September 19, 2014

MIT Student Turned Global Entrepreneur

Megan Landes

Neuroscience nerd, peanut butter aficionado. Never found without colored pencils.

Say hello to Netia McCray, an MIT student enrolled in a year-long intensive product design class. She also holds the title of the Founder and Executive Director of Mbadkia, an organization she developed to promote learning and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in African and Latin American youth. Netia and her team came across MURAL when it was recommended to their team by one of their professors, and are using it to collaborate and design for their student start-up.

The Problem:

At MIT, like most colleges and universities, you are only allowed to use the whiteboards for an allotted amount of time (~1 hour). In the middle of brainstorming, Netia and her team had to take pictures of the whiteboard they had been using, erase all their work, and start over again the next time they could snag a room reservation.

Analog whiteboard

They also had to explain to members that hadn’t been present what they had covered in their brainstorming sessions, but had only the pictures they had taken to work from. In the end, all of their analog work ended up being digital anyway: they had to work off of iPhone and iPad pictures.

The Solution:

Netia and her team converted to MURAL for both brainstorming and product development (even though they’re all physically present)!

Student life is busy: for a group that is often in transit between  between classrooms and meeting rooms and home, a wall of sticky notes that has to be taken down becomes a big messy pile of paper.

MURAL provides them with a way to keep track of everything in a way that makes sense.

Analog vs. Mural.ly

The Potential:

Netia’s design class is given the opportunity to travel abroad to do design testing and research. Which is awesome. When they travel, they hope to use MURAL to share insights and information that they’ve gathered through their research while they’re spread out throughout different countries.

Favorite Features:

In the brainstorming stage, Netia and her team make good use of the different size and color options for sticky notes. They like them because they help guide their eyes and remember both the layout of the mural and the organization of the content. The different shapes and colors also helps them pay attention to what they’re reading.

unnamed-1

They also use the comments feature to allow people to expand on certain thoughts and ideas in a way that isn’t visually distracting, in addition to keeping a record of the team’s thoughts for people who weren’t present during collaboration.

In the product development stage, Netia and her team have capitalized on the ability to upload pictures and multimedia to their murals. Instead of having to redraw complicated renderings on a whiteboard, they can just drag and drop images or SolidWorks files straight onto their shared canvas. This way, they can express their ideas more efficiently.

Benefits of Drag and Drop

Way to go Netia! We're excited to see where MURAL will take you next.