Meet the new Mural: Intentional practices. Extraordinary work.
December 6, 2022
The company was looking for "bigger, stronger, tougher adhesives,” so when one 3M scientist, Spencer Silver, created a not-so-sticky glue, it seemed to be of no use, a throw-away. Years went by before another scientist — Art Fry — needed a special kind of bookmark. Fry connected with Silver, they got to collaborating, and together they turned an incidental creation into an innovation — the Post-It note was born.
A simple not-so-sticky piece of paper became an enduring innovation. Post-Its were used to share small bits of information, and teams learned that they could also hold big ideas. When used with purpose, you could turn small squares into big impact.
The mighty sticky note is revered here at Mural. It’s been honored, right there in our logo for years:
That changes today. Today starts a new chapter as we’ve transformed our brand and overhauled our product interface. To understand why, you have to understand what we know:
The creation of the sticky note was luck. Eleven years of teams working with Mural has taught us this:
The best teams don’t leave innovation to chance. They know how to make their own luck.
The debate over where work happens is over
The future of work has arrived … and it's a mess. According to Microsoft’s most recent Work Trend Index Special Report from September, two data points stood out like sore thumbs:
85% of leaders at hybrid companies aren’t confident in the productivity of employees
73% of hybrid employees say they need a better reason to go in to the office than company expectations
It's hard to blame leaders for worrying over the productivity of their people. Still, when leaders solve this problem by mandating people go back to the office, is it any surprise people become disgruntled and disenfranchised?
After all, what’s the point when no matter where work happens, the end result isn’t much different? Teams still suffer through poorly planned meetings whether they happen in person, remote, or from anywhere.
The problem isn’t location. Forget where. How you collaborate — that makes all the difference.
Once you're deliberate about how your team works, great work isn’t an accident. It’s inevitable. Teams that are doing the best work of their careers don’t debate over where work happens because the intentional practices they apply to how they collaborate bring legitimacy and purpose to where (and when) they work together.
Mural changes today to change how teams work tomorrow
Tens of thousands of teams at the most impressive, most durable and innovative companies in the world — companies like IBM, Autodesk, Intuit, Booz Allen, Gitlab and more — have proven to us over eleven years that how you collaborate makes all the difference. They changed their how, and you can too.
Any team can do extraordinary work together, if they know how.
In 2022 with the launch of collaborative intelligence and acquisition of LUMA Institute we began to advance our long-term vision for collaboration. LUMA is an organization with deep expertise in training enterprise teams to be collaborative problem solvers. Collaborative intelligence suggests a systematic approach to how we work together, unlocking the potential of the team and taking insights and ideas from possibility to reality.
Today is the next step. Mural now looks and feels different to advance our mission to support how teams collaborate from anywhere so that they can do their best work together. The next time you sign in to Mural, a refreshingly new product experience will be available to you.
Meet the new Mural.
Intentional practices. Extraordinary work.
The new Mural leads with a bold promise: “Intentional practices. Extraordinary work.” How we collaborate starts with taking care to plan and anticipate, first inviting and then guiding participation. We apply intentional practices designed to advance a team's ideas to impact. The result is remarkable, extraordinary work.
You can’t miss Mural’s new logo. It’s strong, provocative, and rooted in concepts of structure and play. Those foundational black bars you see on either side of the “M” open up a colorful space with plenty of room for imagination, exploration, and movement.
Our new colors are deliberately bright, optimistic, and energetic (like how we imagine collaboration should be), with just enough depth to still feel warm and welcoming.
Our new approach to illustrations is the most vibrant and poetic expression of our brand. We collaborated with artists who are in sync with our ethos and express optimism in their work.
The new Mural brand sparks imagination — imagination you can put to work with your team in Mural.
A new Mural product experience
“It's the little things that keep users engaged — that make all the difference.”
Teamwork is more engaging when it feels natural and fun. Engaged people are more creative and productive too. Like the new brand, the new Mural product experience is built to invite participation and guide it effortlessly, so people are led to share ideas and connect.
