No business is immune to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve seen Airbnb — a company particularly susceptible to this black swan event — go through an insane design sprint. Even enterprise collaboration tools have felt it, with Box readjusting its product road map to focus on how the tool worked for remote employees.
InVision has also seen the change in its users behavior and adapted accordingly. Freehand, the company’s collaborative whiteboarding tool has seen a huge surge in users and the startup has added a handful of new features to the product.
The company says that Freehand is seeing 130% growth in weekly active users since March.
New features include sticky notes that come in multiple color, size and text options, as well as templates to give teams a jumping off point for their whiteboarding exercise. Freehand has six new templates to start — brainstorming, wireframing, retrospectives, standups, diagrams and ice breakers — with more to be added more soon.
InVision has also added a “presenting” mode to Freehand.
Because this virtual whiteboard has no space constraints, it can literally zoom out to infinity and is restricted only by the imagination of the team working on it. In “presenting” mode, a team leader can take over the view of the virtual whiteboard to guide their team through one part of the content at a time.
Freehand has an integration with Microsoft Teams and Slack, and also has a new shortcut where users can type “freehand.new” into any browser to start on a fresh whiteboard.
Interestingly, the user growth around Freehand doesn’t just come from the usual suspects of design, product and engineering teams. Departments across organizations, including HR, marketing and IT teams, are coming to Freehand to collaborate on projects and tasks. More than 60 percent of Freehand users are not coming from the design team.
InVision has also added some fine-tuning features, such as a brand new toolbar to allow for easier drawing of shapes, alignment, color and opacity features, and better controls for turning lines into precise arrows or end-points for diagrams.
One of the most interesting things about Freehand is that it allows for democratized access to the whiteboard itself. With no restraints on time or space, and with no one gatekeeping up at the front of the room holding the marker, all members of a team can go in and add their thoughts and ideas to the whiteboard before, during or after a meeting.
“One of the nice things about a whiteboard or a virtual whiteboard like this one is it removes the aspects of the restrictions of time and space, so teams can have more efficient meetings where they get the benefit of democratic input without the cost of having only one person at a time being able to speak or add,” said David Fraga, InVision President. “It offers a synchronous collision of collaboration.”
InVision has raised a total of $350 million from investors like FirstMark, Spark, Battery, Accel and Tiger Global Management. The company now boasts more than 7 million total registered users, with 100 of the Fortune 100 companies using the product. InVision is also part of the $100 million ARR club.