Use Slack-Style Channel Joins Instead of Favorites/Follows
The channel architecture in Microsoft Teams is unintuitive and confusing.
Follow vs Favorite a Channel: What is the difference? Which one will alert me to new messages? Which one will alert me to channel mentions? How do I know who will receive notifications when I mention a channel?
We have many project-related channels and it's difficult to notify project members.
Slack's channels are intuitive and notifications are transparent. Joining a channel in Slack is committing to involvement in that channel. Naturally, members will receive channel mention notifications by default, as expected.
In Teams, users can participate in a channel but will not receive channel notifications by default. This is confusing. In addition, figuring out how to get notifications for channel mentions is unintuitive. Do I follow the channel? Do I favorite the channel? Is it enough that I'm participating in the channel to get mentions? Users have no idea.
Also in Teams, it is not transparent who will receive channel notifications. In Slack, I have a good idea who will get notified of a channel mention because I can view the list of channel members (those who have joined). In Teams, I cannot tell who has favorited the channel and will receive notifications. Therefore, I end up mentioning all individuals in the project rather than just mentioning the project-related channel.
Greg MacLellan commented
The thing that makes this worse is the connection to the @mention semantics.
Example: I want a channel where anyone can get the attention of someone in the development team.
Fail 1: Create a Team for this. Well, anyone that wants to talk to the developers has to "Join" the team to be able to post, and now they too receive any @team mentions, despite not really being part of the team.
Fail 2: Create a Channel for this. You can @channel -- cool! Except, you can't tell who that is, and it turns out it's anyone that marks that channel as favorite. So it requires that the development team each individually favorite that channel, but there's no way to tell if they did or not. Additionally, the fact that non-favorite channels are hidden behind the "x more channels" flyout means that users that frequently use that channel will want to favorite it, but then they'll start getting @channel notifications.
On top of all this, when you actually are doing the @channel mention, you don't have any idea WHO is going to get that. After you do it, you can see the number of people, but you can't tell who they are, and thus can't even tell if your message is going to reach the people you are trying to reach.
Chris Webb commented
This isn't slack, I've never had issues with Teams channels and I don't like Slacks setup.
You used to be able to go to the channels tab on the team and see who all has a channel Favorited, not sure why they removed that out of the blue but if that was back it would help, that's my only complaint.
That said I like being able to favorite a channel and not follow it so I don't get blown up with notifications but i can keep an eye on it for new activity, and get alerts for mentions.
Best thing I can say, Mention everyone that needs to favorite the channel, tag them in a conversation and just tell them, hey don't forget to Favorite this channel so you don't miss anything and be done with it.
Couldn't agree more.
I DEFINITELY need to be able to invite someone to a channel, and I also need to tell who in in a channel.
I completely agree. I am trying to drive adoption of Teams and training people, but I can't even work out myself these things:
How do you invite someone to a channel? I don't think you can.
How does someone 'join' a channel? By following?
If someone does follow a channel, what does that actually do / mean? How do I know they will get the messages?
If I use @channel, what does that do? It seems to email everyone in the TEAM which is terrible,
How can I even tell who is in a Channel? I don't think I can.
ALL THIS SEEMS COMPLETELY FUNDAMENTAL.