Mural.ly – super duper collaborative walls

by Andy Polaine on July 17, 2013

in Links

Anyone who has worked with me in the last few years will know my propensity to use a lot of Post-It notes. It’s a design cliché, I know, but true. I just find it really hard to think when I look at something in a big Word doc or, worse, Excel. My eyes glaze over and my brain switches off when I view Excel docs.

The crossover from physical to digital has always been a bit of a chore though. How to go from a wall of Post-It notes to something that can be digitally shared? The general approach is to photograph the wall and/or transcribe it all into some kind of template. I know there are sticky-note apps out there, but I haven’t really gotten into them. I still feel the need for a wall too. I know others use a projector for this, so that could be an option in the future. My dream process would be:

  1. Put a load of Post-It notes on the wall.
  2. Take a photo.
  3. Have some software automagically recognise the notes and layout and text and put it into a digitally manipulatable form.

If anyone does know of anything that already does this, please let me know! (Post-It not scribbles seem too crinkly for Evernote’s OCR, just in case you’re wondering).

On the digital side, this post from Lauren Currie about mural.ly hooked my interest. It’s basically a shareable whiteboard/moodboard/anythingboard. Okay, so there are few tools that already do similar things, but this is particularly easy to use and it hooks into other services well.

I thought I would have a go at seeing how easily I could crank out a simple service design blueprint with some images. In about 5-10 minutes I got this (which should be embedded, if not, try this link). It’s not going to win any design awards, but it was really quick. The nicest thing was being able to Google for images within the app and just pull them into the board. For quick storyboard mock-ups of concepts, this would be ideal. You can also turn them into presentation, Prezi style, without the annoying Flash crap.

Soon I’ll never have to leave my office at all and I can let the cobwebs grow on my shoulders.

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