How did you go about discovering how Miro’s feature set best fit your organizations communication needs?


Hi Everyone,

I’d like to share some context then I’ll dive into the meat of the question. I am a UX/Product designer that is currently leading a small volunteer team that is working through how we can improve the experience of working remotely for our company. One continual pain-point has been the lack of ability to quickly move from discussion, to drawing out the idea or concept being described. So we did some quick testing of different apps and some discovery work with different hardware solutions and decided we would like to see Miro + iPads tested with a larger group. 

 

The feature set of a digital communication tool like Miro is new to us, really to the company at large. The UX team has done some dabbling in testing tools like this, but nothing ever stuck. So to frame the type of experimentation we are hoping for well, think of it like a discovery phase. We are hoping to learn what is out there, what applies, what doesn’t apply, who uses it and how does it impact how they communicate/ their work.

We have 3 test groups that are set up to use the tool, all with different needs. Our UX team, one of our Dev teams (which has the most diverse group) and a team of our customer support managers.

 

Even with the excitement from different members of this group we have run into a few things I could use your help understanding how do do well.

  • Few are investing time to explore the tool or put it into use in day to day work because of the perceived cost of it failing or the additional cost it takes to learn the tool in order to use it well.
  • Miro tends to lend itself well to collaborative workshops, but those are also the highest cost meetings to run (think salaries per hour of people involved) and usually contain a diverse group of people far outside our smaller test group. Because of this few want to test Miro while doing this type of activity.
  • It’s hard to fully recognize (or in my case measure) how Miro can help every day work until you experience the impact it has had on work that is valuable to you.

So this leads me to the questions all of you can help with.

  1. How did you get colleagues engaged in using Miro?
  2. How did you discover/ measure the impact the tool has had on your communication?
  3. How did you overcome the cost of your colleagues learning the Miro tool set?
  4. How did you facilitate the use of Miro to communicate becoming a habit much like the habit of picking up a pen at the whiteboard?
  5. (A bit unrelated but very helpful) What has been the most valuable function of Miro in changing communication at your organization? 

Thank you all in advance for your help! I’m hitting a mental wall when it comes to how to facilitate the discovery of this tool without it feeling like I’m asking my test participants to spend a lot of time in meetings that don’t produce value for them, so any examples, or suggestions you have are greatly appreciated! :smile:

 


4 replies

more answers needed

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@Max Harper  - yep! Overload!! - I’ve read half so far!!! but I agree what  Ive read!!!!

@Amber - I’m part way through the journey and mine is slightly different as for me its a case of peers who are independent subject matter experts - consultants and customers who mostly haven’t yet woken to the opportunity but have all the reservations Max noted in his first few paragraphs (or have an alternate tool like teams/ zoom whiteboards and think thats equal!

 

My actions so far have been to look at lots of tools and note for those I’m not progressing with WHY so as I go and someone says “we should use...” I can answer “My reservation was...”

I’ve done a ‘sensible’ sized (between a half and 2 days effort) piece of work in several tools to further learn the nice and not so nice experience elements

I’ve invited a few peers into a chat on a board 1-2-1 with the miro camera & c on and directly worked a discussion with a mindmap or postits & dropped docusments etc

I did a video of the results of using miro for one assignment in which I dropped in and out of character as ‘working using miro’ and commenting on what I had just done - stuck it on drop box and told folk “watch it at double speed, it halves the time to watch”

I will do but haven’t yet done an on-boarding video and embed it into a board and share thathh link

@max - I’ll read the rest of your post later too :)

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These are great questions @Amber!

I have wondered a few myself and for my company. When I first started using Miro, I went around to almost everyone I knew would benefit and said, “Hey, you have to try this!”

I think at a basic level we just need to present the need and then the solution. It’s a lot easier to adopt new things if you know you have a problem and then the solution is at hand.

Curious to see how the community answers these questions :)

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@Amber    

Awesome questions … I empathize with your quest.  I want a revolution of visual thinking in the work world and think about this a lot. Here’s a bunch of thoughts … hope its not overboard :/ 

I’m helping an ed-tech company right now do a very similar thing to what you described your task force is up to. They’re specifically trying to go beyond/adapt their internal communication away from a culture oriented around the very verbal/non-visual “Amazon Memo” and get more visualize communication. 

I tend to think of three primary hurdles to adoption of Miro / tools like Miro. 2 specific and one general. 

