Miro Workshops

Architecting the Hybrid Discovery Center experience

miro board design of an open faced office building with many rooms containing workshop exercises designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini

Executive Summary

Mission

The Executive Briefing Team at Miro wanted to create a 'digital twin' of their physical Briefing Center so that those joining remotely would feel equally catered for and engaged despite being off-site.

Objectives

  • Transform the existing workshop materials into an immersive journey through an open faced building
  • Provide an equally valuable experience for remote participants
  • Customisable room interiors

Services

Services I provided:

  • Design Discovery
  • Visual Concepts and Wireframes
  • Visual Design
  • Board Build in Miro
  • Product Marketing Imagery

Impact

This experiential Miro board houses (literally!) the information and exercises for the briefing process in a delightful and immersive format.

The team now has a high quality collaboration space to be proud of.

One that they can easily customise per workshop, and demonstrates the possibilities of the platform. "Show don't tell" brought to life.

Highlights

  • Miro Swag Store with moveable items
  • Meeting rooms with workshop exercises on whiteboards that link to other Miro boards
  • Themed Amsterdam landscape sets the location and provides trip information
  • A Storage Unit with moveable furniture
  • Building facades and curtains used to hide and reveal content

Outcome

Since the launch in October 2022, there have been:

  • 31 sessions run
  • 14 sessions planned
  • 🥇 An award!! 🥇
    The Miro team (board included) won the ABPM Momentum Award for their "impressive" briefing programme 🙌

The board continues to evolve as we gather more insights from each session.

Video walk-through

For those who prefer to watch than read, I recorded a 5 minute walk-through of the design process and final workshop template in Miro.

Watch the demo
ADD SCREENSHOT OR DIRECT LINK TO VIDEO

Want to build your own?

If you're are interested in having your own "Digital Twin" - awesome, great minds think alike! I've got options...

Impress customers and prospects through tours and workshops in a purpose built environment

Onboard new joiners with novel experiences

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Host an online event with a different room per presentation / activity

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Present your documentation in a memorable and structured layout

Option 1: Tailor Made

Reach out to discuss a custom design made specifically for your organisation and requirements.

Book an intro call

Option 2: Build your own

Sign up to my mailing list and be the first to hear about the build-your-own templates I'm currently producing.

Subscribe for updates
Tiled workshop exercises from different rooms with different purposes

Goals & Challenges

About the Project

The Miro Discovery Center was a new team at Miro, with the specific purpose of briefing executive customers on how to get the most out of Miro.

Their work involves a purpose-designed building in Amsterdam that hosts customer onboarding workshops of different durations.

But not all participants can make it in person, so the need for designing an equally engaging online experience was paramount to the success of their work.

The Client

Amanda Fellov and Sid van Wijk  from Miro were the first to set up the Amsterdam arm of the Discovery Center.

They were the brains behind this operation, and recognised that a purposeful approach to hybrid workshops was essential to the experience and success of their programme.

The Audience

  • Type: Mostly C-level (Executives) - CIO, CTO, CDO
  • Roles: Decision makers, Policy Makers, Influencers,
  • Departments: Workplace, HR, IT, Marketing & Sales

Why design the Hybrid Discovery Center in Miro?

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Ensure remote participants get just as good an experience as those in person

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Heighten engagement and memorability

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Present all information in a single location

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Immersive approach to online workshops

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Deliver an experience to be talked about

Miro board design process stage 1 starting samples of the building with the rest emptyMiro board design process stage 1 starting samples of the building with the rest empty

After

Before

Objectives

01.

Create the “Digital Twin” of the Discovery Center

  • Mimic an alternative representation of the physical Discovery Center in Amsterdam
  • Display the building like a 'doll's house'
  • Design the layout according to the three phases; pre, during and post workshop

02.

Engaging experience for both remote and in-person

  • Priority consideration to including remote participants in activities, or providing them their own bespoke rooms
  • Delightful moments that inspire and engage
  • All content lives on the Miro board, so no-one is left out

03.

