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.
please consider fixing this.
1. put "start new conversation" on top - too many newbies reply to existing by starting a new conversation
2. order newest conversations (and/or by their most recent replies) at the top
3. (ordering replies top(oldest) to bottom(newest) is ok, that still makes sense
4. improve the visualization so its easier to differentiate one conversation from the next and to differentiate replies from the original conversation
5. remove the "see more" "see less" functionality, it simply hides information people are searching for by scrolling. "collapse all" can still make sense for replies, but when I expand, I should be able to see complete posts as I'm scrolling down.
Wim Vandierendonck commented
Any update on this?
What's the chance that this will be "shipping by the end of this year"?
It's not only "unnatural", but also confuse the timeline. Suggest is to have a different column (or virtual one) that shows the most recent/active topic thread, if people indeed reply to them. And then, you can have a visible link to link them back to the original message block which stays in the right timeline position. Other option is to have a "clone" of the original message block that display in a different block style, when it is active. This way, user can easily see the context of cause. But when the topic is no longer active, just use link line to trace them back.
Josh Gister commented
The beta functionality mentioned elsewhere looks great -- but the complaints about now making it difficult to have non-threaded conversation make me think a simple option to toggle between threaded and non-threaded conversation types would be more useful. For small teams, or if desired, turn off threading. For large teams, or if desired, turn it on. That covers the different use cases that seem to be driving this feature request.
If this is being worked on why is it not listed in the roadmap (or am I missing something)?
I am disappointed by this. Even if you do fix the abysmal UI elements which leads to poor team UX, it won't fix threaded comments. Inside each discussion there are subdiscussions or "subquestions" which has no intuitive UI or process to deal with it, e.g. a subthread or a quote function (like what skype has).
Further disappointment is the change in timelines which is OK, because something always comes up from a priority perspective.
The entire conversation UX is FUBAR on Teams. I know you don't want to copy slack, but slack works. The longer you resist the pressure to emulate their working model, the higher the risk of losing people to a functioning and evolved platform.
Please do not underestimate the human aspect of these types of issues. The bad UI creates tension and anxiety around the use of Teams, especially for new users. There is no nice way to "correct" people who get confused by the UI and use the wrong field to respond to threads. This reduces the usefulness of the tool and makes it a much harder sell at large enterprises where change management is the toughest aspect of O365 adoption.
Mark Poole commented
Better visual delineation between `Reply` and `Start a new conversation is just the tip of the UI problem but it is an important part of this problem
I like the Teams approach in most ways but, this UI issue has cost me significant real dollars recently. There is no excuse for this UI issue, and it is a result of designers allowing form to rise above function. If this most basic issue can’t be addressed very soon, then at least for my company there is no future for us with Teams.
I was a first day adopter of Google Wave back in 2009 and worked with a small group of people from around the world to provide feedback to the Wave team that was based in Australia. Failing to deal with basic UI issues like these impacting Teams from the very beginning doomed Google Wave. Teams is Google Wave without Live Typing and a few other important pieces.
Wave had the same issue from the beginning as has every copycat since 2009. What to call these things is an issue and what to call each of the fiddly bit pieces that are a part of Teams is just as large of an issue. We are stuck with Channels but that is less than ideal.
Announcements and Conversation are basically the same thing, a way to begin a new Topic in a Channel. What’s not self-evident is how when the user creates a new topic they are in for lack of a better definition, Word Processor mode. When in this mode <Enter> does not add the newly created topic to the channel and then confusion around the button to do this just makes it even worse.
I get how programs like Teams are used around the world and how “Send” means something in English while there is another word for Send in other languages. But, UI designers need to accept how symbols/icons alone are not good enough and if it’s good enough to include text descriptions along with symbols for items hiding behind the … menu, it’s good enough to always include text descriptions as buttons and that means having a language pack for all languages a program may be used with. > Function over Form
Get rid of the little paper airplane used for adding a new topic of for adding a reply while in full formatting mode and replace it with a button labeled Send or Add. Put it at the top and bottom of the panel where a Topic is being added or a Reply is being crafted in full editing mode. When adding a Reply in the Chat mode where you don’t have full formatting available also make that a Send or Add button that works just as though the user pressed <Enter>
Move the Formatting \ Collapse Compose Box button from the bottom left up to the top left where when pressed it will roll out formatting choice buttons. Many don’t ever see that button in its current location because of the confusion going on between an existing Topic\reply box and the Start a new conversation box below it.
There’s too much space between that bottom area of the compose box and the top area and a disconnect between Compose mode and Chat mode. This UI design fact along with how the little airplane symbol is only at the bottom and not clearly telling the user “click to enter” allows users to add content and then fail to do the last step, click enter. These details and the poor visual delineation issue is a UI battle I’m not willing to fight.
This isn't that hard. What is your intended interaction model here?
Is it mostly chat, with the option to make a thread? Then reply needs to be an action button in the corner of a message, not at the bottom taking up space. Chat needs compact messages nearly touching each other.
Is your intended model to be mostly threads? You're actually creating "posts" like on facebook then, not straight chat. The "new conversation" box should either be hidden behind a button ("create new conversation") or the reply box on each post should be exposed for typing into.
Pick a model. You're neither here nor there and it's making it even worse.
Dan Olson commented
Or maybe just a "start a new conversation" button instead of text box. SOOOOO annoying when people dont use the reply button
+1. Just onboarded our deptartment into one Team and seeing a lot of Replies to threads using the wrong text box and causingthe threads to split up.
@Alex any update?
> October 31, 2018
> We are shipping this SO soon. By the end of the year, the team says. Woo hoo!
Teddy Otero commented
It's been 20 months since I started using Teams, and 20 months of this perpetual headache. Can we please get a fix?
J. Ro. commented
I had the same idea and totally agree. With such layout the probability of an accidentally start of a new conversation when a reply was intended is much reduced.
"will keep you posted" To me, that means an update every few weeks, not 6 months.
Michael Proctor commented
My users are experiencing the same confusion, I am getting "new conversations" with "Thanks for the info" which is obviously meant to have been a reply to a previous discussion. I am trying to train the users but yeah the "Start a new conversation" being the text box just seems to be the obvious target for them to type a message on something they are looking at.
I'd like to point out that this is literally the primary use case of Teams. Your product managers are idiots. i'd say your UX people are also idiots, but you clearly don't have any.
"We have been iterating on different designs and are starting to test internally. I don’t have a timeframe but will keep you posted."
i can't think of why a resolution on something like this would take such a long time!
Surely just a couple of lines of code, everytime the thread expands, scroll to the bottom.
I almost created a new idea for this exactly. It took me a while to realize that channels didnt work like a chat room, but more like nested comments.
Creating conversations within a channel is much better for organization and definitely a Slack differentiator. Teams' implementation is confusing, as the idea suggests.
Perhaps there also needs to be an additional column next to the channel list, to list all the conversations within the channel. This would make for easier navigation, as well as highlighting to users that channels arent organized like an instant message chat room.
Aaron Davis commented
it would be great if the reply option could NOT hide under the start new message text box, would it be so difficult to just scroll to the bottom of the reply button?