I really like Teams. I do. But the current chat layout is not suited for professional chats. It's way to space consuming. It looks like something imported from MSN with smiley's that take half of the screen. I would say that Slack have nailed it because they focused on the ability keeping a tight window with lots of chat text visible. In Teams the window is full and starts scrolling after like 10 sentences.
We’re currently working on defining a compact mode experience. I will post more details when we have more to share.
@Thomas: fully agree on getting rid of threaded chats.
And yeah, the team conversations use approximately the space that could be used for three lines of text for the silly reply button and the space between two "threads".
Thomas Nimstad commented
I think you're talking about the 1:1 chat. That one is ok, even though there could be small improvements (like removing the redundant name printed above each chat message since it's a 1:1 chat).
What I'm referring to, and what all other have reacted to, is the Teams > Channel chat where it's impossible to run a good dialogue due to the bloated interface with the Reply separator and excessive spacing and horribly sized emoticons etc.
As being the general opinion the "Reply" link needs to be an icon on the right side. Personally I like to get rid of threaded chats completely, it just confusing.
Hopefully we will get configuration options per Channel where the creator can configure "Allow threaded messages Yes / No" etc. Then everyone can do their choices.
Micah Rairdon commented
No way... I love the layout. WAY better than Skype and pretty much identical to Slack and HipChat.
Putting the "reply" as icon would really increase amount of text that could be shown. Also, would quite like to see the "New messages" button better highlighted.
Rich Brown commented
Completely agree on the need for a more compact layout with information on the screen. Slack and HipChat are great examples of a better UX vs Teams. The entire app feels a bit "clunky" in terms of the UX where everything consumes a little too much screen real estate.
I love the "Expand Compose Box", I love the "Reply" feature. However, yes the "Reply" needs to become a icon. Also the name above the typed text should be removed. You can hover over a users picture and it displays all their information. That would be clean.
Andrew Smith commented
Agree with this. That reply line has got to go. It can be an icon on hover or something, but it's got to go. Also, The Favorites/Recent/Schedule/etc column is enormous. Edge has a popup window that can be pinned. Please bring this UI feature to Teams.
Mike Pugh commented
Agreed - Teams has some really great features but the layout and UX related to chat/conversations is not one of them. Slack's chat feature flows really well and feels much more natural compared to this notion of Conversations. Conversations are a neat idea but they break apart very quickly as people mistakenly create a new conversation instead of replying to an existing one. It's too tedious to have multiple text entry boxes and it harms the natural flow of messages.
I would also agree that the Teams UX wastes too much space.
To change how the space is being used in "Conversations" tab. There seem to be a lot of "empty" space, why not use it for text?
Tyler Evert commented
The massive amounts of wasted space make it very difficult to follow a conversation at all; especially if I was away and come back to 30 new messages. By the time you throw a couple of bots in there and the link previews expand, the amount of on-screen information is minuscule.
I am unable to view the teams/channels section without expanding my window to an enormous size. There's tons of just dead space around messages. Make this more compact or make options to enable us to use a more compact layout while also still being able to view the many teams and channels we're members of.
jason alexander commented
Even on the Mac OS version of the app, only a small bit of content is visible for the amount of screen space the chat part takes up. HipChat and Slack were pretty good at not wasting the chat space. Apple Messages is pretty good. Teams takes up a lot of space and then doesn't even show me the time of postings (just date). Out of the approx. 8" of space (smallest width), around 5" of it is actually used for content. It's not like I can use the huge margins to write notes in with a pen...
My number one criticism of the UI is that there is just too much going on at the "one click away" level. This takes up screen real estate and distracts from the important stuff, the chat. All of the extra features, e.g. Files, Notes, distinguishing between teams and chats, and meetings are great but feel like secondary actions that wouldn't be a problem hidden behind a menu. There is also a lot of confusion created by being able to have nested teams and sub-chats and the UI elements including additional headers that have to be in place to support them.
We've come a long way from IRC/"Buddy List" simplicity but still use the application for the purpose of finding and talking to someone. Keep that part simple. Within the chat window itself the additional formatting, colored text boxes, icons and spacing make it very difficult to read. (Hence the cry for "compact".)
Slack, HipChat and Discord have all done a better job than this app in addressing these UI concerns but the Teams feature set and Office 365 integration is so much more compelling. So please take this in to consideration. This is an app that I could see changing for the better the way our company works but will need these UI issues addressed before I will *want* to use it.
I would love to see a "power user" mode where you can customize text size and foreground/background colors for every pane just like most IRC clients do.
Completely agree. Have an option to allow the names of channels and people in the sidebar list without images and taking up only a single line, and the option to skip the "bubbles" that align left or right depending on who wrote the message. I much prefer the way Slack displays things here, more compact and less whitespace and unnecessary "fluff".
Craig Whelan commented
We've just starting moving our team over to Teams and one of the first remarks of feedback was the screen real estate takes up, it's just not efficient/flexible enough.
Jon Webster commented
This can't be overstated, the view takes up way too much screen space, I want to replace skype with Teams. Skype I can leave open to see people's status, teams takes a dedicated monitor!
A more compact layout definitely needed.
Markus Pelkonen commented
So agree with this. As veteran IRC user, I just cant live with tools which pollute my screen with useless pixels.
See how Discord does it right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kYdRlJb5-4&feature=youtu.be&t=26
Adam Miller commented
Messages should expand by default, especially if I am mentioned in the message thread. Please stop making me click See More just to find where on this long discussion that my name is mentioned. Take me straight to the mention!