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Tangram Mural Energizer and Exercise

0 min. leestijd

Mural is fantastic. As a collaboration tool, a virtual table or wall for co-creative sessions and other workshops. However it isn’t as straightforward to master for many participants. We have made a small introduction and instruction exercise based on the tangram ‘puzzle’. Find all material (.ai .eps and .png) and instructions below.

We’ve been using Mural now for over two months and it is has been of great use to us, both for our team and clients. One thing we seem to underestimate however is getting used to it’s user interface. Many first time participants in our online workshops keep struggling with Mural. Moving, zooming, panning and copying isn’t that easy for those not using apps like illustrator or powerpoint much.

That in mind we started thinking about a simple exercise that we could add to online sessions. Something that would combine a simple introductory energizer with a low-key exercise to discover Mural’s UI. We came up with a simple exercise based on the tangram puzzle.

Preparing the Mural (or Miro) board.

Preparations are actually quite simple and shouldn’t  take you more than a few minutes. I haven’t used Miro but expect it to function similarly. Follow the steps below

  1. Open an existing or new Mural board
  2. Add a grey rectangle as ‘work area’ and add the text elements
  3. Drag the 7 tangram elements into the board and arrange them in the original square
  4. Copy paste the elements for as many. participants are in the session.
  5. Lock all elements except the tangram

Workshop instructions

In a workshop or session I would put this exercise right after the start and having shared the meeting agenda. Provide the participants with ample time: this isn’t a pressure cooker or race. People need to feel confident using Mural to fully engage in you workshop later on. Invest enough time and attention: the rewards will be plenty. With the original physical tangram copying or resizing is off course impossible. Encourage people however to do these. Furthermore

Instructions: Ask your participants to ‘Make an illustration that reflects your mood using the tangram elements in 5 minutes. Practice with panning, zooming, moving, resizing en copying (yes you are allowed) elements. Give the illustration a title and add a post-it with your name. ‘

End: conclude the exercise by asking all participants to share their illustration and their experiences using Mural.

Time: Provide your participants with enough time i.e. 5 minutes. Expect the exercise to take longer when there are more ‘newbies’ around. Plan for at least 10-15 minutes!

Facilitation tips: It really helps when you have at least one colleague in the meeting that can help your participants with technical issues and other questions about the controls of Mural. Ask other people who have gotten the hang of it to help others out.


We’ve made all materials available for you to work with. The package contains two colour schemes and vector graphics so you can change them to your liking. The zip-package containing all  graphics  can be downloaded here.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Image credits header: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech