• Franziska Blickle

Your first MURAL Board | Step-by-Step

Aktualisiert: Nov 3

This is the English version, for the German text please click here:

https://www.franziska-blickle.com/post/dein-erstes-mural-step-by-step

A click on one of the steps will take you there directly:

  1. Step 1 | Create a new board

  2. Step 2 | Create a sticky for size reference

  3. Step 3 | Decide for a layout and position the areas

  4. Step 4 | Add titles an structure to the areas

  5. Step 5 | Add instructions and additional information to the areas

  6. Step 6 | Use color and icons to set the mood

  7. Step 7 | Create the outline

  8. Step 8 | Change the design of your areas - if you want to

  9. Step 9 | Lock everything that shall remain unchanged

  10. Step 10 | Check the order of your outline steps and hide them if you want to

Step 1 | Create a new board


As soon as you log in at mural.co, you are taken to your dashboard. This is where you find all your boards. In the upper left corner you will find the button "create mural".


Screenshot von Startbildschirm
First Step

A new frame is opening up. Don't be confused by all the templates - we're starting on an empty board today! Choose "Blank mural" and then click on "Create mural" again in the lower right corner.

Screenshot von create new Mural mit Templateauswahl
Let the Magic begin

Your board will be created with with certain default settings (size, color) that you can change at any time.

Default settings:

Your board does not yet have a title, is light gray, 9216 x 6237 pixels and the avatars of the participants who join later are animals.

Screenshot von Voreinstellungen des Boards
Die typischen Voreinstellungen

My advice:

Leave the settings as they are. If you want to change it right away, click on the little arrow next to the title of the board (first screenshot) and chose "MURAL settings".

Screenshot von Mural Board mit Hinweis auf Mural Settings


Step 2 | Create a sticky for size reference


In the beginning it is not that easy to get a feel for the proportions on the board. How big does an area have to be for a brainstorming session? How much space do we need for group work?

My advice:

First of all (!) I always put a sticky in the upper left corner, the size of which I do NOT change. This way I always have a reference size, my standard sticky so to speak.


Screenshot von Mural Board mit zwei Stickys oben links
Yellow reference stickies in. the upper left corner...

Example:

15 participants, eyh writes down 3 ideas, we will need space for 45 stickies of my reference size.

Screenshot von 2 Mural Boards mit je 45 Stickies
If don't adapt the area size to the sticky size, I will have to adapt the sticky size to the area size each time.


Step 3 | Decide for a layout and position the areas


a) Decide for a layout

In the western culture we are used to "read" from the upper left to the lower right corner. Upper left could be a good starting point, but how do we continue?


These are some ideas to help you decide which might fit your needs:


Linear horizontal from left to right

Screenshot von Stickies von links nach rechts

Linear vertical from top to bottom

Screenshot von Stickies von oben nach unten

Several lines from the upper left to the lower right corner

Screenshot von Stickies von links oben nach rechts unten

Several lines, a header and a footer

Screenshot von mehreren Stickies mit Kopf- und Fußzeile

Several lines with space on both sides

Screenshot von mehreren Stickies mit weiteren Bereichen links und rechts

A "way" we follow on the board

Screenshot von Stickies als Kette

My advice:

If you decide for this kind of path, arrows might be helpful guiding participants along.


Circle

Screenshot von Stickies als Kreislauf

Main area and other areas for information or activities around it

Screenshot von Stickies zentral angeordnet

I'd rather not recommend this:

Random order only you as the creator can read

Screenshot von Stickys willkürlich gesetzt
Not a good idea!


b) Position areas as placeholders where you need them


As soon as you decided for the layout, I suggest you create all the necessary areas and position them accordingly.


My advice:

During the creation and design process I set area settings to a dark grey color and a black border because it is easier to see them. If I don't like that color for my workshop I change it in step 8.

Screenshot von 3 unterschiedlichen Areas
The left one is with default settings....rather hard to see.

How do I know how many areas I need?


