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.
Jarrod Mast commented
Great update - has landed for us a few days ago.
It just replaces the static new post area with a button. This is the "quick win" way of implementing it, as the space is still reserved in the UI.
It's only for channels - so the chat/meeting interface is unchanged.
Attached a screenshot of the new post/reply area (dark mode).
I'd like to see a more polished implementation that worked more as suggested such as new threads at the top, or a floating "add" button. At the very least, reclaim some of the space in the app to use for content/additional buttons when the new thread area is hidden...
Ryan Spooner commented
Alex this, despite the complete radio silence for so long, is awesome news. Thanks.
Is there a screenshot anywhere of how this looks so I can pre-communicate it to my users?
I would've expected a post about it in the message centre in the Admin centre, but I don't see anything.
This solution would be a "quick win" 3 years ago, until the "real solution" is finished.
Thanks for delivering on this! Did I miss the roadmap item and/or the message center notification?
This is great. Thank you!!!
Steven Smethurst commented
What does it look like??
Move the button to the right. Separation from Reply would help and make Reply an easier choice after reading the post.
Rick G commented
Really? All this time and it's just a larger button? The reply section needs to be larger, clearly delineated and fixed in place so that it doesn't scroll out of view.
Let's apply the Pareto rule here: 80% of the time people will be replying to an existing conversation, and starting new ones 20% of the time. Therefore: the REPLY area takes precedence. For some reason Microsoft has determined that it is a good idea to remove the borders around input boxes that clearly separate data entry areas from the rest of the text. We now get web pages that look like static magazine pages or posters rather than the interactive tools they are supposed to be.
Tom Beer commented
That looks much better - very clear differentiation now I think the affordance is fine too. I'm looking forward to doing much less coaching about how to keep replies to a thread in place.
I thought this would finally solve the problem but in 24 hours since release, 2 of my 30 staff members have accidentally used need conversation instead of reply. The problem is clearly not fixed.
Mahmoud Ali commented
This feels like a temporary solution, the new button is so out of place and now kind of hides the reply action.
It drags too much attention and it is too big, I find myself always looking at it thinking that someone mentioned me or a new message has arrived. There is definitely room for improvement here.
Brandon G commented
I love it! The different visual treatment helps and the "New conversation" label is very clear.
The reply interface needs to be clearer. People are going to hit “new conversation” as they can’t see the reply option.
There are just no words.
It looks like this thread started around Nov 1, 2016.
4 years to decide how to best handle this issue ending in simply a bigger button to help make the issue worse.
There are just no words.
I really like the new "New Conversation" Button approach on Desktop!
My single remaining concern is that it doesn't default to "Advanced Editing"/Format mode.
The main reason for this is that adding a Subject to a new post is regarded as "good practice" just about anywhere i've seen so far and this would ensure people don't forget it; or if they leave the subject line empty, it's on purpose!
I believe the main reason this wasn't enabled on default was to save space at the bottom of the feed - which is no longer an issue with that nice button :)
David P commented
Congratulations to those among you that never make mistakes. For the MANY of us that do, especially with this feature, ANY solution was a good one. Whether this one was the best one isn't quite as clear.
My problem was always that the "reply" space was almost invisible and your eye (and consequently mouse [how the hell does anyone use Teams without a mouse??]) was always drawn to that space that LOOKED like the reply space but wasn't. There was no way to delete your new conversation or a way to link it to the conversation you DID want. Even the most careful in my team has made the mistake at least once! You will never please all of the people all of the time, but at the very least you will stop a LOT of frustration by many people with this change.
Personally, the best solution would have been to make the "reply" space larger and more obvious and the new conversation space smaller - effectively switching the styles of the two areas. But at least now there's some synergy between the PC and Mobile versions which can't be bad.
So while not a perfect solution and while it may yet draw as many complaints from those that didn't have a problem with the way it was before, I, for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart
Let's start with thank you. Thank you for finally doing something about this major usability problem with your platform. If this reduces the number of new conversations started that were meant to be replies by even 50% you will have given me so many hours of my life back, not to mention my sanity.
However, honestly, considering this problem was reported back in 2017 and I know you sent a survey of possible solutions (of which this was 1) back in 2018, I'm extremely underwhelmed by this solution. It seems to me like you don't even understand why people were starting new conversations when they meant to reply.
Having been ones of the people trying to educate a significant number of people who repeatedly make this mistake in my organisation I have found several causes, but most simply boil down to this: they can't find the reply button. Whether that's because they're slightly scrolled and therefore the reply button is below the fold, or whether it's because they're looking for the reply button at the message that they specifically want to reply to rather than at the bottom of thread - they can't find a reply button, so they assume that the big text area at the bottom is where they should be typing (despite the fact it clearly says 'start a new conversation'). I'm confident that if you put the reply button where people expect to find it and make it more prominent, you'd solve the majority of cases of this problem.
Another 'trick' you could have employed is having the new conversation automatically open the expanded compose box as soon as you click into it - the expanded compose box definitely feels like a new post and not a reply, and nobody would expect to be able to 'add a subject' to their reply - so this would help those who have mistakingly opened the new conversation box to realise they were in the wrong place and that they needed to carry on looking for the correct place.
As if teams did not yet require enough clicks for all kind of actions, now I also have to click a button before starting a message in a channel? You have to be kidding me...