Quality and unique design

  • Showcase the “art of the possible” with Miro through high quality visual design
  • Must be something no-one's seen before
  • Themed Amsterdam landscape sets the location and provides trip information

04.

Show that presentations do not have to be linear

  • Connected flows through clear navigation and signposting
  • Self-exploratory journeys and content

05.

Easy and smooth to use

  • Clear signposting and instructions
  • Hide and reveal content depending on workshop phase
  • Priority to smooth board performance

06.

Customise and reuse content

  • Personalise the content and flows depending on the customer and agenda
  • Ability to move or delete furniture
  • Standardised content (e.g. Amsterdam trip information) can be reused

Design Discovery

The purpose of a design discovery is to explore and understand the problem space, and to dive into potential solutions before committing.

Benefits include:

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Clarity on project goals

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Understanding both business (client) and end-user pain points versus desires

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Establish project team collaboration

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Reduce project risk by identifying challenges and opportunities early on

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Explore and validate ideas

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Solidify direction and project scope

A Design discovery workshop template using familiar desk objects around the workshop exercises designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini
A 'Parking Lot' exercise in Miro displayed in a bike garage with sticky notes on the wall for meeting notesA Visual 'Loading Bay' for workshop action items and follow up items displayed on the wall of a garageA close up of the Miro brand canal boat that displays workshop visit informationMiro Amsterdam Building with a Miro branded canal boat containing trip information, and a brick wall displaying Amsterdam recommendations
4

Refined Scope

At the end of the Design Discovery phase we were able to use our refined understanding of the requirements and options, to adapt the original brief into a concrete project scope.

3

Moodboards

My favourite! A whole host of different styles were presented.

We  then whittled down the options through discussions and validations against our previous agreements.

2

Impact Effort

We investigated the true impact and effort of the 24 room requests in the brief.

This enabled us to agree which areas were a priority, those which were needed but shouldn't be laboured upon, and which should be dropped in order to focus on the above.

1

Visual and Audience Requirements

A sequence of workshop exercises  explore not only how the design and brand should be perceived, but also how we want our participants to feel, and what they need to take away from their experience.

Visual Concepts

Concepts & Wireframes

The first port of call is to assimilate all the known information and requirements, and assemble them into basic forms that grow more sophisticated with each round of feedback.

Exploration stages:

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Structures and layouts

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Flows through the experience

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Visual references to the spaces

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Calculating size of the Miro board design relative to content

Wireframe of a building architecture with visual moodboard references and annotations on Miro
Vertical wireframe of the Miro building with placeholder names and objects for concept content
Vertical wireframe of an open faced building architecture for the Miro Amsterdam building Stadhouderskade
Horizontal wireframe of an open faced building architecture for the Miro Amsterdam building Stadhouderskade
Architecture Wireframe with moodboard image references on a Miro board
Wireframe of a coffee corner containing workshop exercise instructions
Wireframe of the Miro reception with the meeting monster, qr code and stairs eitherside
Wireframe of a briefing room with chairs around a meeting table and sticky notes
Wireframe of an art gallery with curtains obscuring some picture frames
Wireframe of an avatar builder workshop exercise with heads on podiums and accessories on the wall
Wireframe of the Miro swag store with selectable items on the wall and shopping baskets on the floor
Wireeframe of a coffee corner with links to Miro board games

Style Setting

Stylistic concepts are then used to communicate options for the end vision. With these samples Amanda and Sid could make a fully informed decision when approving each stage of the wireframes.

A miro meeting room with flat screen tv and whiteboards
Visual design concept of a hand drawn hallway with comfy furniture
Visual style exploration of Miro meeting room furniture and Miro brand colours
Visual style exploration of Miro meeting room furniture and muted colours
Visual style exploration of Miro meeting room furniture and brand colours with coloured paths on the floor

Design

Iterative Design

At the beginning of each design phase I stay in close communication until we’re in agreement that the design has fully formed to meet the requirements.

