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.
Teams Design Research is looking for volunteers to respond to a survey about Compact Mode. If you’re interested and and willing to participate in this 5-10 minute survey, please visit https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6rn0vsNAtIkUAC2.
The survey will be available until Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.
Kevin Hill commented
I agree with Michael Hofmann below.
Michael Hofmann commented
Yep, I have to agree with the previous comments: you're getting the survey wrong.
I'm not going to repeat the descriptions of wasted whitespace made just below, but let me add another aspect to this: Teams should be a command center, not a toy. Users should be able to control how "compact" to make their layout instead of the program dictating how to use it.
I don't care about single elements made more compact (hence I can't fill out the survey), but please let us use the existing space better, more flexibly, and thus more compactly.
Example video call:
- Let the user decide how big or small to make the participant videos at the bottom of the screen. Make them reorderable.
- Let the user decide to be able to see *both* a large preview of the call videos as well as the shared screen, and let them decide where to put them (same window, same screen, different screens)
- Let the user display attendees list and chat at the same time. Let them be flexibly dockable, resizable, etc.
- Let users decide whether chats should extend further horizotally or not.
- Let users display multiple chats horizontally, vertically, in a grid, etc. Take inspiration from IDEs, vim, or tmux.
Wayne Hartell commented
Have to agree with the last comment regarding mock ups or some kind of visual explanation of what is being proposed.
My support for this feature was mostly (and still is) because I can maximize the Teams window on a monitor of 3840x2160 resolution and the chat window, whilst taking most of the screen, uses only a very narrow band in the centre with more than half the monitor width wasted. Even docked to the left side of the screen it's still got wasted space. Not sure why the chat can't just expand horizontally to fill the available space?
Popped out chats are better (why do I have to pop them out to have them more space efficient?), but still don't use all available real estate when using the entire screen (however, they appear to use most of the available space when docked to half screen width).
Are there any ex-WinForms designers on the team? They'll immediately see the problem(s). It's the very first thing you see when using the program for the first time.
For the vertical use case, I'm chatting to someone; I can see their avatar, their name is also top left of screen, so why do I need to see their name in the chat, every single time they write something? That wastes vertical space. Couldn't that be a tool-tip if I really wanted to see it? Surely the reactions and/or timestamps would fit in the wide fields of un-utilized space to the left or right. For multiple person chats, having the user's name every single time might be defensible, but most chats tends to be one on one and the avatar seems to be a good enough indicator of who typed the message.
The questions in the survey like "if it provided more space" seem confused; I don't want more space, I want the space that is there to be utilized better! Once horizontal space is used efficiently, vertical space usage will benefit.
Overall though, I think after all this time I have gotten used to how incredibly space inefficient chat is, so I now just use Teams on a smaller screen now where the space inefficiencies aren't so comically obvious, and save my bigger screens for applications that are able to benefit from them. In some ways that's a positive since I still have a primary purpose for the smaller screen.
Wandering Idiot commented
With respect to the MS development Team: I applaud your efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the ask through a survey - but I think you may be doing it wrong. I was cruising through it until I reached the line of questioning which asked me which elements of Teams should be “compacted.”
I strongly recommend that you spend a few days with the UX/UI designers to gen up some concept mock-ups of what possible variants on a compact mode could look like, and solicit votes from the community this way. Otherwise I think you run the risk of delivering a riding mower when perhaps the community really had a wheelbarrow in mind.
Sean Cupit commented
For this and most other competitive feature gaps, just look at literally any competitor to see the better way to do it. That's all the research that's needed. Stop implementing things like spamming clapping emojis in meetings and fix basic usability like this.
Please make MS Teams able to change the size of the chat box to be the same as Skype. I cannot use MS teams easily due to the very big windows. I'm working off of 14.5" monitors. Having a chat box that dominates the screen makes it not very user friendly. I don't need a big box to conduct a chat. Our business is phasing out Skype due to office 365. MS teams is a downgrade as it currently is designed
My favorite "feature" is when you resize the chat window when your working on a desktop it always keeps the same size and just shows blank gutters instead of resizing. I can now go back to using 24" monitors for teams and throw away my 30" wide screen, saved the company lots of money. Great work on compact layout for desktop computers where I often use my monitor just like it was a tablet with a 13" screen.....
The best part about the layout is the reply button under every post. Why enable it on hover when you can just always take up about 80 pixels of space for every post. Efficient use of screen space...
Another favorite is when there is a huge conversion on a item. I accidentally click expand then I have to scroll all the way down to collapse it again, why use all that unused space on the left or right to have a expand/collapse icon stay in the scrollable space when you can just force a user to scroll through the entire post...
Lastly the best feature is all the space between all the conversations and giant icons. Its great if your a first time user, even better if you use it every day. This way your always stuck with it no matter what you do or what kind of user you are. Three cheers for consistency....
Apologies for the sarcasm, but its been what 4 years? The entire UI should be re-assigned to work on something else if they cannot address layouts for different device types and use cases.
Carl Green commented
Last update by Microsoft back on Feb 14, 2020. Can we get an update?
Well you did it, you removed the old meeting experience before implementing a compact mode. How much are you guys all drinking at the moment?
I've been using Teams since early 2018. Great calls/video quality, but anyone in my team who is used to slack just won't get used to Teams chat. Some people who have no other option, prefer group chats over channels for their compactness. You can have the reply button in there but only on hover, and not taking over the valuable space of our work screens.
We just got Slack back. People don't feel Teams channels as chat tool, but a discussion forum.
Original feature request, Dec 2016. "Under Review" comment from Microsoft Admin, Feb, 13,2020. Still "Under Review" Feb 17, 2021!!!
19,500+ upvotes and 1700+ comments, why is this still not done? Teams users need this very basic feature found in many other collaboration tools. Does MS prefer we switch to something else instead?
Please invest some effort in compact mode: it simply unacceptable that this item stays "Under Review" for a year.
Screen space is a valuable resource in corporate world, where multiple conversations are active simultaneously.
Skype was worse using screen space than Netmeeting, and Teams is even worse than Skype.
Please stop this trend, or your corporate customers will switch to the other existing collaboration tools.
Emmanuel Preveraud commented
@Andrew good luck with your plugin ! Don't hesitate to take css code or inspiration from https://userstyles.org/users/727497
>Alex (Teams Engineering, Microsoft Teams) responded · Feb 13, 2020
>Stay tuned here: We update our work items monthly
Andrew Zhilin commented
I am working on plugin for this issue, looking for beta-testers and new feature ideas! https://github.com/zhil/teams-plugin
Please add a setting to hide the preview of the last message in the Chats, so only the name of the chat is present
In Feb. 2020, The teams engineers expressed they are working on the compact mode. I can't believe it takes a year to accomplish this. Is not in March 2021, when the Skype migration is set for to e completed?
Please send us a taste.....
Matt Anderson commented
Just don't compromise legibility, please.
Steve Gauthier commented
Sample collapse icon-only compact mode