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

    939 comments

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      • jason alexander commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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...

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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.

      • Peter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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!

      • Adam Miller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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!

      • Henk Nicolai commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Right now the UI of Microsoft Teams is far too wasteful with its available screen space. I can see only about 6 messages in a channel when the app is maximized. And that is the actual content I'm interested in. The rest is occupied by whitespace, icons, all those reply buttons, a couple of title/caption bars which could have been merged together. I would love to see some improvements in this area.

      • Wilfred commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When I have Teams open to use it wants to use the whole screen. Even when you shrink the screen, you can't see your team list or users. When I use an app like this (and I do daily) I am usually referring to other things that I am working on and would like to be able to see it without having to minimize Teams. The other app I use has a nice small interface that does not take up so much screen real estate and has way less white space.

      • Jeff Taynton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I find the messages/conversations much less friendly to look at and read than Slack. Too much wasted space and too boxy. KISS.

      • Cameron commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The three themes for Microsoft Teams are fine colour-wise, however seem incredibly space inefficient.

        Too much padding/margin around each element. Would be nice if we had a more 'compact' theme to allow for more messages to appear on the screen at once.

      • Henning commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The variable size of conversations also make the UI messy and hard to follow.
        Take a look at flowdock and how they display the full flow, it both looks and works much better than the current MT flow

      • 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.

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