BCS SPA Software in Practice

2nd – 4th July 2018

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Better Whiteboard Sketches

How to draw better whiteboard sketches for software architectures

Practical workshop


Have you ever looked at a whiteboard sketch and thought “What are all these squiggles?!” This session is for you.

This is an interactive workshop for people who want to communicate more clearly using whiteboard sketches for software architecture, systems architecture, data flow, etc.

Using some simple principles (and a sprinkling of psychology) you will learn some practical techniques for making better whiteboard sketches. Your new sketches will be memorable for people and help to get across your points more clearly.

Audience background

Some experience of drawing diagrams of software architecture, systems architecture, or data flow, (etc.) would be useful but not essential.

Benefits of participating

Communicate better with colleagues and clients.

Reduce ambiguity in diagrams without resorting to Visio or UML.

Materials provided

Hand-held whiteboards
Dry-wipe markers


Individual working using whiteboards or flipcharts and pens. Can be done in pairs.
Attendees undertake a series of guided exercises.

Detailed timetable

TBC but something like this:
00:00 - 00:05 - Introduction and overview
00:05 - 00:15 - draw a familiar system
00:15 - 00:30 - some psychology and background
00:30-00:45 - basics of Better Whiteboard Sketches
00:45 - 01:00 - revise earlier sketches
01:00 - 01:15 - presentations, discussion, wrap-up


Attendees will take away an understanding of some practical techniques to make better whiteboard sketches for software and systems architecture, along with a printed / PDF “cheat sheet” summarising the techniques.

Email Matthew Skelton at [email protected] for copies of the session material (not public).

See http://betterwhiteboardsketches.com/ for further resources.


None in this form but plenty of experience of making whiteboard sketches clear and useful.


  1. Matthew Skelton