Better Whiteboard Sketches
Better Whiteboard Sketches
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Better Whiteboard Sketches

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Last updated on 2019-08-20

About the Book

This book provides a simple, proven approach to drawing clear, memorable technical diagrams. The approach is designed to be suitable for people with a range of learning and visual needs, including:

  • people with dyslexia and other specific learning differences
  • people with visual impairments in colour or acuity
  • people who learn visually or audibly 
  • people who like to categorise in order to understand

The techniques lead to diagrams that still make sense many months or years after drawing them. The diagrams tend to be clear enough to include directly in slide decks and even official documentation. The techniques make it simple and quick to redraw diagrams if needed, without having to begin from the very start each time.

About the Author

Matthew Skelton
Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton has been building, deploying, and operating commercial software systems since 1998. Head of Consulting at Conflux (, he specialises in Continuous Delivery, operability and organisation design for software in manufacturing, ecommerce, and online services, including cloud, IoT, and embedded software.

Matthew curates the well-known DevOps team topologies patterns at and is co-author of the books Continuous Delivery with Windows and .NET (O’Reilly, 2016) and Team Guide to Software Operability (Skelton Thatcher Publications, 2016). He is also co-founder at Skelton Thatcher Publications (, a specialist publisher of techniques for software teams. / @matthewpskelton

Table of Contents

  • Conflux Books
  • Acknowledgements
    • Licenses
  • About the author
    • Matthew Skelton
    • Why I wrote this book
  • How to use this book
    • Conventions used in the book
  • Introduction - the value of clear diagrams
    • Why sketch?
    • Typical problems with whiteboard sketches
    • Drawing helps us to understand and remember
    • Use a physical whiteboard
    • 3 core principles: concepts, colour, repeating
    • Summary
  • 1. Define and group key signifiers and concepts
    • 1.1 Decide on the 3 or 4 most important concepts to represent
    • 1.2 Identify the audience for the diagram
    • 1.3 Map the concepts to 4 colours
    • 1.4 Use different shapes to differentiate the concepts
    • 1.5 Use a key or legend on the diagram itself
    • 1.6 Use proven techniques from DDD and C4 Model to help focus the diagram
    • 1.7 Summary
    • 1.8 Exercises
  • 2. Use colour but think in monotones
    • 2.1 Summary
    • 2.2 Exercises
  • 3. Draw to modify or repeat for discussion
    • 3.1 The conversation is as important as the diagram
    • 3.2 Summary
    • 3.3 Exercises
  • 4. Summary and Quick Reference
    • 4.1 Case Studies
    • 4.2 Quick Reference
  • 5. Practise using structured exercises
  • Appendix
  • Terminology
  • References

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Conflux Digital Ltd

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