💡 Feature Idea: MURAL needs APIs

spackows ✭✭✭
edited December 2021 in Feature Ideas

Example 1: Need an API for adding/updating MURAL objects programmatically

Our team was using MURAL for a workshop. In early practice sessions, we received feedback that a variety of people couldn't participate fully due to accessibility limitations in the MURAL GUI.

So, we deployed a simple web app with questions/prompts and text fields for workshop participants to participate in the workshop activities efficiently. The web app was specifically designed to work well with screen readers, for people who had trouble seeing the various elements in MURAL well or who found the MURAL overwhelming, and for people who can't navigate with their mouse in fiddly ways.

Part of the web app included an "admin" view where workshop presenters could see the input from participants, so we could copy their input into the MURAL GUI.

This approach was really successful. Our only wish was that MURAL had an API so our app could add the input programmatically.

*I've seen comments in this community that the MURAL team is "adding support for screen readers." That's great. But I wonder if designing a simpler interface integration wouldn't be a more successful approach. Or at a minimum, support an API so teams could built their own solution like we did.

Scenario 2: Need an API for reading MURAL objects programmatically

In another case, our team was using workshops with MURAL to collect input for a variety of initiatives. We asked participants to qualify their input in three ways:

  • We separated our MURAL into zones by high-level theme  
  • We asked people to color code their stickies by lower-level category
  • We asked participants to cluster similar stickies together

After our information-gathering workshops were over, we needed to download all the input everybody gave us for analysis. So, we used the existing download-to-csv functionality, and created a script to post-process the results:

  • We used absolute position to determine the theme of a given sticky
  • We used colors to determine the category
  • We used relative position to identify stickies that were clustered

This process made it possible to analyze a huge volume of input from multiple MURALs.

Conclusion and ask

I'm a big fan of MURAL. But the lack of an API is bizarre. As others in this community have said, having an API would transform MURAL into a *platform*...

Your user community would build such wonderful integrations, I just know it.

*P.S. If you wanted to do it as an open-source project, I would contribute!

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  • Hello @spackows! Thank you for this incredible feedback and story. I've gone ahead and shared it with the product managers who work on accessibility as well as our (forthcoming) MURAL API.

    I'd like to invite you to join the beta program which we opened up yesterday (Dec 15). We'd love to see what you could do with our current endpoints and determine which endpoints you might need.

    To join, sign up here. You can also access the documentation from there.


  • Thank you, @Thomas ! I'm totally going to try it out. 😃