Do-it-yourself 'Magic Whiteboard'

by Alexander Baxevanis on 4 January 2011

User experience design is a visual craft and for each of our projects we tend to dedicate many square metres of wall space for sketches, diagrams & brainstorming notes. Fortunately, we can stick whatever we want to the walls of our office and most of  them are constantly covered with whiteboards, sticky notes, flipcharts and Blu-Tack.

Running meetings & workshops outside our office is another story – we often have to use meeting rooms equipped with nothing more than a single flip-chart stand and could do with some extra wall space. In these cases, Magic Whiteboard has been a great solution, allowing us to create whiteboard-like surfaces on walls without leaving any marks behind.

However, there were a couple of things I didn’t like about Magic Whiteboard: each A1 sheet costs more than £1, the packaging is rather bulky, and it’s not always easy to come by in a stationary shop. So one day, when I was sitting on a train coming back from a client meeting, I put my engineering hat on and thought:

Wait a second – this looks very similar to the cling film you can buy in the supermarket. I wonder if that would work equally well?

A few days later, I walked into the Tesco across the street from our office, and went out with a package of cling film (priced at about £1.70).  I tried sticking it on the wall and write on it, and you can see the results below:

DIY Magic Whiteboard

It looks like you can write on it, you can erase it with a standard sponge or just a paper napkin, and it sticks reasonably well, although quite a bit more creased than a Magic whiteboard. It sticks much better on anything that’s a very flat surface such as metal, wood & glass (if you’re lucky enough to be in a meeting room with windows):

Cling film on a window

I don’t thing we’ll be using this trick anytime soon as a full-on replacement of our Magic Whiteboard stock, but I’m sure it will come in handy one day, if we forget to take our Magic Whiteboard into a meeting and there’s a supermarket nearby!

Do you have any other DIY tricks for setting up the perfect meeting environment? Let us know in the comments below…

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