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.
We have been iterating on different designs and are starting to test internally. I don’t have a timeframe but will keep you posted.
Matthias Bartosik commented
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.
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
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
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
Here's a quick fix for the web app version (https://teams.microsoft.com) using the 'Stylish' browser plugin: https://userstyles.org/styles/171740/ms-teams-new-topic-fix
Maybe, you could force all of the main offenders in your team to only use the web app.
June now, I'm guessing the timeframe is "another 2 years."
Paul Beiler commented
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
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.
Paul Beiler commented
Could you as a quick fix … shade the reply area differently, to make it pop out?
Corey Derochie commented
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.
Microsoft: We have this great idea for threaded conversations in a chat client!
Microsoft: I wonder why nobody has done this before?
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?
It is extremely painful to still deal with this obvious UI issue! Why not to just copy it from Yammer?
Greg Solon commented
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?
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.
Ed Hansberry commented
Please PLEASE make this a priority. At this point I'd be ok if you got rid of the "New Conversation" box entirely and made people click a button to start a new conversation. Anything - ANYTHING - is better than the chaos we have today.
Please prioritize this solution. It is super confusing that people keep starting new conversations for topics that already exist, these break the flow of the conversation. Especially if 5+ users interact in the same channel. Not to mention a whole department.
If at the very least add a new confirmation message to make sure they want to start a new conversation or they are replying to an existing one would be wonderful
Loving the new "New Conversation" button in the latest client BUT feedback from our users is that it is now causing confusion for users. It looks similar to the icon telling you to scroll down for new messages.
Keith Jones commented
One solution that would work for us: make replying to the current conversation the default action, and creating a new one to require a deliberate action.
When typing a response, have the default text there say:
Reply to current conversation. Type @ to mention someone. Type /new to start a new conversation.
To drive home the feeling of separate conversations, prompt for a subject when starting a new one. Keep it optional, but having subjects helps differentiate what's being discussed where and makes it easier to find specific topics while scrolling. If using subjects can be encouraged, that would be great.
Confusion over conversations / chat in channels is the single-most discussed drawback to using Teams over Slack in my org. As it goes, Slack is used for large organization wide chat and Teams gets used almost exclusively for private chat and document collaboration.
Would you mind clarifying why this change is taking so long?
Thanks MS Teams team
Lance Moonshower commented
Please get this done!!! This continues to cause major headaches and has people shying away from Teams because their conversations get so split up and hard to follow. It's to the point of people saying that even multiple thread emails are better because at least they can organize them. Come on MS!