My advice:

  • Go through your workshop or meeting and count how many areas you will need to show , to explain or to work on s.th.

  • Check if you need more than one area for group activities.

  • Think about having additional areas for check in, agenda, ground rules, Q&A, summary, next steps or to present files.



Step 4 | Add titles and structure to the area


a) Titels

Add logical titles to your areas, which do not only tell you what this is about but all participants as well. It might also be helpful tu add a number.


"Talking titles" and numbers bring a lot of orientation and prevent people from asking "Where are we and what do we actually do?".


My advice:

  • I pick a font size for title and number that is still visible if I zoom out all the way out and can see the whole board.

Screenshot von beschrifteten Areas
Titel and numbers can be read even from a zoomed out perspective.

  • Arrows showing the direction of the next step are very helpful for participants.

What is next? The arrows indicate the direction.

b) Structure


Go through all the areas now:

Do you need an empty space for this activity or is helpful to have stickies already?

Maybe lines or frames help to make good use of the given space?

Screenshot von Leerer Area
Empty area - anything is possible.
Screenshot von vorbereiteten Stickies in einer Area
Prepared stikies - lots of them!
Screenshot von Trennlienen in einer Area
Lines and questions give a structure.

Now is also the time to check if the frameworks offer a nice illustration or ready to use template to replace the empty area...

I replaces to area with ready made frameworks.

My advice:

Keep it simple! Use "Shapes & Connectors to create simple lines or frames. As simple as possible and as structured as necessary. If you can not think of a helpful structure, you probably wont't need one. Less is more!



Step 5 | Add instructions and additional information to the areas


a) Instruction


Go from area to area and add your questions or instructions. All that you explain should be there (maybe bullet points are enough). Specific questions you want them to answer should be here in full.


b) Additional information?


For example you could add:

  • the time they have for this activity...

  • a hint on the pop up trick ("Hold X and hover over elements to see them from far away.")...

  • Bonus tasks for super fast groups...

  • reminders how the content is added ("double click = sticky") ...

In this example you find the whole task in the box at the upper left and additional information on the upper right side:

Screenshot von Mural Board Spielwiese



Step 6 | Use color and icons to set the mood


If you want to, you can now add images, icons, logos or colorful splashes to your board. From serious to funny, it will help you set the mood.

This is no Picasso, but a lot more playful and nice than before, isn't it?

Using the search bar for icons and scroll a little further will pay off !

This is how you can find similar icons and find your own style.





Step 7 | Create the outline


Now is the time to decide which areas go into the outline as single steps.


My advice:

This is what I put in the outline:

  • A) all areas I want wo be able to address with the navigation function of the outline.

  • B) all areas I want to hide first and reveal later.

In this example I am hiding the single questions and will reveal them one by one.



Step 8 | Change the design of your areas - if you want to


If you want to change the design of your areas, now is the time..

  • Grey but without the border?

  • Different colors?

  • Maybe even without a color or border to make them invsible?

On my activity board little islands are surrounded by an invisible rectangular area. I can use the advantages without them interfering with my design.

Screenshot vom Activity Board



Step 9 | Lock everything that shall remain unchanged


The most important step in your preparation is locking all (all!) element, that should not be moved or changed by the participants.


You want all the frames, instructions, arrows, numbers to remain where they are, don't you? Lock them! Only stickies and items you want to be moved around should be locked!





Step 10 | Check the order of your outline steps and hide them if you want to


The very last step is to check the order of your outline steps. You can drag and drop them to any position to adjust.


If you want you can now hide areas in the outline. Bring your cursor over the outline step and click on the eye symbol that appears.

Areas for group work and brainstorming are hidden in this example.

My advice:

The area is completely invisible, but you can read the title. If you are planning a surprise, maybe chose a title that only has a meaning to you or at least doesn't give anything away.

This is what a hidden area looks like. Only the title is visible.

Yay! Done! What a ride!

Your board is ready to go!


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