How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Compact mode

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.

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    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Thomas Nimstad shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    planned  ·  Suphatra responded  · 

    Hi everyone, thank you for your patience since the last update.

    We want to extend a huge thanks to all of you who have engaged with us on this topic of compact chat. Your input has been invaluable and helped inform our design and decision-making.

    As we look to 2019, we will be pursuing plans to continue to make the product more and more space efficient. We see this as a guiding design principle, as well as a backlog of requests from UserVoice that we catalogue, discuss, debate, brainstorm and problem solve.

    This principle is also why we will not be making a sharp design turn towards a permanently heavy dense design. Our user base is a wide range of people — such as high school students, the visually impaired, open source developers, and your every day knowledge worker. Because of our broad reach, we must maintain a standard of usability that meets many visual needs.

    Lastly, we are seriously considering a compact mode. This would be an option — a switch, you might say — that makes everything quite dense. We are entering a new phase of product development that makes this more possible than before. To that end, I’m changing the title of this request to “Compact Mode.” We’ll keep you abreast of these plans as we learn more ourselves.

    Meanwhile, we really appreciate your patience, your feedback, and your support of Teams. Thank you for being part of #MicrosoftTeams!

    Sincerely,
    Suphatra

    966 comments

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      • Jimmy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Coming from Slack, the sheer amount of wasted space is not only an eyesore, it is genuinely more difficult to consume channel conversations!

      • Mike commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There's too much wasted real estate in the desktop app/web layout. Needs to be more compact and easier to read & follow.

      • Robin Sanner commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed. Teams messages don't clump together like they do in slack. if nobody responds between my posts it would be nice it they clumped together and didn't take up so much screen real estate.

      • Panos Kotsonas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Working with teams is very unpleasant visually.
        You definitely need to create a compact view.

        Individual blocks distract, there is too much space below and above text, too much space taken by new conversation box and the worse is the huge reply button and block.

        Very unpleasant to look at and good enough reason to go back to alternatives for now.

        Try this as a test:
        Look at the screen quickly and try to focus on the messages and replies.
        It is impossible to take a quick look and get your eye to fall on the actual messages. The closest thing to what is needed is the high contrast theme but inverted.

      • Matthew Aznoe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Absolutely agree with all comments here. I like my messaging window to be visible on a portion of my screen without interfering with the rest of my work (Visual Studio, my browser, SQL studio, etc.) Therefore screen real estate is at a premium.

        There should also be an option to display emoticons and images as smaller images or thumbnails that you can click to expand if you so choose.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The fixed "reply" line should definitely be removed, e.g. replaced by a reply-icon or similar on the individual message section, instead of on a dedicated full horizontal line

      • Erik Umenhofer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The new skype suffers from this issue as well. Even on a huge monitor, the actual chat area only takes up like 60% of the screen. when it should be variable or much larger.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Good suggestion. I think it would be cool to configure threaded vs not threaded per channel.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'll refrain from posting screenshots of every chat app on the market that's gotten this right.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm on board with everyone else who's suggested this, but wanted to add a new topic to draw a big circle around how important it is.

        If you're trying to make a slack clone... just copy slack. Stop trying to be new and hip and build what people like using, not what you think they may find useful. Microsoft is historically always wrong when it comes to this stuff.

        Reduce the vertical padding by literally all of it and that's one step in the right direction.

      • Kris Phillips commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree, there is A LOT of wasted real estate and it leads a clunky feel. Condensed content for a crisper cleaner feel would be prefered - or perhaps a condensed view to toggle between if some people prefer.

      • Kaj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        the interface uses WAY too much space both horizontally and vertically within the native app/browser for ... nothing.

        I wouldn't want to have 4 lines of chat log on the screen but a gazillion lines. At least the following enterprise grade chat apps do it:

        HipChat
        Slack
        IRC (!)
        ..

        The colors, etc. are eye pleasing but on a 2560x1440 screen there are not enough lines shown :(

      • Carl Olsen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I came here just for that, the interface is clumsy and take way too much space. Same for the phone apps, you can barely see 5 text on the screen vs slack where I can see 9-10 messages. Add a compact view is a must.

      • Jianguo Jiang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        the chat message are threaded, many time, we just want flat list of message of the conversation, much easier to back track

      • Tim Riley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed, it would be nice to be able to drag the sidebar to the top, bottom, left or right (LIke you can Windows task bar), as well as drag to customize the size.

      • Jaro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I want to keep my chat window open on the side of my screen, but I need it to be space efficient. Even Skype for Business is narrower. Please let me resize how I want it. Having the mobile app be a UWP could help if you don't force the width like Microsoft has with other apps.

      • Brian Ballard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'd like to be able to fit more messages into view as it's helpful to have as much context visible as possible without having to scroll a lot. A compact view might help with that. Right now an entire line is used to display the name. Avatars can also take up extra space for one-line messages. Minimalist design can really help here.

      • TristanG commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Completely agree. There is a lot of wasted screen space when the window is maximized on a 24"+ monitor.

      • Daniel Byrne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wow, so hard to get around, so much junk on the screen. Teams, Channels and private channels? Deleted messages that still leave an artifact on the screen, a reply block taking up space under each comment!? Weird colored blocks surrounding all text!?

      • Stefan S. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The current theme takes a lot of space (your name, the actual line you wrote, and "reply"). Would be nice to reduce that so you can use more space on your screen

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