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Whiteboard or scribing videos

Do I need to paint you a picture? Yes please.

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What is it?

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.

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Why do you need it?

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.

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What will it look like?

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.
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Top three use cases for whiteboard videos and scribing