Trick: Show the real name of an anonymous Guest Editor

  • 31 October 2020
  • 21 replies
  • 2885 views

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Are you a board owner who has facilitated a Miro board session with external, non-team participants and want to see their name beside their cursor* and not some random “Guest” name, e.g., Guest Editor, Guest Artisan, Guest Researcher? While the typical workaround is for that guest editor to first sign up for a free Miro account, there is another way.

*While I will keep referring to the benefit of the guest editor’s “name showing beside their cursor”, their name will also show up in:

  • the participants panel (top-right of board);
  • activity List pane (history of actions taken by that user);
  • comments;
  • an object’s Info pane, e.g., Created by: Bob Smith.

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Disclaimer: The steps outlined in this post are a number of different Miro functionalities at the time of this post that I found, when combined, could accomplish my desired outcome. The ability to give an anonymous Guest Editor a name should not be considered a supported feature and therefore you should not contact Miro Support if these steps do not work for you. Also, all of this is subject to change by Miro at any time.

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NOTE: This trick will NOT work if you have password protected the board!

 

If you are not not familiar with the Guest Editor feature or the scenario I have outlined above, read this next little bit. Otherwise, skip down to “How to give an anonymous Guest Editor a real name”.

Some background on the Guest Editor feature
Miro paid (or Education) plans allow for a board’s Share settings to be configured to allow for Anyone with the board link → Can edit. With this setting on, literally anyone can access and edit that board. When someone accesses a board in this way, they are considered a guest editor. There are also categories of guest that are worth noting: regular guest vs anonymous guest. The difference being:

  • Guest → The person accessing your board has a Miro account and is accessing your board from a browser/app where they are already signed into their Miro account. In this scenario, their name will show up beside their cursor.
  • Anonymous guest → Someone who either does not have a Miro account or is accessing your board while not signed into their account. When Miro detects the type of user accessing a board that is in edit mode, they assign each of these users a random guest name, e.g., Guest Editor, Guest Artisan, Guest Researcher.

How to give an anonymous Guest Editor a real name
I found that if you have a board in Anyone with the link -> Can comment mode, and the person is accessing this board while not signed into a Miro account and tries to add a new comment on the board, then Miro prompts them to either sign into their account or to enter their name:

Once they enter a name, all of their activities on the board will show that name. This got me thinking and after some tests, I discovered that I could set up my Miro board session in such a way that all anonymous guests editors’ names could show up beside their cursor.

 

Steps I took to give anonymous guest editors a name:

  1. Created a frame with a sticky note for each participant, as well as a shared sticky for any additional/unexpected participants.
  2. Set the frame as the board start view.
  3. Set the board’s Share settings to Anyone with the link -> Can comment.
  4. Shared the board link with the participants.
  5. As the participants arrived, they were instructed to right-click on the stick with their name and add a comment. Before they they do this, I cannot see that they are even on the board:

     

  6. When they press Enter to save their comment, if they are not already signed into a Miro account, they are prompted to enter their name:

     

  7. Once Jane has entered her name and the comment is saved, she immediately shows up as a board participant:

     

  8. Once all of the participants have showed up, added a comment/entered their name to a sticky note, I then change the board to Anyone with the link -> Can edit, and their names show up before their cursor and everywhere else on the board:

Flip board from Can comment to Can edit:

 

Name on cursor:

 

Name in comments:

 

Name in object Info:

 

Activity List pane history:


This method of structuring my session provides the additional benefits of:

  • Capturing attendance.
  • Keeping the board out of Edit mode until it is time for people to start editing the board.
  • Being able to review the board later and see who created and last modified the object on the board.

That’s it. I hope this has been useful. For more on guest editors, see the Collaboration with Anonymous Guest Editors help center article.

Questions:

  • Have you used this method in the past?
  • What other tips/tricks can you share when working with guest editors?
     

21 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

Excellent tip @Robert Johnson ! I’ll have to remember this the next time I’m using that access feature!

Kiron

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

Brilliant @Robert Johnson !  @Alisa Oyler and I will share this with our monthly Miro “playgroup”!

Userlevel 6
Badge +11

Great hack, @Robert Johnson! Thanks for sharing!

