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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  • Sean Ellis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Of the three choices, "New conversation" is best because there is already a "Chat" and nowhere are things referred to as "Posts".

    This does also solve the problem of the anti-pattern tempting you into starting a new conversation. How long does the "new conversation" box stay on screen? Can you show us what it looks like?

    It would also be good to have a way to pop-out conversations into separate windows so you can easily focus on a single conversation.

    It only partially solves the problem of wasted vertical space, though. Looking forward to seeing how this is looks in Compact Mode.

  • Arve Aleksandersen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please don't solve this problem by making it more difficult to open a new conversation. That is terrible design thinking on your behalf. If that is the only option, please please please don't do anything. I trust you can be more creative than that.

  • alex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This seems like nothing has progressed since the original post 18 MONTHS ago. A button is not going to solve the problem of terrible communication flow or poor design.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As others have said... this is not what I envisioned the solution would be at all. Doing something different with the "Reply" option is what I imagined.

    My knee-jerk reaction to this and the ship date getting pushed back is: "hahaha... what a circus... why can't we get simple changes like these pushed out faster than 2 years? Is anyone beta testing options? What is going on over there?"

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This may be an improved experience but I want to know what is supposed to happen when someone clicks the new area.
    Wouldn't it be easier just to change the stylesheet of the "Start a new conversation" so people get the experience of typing into the box of a certain color always starts a new conversation?
    Changing the color of the area would be an easier fix to implement to try out on a focus group rather than creating a new button which feels like an extra step that hopefully people will click on less.
    But would the new button-appearance indicate that focus is never achieved without a click into the new post/conversation area?
    Maybe you should consider that threads can cause more problems than they solve

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with many of the recent comments, the "reply" should be an open text box with sample text indicating the user should type in the open text box to reply to an existing thread. The "new thread" or "new conversation" button should be diminished slightly from the screenshots and be labeled as such.

  • Chris Bash commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with others. This is not addressing the issue. "Reply" needs to be more prominent. It needs to be separated from the "new conversation" button much more.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have to backup the other comments - I am really amazed (annoyed?) that the screenshots don't actually seem to be solutions to the actual problem. The issue is that the 'reply' button is not clear. I suppose changing the wording of 'New Post' etc does help a bit, but a better solution to this is to have the 'reply' button change to be an open input box with help desk of 'type reply here'..... seems like the point is being missed?!?

  • Graham Helliwell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "New thread" and "New topic" would both be better than the options listed. I think the button being on the right hand side in the mobile app is also a useful separation that could be copied.

  • Martina Oefelein commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Neither option addresses the problem that "start a new conversation" is much more prominent than "Reply" and thus users start a new conversation when they actually want to reply. If at all, they new colored buttons are even more prominent than the old text box, so will make the problem worse.

  • Tom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Personally I'm not a fan of the button - I preferred the actual text entry field at the bottom of the feed.

  • Mark Owen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'll echo a couple of other comments. You'd be better off having a greyed out edit box at the bottom of a thread or other reply, when clicked will swap to an actual editing box and side load any code to allow the user to start typing. Same as present but not with a virtually hidden reply button, something more obvious. That's already used elsewhere.

    Also the option, would it not be better to steal the new tweet button from Twitter. Using a pencil icon as common iconography that then is language independent, also at the bottom.

    Basically please use conventions elsewhere that people are familiar with and stop trying to reinvent everything. Some problems have already been solved.

  • Christoph commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's great to see that things are happening and I appreciate that you are asking users for feedback. I was a bit surprised, though, when I saw the three options to are considering in the survey. Given those alternatives, I dare say that the result is quite predictable: most people will obviously prefer "New conversation". ("New chat" will be the second option, but most will probably reject it as too informal and/or potentially confusing as the term is already used elsewhere in Teams. And "New Post", frankly, should not have been in the survey in the first place because it contradicts the very purpose of distinguishing replies from new conversations, which is what this "feature request" is about.)

    So I'm left wondering what the purpose of this survey is, after all. There are other terms that could meaningfully have competed with "New Conversation", such as "New Topic", or "New Thread". The fact that it they were omitted suggest that someone at Microsoft is fighting trying to explain to their colleagues that "New Conversation" is the best option and needs some backing for that from the users. Fair enough. I also think that is the best option, but it's sad to see that some people at microsoft don't see this as already evident from what has been said here over the past 1.5 years.

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The Teams mobile client works really well with this distinction. The desktop/web version needs to be more like the mobile version.

  • L. Günther commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Looks like your snapshots are to small:
    What you see when enlarging them is a reply input box and a button to create a new conversation. There is no "Reply button". And this is how it should be.
    The name must be same as the object, so if in conversation it should be "new conversation". I also would agree with "new thread" to introduce this group-element into Teams.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I submitted the answer to the survey. It shall be called either New topic, New thread or New conversation. It's not a New chat for sure - this one will be confusing and misleading.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have filled in the survey, but I have another feedback about those screenshots.
    Would it not be better if the reply link is changed to an editbox, so a user can reply immidiate, without first clicking the reply link.

    This is what I as a user would expect: an editbox for answering an existing thread. A button for creating a new one.

  • Mika Berglund commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is not the text that is problematic. If the tab is called "Conversations", then the only option you have is "New Conversation". Anything else is confusing.

    The biggest problem though is the placement of the button. The layouts in your survey suggest that the "New Conversation" button is aligned below the "Reply" button for each conversation. When you scroll the contents, you will eventually end up with a situation where the "Reply" button is out of sight, but right there where we've learned to find the "Reply" button is the "New Conversation" button, so whatever that button says, we click it to reply. I do it by mistake sometimes, even though I know the difference between these two.

    You have this figured out in the mobile client, where the "New Conversation" button is a round button floating to the right, indicating that it is a completely different thing from the "Reply" button, which is on the other side of the screen.

    I suggest that you do a similar solution in the desktop client too.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have filled in the survey, but I have another feedback about those screenshots.
    Would it not be better if the reply link is changed to an editbox, so a user can reply immidiate, without first clicking the reply link.

    This is what I as a user would expect: an editbox for answering an existing thread. A button for creating a new one.

  • Andreas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Will this be an optional change? Preferably on a channel basis, it could possibly be done by allowing us to choose if a channel should have threads or not.

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