Remote workshop activity areas should fit into a zoomable area

Updated on Sunday, July 23, 2023

Activity areas in Mural should communicate the activity at different zoom levels, so the structure of your Mural constantly communicates to participants where they are and where they're going.

One of the most amazing things about digital collaboration spaces like Mural, Miro, and others: you can work at different zoom levels. I'm a huge believer in the idea that, zoomed out, your full board should tell a story.

That's one example of a zoomable area. At the beginning of workshops, I like to zoom out to the full board to provide a visual picture for my *story of the workshop* as I share what we'll be doing, how everything builds on everything else, and at the end we'll end up with these outcomes.

The Goals and Vision canvas below collects the outputs from six different activities that make up an entire workshop. Zoomed out to show the full canvas, you can still see the names of each section, so my voice over can signal and seed what we'll be doing over the course of the workshop.

You have to work at another zoom level as well.

You have to be able to zoom to an entire activity area. Just like the full board, the activity area needs to tell a story. You need to be able to see the activity name, any wayfinding devices (like a colored border), the frame, and the instructions.

You can zoom to show this persona canvas, and participants get an at-a-glance understanding about what we'll be doing for the activity.

When you introduce the activity, you need to be able to zoom to the activity area and have the visual illustrate the frame you give the participants.

This is easy when you have a manageable group of participants. (You do, don't you?) doing a focused activity like a brainstorm. You can fit and read at least a 100 sticky notes zoomed to 66% in Mural. That's a good sized area.

What happens with process flows, event storms, blueprints, and journey maps and you need more room?

To view larger activity areas like this, signposting in the activity needs to be legible when zoomed to the activity level.

This screenshot of a user journey template from Mural communicates the overall structure of the activity even though you may be zoomed out too far to see individual sections.

You can't read sticky notes at this zoom level, and that's ok. Remember, in this magic world activities can be fractal. When participants get down to work they can *zoom to a working level* to get stuff done.

Thinking about how you can zoom in and out of your board to tell different stories at different points in the workshop gives participants a mental model for how you architected the workshop and how to navigate it. Activity areas in Mural should communicate the activity at different zoom levels, so the structure of your Mural constantly communicates to participants where they are and where they're going.

Anyway...

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