Ah,  this is a fantastic hack, as i often work with people with no miro account in my online trainings.
But during the sessions, it is very important to see their real names because they work a very long time on their own on the boards. So now i can see who is still working and who is not ;-) Thanks again, @Robert Johnson !

Wauw such a great post! 
I did not kew that this was possible.

I am going to try this out monday with some of my team members :)

Great, thanks! Having the name of a participant is incredibly useful. I understand that Miro wants to attract people to sign in… but sign in process is cumbersome and intruding. It would be really appreciated if users could easily select a name when attending as a guest.

Userlevel 1

It looks like this method doesn’t work anymore. Is it working for others?  I am on Enterprise with an incognito window open to make the comment. It just makes the comment.

I have heard that the renaming feature is coming “soon”. Maybe they disabled this workaround in anticipation of the feature.

Edit: It did actually work once. I’m not sure what I did differently. Every comment since (with a new window) just goes through.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@Brad Topliff - it is still working for me. I am on the Consultant Plan.

Thank you so much, Robert, for sharing this neat workaround!

Userlevel 4

Hi Robert, 
 

Thanks for all the work you've done to describe this in such a good way!
Regardless I'd still hope that Miro would provide the option for people to Enter a name next to the anonymous personality like Mural does as well. It remains optional, but you can make agreements with your participants to use this so that people can see who is who on the board. 
 

Does it work on Team Plan? when I was on free plan it was working but now on team plan its not working.

Please suggest!

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@Kundan - It should be working for all teams. To test,

  1. create a board in your Team Plan team
  2. set your board’s Share settings to Anyone with the link → Can comment
  3. copy the link to your clipboard
  4. open the board from a private/incognito browser window
  5. you should now be on the board as a non-signed in user
  6. add a comment to the board and press enter
  7. you should now be prompted to type in a name - as a test, enter Bugs Bunny
  8. with the incognito window still open, go back to your signed in session and change the board’s Share settings to Anyone with the link → Can edit
  9. You should now see “Bugs Bunny” as an active participant on the board and beside their cursor. 

Hi, @Robert Johnson thanks for your reply - 

still not able to set the name :( see my share setting - 

and see the board on different browser, here miro is not logged in - 

 

not asking for name when I added new comment.

regards,

Kundan Kr. Rai

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@Kundan - Perhaps Miro has made a change. I sent you a PM with a test board I just set up.

Yes, I think Miro have killed this trick, it doesn’t seem to work any more - shame.

 

 

 

Yes, I think Miro have killed this trick, it doesn’t seem to work any more - shame.

 

 

 

 

Try by removing the browser cache or on the incognito window.

Yes, I think Miro have killed this trick, it doesn’t seem to work any more - shame.

 

 

 

 

Try by removing the browser cache or on the incognito window.

This was in a new Chrome ‘guest’ window.

 
Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@Meirion Williams - This is still working for me.

To test this, I have created a board that is in Anyone with the link → Can comment mode.

If you either (1) open an incognito window (so you are not signed into your Miro account) or (2) sign out of your Miro account, then go to my board and add a comment to the board:

https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_lVmMOaY=/

This is what happens for me when I do this right now (as you can see, because I an not signed in to Miro, I get the “Sign up for free” box at the top):

 

It didn’t work. But then I tried removing the board password, and it worked after that!

So you can’t have a password on the board for the trick to work - strange.
I suppose I can remove the password, let the guests in, then put the password back.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

It didn’t work. But then I tried removing the board password, and it worked after that!

So you can’t have a password on the board for the trick to work - strange.
I suppose I can remove the password, let the guests in, then put the password back.

 

Ahhhhh, there’s the answer! Good catch - thank you! I will update the original post to include this caveat!

Userlevel 4

Still very annoying to have to use such a lengthy workaround for a feature the major competitor (Mural) just has for anonymous contributors. In Mural it just ask you if you came in via a non facilitator link to fill in your name (but it remains optional). IMHO this is a great way to use it and if your session needs for anonymous contribution you can still use this.

I will bring it up with Kate (one of the miro PO's) to hear why mural has this kind of setup.

 

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