Visual design stage 4 - final house with amsterdam themed backgroundMiro board design process stage 3 almost complete designVisual design stage 2Miro board design process stage 1 starting samples of the building with the rest empty

The Final Design

23 key visual areas designed with an emphasis on exploratory journeys and showcasing the possibilities of Miro board design.

The Meeting monster welcomes you to the workshop as part of a large Miro board designClose up of the Miro reception with the meeting monster and workshop welcomeA large atrium containing the Miro reception on a Miro board with the meeting monster behind the reception desk and client branded welcome banners and information designed by Miro expert Lucie AgoliniA large atrium containing the Miro reception on a Miro board with the meeting monster behind the reception desk and client branded welcome banners and information designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini

Welcome with impact

Stories that start with a big bang grab us from the get-go, and Miro board designs are no different.

Personalised and bold entry points set the tone for a memorable experience, and give a glimpse into the quality content that lies ahead.

Frosted glass doors cover the Miro swag store until the time comes to open up the Miro boardCurtains hide workshop exercisesRevealing workshop content on the Miro board by removing the brick facadesHide and reveal content on the Miro board with brick facades covering most of the rooms in the Miro building in Amsterdam

Reduce cognitive load with phased  reveals

For such a large board, it's important not to overwhelm participants on their first visit.

I used building facades, and internal shields such as curtains and a closed Swag Store to divide the workshop phases into delightful moments of reveals and surprise.

A visual breakout room on a miro board with comfy sofa and chairs on a roof terraceA visual agenda room with stylish chairs around a meeting table and a workshop agenda and whiteboard on the wallA Miro branded meeting room with the Miro logo, a flat screen TV and whiteboards on the wall for the workshop exercises and interactive presentationsA Miro meeting room with chairs around a table and technical layout maps on the wall

Replicating the physical experience

Familiar meeting spaces and furniture create a sense of comfort in amongst piquing curiosty with thoughts of 'what will we do here?'

Each meeting room was designed to hold workshop exercises and links to other boards, or presentations - replicating the real-world actions of working with flipcharts and whiteboards.

An avatar creator with heads and accessories on the wall, with podiums underneath for the workshop participants to make their own character on the Miro boardMiro games templates in the Games cornerThe Miro swag store visually represented on a Miro board with moveable swag items that go into baskets for each participant designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini

Delightful moments that engage and inspire

One of my favourite interactions is the swag store with moveable objects. Everyone can place their items in baskets, ready to be 'shipped' after the meeting.

Other notable experiences were the avatar creator found in the lobby, or the games corner where you can jump to wonderful Miro templates designed by community members for some competitive fun.

An art gallery in miro with pictures on the wall and podiums to showcase important customer itemsThe virtual spa room on the Miro template with links to mindful workshop activitiesA virtual spa area on the Miro board with plants hanging from the walls over two sinks with instructions for the workshop activityA cafe on a Miro board with a games corner for interactive fun, a reading library with book recommendations and an art gallery with stand out miro templates on display along the walls designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini

Downtime to enjoy

For a self-exploratory experience, it was important to host areas that would be browsable in downtime.

A zoomed in view of the Miro branded banners and wall art in the storage unitA close Up of a room in the storage unit with advertising stands and banners and picture framesAn illustrated storage unit that houses all the moveable furniture from the miro board

Customising content

One requirement was being able to move furniture around, and to have a list of objects to choose from.

As a cherry on top, I designed a storage unit that housed all of the options in an organised yet playful format.

Board build

Balancing performance versus detailed design

With such large Miro boards, it is imperative to optimise your board and content for a smooth performance.

As expected, the size of this board presented a fairly intense build phase which required sophisticated optimisations before it was ready for testing.

