Combine multiple threads - or at least improve the UI
People who are new to Teams almost reliably start new conversations instead of adding to threads. In other words, the context goes missing - which is one of the key elements that make Teams so powerful.
Multiple requests to combine threads have been declined here. I can only imagine that technical reasons are the source of the declines, because many people and organizations are dealing with this issue.
Therefore I'm repeating the request - and if the decision "at this point" is still the same, then please put some effort into the UI to make it clear (!!!) to people (because it obviously is not at this point) that they are starting a new (!) conversation and do not add to an existing conversation.
Yes, it says in the field to "start a new conversation" - but when you look at the reality of what's happening, people do not read (or understand) those words and keep creating new conversations.
If you don't trust the admin, at least let the user who accidentally posted the reply as a new conversation to move it into the thread. My channel is a mess, and while I can ask people to do it right, there's no way for anybody to clean up.
An option to bring separate threads together that belong together would be great.
Also it would help to have the possiblity to shift a thread from one channel to another. Sometimes the team members post in wrong channel and it would be important to bring this to the right place.
Third it would be good to have the thread newest post on the bottom of the list - and not inbetween.
Frank Lam commented
It's interesting because last month the UI did change and there was a "New Conversation" button to let the user know they are creating a new conversation instead of replying to the current thread but for some reason it disappeared and we're back to the previous method. Perhaps people were hijacking existing threads for a new conversation.
The UI needs to be revisited. If not then at least give users the ability to merge a new conversation back into the original thread so there can be some sense of organization in a team channel.
Scott Myers commented
Agree 100% percent. Searching for a way to do this is what led me here.....
Siim Vollmer commented
Agree, this is so frustrating to see everyone starting new conversation without linking it to the topic and currently you can't correct it.
I've been asking my colleagues to delete their one sentence conversations and adding more meaningful replies.
Alternatively I would recommend to move the NEW CONVERSATION away from bottom of the screen either to the side (simple + sign might be enough) or top of the screen where it can't be associated with any prior conversations.
The company I work for recently started using Teams, and this poor UI is driving me crazy. Everyone (including me) on our team has made this mistake. It's already pretty hard to follow the action on the "activities" feed, but this makes it nearly impossible. Lots of requests and comments go unread.
Dennis Schultz commented
This has been declined in the past, but this would help especially since threads tend to move. 473 votes in 2016 before it was declined https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16930585-drag-chat-messages-to-merge-them-into-one-reply-th
I don't get how come this was previously requested by hundreds and was declined, there are multiple reason why is this important
1- People do mistakes, and they reply to the main channel instead to a particular thread, this needs to be corrected, if not by posted then by Channel/Team admin
2- When we use an channel email in CC, we expect to receive replies, it makes sense that the whole email conversation is added in the same thread, it is a nightmare to track different bits and pieces of emails related to same topic (check attached file)
3- eventually certain threads needs to be stitched or at least linked together (same to what UserVoice do when they combine different requests into one)
We want this feature and NOT because of people mistakingly starting a new conversation when they should have replied. (Please just change the UI already to fix that problem!)
Sometimes a conversation is started by someone who missed the exact same conversation a week or 2 before. Often though, they'll add a new perspective or piece of information, so the conversation continues in their new thread. To avoid covering old ground, and so that everyone can see the full conversation easily, we'd like users to be able to somehow "link" the new conversation with the old conversation - whether that is a simple merge of the 2 threads or by some other means.
Here is an example for when users "Start a new conversation" when they should be "Reply"ing to an existing one [the 5/14 8:59 AM thread is the original one]. We end up with 6 different "Conversations" with the posts out of order, and also sometimes with other conversations in between...:
[Yesterday 12:47 PM] Chad
They say where it is as I don't see it on the payroll intranet site.
[5/14 8:59 AM] Chad
Enterprise Systems Anybody know if Payroll is supposed to or has sent out a MAY time sheet?
12 replies from you, Michael, Stephen, and Chad. Press Enter to expand replies.
[Yesterday 12:49 PM] Chad
[Yesterday 12:50 PM] Chad
that's the main page, but I had to go through offices and then payroll. Not linked from main company forms page
[9:09 AM (Today)] Noris
Hours Worked column
[Yesterday 12:51 PM] Chad
Looks like we have to fill in the entire form ourselves, month, days...
8 replies from Noris, Chad, and Stephen
Reply <https://teams.microsoft.com/l/message/19:<UID>@thread.tacv2/<UID>?tenantId=<GUID>&groupId=<GUID>&parentMessageId=<UID>&teamName=<Team Name>&channelName=<Channel Name>&createdTime=<DateTimeStamp>>
This mess happens because some people sometimes "reply" correctly, and other people sometimes don't.
As you can see Chad and Noris started new Conversations (when they should have replied), but they also replied to existing ones too. so it is not an issue of "teaching" the user, it is the UI design issue when people are in a hurry, or don't stop themselves to not just start typing in the big box, but rather clicking reply first.
So, the user just accidentally starts typing in BIG TEXT BOX "Start a new conversation...", when what they really want to do is to "Reply" to the one above. The link/words "Reply" are right above the textbox to "start a new conversation".
If this was a button (like a large "+" plus symbol) off to the right side, that they would need to click on to expand the "Start New Conversation" text box, then this wouldn't happen.
Regardless, we need a merge option (like the Edit, Delete, etc. options) to move (to a new channel) or combine duplicate thread topics into a single conversation (merge with a different/existing parent message).
Eric Janson commented
I agree. I'm trying to convince my office to use Teams instead of emails for threads, but it's much easier to "reply all" to an email than to "reply" in Teams, compared to "Start a new conversation". I make the same mistake myself constantly.
Ideally, threads could be combined (at LEAST by an admin), and ideally via drag-and-drop. THEN, thread could even be named (i.e. the thread can be given a subject, so to speak).
Andrey Burlutskiy commented
Messing users very much.
I am adding my vote and echoing Stefan's comments - the UI could make it much easier to reply.
Thank you for posting, Stefan (via Steve)!
Don Fasig commented
A feature to allow Team owners to combine multiple conversations that are all in the same Channel would be greatly appreciated.
Tim Koranda commented
Allowing channel Admins to move a thread or comment to the "Right" channel when they accidentally post in the "Wrong" channel would be a nice add as well.
Since we can't delete conversations, it would be nice to be able to merge duplicate ones for clean-up.
Robert Moore commented
I would love to be able to drag a thread into another thread when things like this happen. Or at least link to the misplaced thread.
Users (me included) sometimes write on the new conversation line, instead of "reply" as they are painstakingly close to each other in the desktop client.
This results in broken discussion chains.
The way I see it, there should be an option for merging.
Elaine Ward commented
Yes, would really like the (even just as owner of the team) to clean up the threads by combining the threads .