Hide the reply button under every message
The "reply" button is WAY too large under each message. I recommend either making the button just a smaller icon and off to the side of a message, or only showing it on hover.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news. This item has been declined. There will be no work to hide or remove the reply button.
As many people have commented, a big ask is to help improve how people distinguish between giving a reply and starting a new message.
For that the focus will be on this item. “Better visual delineation between `Reply` and `Start a new conversation`”
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I can understand not doing precisely what was requested here, but there does seem to be an issue here.
I posted my support for "fixing" this shortly after staring to use Teams and I didn't understand the distinction between using the reply under a conversation and the start a new conversation entry. Shortly after posting the issue I got the distinction and didn't worry about it any more.
However, as more people at my company start working with Teams I find this is a pervasive misunderstanding in new users that makes using it harder. People coming from other messaging platforms don't have this distinction in mind, and the Chat window on Teams doesn't either.
I do think there needs to be some way to visually distinguish the reply-to-conversation and start-conversation text entry boxes.
Daniel Chick commented
Can it at least be smaller?
Yup. Can't admit when you made a mistake.
Product is dead. Anybody interested in a slack competitor may as well look elsewhere.
This is along the same lines...I find that many people think they are replying to a message but end up posting a new message instead. Maybe if the reply was in a different spot this wouldn't happen as much
Near as I can tell this is the only issue preventing us from switching to Teams. Unfortunately it's the core interaction of the product. Looking forward to the timeline for an update. Nail this and you guys are in good shape.
people creating new discussion thread versus replying to existing, is the biggest design flaw by far. I would say 99% of new users in our instance create a new thread in attempting to reply, until they get why is matters not too. Our channels, for new Teams/projects, remain cluttered with disjointed content as a result.
I actually was googling around for some meme or gentle reminder I could use to coach folks to use capability properly, and landed on this thread. I'm tired of having to have sidebars with folks; truth be told, depending on scroll in channel, the reply dialog has gotten hidden, and I've responded from time to time with a new thread. Rarely, but it happens; UI needs to make this more obvious, in the end, for new users, rather than something that needs to be coached with almost every single new user.
I read many of the comments here. I don't get why this as a slack vs Teams thing (red vs blue team). Seems not relevant, to me simply UI/UX as many people have posted. I use both slack and teams. I would love to move to teams permanently. However the UI is getting in the way. Conversations vs threads is fine. Slack Threads get lost, Team threads become horrible if there is a lot of replies. Neither company has nailed this feature IMHO. RE: reply button being more pronouced, makes sense in MS use threads world, but there are countess way to achieve making "reply" the focus yet it not being so huge and taking up so much space and distracting.
Josh Hidley commented
I think the issue is that it's way too easy to create new conversations. The emphasis should be on replying to existing conversations.
Yet another "update, no update" response. The complete lack of meaningful information in the responses from MS staff on any topic which is not already baked into their Skype for Business / Teams convergence plan is frankly insulting.
Chris Webb commented
Jesse McNaughton - you're going to sit here and try to tell us Slack is a better UI? lol...it's all personal preference. I've used both, even in it's infant state the UI in Teams is better to me and makes sense. There is a reason for it and works great when people do it. It works great for adhoc people together meeting, but you can use chat for that. The catch up mechanic Teams has over slack is much more intuitive for a business to use on a wide scale.
Anyway, no point in arguing. Both UI's fail IMO because they should just give the users the option to use it how they want. You what threads, great, turn it on / off. You want reply button great, show / hide it. You want minimum compact layout, choose that, your used to how it was, leave it default.
The biggest key here is options and that's where I'm not seeing much happen, it's our way or the highway for almost all these new products from multiple companies.
Razvan Constantin commented
Same feeling here, the reply button is taking way too much screen space, making conversation tracking a lot more difficult
This issue is much larger than just the plethora of 8 billion "Reply" buttons. The sheer number of them makes for a noisy UX.
The input and threading model for this software could use a bit of a rethink, methinks.
Sean Ellis commented
A common request. Largest thread is this one: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16925779-hide-the-reply-button-under-every-message
Michiel Staessen commented
this suggestion is also very useful in this context: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/32684689-combine-conversations
Michiel Staessen commented
the reply button is not the problem. the problem is people just using the "new conversation" textbox to reply to existing conversations...
The REPLY action below each message is taking too much attention. Move it to the side of the message so the conversion is more readable.
Dariana Szykier commented
The idea of adding a "reply" icon to a thread is a great one. I would also include the option to change the message bar at the bottom to a message icon similar to that in the mobile app. When you click it, it opens up all the same message options as the bar. Right now we are dealing with users who start new messages and threads when they actually meant to reply to a n existing threaded message. The problem is now context is lost when others reply to the thread and the lone mis-message is not included in the conversation unless someone goes looking for it.
Sean Ellis commented
" The UI has a ton of problems when you try to use it like Slack, which are mostly mitigated when you use it as MS obviously intends."
Indeed. Once again, we see basic UI principles being ignored. Here's UI guru Bruce Tognazzi on expectations:
"It doesn’t matter how fine a logical argument you can put together for how something should work. If users expect it to work a different way, you will be facing an uphill and often unwinnable battle to change those expectations. If your way offers no clear advantage, go with what your users expect."
It's clearly deeply unpopular amongst a large subset of users. If keeping the separate-threads mode is such a big deal, make it a global optionin the UI. This doesn't affect the default experience, but it allows users to choose how we want to use it.
Sheetal Thakur commented
Idea of having the Reply button is to enable users to respond to a conversation, and not start a new Conversation.
We can have a identifier through which we can flag that conversation and type a new conversation with which the Chat should get added to the relevant chat conversation
This is a watershed topic for this product. It's obvious that Microsoft has designed this product to push people to use the threaded replies "by default" and end the Slack model of having one main conversation where asynchronous replies are the exception. The UI has a ton of problems when you try to use it like Slack, which are mostly mitigated when you use it as MS obviously intends.
The problem is that Slack is never going away, and more to the point, Slack absolutely owns this market because one-big-conversation is INTUITIVE. Reading the comments on this thread, it's clear that this is polarizing, but a lot of the comments in favor of the threaded-by-default model have to do with other people in those rooms preferring the slack model. The more you manipulate the UI to push people toward threads, the more you're going to ostracize and frustrate the folks who prefer the Slack model. And those folks are simply not going to go away.
And frankly, a happy-medium option isn't viable either. So long as there are two camps, one that prefers threads and another that prefers root-level messages, trying to appease both is going to leave Teams a total mess.
Honestly this is a fight MS lost before they even started. Accept it and move on - the slack model is intuitive, and works. inline replies should be treated as interjections, their UI options minimized, and the conversation flow left alone. You're simply not going to improve on the Slack UI.