Drawing for product and service teams

In-person or online • Ben Crothers Ben Crothers

Learn practical techniques to communicate your product and service ideas in more compelling ways.


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Boost your confidence in telling customer stories visually

This fun and highly interactive class will equip you to:

  • Draw whatever objects, figures and scenes you need, with 'icon-style' drawing, '5Ws' context-setting, and storyboarding.
  • Be more creative, and share more of your ideas more rapidly, clearly and confidently with your team.
  • Frame problems, insights, systems and solutions visually, to inform and persuade stakeholders better.

Sample drawings of simple figures and icons

An image of a Zoom videoconference session with several people sharing their drawings on-screen

Accelerate creativity and shared understanding, as a team

We ‘read’ images much faster than words, so a team that draws together can spot gaps, assumptions and misunderstandings faster.

A drawing illustrating the difference that drawing makes to understanding and clarity

Drawing is also the fastest cheapest way to generate more ideas.

This class is great for:

  • Designers who want to visualise their ideas more rapidly and fluidly. Software is great, but so many design problems can be solved with pen and paper first!
  • Researchers who want to communicate their research results and insights in much more compelling ways. Harness the power of visual metaphor!
  • Product Managers who want better ways to visualise product and service vision, benefits, audience, strategy and plans. Go beyond the roadmap and user stories!
  • Developers who need to solve technical problems together with user experience (UX) problems, as a team. Drawing gives everybody a common language!
  • Project managers, scrum masters, and agile practitioners who want to improve their teams' ways of working. A problem visualised together is a problem halved!

Serious value for visual storytellers

You’re investing in your success as a leader and changemaker. We take that investment seriously, by packing serious value into this class.

This class gives you access to:

  • 2-3 hours of real-time interactive instruction with Ben Crothers, a skilled designer, illustrator and author of Presto Sketching and Draw in 4
  • Your questions answered throughout the class time
  • Advice on how to improve your drawing in specific ways
  • An ongoing community of changemakers on the Bright Pilots Slack channel

Class outline

Here’s what you can expect from the live online class.

1. Introductions and warm-up

Introducing your instructor; fun warm-up sketching activity; class content and outcomes overview.

2. Drawing figures and faces

Sketch along with the instructor, and learn different ways to draw figures and faces, to capture the experience of using a product or service, not just the product or service itself. This also includes drawing a variety of people, to emphasise diversity.

3. Drawing basic objects and hands

Continue sketching along with the instructor, and learn how to draw just about anything, including hands (gestures and holding things), to build up your visual vocabulary, and draw anything on demand.

4. Harnessing visual metaphor

Learn how to communicate problems and benefits with visual metaphor (using a 4-step process), to unlock better insights and solutions.

5. Bringing your ideas to life with context

Go beyond simple user interface sketches, and learn how to draw your subject / product / service in their natural habitat. This brings context and story to your communications, and makes your ideas much more compelling in design critiques, presentations, design sprints, and workshops.

6. Storyboarding

Learn a simple formula for not only drawing storyboards, but how to frame the experience you're trying to communicate in a really compelling way.

7. Bringing drawing into your design workflow

A light introduction about ways to incorporate more drawing into the product and service design workflow, to help the whole team explore the problem space better, and then be more creative in the solution space.

8. Wrapping up

Recapping the main points in the class, final Q&A, as well as some next steps and resources.

I just wanted to say your talk was very insightful. As someone who is terrible at drawing, your talk has inspired me that I can improve. Since your talk, my doodles have started to look a little less scary and a bit more coherent. Also Presto Sketching is AWESOME.

Sonaal Mediratta, UXDi student

Thank you for an engaging and pragmatic session.

Avika Maken


It was really great and personal. I expected to be a fly on the wall while Ben gave a lecture, but it was more of a small group conversation. I took some good notes and learned some things to improve my storytelling.

Chance McGee


Mateen H


Very interesting workshop ! I just have to practice now 🤩


Good session with Ben, nice interactions. Thanks for setting it up.

Grith Muurmann Andersen




Thanks again for running a highly engaging session! I’ve already seen the team begin to apply some of the great techniques you shared.

Head of Product Design, Nine

What an amazing class! I walked in feeling embarrassed about how I draw in general, and walked out feeling like I can do this. Ben is clearly passionate about this topic and does a phenomenal job.


