As the world shifted towards hybrid/remote work, meetings burnout and disengaged teams also drastically increased. While email and messaging tools allow knowledge workers to work independently, too many pings can be overwhelming, unclear, and disengaging.
For Miro users, we observed that work benefits from co-creating on an online canvas. However, users need more than just images and text to explain their thoughts and request for action. Unfortunately, the norm for this guidance has always been “more meetings”. We felt there had to be more efficient and human ways to collaborate asynchronously.
After conducting a longitudinal study tracking participant activities at work, we identified 3 main areas of opportunity to improve async work collaboration:
- HMW enable users to understand content and context easily?
- HMW reduce friction in collaboration by enabling clear and specific “calls to action” (“CTAs”)?
- HMW ensure users don’t feel like they are working in isolation?
At first, the solution seemed straightforward: we could just build a screen recorder, to provide better knowledge sharing. But, with Miro being the playground of collaboration, a passive viewing experience that is detached from the collaboration space seemed to be a missed opportunity.
During the design sprint, We started to imagine a way for creators to explain their content and guide peers to specific CTAs on the board. Someone asked: “what if, instead of having a recording of the screen, we let the viewer follow the recorder inside the board as if it was a real-time, in-board, experience?” So they can easily follow and take the next step, directly on the board, as if they are working together!
A quick prototype and several rounds of user testing resulted in positive feedback, and the idea was brought to life as Talktrack.
Talktrack lets users record interactive walkthroughs of their Miro board, but what’s special about it is that the recording is “in” the board. So when viewers watch the recording, they are literally on the board following the movements of the recorder (from the past). They can interact with the board content, add comments and make edits directly to the board!
This way, communication, and collaboration can be done in the same place. The result is an immersive experience that feels like two people are working together at the same time, when in fact they are collaborating async – with fewer unnecessary meetings, more engagement, and ultimately better outcomes.
Since its beta launch, people have been using Talktrack in creative ways. Presenters use it for meeting pre-reads, so they can focus on meaningful discussions, rather than wasting time on parts of the presentation their audience is already aligned on or is not interested in. Anxious presenters find Talktrack to be a great alternative for them to share information in a way that feels comfortable. And remote teams use Talktrack for async updates in a more personal way.
Talktrack enables a hybrid way of collaboration that is inclusive, productive, mindful, and ultimately, more human, effectively blurring the lines between synchronous and asynchronous collaboration.