Sometimes arise original tools, creative, simple and useful, to help us develop our ideas and creativity. Mural.ly it is a good example, allowing us to quickly create murals for our brainstorming, without the restrictions of a mind map hierarchy, with the particularity of presenting with zoom animations (similar to Prezi), and best all, in a 100% web and collaborative.

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Murals

A mural is a board or container in which we add elements that reflect our ideas. These items can be almost anything, such as a photo, a link, a selected part of a Web page, a video, a document (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint …), an icon, etc..

Elements

On the left you can find, vertically, the various tools to add items to the mural, classified by three categories: Content, Tools and Show.

Content

  • Web Content: Allows you to insert any type of content: photos, videos, news, maps, text documents, presentations, etc., either from the web or from your computer. In itself, this menu has no icons or buttons to add, if not that, having opened mural.ly, in another browser window, you can select and drag part of a news to the window of mural. The same goes for a photo of a page, an Instagram image, a Youtube video, a SkyDrive or DropBox document. You can also add items using the file explorer files.
  • Images: Allows you upload images directly from your computer.

Tools

  • Text:Allows you to insert a text on several formats:
    • Title: Title (single line text)
    • Text Box: Text box (multiple lines text)
    • Sticky Notes: Post-its in several colors
  • Shapes: Allows you to insert several shapes:
    • Connection lines.
    • Connection lines with arrows.
    • Circle.
    • Rectangle.
    • Triangle.
    • Schema shape ({)
    • Smile
    • Rag doll.
  • Stickers: Allows you to insert different pre-defined icons.
  • Spaces: Allows you to insert a content organization structure, such as tables, parallel lines, concentric circles, Kanbas boards, etc.
  • Backgrounds: Allows you to select a texture for the background mural.

Show

  • Comments: Balloon comments.
  • Show: Allows you to define areas for zooms, in secuential order, to be shown in presentations.

 

Mural actions

At to top of screen, you can see a black bar. At the left of this bar, you can see some options for general actions to be applied to the mural.

  • My Murals: Exit the current mural, showing a screen with the murals collection, in which you can select the mural you want to work.
  • Share: Allows you to share the current mural:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Download as image: Save the current mural as an image.
    • Copy Mural link: Copy to the clipboard the public link to the current mural.
    • Embed: Get the HTML code in order to publish the current mural as embeded in other web pages and blogs.
  • Invite collaborators: Allows you to invite to another people to work in this mural in a collaborative way.
  • Mural Privacy Settings: Set up the privacy of the mural: public or private.

At the right of the screen, you can find another mural options, focused to the edition. At the top, you can find a bar, which allows you to move through the mural, and also allows you to manage the zoom.

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At the bottom, you can find several options categorized on three vertical parts:

  • Top:
    • Previous-Next (right and left arrows): Secuential navigation through the zoom presentation areas.
    • Toogle Presentation: Enable/unable the presentation mode. In the mode presentation, the windows and the options are hidden and organized in an optimized mode, focusing to elements and presentation, in a complete screen mode.
    • Fit to content: Zoom the mural, covering all the mural elements.
    • Go to fullscreen mode: Complete screen mode, without minimize nor reorganize the tools.
  • Middle: Graphic representation of the mural and its current zoom.
  • Bottom:
    • Activity history.
    • Connected collaborators.
    • Chat with connected collaborators.

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    Elements actions

    When you clic an element, this one is selected, showing three icons, each one in a different corner:

    • Popip menu (+ icon): Clicking this icon, you will show a popup menu with the options applicable to selected element.
    • Resize (oblique arrows icon): Allows you resize the element.
    • Rotation (rotated arrow): Allows you to rotate the element.

    Mural.ly 4

    Popup menu

    If you clic an element using right clic of the mouse, a popup menu will be shown, which contains the options corresponding to this element. The most common options to all elements are the following:

    • Duplicate: Duplicate the element.
    • Lock: Locks the element (unabled to edit).
    • Unlock: Unlocks the element.
    • Bring to front: Brings the element to the front, above the other elements.
    • Send to back: Sends the element to the back, behind the other elements.
    • Delete: Eliminates the element.

    Mural.ly 5

    Displaying elements

    Some elements can be text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos or images. You can reproduce or display these elements:

    • Double clic over the element. sometimes does not work well. You must insist several times.
    • Right clic over the element (popup menu), and “Open preview” or “Open Video” option.

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    In conclusion

    late our brainstorming in a graphical and visual way. Unlike mindmap tool, we have not the constraints of parent-child hierarchy with its tree structure. Mural.ly have not limits on how to represent our ideas. We can use text, images, notes, documents or videos.

    Another important aspect of Mural.ly is the power offered in a Web 2.0 environment. No installation is required to run. You only need a browser, whether on a Windows, Linux, MacOS system, or also from a Tablet. Contributors from different parts of the world can work on the same mural. The chat option is important in order to discuss, clarify and express ideas and concepts.

    Mural.li is still in beta, but what can we see is amazing.

    The interface is simple, neat, elegant and intuitive. The user experience is very satisfying and natural. With Mural.ly, the only limit is our imagination.

    The best

    • Web environment.
    • Collaborative environment.
    • Simple, neat, elegant and intuitive.
    • Presentation mode, similar to Prezi.
    • Elements of any format.
    • Good support and excellent team behind the project. They are attentive to all, facilitating communication and the feedback.

To be improved

      • Displaying elements using double clic does not work well. You must display then using the popup menu.
      • More galleries, stickers and backgrounds.
      • More standard icons to express ideas.

      Links

      Home PAge | Mural.ly Home Page

       

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