I recently had the pleasure of being in a zoom workshop run by Ben. I didn’t realise until that singular hour how engaging and also beneficial sketching would be to the future of my design practice. I’d like to thank Ben for making that session so engaging, he answered questions thoughtfully and with poise, similarly to his book, poised, poignant and utterly elegant as well as engaging. Presto Sketching is a must for anyone who has interest in showing their ideas in a way that is simple to digest and fun.


Your instructor: Ben Crothers

Ben is currently Principal Facilitator at Bright Pilots, and spends a lot of his time teaching design techniques, running strategic workshops, and helping teams be more creative and to focus on the right things.

About us

Ben Crothers

We’ve boosted capacity in loads of teams...

Here are some organisations that Bright Pilots has been privileged to run training sessions and masterclasses for:

Client logos of EY, Target and EbayClient logos of Commonwealth Bank and ZipClient logos of Atlassian, ABC and LIDAClient logos of iCare and OrofolClient logos of Nine Network and Aurora EnergyClient logos of Canva, City University of New York and CSIROClient logos of The Benevolent Society and Telstra

Book a call

Got questions? Here are some answers

We conduct these classes either in-person or online, according to what your requirements are. We are based in Sydney (Australia) so in-person is great, but there are many reasons why we conduct classes online via Zoom too. for example, clients sometimes want to include people from several offices, so we make it online.
Each training class typically runs for 3 hours. If it takes place online, we ensure we schedule 2 quick breaks throughout the 3 hours, to keep everybody fresh.
We try to limit each class to 10 people, to ensure everyone gets enough interaction and opportunity to discuss and ask questions. If you have more than 10 people to train, we suggest booking several separate sessions.

No, training attendees don’t have to all work together. Each class is geared to cover several specific learning outcomes common to anyone and everyone attending. Often classes include time for each attendee to work on their own example individually.

However, we can always tailor team training classes to include time for attendees to work together on common challenges.

Yes, we can and do bundle several training classes together. We can also tailor sets of classes to cover your specific learning outcomes or staff development goals.

For online classes, we use the videoconferencing platform Zoom, which you can use via your web browser, or download here. Some clients prefer us to use MS Teams; this is also fune, provided you can invite us to your Team space.

We sometimes use other applications like Mentimeter, Mural or Miro, which you should be able to access and use via your web browser.

If you’re attending one of our drawing classes, you’ll need something to draw with, and something to draw on. We recommend a fine black marker (e.g. Artline200 Fineliner 0.4) or similar. For this sort of drawing, it’s best not to use Sharpies, as they are too thick, and they bleed through regular paper. For the paper, a blank sketchbook is great, but plain ol’ blank office paper is perfectly fine.

Drawing on a digital tablet is great too, and using other markers and pencils (e.g. tint markers like Tombow or Copic, and colour pencils) is also fab.

The only preparation you usually need to do is to complete a brief online pre-class questionnaire. We send out the link to all attendees a few days prior to the class. This questionnaire helps everyone to think more about what they’d like to get most out of the class, plus it helps us to know what to focus on.

We also encourage all attendees to think ahead about (and capture somewhere) how they think they’d like to apply what they learn from the class. For example, there might be specific types of meetings, or a specific project they are working on, where they would like to improve.

Be sure to read the class outline above, to give you a sense of the structure and content of this class. If you have any questions after reading this, we’re more than happy to help, and you can drop us a line.

We’re all about involving everyone in an engaging productive way in all our classes, so all classes are pretty interactive.

Our classes have a range of practical and conversational activities, ranging from simple icebreakers to individual hands-on exercises, to discussions in groups of 2, 3 or 4. There will also be time for Q&A throughout the class, and at the end as well.

Some classes’ activities also include using an online canvas (like Mural or Miro), which all class participants use together.

We take your decision to invest in your staff seriously, so we prefer to agree on – and invoice for – a minimum number of staff who are committed to attending the training class, and we charge per attendee.

We understand that sometimes things come up and plans need to change. If this is the case, you will receive a seat credit for anyone who accepted the invitation to the training, but didn’t attend. You can use this seat credit towards another class, and it’s valid for up to 12 months from the original class date.

You can cancel any registered attendees by name within 2 days of the scheduled class, and receive a full refund. If the invoice is already paid, we will arrange the refund to be paid back within 7 business days of submitting your cancellation request. To cancel, simply contact us here, or email support@brightpilots.com.

Yes, we do provide discounts to attendee numbers over 15. We also provide a discount for registered non-profit organisations at 25% off the regular per-seat attendee rate.

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