How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Better visual delineation between `Reply` and `Start a new conversation`

It's very confusing to new users that there is a difference between replying to an existing conversation and starting a new one within a channel. This is a visual thing as much as anything else. The 'reply' buttons are not naturally attractive if you just want to start typing a message. There should be a logical gap between the bottom of a conversation and 'start a new conversation'. 'Start a new conversation' needs to be separated visually, as if it's a second order command rather than a first order...reply.

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Stephen Ellis shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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  • Steph Simmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Alex (Teams Engineering, Microsoft Teams)This was implemented in our department today. We work in a fast paced environment as we are a Service Desk for a Fortune 500 company. We utilize Teams for communication purposes since we are mostly on the phone with our end-users. It is NOT convenient to have to click on New Conversation every time you need to send a message. Once you click on New Conversation and enter your message, it is also not convenient that you have to click Send rather than enter. We did find that you can utilize CTRL+Enter. I understand that some end-users have issues with "starting a new convo" rather than responding to threads, but this is not conducive for collaboration. We manage by copying and pasting our statements into threads if we make a mistake and then delete the new conversation. While I agree that this is a problem, I do not agree with the solution. I think a better solution would be if you have to click New Conversation and then it defaults to the reply line without the bells and whistles. Users should be able to click once, type their message, and then hit enter.

  • Neil Pickersgill commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree that important comms can get lost, one of my colleagues chastises me every time I don't hit reply. Today she showed me why...

  • Jenny Tilldal commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes it's a huge problem that people tend to start new threads rather than replying the existing one, please change the reply button to be more attractive!

  • Joshua Mathews commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Easy solution: The mobile behavior is great - it defaults to 'reply'. So put the mobile behavior into the desktop app and bob's your uncle.

    The whole thing is a UI problem on the desktop app where everyone starts a new thread instead of replying.

  • erp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I keep starting new threads by mistake. Terrible UX, two reply areas next to eachother and the one you want is hidden by the one you don't want

  • Matthias Bartosik commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I can confirm that I see people replying to the latest post by creating a new post all the time. This is not limited to novice or non-technical users, so this clearly is a UX issue that needs to be addressed.

    There should be a more distinct separation between replying and starting a new discussion.
    - maybe the reply text field of the most recent post should be expanded by default
    - maybe the start new conversation should not be a text box expanded by default

    Right now, people (intend to) reply more often than start new conversations. So replying should be more intuitive than starting a new conversation, in term of what is the most common use case, I think. Right now it's more intuitive to start a new conversation than to reply to a existing one, so much so, that people start new conversations when they intend to reply. The UX is so unsupportive of this that even experienced Teams users by mistake reply in the "start a new discussion" field, they are just experts enough to cover their tracks and delete the new conversation after copying the reply and then replying as they intended to.

  • JCR commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    From the end-user's perspective, there should only ever be a single text-entry field. When they reply, either accept the input in the main sticky text entry field at the bottom of the window, OR hide that field and it's controls while the reply field is active and available. We are seeing an ongoing UX issue with users explicitly selecting to Reply via the CTA, then the system invalidating that selection because the users clicked on the ALWAYS PRESENT text-entry field where they usually enter text.

    Instead, prevent the ability to make that error by only having a single place to enter text. If the user selected Reply, presume that the text is to reply into that thread.

    The best visual delineation between two fields that are being confused with each other is to only have one field.

  • Joel Goddard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My two cents on the UI:
    1. replace the "reply" button with a text editor with "Reply" as the placeholder text: make it obvious that this is a good place to type something out

    2. replce the "new conversation" text editor with an empty chiclet at the bottom of the screen with a label "+ New Conversation" , clicking the chiclet makes the text editor appear inside it.

    the key is to make it clear what action creates a new chiclet, and which causes a message to appear under a chiclet

  • Daniel S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    add an option to turn off threads in a channel.

    if anyone wants to follow the overall flow through the team, such as a manager, they can't figure it out because of threads... Slack is waaay easier to figure out for people who are watching and not constantly involved

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    One of my observations … Someone is working on a REPLY. Their screen scrolls down slightly, now the ENTER and the EDIT ATTACH GIF buttons are hidden (from the REPLY field), so they go with what is at the bottom of the screen at START A NEW CONVERSATION.

    How about moving the START A NEW CONVERSATION to the top of the screen?

  • Andre Aucoin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. We've been using Teams a lot lately and I still have to delete my responses and post them again in the appropriate conversation.

    I was thinking:
    When posting in the "Start a New Conversation" line. Prompt the user with "Would you like to Start a New Conversation" or "Add this text to an existing Conversation" ?
    If the 2nd is selected, a list of the conversations on that channel would show up and you could select the appropriate conversation.

  • Corey Derochie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Another way to solve this that I would actually prefer would be for conversations to be tabbed or somehow separated horizontally instead of stacked vertically. I've found the vertical stacking a very annoying visual experience and would prefer different conversations to be different visual threads. Then each thread can have its own distinct reply field.

  • Josh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft: We have this great idea for threaded conversations in a chat client!
    Microsoft: I wonder why nobody has done this before?
    Everyone: ...
    Microsoft: Let's just make it, it's genius!
    Everyone: ...wtf wait
    Microsoft: Why is everyone complaining? Oh well, BLURRY VIDEO BACKGROUNDS!
    Everyone: Fix your f***ing chat UI!
    Microsoft: *continues playing with *****
    -- 2 years pass --
    Microsoft: People are still complaining, maybe we should prototype the primary use case of our app?
    Everyone: FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is extremely painful to still deal with this obvious UI issue! Why not to just copy it from Yammer?

  • Greg Solon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What's the latest with this? Some people in our organisation have a New Conversation Button, whereas others do not - it doesn't seem to be dependent on a particular version. How is it some people have the button, but others don't?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Newer Teams users are constantly starting new posts when they mean to reply. With the high rate that intelligent people make this error, it's clearly a UI problem. Leads to fragmented posts like "Great question, what do you think Janet?" where Janet then is missing the rest of the context to know what question she's being asked.

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