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.
I would prefer not just slight tweaks to the interface. I need a compact user interface if I want to keep Teams open at the same time I am working on other things. I understand how a unified UI is a good goal to have. However, Microsoft has often been about offering options - and it seems like there's a large need for this to be an option (rather than trying to slim down the entire interface for everyone, but by minuscule proportions).
TL;DR: we definitely need a maximally-compact view as an option.
Why? You're making the main view more compact, isn't that enough? No.
The File Explorer in Windows is a great example of why optional view modes are a requirement, and why a single view mode is insufficient.
When viewing a folder full of files, you have the choice of "Extra large icons", "Large icons", "Medium icons", "Small icons", "List", "Details", "Tiles" and "Content".
These all address radically different use cases. There is no one view mode that would successfully satisfy the different needs of all of them.
It's the same with Teams (and the other Microsoft chat products too) - the user base is diverse, and we use chat for a number of different purposes in a wide range of different contexts.
Trying to find a compromise that will satisfy everyone will end up pleasing no-one.
Please give us options to customize the product to serve our individual needs.
Excellent - a move in the right direction.
There's no need to "jar the existing user base" with a truly compact mode: simply make it an option. Microsoft products are used by a wide range of people in lots of different ways, so supporting good configurability should make it better for everyone.
Different people have different perceptual needs. Some of these are physical; a color-blind person will falter if a UI presents status information using only color as a cue. A person with impaired motor control may require larger icons or slower double-click times. Sometimes these needs are not physically constrained, but are simply a consequence of the way something is being used.
There is, in many cases, no one right answer. Different needs may, in fact, be diametrically opposed, and a solution for one is a serious impairment for another. Therefore there must be some configurability in order to meet the diverse needs of the user. Here's Ben Shneiderman, from his "Eight Golden Rules of Interface Design":
"Recognize the needs of diverse users and design for plasticity,
facilitating transformation of content. Novice to expert differences,
age ranges, disabilities, and technological diversity each enrich
the spectrum of requirements that guides design. Adding features
for novices, such as explanations, and features for experts, such
as shortcuts and faster pacing, can enrich the interface design
and improve perceived system quality."
Hi - Understand the incremental updates - But how obvious will it be to us admins that something has changed? I just logged on to take a look (we hardly use it), but I cannot tell if something gas changed...so we cannot say whether the incremental changes are any improvement...
Luis Garcia commented
So I received the survey email on 6/7 for the "Working on it -> Needs your feedback" and filled it out the same day. Its now 7/25, whats the update on this? My organization uses Slack daily and I've been trying to get us switched to Teams but this layout UI problem is holding us back from switching. What's the status here?
Any official update on progress on this feature? It doesn't seem too difficult - a few parameter changes to the chat layout engine should be enough to make the chat a lot more usable, at least.
Absolutely - this is my top request.
(This view option also needs to be available for Skype for Business and consumer Skype, although user opinion on this feature has been studiously ignored for both those products.)
Joshua Dorenkamp commented
The giant "Reply" boxes. **shudder**
keyboard shortcuts aren't great either
Why not create two view.
- Bubbly view
- Slick View
110% agree. I'm not 5 years old. Make it slick. We need to follow big conversations. THanks
The font size is far too small. Notifications could be more direct to user. What I see as most lacking is the customizability — there are only 3 options for themes, and not everyone reads white on black so well. Slack's UX is smoother and more organic by leaps and bounds.
UI needs serious improvement. Design wise the space is clunky, channels are tabbed, and it is difficult to see which channels have new messages. Conversations also become tabbed, which may seem like a nice feature, but if scrolling through a feed to find a comment quickly, it becomes hard to find in all the tabs. Integrations with Outlook and Skype are nice, but Slack also will allow that as add ons. Slack has built a much more streamlined system, to compete in this space you will need to make serious improvements. Im only in teams because of a corporate initiative.
Cuong Tran commented
This is by far the biggest complain we have. Our company is looking to standardize on either Slack or Teams so I hope this is addressed quickly.
Echoing this comment. There is too much screen real estate being taken up by fancy graphics and space padding when I want a compact, functional window that will share screen space nicely with my many other windows.
The first thing I noticed when Teams was foisted upon me was that the chat layout is inexcusably wasteful of space. The actual text I need to read is dwarfed by icons, reply panels and gobs of just empty space. Do you even use your own product?
I can't register my true feelings here because it would be unprofessional. So suffice it to say that I calmly request a +1 to roll out a UI that is conducive to actually using the product.
Why is Reply a giant panel when it could be a small icon next to Save and Like on a mouseover?
Why is everything aligned to the middle when you could left-align and have useful information on the right? (Having to check who's in a channel to make sure I'm talking to the right people is not something I want hidden behind several clicks)
Why do you need all the buttons below the typing area on the desktop version (be honest - has anyone ever clicked clicked send?). These could all be an expandable pop-up akin to slack, saving you further vertical space.
Dallas de Marr commented
Just be Slack. This being in the "Working on it" phase for two weeks already is worrying me. We are blatantly asking you to copy the things that already work. Please don't try to invent a square wheel. Your current attempts of "square", "star-shaped", and "bare-axle" haven't borne fruit. Just go with the round wheel and slap some MS-colored paint on it. It doesn't have to be difficult.
Sergio Varanda commented
Skype has 3 settings for the Sidebar: Compact, regular, Detailed. It would be great if you could add a compact sidebar as on skype since as you can see in the attachment I can fit 3 times more chats and contacts than on Teams side bar. for the same window size i can have more than 30 chats visible on the favorites list while on Teams i can see a list of 11.