The What’s New team at Miro wanted a special Miro board design that would visually summarise the 100+ product updates from 2023.
The board should be delightful, and take users on a journey to discover all the latest improvements alongside signposts to further information.
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
The What’s New team at Miro focuses on educating and engaging users on new product features through compelling stories.
Kristin Leitch and Luna Bernfest had seen my work on the Distributed ‘23 Event Guide, and created a vision to translate Miro's product updates of 2023 into a visual adventure and celebration.
Not just as a celebration for Miro users, but also to visually recognise the hard work of their product teams (👏👏👏).
Many people contributed to this project overall. Here are the core team who worked directly on the board design.
Encourage super users and advocates to go on an exploratory journey to learn about new features.
Visualise the momentum and volume of product updates that have been made throughout the year.
The board should visually emphasise the innovation happening under the hood of Miro, stylistically translating into a delightful experience.
Miro community contributors should feel like their voices have been listened to through clear call-outs on community driven improvements.
It was important to emphasise the big releases of the year, but to also acknowledge the many smaller updates that create the big picture.
Both birds-eye view and the closest zoom level should communicate the appropriate information needed to navigate and understand the content.
With tight timelines, the Design Discovery laser focused on the needs and desires from the client. I combined this with gathering their feedback on top level concepts and stylistic direction.
Clarity on project goals and the ‘Why’s
Deep understanding of client needs & desires
Quantitative success metrics
Overall style and top-level concepts
Timelines and responsibilities
Of the three concepts proposed, the group opted for the direction of an interconnected world.
This intertwined world would visualise the idea that product development is all about smaller connected teams working together on a bigger picture.
I then went on to
Block out potential layouts
Define themes for each area
Ideate visual metaphors and representations for each of the features
Create high-fidelity wireframes of the design
Continually update the team and gather feedback as I completed the design and build phases
A mini Miro world with clearly defined neighbourhoods ready to guide you on an informative and enjoyable journey.
Combining the familiar with the novel, this detailed city welcomes and guides you from the moment you enter the board.
Through colour categorisation and clear content hierarchy, viewers immediately understand what’s inside each neighbourhood.
Each neighbourhood has its own theme, and each feature has it’s own visual representation. The combination of the two results in a highly detailed board full of personality.
Each neighbourhood is packed full of new features through well balanced visuals where it neither feels too busy, nor too spacious.
Each feature card had artfully succinct yet descriptive copy from Shefali Rao, and for some there were beautifully crafted animated gifs to illustrate the update.
Users were given the option to click a link to find more details on the Miro site.
The design purposefully gave height and volume to the main updates, whilst allowing the smaller ones to spread freely in the flat surrounding spaces.
This resulted in a natural and hierarchically understandable environment.
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.
What if Powerpoints were replaced with energetic journeys?
What if product updates and company documentation didn't lie inside text boxes on webpages, but rather inside worlds that surprise and delight?
If you'd like to showcase your business in a unique format that your audience loves, it'd be my pleasure to see where we could take your idea and your brand.
Impress customers and prospects through visual environments that communicate important information
Onboard new joiners with explorable visualisations of your organisation
Present information in a unique and memorable format
Collaborative spaces where your can co-create and play in style
Another Miro-board-goliath! This time architecting the hybrid 'Digital Twin' for the Miro Discovery Center in Amsterdam.