  1. Visual thinking, communicating, problem solving capacity and culture in a company needs to be sufficiently high to value the communication type/mode at all.
    1. Resistance here sounds like: “just put this in a doc please”, “i can’t draw” 
    2. Solutions here: books, trainings, skill sharing, encouragement, 
  2. Digital design/diagramming tool comfort/fluency.  This applies for both creation as well as review, markup/comment, edit/collaborate, use modes.
    1. Resistance here sounds like: “Argggh, I don’t see where you’re talking about… “ “how do I make a line?” “why can’t i click this?”  “why did I accidentally move that?” “can I group things?” “how do i align things?” 
    2. Solutions here: training on miro tools, learn by doing, and miro tutorials
  3. “ Yet another tool ???!! “   This is the general tool adoption conundrum.
    1. Resistance here is usually centered around the setup process (sign up, account creation, password, tutorial, installing on devices, first tutorials, all the first appeals all over the app), OR the fracturing of information on to too many platforms. 
    2. Solutions: Miro has done a lot to take the sting out of both of these (central account commissioning by domain admins, team structures, etc) and their API and app extension library (plugins with many other commonly used apps offer the ability to keep info synced across apps). Live editable embedded google docs in a Miro board is fantastic example of game-changing capabilities of Miro to allow the doc-centric and visual-centric to collaborate. 

I tend to tell clients that:

  • Adoption of a tool like Miro will likely need to be lead from ‘the top’ or from ‘a top’ (like a team lead).  However, it can also be chosen by teams and and then pitched to leadership in a Wow demo: lead from bottom up. Either direction, it’ll take a campaign of behavior change … 
  • Guiding math:
    • reduce the perceived and real on-boarding and integration pain / cost
    • promote the productivity payoff by demonstrating the tool’s superpowers. 
  • The effort may likely be a combo of:
    • soft dictate (“I’d like us try this out”)
    • sales pitch (‘this is going to make us better”)
    • hand hold (‘Paul is going to help us test implementing Miro and get us set up and trained up, thank you Paul’)  
  • Expect having to sell a tool like Miro based on its super powers and synergies with other tools - and that if your team wants the super powers you’ll need to do some time in training and building your Miro muscles. 
  • You’ve identified a huge key point. Don’t use the new tool on the high stakes high value moment right off the bat.
  • Assign a productivity or sort of ‘tooling pioneer team’ to explore Miro and work through many of your company’s/users’ workflows and sticking points.  By having a few people aggregate tens to hundreds of user questions, concerns, workflow challenges, feature familiarity, integration and plugin setups-- that small group can spend one concentrated chunk of time researching and resolving the issues and then hosting a second ‘training’ / ‘setup’ jam that addresses your company/user needs directly. This cuts the time investment for each user down considerably. And gets many people over their sticking points all in one go. 
  • Experiment with a test project, with the explicit goal of testing Miro’s capabilities.
    • one that is perfectly suited to leverage Miro’s strengths
    • one that is short in duration and has the potential to give Miro an early motivating WIN
    • engage in genuine training for the tool and feedback sessions. 
  • The on-boarding test/learn project could even be hypothetical and the Miro test could be done under zero pressure other than to test drive and familiarize the team with the super powers.
    • What this might sound like: “I wonder if it can do this..” “Oh look… it does this” “Show me how you did that thing”). This could be kind of a ‘learn and experiment jam’ and could extend to regular monthly sessions where people round up the new features or work flow discoveries on Miro (building the collective human capital).
  • Often the first board that a user or team makes is the ‘Test out miro capabilities sandbox’ and can be a living demonstration of its capabilities that other users can later review to see what the learning team discovered in the ‘learn and experiment jam’
    • also: a miro board is perfect place to build a repository of knowledge about how the company can use miro, lessons about features and capabilities, tutorial references, etc. The learning library of sorts. 
    • yet another tool  -- the Loom screen video capture tool -- is great for teaching and cross training Miro work flows. 

 

Some questions I’d invite you to ponder:

  • How would you characterize your team’s visual communication and visual problem solving capacity? 
  • When your company does(did) work together in offices / conference rooms, did they use whiteboards or other visuals to communicate with one another and work out ideas?  Who did? When / during what task(s)? Can that be a starting point to replicate Miro’s usage. 
  • What tools has your team adopted together ?  What worked there? What not so much? 
  • Does ‘everyone’ in your company need to adopt usage of Miro to the same degree and at the same time? 
    • by this I mean, is it arguable that some key team members (team leads, or cross-domain collaborators, designers, planners, strategists, etc..) are the ones who need to use Miro for highest impact of visual thinking? 
    • is there small set of key people who could lead in its adoption and use that others would follow? Influencers.

 

 

 

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