How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Make "Teams" and "Chat" the same Tab

There is no reason that Teams and Chat should be different top level categories in the left navigation. They are the same thing, perform exactly the same function, and making two different items simply confuses the navigation and makes badge notifications and discoverability much more difficult to use.

Please combine Chats into the Teams tab so that you can browse all conversations in one place rather than needing to navigate to different tabs to see different conversations.

Chats and channels perform essentially the same function, which is talk to some people and collaborate. Forcing the user to check two different lists to see if somebody is messaging them is a really bad experience, it is like having two different chat apps.

This is one usability issues that makes Teams less usable for collaboration than both Slack and Skype.

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Samuel Sze shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

240 comments

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  • DK commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The core of this for me is that I need to be able to track multiple conversations both at a channel level as well as a direct level.

  • Yannick Laurent commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. interface too complex. too many tabs.
    Sorry to mention Slack again, but it's one of his strenght : Lite interface. Onboarding is simple. That's the main key for adoption.

  • Chris Hendricks commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Absolutely agreed. It's a broken record, I'm sure, but just look to Slack for how this can be cleanly done: channels up top, direct messages below, and if you minimize the UI bloat you could fit a dozen of each on a normal size window.

  • Caleb Begly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For those that don't like having to expand the team subgroups each time, you can make them stay expanded.

    Click the three dots to the right of the team name, and click "Favorite".
    Then that team and all its subgroups will remain expanded, and it will be easier to use. I don't know why they don't just add persistence to the expanded/not expanded state, or why it isn't expanded by default, but this does fix it.

  • Bruce Chapman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There is no need for three-level deep navigation. Please don't make me have to think about it. Show all chats / channels as equal importance, and you can throw in meetings/files if you absolutely have to.

  • Ben commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agreed. I feel like the Threaded format is unintuitive to most users, especially anybody familiar with literally any chat application in history, not just Slack - Skype, AIM, IRC, Jabber, etc. It's an awkward communication design that forces users in a channel to constantly think in terms of multiple partitioned conversation threads, rather than one single continuous chatroom. We get lots of complaints from team members not getting notified of new messages in a channel because people forget they need to @ the Team, and folks naturally want to just send messages with the main "Start a new conversation" text box instead of using their mouse to click Reply on a thread.

    I understand the idea behind threading but to reiterate it's unintuitive to most people and since there's "regular" chatting in the Chat view it seems silly to not at least have the option for that modality in Teams view.

  • Mattias Nordgren commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is one of the main objections to start using Teams instead of Slack for us.It seems several other suggestions are touching on the same subject (see below).

    We would ideally like the option to toggle between "chat view" and "threaded view" for each channel in the channel tab view for a team. Possibly combining this idea with an isolated chat view for a specific thread, as suggested in:
    https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public-preview/suggestions/16911139-the-compose-box-shouldn-t-create-a-new-conversatio

    Other suggestions on this topic are:
    https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public-preview/suggestions/16941412-remove-threads-feature
    https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public-preview/suggestions/16940149-add-a-compact-view
    https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public-preview/suggestions/16941412-remove-threads-feature

    There may be more like this, I only browsed to page 12...

  • Arpi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I find it annoying to have to switch between the chat and team panes all the time. It would be better if the list of channels and chats were combined and it would also mean I could see new messages more easily.

  • andy visser commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Tedious and (as far as I can tell) not keyboard friendly.

    I want to cycle between chats and teams like I cycle between tabs in a browser.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be user friendly to view channel discussions and private chats within one menu option. I have noticed I do a lot of clicking back and forth between Teams and Chat. In slack, you have access to both from their main screen.

  • Samuel Sze commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree... It's too many tabs, and chats and channels are essentially perform the same function, which is talk to some people and collaborate. Forcing the user to check two different lists to see if somebody is messaging them is a really bad experience, it is like having two different chat apps.

    I agree that this makes Teams less usable than Slack or Skype for chat.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Switching between teams and chats tab is extra clicks and it's laggy to boot. These should be one list with top being channels and bottom being chats.

  • Marcus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I really agree with you on this, I think they should consider merging the teams and chat view into one, sort of like slack to improve the overview.

    I dont see why they have even seperated this, its really hard to see an overview of what is going on in all chats.

  • Gabe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree wholeheartedly I need to be able to see my active channels & chats in the same view

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Navigating between the team chats and normal chat's is tedious. It takes 3 clicks :

    1. Click on "Teams"
    2. Click on team name to expand on sub-groups
    3. Click sub-group

    It should just be one click like it is on slack.

    I think the navigation in general needs to be improved. There is no good reason why all the sub groups (or at-least favorites) couldn't be shown in a left navigation bar. You could also put recent chats with people here.

    If you want to compete with slack on usability then a change like this is absolutely necessary.

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