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 are working on a design with more density in mind. Until this design is solidified we are putting this item back to Under Review.
Compact. Coincidentally we were talking about it this morning at the office. Density is also and issue, and we need the ability to collapse conversations.
Jon Webster commented
Compactness. Unless fullscreen even on a normal desktop the experience
suffers. The ability to collapse or pop out chats and channels would go a
long way in this area.
Sean Carver commented
Our users' primary concern is the density. Removing white space would be very helpful. There's too much need for scrolling. It almost discourages conversation.
As for the compact mode, at least on a PC, there's one thing I would suggest, which was in the Skype PC client. And that was the ability to use Windows task bar to manage different conversations, so you could individually switch between conversations (or focus on more critical ones) using Windows and alt-tab. The task bar notifications also worked well as they would call attention to the specific conversations with activity.
+1 for Density
I agree with what other users are saying, density is more important. But on the same note "simplicity" is also an issue, removing the chat bubbles and making the chat overall look more like slack/discord would help with the visual overload teams currently is. Increasing density would already help it feel more compact, so this may be more of an issue with simplicity and density than density and compact.
compact, I want to leave the window in a corner of the screen and be able to see it while looking at other open windows
Density please. I use teams most frequently from my workstation.
Jesse McNaughton commented
Reply: Less white space.
But also: I can only speak for myself, but I'd be willing to bet that a large portion, possibly a majority of the outcry on this issue is really about the "reply" button. People are coming to Teams after having used Slack, Discord, and even IRC, and they are simply typing new comments into their channels (rather than replying to existing comments). They are using Teams conversationally, which is intuitive, but doing so results in an AWFUL user experience with immense amounts of intentional white space and a screen full of ugly reply buttons.
Unless you're willing to reconsider the decision to force every root-level comment in a channel to generate a "reply" button - to be treated, in essence, as a new conversation topic, this problem will never go away.
Doing so would be a fundamental redesign of the product, but it would be a fundamental improvement as well. What you've built, here, is so much worse for most people than a simple IRC server.
I should also note that, should MS try to cater to both camps and offer a UI which removes the white space between root-level comments and the "reply" button on every post, Teams will still be a second-rate product so long as the other aspects of this design concept remain in place. For example, the fact that a comment will move to the bottom if someone replies to it.
I vote for Density, less scrolling!
Density. However, two things:
1. How you define compact as being "more about a reduction in overall size which is most beneficial to smaller screens and mobile devices." I disagree with this. Compact is most beneficial to anyone who would like more screen real-estate. Not just smaller screens and mobile devices.
2. Give us the view option in the application. Why use a one size fits all model. That just seems lazy and dated.
Scott Schwalm commented
I would say density, and especially doing something with the reply button. But I would take any improvement at all in the UI. This issue has been opened for over a year and it is the only thing holding back implementation at my company. Please do something.
Both would be good, but I'd lean to density first over compact. Also a big win that i know was mentioned related to this UI enhancement was making separate threads more clearly distinct...so threads don't blur together, and so the reply to most recent thread doesn't blur to the box for a new thread post at the bottom (where users accidentally start a new thread when they intend to reply to the last thread). Is something like this still forthcoming for the UI enhancments?
Density is the bigger of the two issues. The mobile experience is actually pretty good (although could use some simplification as well). This is really (IMO) the desktop app that needs improvement.
I would add "Simplicity" - there's too much going on in a chat window (especially a group chat). Too many colors, lines, separators, etc. - things that distract the eye, and make it hard to actually consume the messages.
Overall, I think the original description is pretty accurate - keep it "tight". Reduce the whitespace and padding (i.e. Density), reduce the "separation" between elements (the threading of replies to individual messages is jarring), and having the chat "bubbles" be different color from the background just makes it feel clunky. Eliminate the bubbles, and just make the chat history on contiguous flow of messages. all in one color palette.
Casey Cotita commented
Density for me, want to see more in less space! The current Gmail inbox options are my favorite example of what I'd like to see:
Touch-enabled (for tablets)
Compact (my favorite setting)
The most important factor is that the forced threaded conversation layout inhibits flowing real-time chats. We already have yammer for threaded convos. No need to ruin teams with it.
Chris Webb commented
Please don't say look at Slack, slack's UI is terrible. But I'm disappointed cause we were told soon, soon, soon, now it's like back to the drawing board again. Definatley, need to eliminate some white space on the sides and spread/resize the text area based on window size. Also, always give options, let us choose to reduce whitespace or leave as is etc. Maybe even a theme engine where we can define all the elements and make it our own would be ideal. Then people can make it layout however they wanted.
Jim-Barry Behar commented
Density is much more important in my opinion.
Reduction in size - as long fonts can be resized by users for their own visibility preferences then the rest is not very relevant.
Brian Keable commented
I vote for compact, the overall application window size is just too large. The Skype for Business application is much better for this. You can just stick it off to the side and access it throughout the day.
Many have chimed in with similar thoughts:
- From a chat window perspective - make Teams more like Slack. Force all messages into a thread by default - preferably as a 3rd pane. The fact that threads do not have the ability to expand/collapse at a deliberate time (vs. being seemingly random when the thread collapses and how long it stays collapsed)
- The distinction between density & compactness is tough to prioritize. The feed of content with a Jira integration would benefit from compactness while I feel messages/threads would benefit from more density. Both of these feeds of information are important - but different in that one is system generated.