Motion Sickness / Vertigo from following someone on Miro

  • 25 January 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 1

A while back, @John Parkin wrote this and I just want to break this out as a separate discussion thread from general Accessibility: “I have a team member who experiences an extremely uncomfortable form of motion sickness using Miro. It’s great that we can turn off the whizzy mouse cursors but it would be much, much better if users have control over the way they experience the live updating of the board by other users. You’d need to do a bit of consultation with experts in the area to understand what would improve the experience but I’d imagine it’s easier to turn off or dial back the near-real-time updating feature than it has been to make it happen in the first place?”

I too have a team member who dreads collaboration on Miro because they experience vertigo when following someone. I don’t suffer from the same condition, but it is uncomfortable and tiring for me to watch the screen being dragged this way and that for extended periods of time.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. How about a viewer-activated feature that is analogous to video image stabilization?  It makes panning around the board look smoother and less disturbing.
  2. Instead of showing the full travel between start and end of pan, how about a feature that freezes the view at the start of the pan, then fades in the new view once you’ve arrived at your pan destination?  It could feel very much like a fade transition between slides on a Powerpoint.  If you think that’s a little sterile, you could try something along the lines of a Ken Burns transition.
  3. In addition to consulting experts, Miro should just prototype some potential solutions and iterate with people’s feedback.  I don’t think Miro vertigo is so rare that you wouldn’t be able to find enough people.
  4. Maybe there is an audio component to the solution.  Can sound or music help to minimize vertigo?
  5. When you guys get to a good set of solutions, put them all under a prominently displayed Vertigo button that turns them all on (e.g. hide cursors, minimized-motion transitions, etc). This makes it easy for someone to take care of it with one click, and know that they’ve selected everything possible to minimize their vertigo.

3 replies

Note to devs:  This is very much possible to implement; browsers have a feature to detect/respect the “prefers reduced motion” feature of modern operating systems:

Trello is a good example of an app that respects this setting.  By default if the name of the rightmost list on the board contains a 🎉 emoji, then when you drag a card into that list you get a burst of confetti.  However, if you’ve enabled the “prefers reduced motion” in your OS settings, then the confetti does not appear.

Userlevel 1

Great!  Looking forward to seeing some creative solutions!  Let me know how I can help.

I was invited to a Miro collaboration for the first time today and nearly had to leave due to the motion sickness induced by the zooming cursors and the changes of scale needed to read the text on the smaller post-its. I found I was becoming nauseous and it was difficult to concentrate on the speaker and the task in hand.  Once I reported it on the meeting chat channel I was told about turning off the other participants cursors, which helped, and I was able to complete the session but the need to zoom in and out and pan back and forth just to read what the other participants were doing was still quite unpleasant, I would prefer not to use Miro in future based on this experience.  A “prefers reduced motion” suite of actions would be useful to people like me.