But perseverance and patience pays off - as does knowing fellow Miro expert Shayne Smart who applied his invaluable optimisation expertise when working with me to get the board into peak health.

A flexible layout

The brief remained focused on a fixed layout, but just in case, I created each room in a way they could still be used as individual units.

In the end, this approach came in handy for shorter sessions that didn't require the full gamit of rooms.

Benefits to a modular approach include:

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Simplified options for shorter durations

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Easily restructure the flow in any way desired

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Repurpose rooms for different objectives

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Reuse individual modules across other boards

A laptop displaying workshop presenters on the Miro board

Providing Guidance

Once the board was complete, I created a set of instructions as part of the handovers. The instructions covered facilitation tips, and board construction details.

Miro board instructions and visual design guidance

Summary

The Results

To say we were all proud of the project is an understatement. To my knowledge there are no other Miro designs that look or function like this board.

31 sessions run so far

14 more coming up

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More changes on the way to enable different themed locations and more engaging content.

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An award!! 🥇🏆
The Miro team (board included) won the ABPM Momentum Award for their "impressive" briefing programme 🙌

A laptop displaying workshop presenters on the Miro board

The reaction from our customers and colleagues at Miro has been incredible. They've never seen anything like this before, and every session we run is truly delightful and engaging.

Using the board never gets old - for us or for them - and we still can't get over it, thank you!

Amanda Fellov
Miro

Lucie you're a rockstar! From start to finish we loved your process and collaboration.

You brought our initial brief to life exactly how we wanted but couldn't quite imagine. It's epic and that shows through our customer feedback.

I look forward to all our future engagements.

Sid van Wijk
Miro

My Learnings

This project was a creative and collaborative dream. I couldn't have asked for better sparring partners than Amanda, Sid and Shayne, and I couldn't have worked on a more satisfying mix of visual design and valuable content.

That said, we learn something new each project, and my learnings are as follows.

Advocate for modules and easy repurposing
It may not be part of the brief, but you can bet repurposing is a future requirement. Build in modules from the start to give as much autonomy to the board owner as possible.

Larger room names and sequence numbers
Embarrassingly basic, but not everyone browses at the zoom level I designed for. You should be able to understand content from all levels.

Use chat GPT to aid brainstorming
Fast track ideation and validate from audience perspectives using AI (in combination with own contributions)

Use Midjourney to create furniture
Now that I've established proficiency in Midjourney prompting, I would create specific imagery in a cohesive style without cost or license limitations.

Less is more
I've now worked on enough large projects to know that that our appetite is often bigger than our bellies when it comes to the number of visual areas requested in the original brief.

My future approach to a project requesting 24 exercise areas would be that we either create a quality wireframe prototype to test with real participants before the design phase, or to design ~12 areas and gather feedback before creating more.

In this instance, a purposefully modular approach from the outset would have been beneficial, and accommodated the need for any change of order, and creating different environments for shorter versus longer workshop durations.

Want to build your own?

If you're are interested in having your own "Digital Twin" - awesome, great minds think alike! I've got two options for you:

Option 1: Tailor Made

Reach out to discuss a custom design made specifically for your organisation and requirements.

Book an intro call

Option 2: Build your own

Sign up to my mailing list and be the first to hear about the build-your-own templates I'm currently producing.

Subscribe for updates

Impress customers and prospects through tours and workshops in a purpose built environment

Onboard new joiners with novel experiences

Hand drawn Check mark

Host an online event with a different room per presentation/ activity

Hand drawn Check mark

Present your documentation in a memorable and structured layout

Hand drawn Check mark

Provide a collaborative space where your employees can co-create, play, and make it their own

Hand drawn Check mark

Offer a unique office floormap to communicate teams, purposes and facilities

Tiled visual workshop exercises with the Miro logo designed by Miro expert Lucie Agolini

What’s next?

Got a juicy project up your sleeves? Wonderful!

Let’s design together
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