer.