Links and Table of Contents

  • 17 April 2020
  • 6 replies
  • 1900 views

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Hello awesome Miro Community.  I wanted to relay a problem I am having around creating and maintaining a Table of Contents (TOC) on my boards.

After seeing @Jeremy Pollack in the NORAM VMUG: 05 create links from one object to another, I immediately thought it would be amazing to create references on my larger, more complex boards in the form on a TOC.  When the team loads the board, the view centers on the TOC and folks can navigate easily to the area of the board they want to work in (or to a different board altogether). Then, in major or key areas of the board, I can create a “Return to TOC” link and now my team can jump around with ease.  My initial proof of concept using this method worked amazingly well, so I am confident there is an elegant solution here.

The issue that has come up is that once you have linked to an object or group of objects on the board, if you change that object, the link is no longer valid, and the TOC stops working as intended. On the board I was working on, it is my Return to TOC buttons that have all failed (maybe 25 of them), and so it is now back to navigating manually or fixing 25 links which is a bit of a pain.

What I am looking for feedback on is if anyone else has used TOCs or links in creative ways that might solve my problems and keep my faith in linking information on boards.

I would be happy to run anyone who is interested in creating TOCs through a demo of what has worked for me, and maybe we can brainstorm together.

Thanks everyone!

 

Jon


6 replies

Userlevel 4

I don’t have a perfect solution. I’ve experienced the same challenge. My best recommendation is to use either a frame (you *can* group frames but I never do) or a large no-filled box around the larger content. That ends up being manageable to keep them independently locked. 

Also, I use the Note feature sometimes now as well, though for that instead of going to ALL the topics, I’ll use that to point at the main sections and related boards. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Thanks @Jeremy Pollack. I have moved away from frames recently because the frame titles get in the way when you are zoomed out, and it creates some confusion on the board. Also, I sometimes want to do presentations and that is impossible when you’ve framed everything. Though I do understand that we might be getting some additional functionality with frames soon so that you can create multiple views or presentations in the same board.

Your solution around Note is interesting. Do you just paste the link in there with a description of which section it goes to? That’s not a bad idea for a TOC, but the link integrity would be challenged in the same way if you moved or altered content.

I wonder if the best way to go is to put objects in each of your work areas that you can link to, like a specific icon or photo. Something that would never change or be edited. That could be a way of injecting more personality into a board while staying functional. But even with this, people could still edit the Table of Contents itself and break links. I wonder if I am trying to force something in here that is not intended? 

Any other ideas from the community?

Userlevel 5

I don’t have a perfect solution. I’ve experienced the same challenge. My best recommendation is to use either a frame (you *can* group frames but I never do) or a large no-filled box around the larger content. That ends up being manageable to keep them independently locked. 

Also, I use the Note feature sometimes now as well, though for that instead of going to ALL the topics, I’ll use that to point at the main sections and related boards. 

 

Hi @Jeremy Pollack I am also using frames for this purpose. However, links to frames also break unfortunately once you rename them for whatever reason.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

I believe there is a wish list topic out there for improving the functionality of links to be a bit more robust - e.g. making them relative rather than absolute so they will work if you duplicate a board.

Kiron

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I wonder if the best way to go is to put objects in each of your work areas that you can link to, like a specific icon or photo. Something that would never change or be edited. That could be a way of injecting more personality into a board while staying functional. But even with this, people could still edit the Table of Contents itself and break links. I wonder if I am trying to force something in here that is not intended? 

Any other ideas from the community?

 

@Jonathan White  

I bolded your comment that I think is absolutely the right way to approach this at the time being.  

I mocked up what I might do to accomplish this.  

I think of it as you mentioned like … pre-building a set of linked buttons and target anchors that you place in your ‘workspaces’.  The button / target anchors don’t need to be colored in this way… this is for demo purposes… They might all get a link color and get titled by their target. or they might get colored by their target.. lots of options… but, yeah, the main goal here is to build immutable, permanent anchors and buttons that get positioned in a TOC and out at the target workspaces. 

 

Here’s the links visualized.  I think of the super source as the workspace beginning.

Super source could be a TOC and contain the first row of buttons.

OR… it could be the workspace ‘start point / orientation space’ 

 

Ideally this structure of internal links could be relative and be templated. For now we have to create it manually… so that ctrl+k hotkey makes this tolerable. 

 

@Kiron Bondale  I totally agree.. I’ve heard the ‘relative  vs global’  and/or ‘local vs global link mentioned a couple of times in these discussions.  It’s probably the next step of functionality for links.  It opens up being able to make fully operable templates complete with relative links.  It’ll be interesting to see how the engineers choose to handle the functionality …  what will be the root node of a relative tree.  Right now it appears to be a board and the address of the link is a widget ID.  A challenge… but, man, the things we’ll all be able to do when they implement.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@Max Harper -

From a design perspective, I think it is fine to use relative linking with the board ID as being the only variable. That is no different than moving an application’s configuration from one server to another - the specific install locations remains the same, only the server name has changed.

I would also think the Miro development team could uniquely identify each object within a board. Then, the link would be to that object’s ID regardless of how much it has morphed or evolved since the link was originally created.

Kiron

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