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 →

239 comments

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  • Dave Auyeung commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I disagree. They have two different functions even though they behave similarly. Chat is not good for messages that need to be kept around. You quickly lose context of the conversation. For instance, if I look back to several months ago, it'd be hard to find something specific and remember exactly what was being talked about. For Teams, you have the context of the team/channel and other stuff is not mixed in.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Do something to allow us to check all unread messages in a streamlined way, e.g: a keyboard shortcut to jump from one unread channel to next one that works without mouse or different key combinations. A short-term buffer for allowing jumping back would be an extra awesomeness!

  • fdsfsd commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Even if you don't want to move Teams and Chat into the same tab, the least you could do is create an additional tab that shows all the latest messages (whether they're in a Teams channel or in a Chat) sorted by date posted..

    I don't notice messages for hours because I had Chat tab open while someone wrote in a Teams channel.. it's also so annoying that channels don't move to the top when they have a new message.. I have to constantly scroll to the bottom to check if someone posted a message in the different channels.. it's truly mind-boggling.. I also have no idea what the purpose of the Activity tab is, since it only displays useless message (at least if your Teams only have ~50 people)

  • Nathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I disagree with this - especially if chat would go to skype. The delineation in function is necessary to separate what you're working on. This, however, is based on the idea that I can stay in Teams and chat with people on Skype for Business.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I hate hate hate hate the chat tab. Merge it with Teams the way slack does. This is the single biggest irritation to using Teams.

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Great response admin Warren (that you're considering it) - here's a thought: give a config option to display the tabs separately or merged, then users can decide. I've seen this approach adopted in other software such as Pivotal Tracker - an agile project management site like Trello with story cards, where users can choose to view Backlog and Current as two separate lists, or a single merged list with the Current cards as a set above the backlog cards. In Teams I would much rather scroll my mousewheel to navigate up to team chats and down to individual chats than have to click separate tabs.

  • Paul E. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Feature Team,

    When taking heed to your end-user suggestions and comments and begin to streamline these two needlessly separated functions, please also:

    - add tons of unnecessary text clutter
    - force text preview lines upon us
    - lock down text size preferences
    - cram 3 tiny unrecognizable photos into one chat icon

    Please take all the time you need to review this issue. I, for one, still really enjoy the migraine created when I dig through teams chat and channel to out where Mary-Ellen posted what time she wanted break for lunch.

    *all in good fun, good luck making everyone happy, seriously though, fix this one guys*

  • Baruti commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've used Hipchat but in a situation where there were many fewer groups (teams) and users so one listing made sense. How about a third Tab that allows the users to pin his/her favorite chats and Teams. Or allow your favorites to be pinned individually in the Activity, Chat... list with the ability to hide the current Chart and Teams tabs.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also respectfully disagree.

    Chat and Teams are two different things. One is completely private, and the other is either completely public, or at least public to the team.
    If it is even remotely possible that anyone will ever say something in a team that was meant for a chat there is no way I'd want to take the chance.
    If you don't believe me, try "mentioning" something in a loud voice that to blow off steam in your next exec-level meeting. See how well that works, since "teams" and "chats" are the same thing.
    Not to mention what might be a plethora of compliance issues, becuase group chats are the ONLY thing that is really private in teams, and there also may be a discovery protection against "private" converstations in chats (okay, maybe...)

    Having not used Hipchat and not used Slack is a good thing here, becuase I can see how different and in my opinion, badly, things could be designed.

  • Andrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Respectfully Disagree
    They serve very different functions. The teams area is a public conversation, the chat is a private one. Having separation is a good thing for our organization. I know some people like Slack, but it doesn't have to be that way... it can be better.

  • Carlo Wahlstedt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the principle of this but I do like the clean separation as well. One suggestion would be to put the chat responses (no matter the context) in the same location, but still allow for the clean separation.

  • Bryan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Recommend the author to change the title and description. I wouldn't have voted on this item simply reading the description because I don't agree that they are the same thing. There are things that could enhance the ux while maintaining all existing functionaility - such as a tab merge. If that was the description, I would've voted without thinking. Please also note that a merged tab is not the only solution to this problem either.

  • Nathan Berger commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    to Andy Merskin below - there are other feature requests (such as pop-out windows) that would better address using both at once.

  • Andy Merskin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To everyone who disagrees with this idea on the basis that Teams and Chat serve different purposes: you're not wrong. But it's very likely you switch between those tabs very often to reach specific people, and participating in your team discussions. There are much more efficient ways to display this separation in the UI without sacrificing their distinct purposes.

    Slack and Hipchat do this extremely well. Switching between contexts is a breeze—I don't even have to think about it. In Microsoft Teams, it's a major hassle. It's wasting a lot of people's time clicking 2-3 extra times to get somewhere when it could just be 1 click every time.

  • Andy Merskin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Definitely approve of this idea. In my huge company, people are only a part of a small handful of teams, so having a dedicated "Teams" tab seems like a waste. Switching between them requires twice the amount of clicks and feels frustrating every time.

    Not to mention, there's a 1-2 second latency switching between Teams and Chat that makes it feel even more cumbersome.

  • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am not sure this makes sense for me, though I am willing to consider options. I see the distinction and value between conversations and chat. Conversations are channel based and chat is more universal across the enterprise.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would definitely like that, however, I understand that others would not like them lumped. May I make a suggestion, Have a page that you can add your favorites from chat and teams on there.

    Our chat has both business and goofing emails in that section, but I can see where having both of these sections together can be cumbersome for bigger companies.

    Like I said above, Solution - HAVE personal "dashboard" or page that we can list what we want on there "Activity Window (with optional of how many to show like 5, 10 etc.)", favorite Teams (opt for how many etc), favorite chat (opt for how many) etc.

    The other thing is have the ability to pop out a team/chat etc. There are some teams I work with ALL day and would like to just have that open in separate window.

    Thanks!
    Andres

  • Haley P commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to vote AGAINST this idea. Our clients have official / business related speak in the teams, and the Chat is for fun/ goofy or unofficial communication. Please do NOT lump them.

  • LisaJo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with offering the option but, frankly, my biggest gripe and annoyance is the over use of the term TEAMS. That redundancy alone...let alone the functionality differences even though it's the same word is frustrating. I know you're more creative than this! :) Trying to train users and keep their department 'team' separate from the 'team site' from the 'team' app from the 'team group' (oh boy...now I'm stuck using another overly used term...) is just plain confusion. There's got to be a way to be descriptive, unique and not require a lot of rework....?

  • Miguel Vazquez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Now that the obvious bugs in Teams have been solved, this is the most painful feature I miss.
    In Slack, I have all channels and personal chats in 1 page and I am made aware immediately of new chats.
    In Teams, if I spend some time chatting with a teammate, I miss new chats on team channels, except if I am mentioned.

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