Our top 10 things we love about Miro

|Laura Heine

The UX design process has many phases, and at b13 we have tools that support each phase. One of our favorite tools, Miro, can stand in the place of many as a kind of multitool. Designed to be a digital whiteboard, Miro is powerful and popular software that helps remote and distributed teams communicate and collaborate. Its well-designed features mean it can be used for everything from UI design to project management and everything in between. 

You may already be using Miro but don’t know some of the most exciting things it can do or innovative ways it can be incorporated into your design process. We use Miro all the time and want to share what we love about it.

1. Collaboration with clients online and in real-time

Miro is optimized for online collaboration. We use it to hold workshops online, a clear advantage as remote and distributed teams become more common. It’s easy for our clients to access; they can view our work without the barriers of needing an account or logging in. Additionally, all the helpful tools that make offline workshops productive, like post-its, stickers, highlighters, etc, have a digital equivalent in Miro, so you can get to work straight away. And to top it off, taking photos of whiteboards is a thing of the past — everything in Miro is automatically saved for analysis after the event.

2. Easy for clients to understand and engage with

When you arrive at a client meeting in person, with poster paper, markers, and post-its in hand, stakeholders can form an impression of a long and unnecessary workshop. This might make them apprehensive, put their barriers up, and discourage open participation. By contrast, when you simply open a browser tab showing a prepared Miro canvas (pre-filled with templates and digital post-its), it’s much less intimidating for attendees and more efficient for us. Miro’s features help change dull presentations to active discussions. Once the group team gets the sense they are being talked to, not at, we can get to the collaboration (and insights) faster. Additionally, when it comes to participating in workshops, Miro is beginner-friendly. Miro’s intuitive interface and tools lower the barrier to entry, and most newcomers quickly grasp how it works, without tutorials or detailed instructions.

3. Templates make it easy to prepare for any meeting

Whether it’s ideation, daily stand-ups, customer personas, or user journey mapping, Miro has templates for every kind of meeting. This extensive library of prepared templates means you can quickly and easily create your canvas ahead of time, setting the stage for more productive meetings. These templates are customizable, so they can be tailored to fit your specific business needs, and then saved to your own library.

4. Flexibility

Reacting in real-time is so important when you’re in a collaborative session. You may need to pivot and chase the energy or ideas that emerge. Miro's flexibility means you have all the tools at your disposal to respond to the direction your meeting is taking. Your Miro boards can become living documents that evolve or expand with the project. 

  • Add new templates for project ideas that pop up
  • Scribble wireframes for quick visualization
  • Capture thoughts for later discussion without going off-track

5. Built-in tools to facilitate a workshop

Often, when you’re hosting a workshop, hunting for the tool or tabs you need means you risk wasting time, losing momentum, or decreasing team member engagement. Miro’s built-in features help you conduct workshops in a focused, structured manner. Some of our favorite built-in workshop tools include: 

  • Timer: This feature ensures you stay on track with your agenda, which makes for more smoothly conducted workshops and meetings. Additionally, relieving your team members from the responsibility of time-keeping frees up more mental space for them to focus and contribute. Plus: the timer can even play background music during a session!
  • Voting: Get real-time updates on the options or ideas your team prefers. This feature collects feedback quickly, without errors, and ensures everyone is heard, from the loudest talker to the quietest introvert.
  • Comments: Don’t lose valuable in-workshop thoughts; get them down right away in comments. Tag people in comments when you want to draw their attention to a specific section of the board. Contributions can also be anonymous, which helps encourage more creative ideas and broader engagement. 

6. Can be used for more than just UX and client meetings

Beyond UX design, Miro can also be used to plan projects and timelines, get your team on board with an idea, or review projects internally. Miro’s special permissions mean you can designate Miro boards for your internal team members' eyes only. For project managers, Miro’s visual format keeps them up-to-date on a project’s latest information, so their decision-making on a project’s progress and next steps are as informed as possible. Miro’s numerous integrations mean project managers can still use the daily tools they rely on, like Jira, Monday.com, and Asana. 

Some design tools have a steep learning curve that makes getting started with them difficult – for designers and other team members. But you don’t need any knowledge of design tools to use Miro; most users can understand the purpose of its features by browsing through the interface. This means quick onboarding for people new to the project. The way Miro displays information can also make a project’s strategy, timelines, and goals more easily graspable for visual learners.

7. Great for working on your own to organize your thoughts

When it’s time for data analysis, Miro’s infinite canvas gives you endless space to get your ideas out of your head. You can zoom out or zoom in as much as you want. 

Sometimes linear activities (like writing) aren’t enough to capture the full scope of your ideas. That’s when you move beyond collating data and into defining and organizing the relationships between your information. Miro allows you to create nodes, branches, mind maps, and clusters of information so you can communicate the most accurate visual representation of your idea, plan, or strategy. Once you’re past the messy initial phases, your private board can easily become a shareable one by inviting others.

8. Great way to start low-fidelity

As a designer, it can be tempting to design EVERYTHING — even initial phases like ideation and brainstorming. Miro’s basic design options with bright colors and simple shapes can help you speed up your process, let go of perfectionism, and make participation for non-designers less intimidating. The simplicity can help you effectively communicate your “big idea” without getting lost in the details, and make low-fidelity designing more inclusive, focused, and uniform.

9. Access from everywhere

As a browser-based tool, Miro can be accessed from everywhere and by everyone invited. No more locally saved notes that no one else can access when something happens to your laptop or you’re out of office. A browser-based single source of truth means no more large email attachments to share designs, or worrying about who has the latest version. This greater accessibility helps reduce the myriad of technical barriers, difficulties, and hurdles that can slow a project’s progress or communication down

10. Easy exports

After developing a solution like a sitemap or user flow, it’s easy to export them as a PDF or image. Miro uses the handy feature “frames” to highlight a selected portion of a board, which you can then export. You can use your exports to add to documentation, display on a tablet at a conference, or mail to stakeholders as a physical copy. 

Explore the surprises Miro has in store

Miro is comprehensive software that has a place in every phase of the design process, and we use it daily. Miro’s well-thought-out features make the creation, organization, and visualization of data and ideas refreshingly straightforward. What’s more, it enables the sharing of these ideas, making them accessible to non-designers, internal teams, and clients, for workshops that are more collaborative, productive, and efficient.

What are your favorite ways to use Miro?

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