Modern. Clear. Clean. Bold. Fun. Well-organized. Intentional. These are not our words. These are the words of our customers. Initial research from early product beta testers highlighted three specific areas of improvements:
Ease of navigation — “The new organization makes sense and will be a benefit for new users since they will learn Mural faster.” Grouping functionality into different clusters makes the product easy to move around, which is especially beneficial for those who just begin to learn Mural.
Quick to learn, even for the pros —"I love how clean it is, it's very user friendly.”A big user interface (UI) change often makes power users unhappy. Not with the new Mural UI. Adjusting to this new change is quick, even for people who have muscle memory of “classic Mural.”
Modern and Intentional — “It's more modern, more contrast.” 'Nuff said.
The experience of using the new Mural feels happy — as it should! Internally, our new design language is called Hana, a Hawaiian word that literally translates to “happy work.”
Please make yourself at home — with the Mural canvas experience
Planning ahead means anticipating and preparing to meet people where they are. The new experience on a mural — what you might think of as the whiteboard or canvas — does just that. The new canvas experience helps you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. With these changes you’ll feel right at home right away:
Timer, voting, private mode, and laser pointer, our Facilitation Superpowers® features, are clearly and prominently grouped
Sticky notes, text, and tables each get their own button in the sidebar
Actions to manage the mural are cleaned up and reorganized
We updated our icons to make them fresh and clearly, boldly communicate what does what. For a bit of fun, we added small moments of movement and animation to help inform members how a feature works. Our personal favorite is the llama to represent icons! 🦙
"LOVE the llama icon. Made it fun, less corporate, and illustrates there’s more to search for."
New rounded corners help maintain visual consistency and soften the appearance of sticky notes, menus, and toolbars, increasing contrast to mural content that appears in the background. You'll find those new shadows serve a purpose, too.
Because you can’t have fun without a little bit of color, we expanded our core set of default colors. We made several changes to hue, saturation, and brightness for a more accessible palette that meets WCAG AA standards.
Welcome to your new collaboration center
Member research emphasized how important it was to have quick access to your work, regardless of where in Mural it lives. So the new dashboard experience is designed to anticipate the needs of more people. Highlights:
Home, Recent, Starred and Search now populate content from all the workspaces you’ve joined. (Plus you can still drill down to a specific workspace when you want!)
Search results are much more visual and clearly differentiated as murals, templates, or rooms
Rooms (left sidebar navigation) now have their own dedicated landing page just like murals and templates
Altogether, these changes help solve cross-workspace pain points and remove friction. They also make space for brand new features (coming soon!).
Finally, don’t miss the new profile pages. Profile pages help create stronger connections to those you work with — beyond just what you collaborate on. Accessible from clicking member avatars in the Home view of the dashboard, they are your personal hub in Mural to manage your profile information, rediscover your content across workspaces, browse template recommendations, and more.
Extraordinary teamwork is yours for the making — with Mural
Like 3M's Post-It, the power of the digital sticky note cannot be overstated. More than a billion digital sticky notes have been placed on murals by millions of people around the world. The sticky note is a powerful holder of ideas, but it’s how you use them that really matters — and that should be no accident.
Our future at Mural is in helping teams advance ideas to impact by changing how they work. Once you combine intentional practices for collaboration with a space built for teamwork, extraordinary teamwork is yours for the making.
So make it a mural, not a meeting. Start one now, and opt into the new canvas experience (you’ll automatically get the new collaboration center).
P.S. Transforming a brand and product doesn’t happen overnight nor without help. Mural partnered with COLLINS, a transformation and design consultancy to reconceptualize our brand. For our product work, we partnered with design studio and product realization lab Totem. Our deepest gratitude to the incredible COLLINS and Totem teams. Thank you!
About the authors
About the authors
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer
A lifelong learner, passionate about strategy, productivity, and simplicity.
A passion for creating designs that put people first.