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 are happy to announce that the New Conversation Button has started to roll to the general public, and should be rolled out 100% over the next week or so. We will share another update as soon as one is available.
Skype DESPERATELY needs persistent popup alerts with the option to set them to "always on top".
I USUALLY never see IM's from Skype / Lyncs
Just dump the entry field for New Conversation
Change the existing 'Format' icon (the A with a pencil) to a button saying "New post"
The only thing to add would be to focus the cursor on the Subject line when the editor opens.
Can't see this taking more than ten minutes.
Everything will work just as it is! Moreover, Subjects would be encouraged (A Big Win as this option is underutilised and forgotten about) as would @mentions.
Then you could use the space gained from removing the New Conversation area for features to search, or list Subjects etc
Especially if you have changed to the dark theme.
My department uses Teams a lot and so everybody gets this distinction. But it's enough to include one or two people in a conversation who don't get it and they overpower the rest of the channel, as they start new threads for every message and others need to switch to replying to these new threads (but the newbies will just create more) or imitate them (thus validating the newbie's way of using Teams).
I think in the short term it could help if after pressing Enter in the new conversation box the focus was put in the 'Reply' box of the new thread. This way a person who's just used to writing a bunch of messages one after another would do so in the same thread.
The reply button should not be on the bottom of every message, its a waste of space. It should be anchored to the right and vertically the middle of the message
Michael Marks commented
I am now leading the roll out of Teams at my second company and this is probably the biggest issue I've noticed. It was a minor issue at company #1 (median age ~30), but at company #2 this is a huge problem (median age ~50).
No matter how many times I demonstrate the difference and importance between 'Reply' and 'Start a new conversation', people still mess it up. Quite frankly, I can see why, and unfortunately, this is hindering adoption.
My 2 cents based on my experience and the suggestions in this thread:
1) Require an explicit action by the user to start a conversation and passive action to reply to an existing one. Right now the explicit action is actually required to reply (i.e. they must click on the reply button). This results in users passively starting to type with the intent of replying, but they are actually starting a new conversation. Making 'start a new conversation' a button like in the Android app could be a simple solution.
2) Make threaded conversations optional for a channel/team, thus making it so a channel could be like a group chat. I used Slack extensively in grad school, and I do miss the free flow of conversation that this promotes. Plus, I've noticed that people of all ages have no issues with the concept of group chat.
I'd be more than happy to do some beta testing for this if you need it.
Keep up the good work! I still believe in your product even if my co-workers don't.
Our use of Teams has brought about the following paradigm.
Outlook (email) is all comms in and out of the company.
Teams (posts) is for all intra company communication.
This works very well and is increasingly 'obvious' over time!
Subsequently, having two text entry boxes confuses this.
I would suggest getting rid of the New Conversation entry field and replacing the 'Format' button as a 'New Post' button. This would:
Opens the full format text editor (but also focuses on the Subject by default).
But offer a dropdown for recipients to auto @mention people.
Then disappears leaving only 'Reply' entry areas.
But also add another side panel/dropdown of all Subjects in the Channel (with a date/time?).
Think about it. All of a sudden the concept of threads is enforced, @mentions are encouraged and a concept of streamlined, 'embedded' email-esque threaded conversations becomes simple, obvious, highly knowledge imbued and contextual.
I agree, I think a more well defined separation between the conversation would help. I seems natural to just start a new conversation for every comment. Then it becomes just one long conversations instead on many active ones at once. Thanks
On Android the use of a FAB for new conversation fixes this perfectly. Just copy that on the desktop app!
Eudonni Moricom commented
A simple design style will alleviate this. I often start a new conversation when ideally should be replying only.
You know what you also need - a reply to a reply in private. I think sometimes I want to comment on someones individual comment back to them without the whole group seeing, but I have to go into private chat to do that. A reply to a personal reply should only be between the two correspondents. Or at least given an option to do it. Anyway my 2 cents
It is too attempting for the user to type in the bottom "start a new conversation" but the intention is to reply to the latest thread.
Maybe it should be change to that bottom box is by default to reply to the latest thread, and add a new float "+" button to start a new thread.
Even if users miraculously were able to appropriately use the "Reply" and "Start a new conversation" as intended, the layout still makes it difficult to find and follow certain conversations. Why not eliminate the "Start New" option from the bottom and create a sidebar that lists different Conversations (similar to Discord with chats under channels) - so users are only looking at 1 conversation at a time when on the channel Conversation tab. They can click on a different conversation thread title from the sidebar to easily find and reply to what is relevant to them.
This constantly is happening to me. I don't know if it is a slow network connection or just a bad placement of the button. Basically I click a file in my Team, then as I'm about to click "Edit" the "Start Conversation" button appears in this exact location causing further slow-downs.
Alvaro Soto commented
I'd like to share my experience, I am holding the release of the MS teams conversations to a broader team because of this, every user that comes to use the conversation tab struggles with this and we got to the point we need to do a 1:1 education step educating the users due the lack of intuitiveness from the design.
As as suggestion I was thinking, the conversation box could go on the top (warning the user typing will create an ew conversation) or possibly change it to a "Create button" instead of a textbox and moving/replacing with a "reply to the latest conversation" at bottom
Alvaro Soto commented
we are having a set of early adopters and it is now becoming a common trend, we need to warn users before using the chat cause we all and I mean, every single user falls into the trap of using the bottom textbox as a reply box, I would recommend better to move the conversation textbox at top with a clear large title the box is intended for new conversations , or at least send a warning message telling the user is about to create a new conversation
I hope this is coming soon, or we at least get an update.
Seems that the best and most popular option is to remove the 'New conversation' field and replace it with something similar to the Floating Action Button in Google's Material Design https://material.io/design/components/buttons-floating-action-button.html# for starting a new conversation.
Roy F commented
Suggestion: Remove "start a new conversation field". Present a "New Conversation" button to the bottom left of the pane, which is always visible as is done for the current new conversation field. When that button is clicked, present the new conversation field in format mode.
That will keep users from inadvertently creating a new conversation instead of a reply, it will give us a couple of lines of screen real estate when reading and it will encourage users to fill in the Subject field when starting a new conversation.
Jeff Bantz commented
I would like to echo the people below, as I can't just +1 them.
- Remove the "start new conversation" bar from bottom.
- Add reply bars to each of the conversations
- Add button at top "New" that opens a dialog to begin a new conversation.
The dialog will have a body to enter text, then an input at the bottom to enter hashtags. The bar at the bottom could suggest hashtags based on the text entered, or common hashtags based on the room usage.
Viet Nguyen commented
Thread started 2017 and we're in 2018 still the same issue :(
Sean Ellis commented
A very common problem. The whole chat UI appears to be set up to trap people into doing this by mistake, and there is no way to move a conversation once it has been started.