Sean Ellis

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      289 comments  ·  Public » Notifications  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      Sean Ellis commented  · 

      Shameless plug: I have outlined how I think a relatively simple-to-implement, flexible and useful settings system should work here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/33224782-hierarchical-settings

      If you agree, please vote and comment.

      Sean Ellis commented  · 

      Now over 2 years since first requested.

      Sean Ellis commented  · 

      20 months since first request. Still no action.

      Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
      Sean Ellis commented  · 

      See https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/33224782-hierarchical-settings for a proposal of how to organize and implement a proper settings system, which includes notifications.

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        1 comment  ·  Public » Messaging  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        Sean Ellis commented  · 

        The highlight color should be settable by the user, and preferably should be configurable globally, per team, and per channel.

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          1 comment  ·  Public » Bugs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
          Sean Ellis commented  · 

          A very common complaint.

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            0 comments  ·  Public » Tabs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
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              1 comment  ·  Public » Video and Phone Calling  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
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                0 comments  ·  Public » Tabs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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                  1 comment  ·  Public » Desktop  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  Sean Ellis commented  · 

                  I'd like to make it abundantly clear that this is not a criticism of Suphatra and the UserVoice moderation team, who can only work with the information given to them by the product management team.

                  Sean Ellis shared this idea  · 
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                    1 comment  ·  Public » Emojis and GIFs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                    Sean Ellis commented  · 

                    Preferably, allow people to choose what is shown, in a similar way to the hidden/shown icons in the windows system tray. Then those of us who rarely use any of the extended functions can tuck them all neatly out of the way.

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                      0 comments  ·  Public » Getting Started  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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                        0 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                      • 6,812 votes
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                          783 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          To paraphrase a quote often attributed to Microsoft's founder: "640 days ought to be enough for anybody."

                          That's how long the Teams team has been "working on" this request now.

                          It's also 100 days since we were last told that nothing was happening. Is nothing still happening?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Despite this being the #1 requested UI feature, and it being in "working on it" state, it is now 3 months since we were last told there was no progress, and 8 months since any evidence of any kind of development at all. (Even if it was pretty much the exact opposite of what people actually asked for.)

                          By way of contrast, Peter Skillman, chief designer of Skype, has shared on Twitter that they have design reviewed a "more compact mode" - https://twitter.com/peterskillman/status/1058782467824349184

                          I'm mentioning this as a good example of Microsoft being responsive and sharing progress.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Emmanuel
                          Indeed. Proper support for compact mode can only come from within the Teams developer team, because of issues like this.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Mike, @Emmanuel

                          Nice work. Given full control over the CSS, it would be nice to be able to have options to switch individual elements:

                          - Bubbles
                          - Margins/indentation
                          - Left/right alternation in chat
                          - User avatars
                          - "Like", "Save", other message options on right-click
                          - Timestamps
                          - Emojis (large/small/off, animations on/off)
                          - Link previews
                          - "Reply" button (when off, bottom message area becomes "reply" by default)
                          - Message/reply colors

                          A "fully compact" mode would have all of these set to "off" or "minimum size"

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Nice work, @Emmanuel.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          6502 votes... which is a significant number for computer people of a certain age.

                          A quick look at the Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_Technology_6502) shows that in 1974-5, MOStek assembled a team, designed, laid out, fabricated and launched an entire microprocessor in less time than this ticket has been in "working on it" state.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Anonymous said: "If you are unable to follow the directions on that linked webpage to install as a chrome extension and begin modifying the layout to your heart's content, you are literally unqualified for giving any feedback on this alleged non-issue."

                          I'm not sure whether they are saying that this is a non-issue because we can hack around it, or if they are berating MS for taking so long to address it. If it's the latter, then yes, I agree.

                          If it's the former, then I profoundly disagree. The hack only works for the web client, not the application. And since when was "you can hack around it" an acceptable response to missing functionality?

                          It requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise to even realise that this possibility exists, let alone take advantage of it. And it takes another level to make it work. And even then it's not a supported solution, so if the next update of Teams adds another layer to their already arcane CSS structure, it could break.

                          So, yes, while it may work for a small subset of people, it's useless for most. MS must support this as a first-class option in the product itself. And they agree - after all, they are "working on it".

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Jeremie - It's worse than that. It was originally promoted to "working on it" status on 9 Feb 2017 (yes, last year), which is now over 600 days ago. In the meantime, Emmanuel has protoyped a complete compact mode for the web client using CSS changes only, in under 4 days. Since the app is just a web page in a box, the same changes should be immediately applicable to the app, too. There's no excuse for MS dragging their feet over this, other than they actually are not working on it after all.

                          Suphatra recently admitted (after 2 years) that they weren't working on a Linux client - an announcement which was then hastily withdrawn after the backlash. I suspect that we may be in the same position, but without an announcement.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Derek Hsu - There's no suggestion that this would be the default mode, so people who are happy with the current layout would stick with it.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Well, MS have finally admitted that we're not getting a Linux client. Is it time to admit that we're not getting this request either?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Suphatra - It has been 210 days since the last non-empty update from the Teams team.

                          Update most definitely required.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          This is the #1 UI request, and the #3 request overall. Please also vote and comment on the main thread here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Bo Sørenson - Yes, we can only inject replacement CSS inside a browser. I don't know of a way to do the same thing inside the application.

                          Since Microsoft define the application's style sheets and bake them into the application, the only way to get them changed is to persuade the Skype developers to make equivalent changes in the local style sheets.

                          Hopefully, by highlighting that it can be done in a reasonable amount of time, with a reasonably small set of changes, and giving them a base to work from, this will speed up that process.

                          Of course, this only helps if it is actually a technical problem in the first place.

                          Consider the simplicity of the solution, the small amount of time needed to develop it (with no prior knowledge of the code), the very long amount of time with no progress, and the lack of communication over this feature.

                          It is difficult to believe that this feature is on the roadmap at all, let alone in "working on it" state, and if the commercial team has said not to work on it, then the developers will not do so, no matter how useful and easy this fix is.

                          How can we get the commercial people at Skype to sit up and listen? I hope that it's a cost/benefit thing. If the cost is small, and the benefit is that people get a better experience, then it's possible that they might change their minds and actually allow some work to happen.

                          @Suphatra - What is the real state of this feature?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Emmanuel - Thanks. I know what you mean about the HTML!

                          So there we have it, Microsoft. A working compact mode takes 4 days. You're "working on it", so now you know how it's done, we look forward to seeing it this time next week.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Emmanuel - Great work.

                          Roughly how long did it take you to make this? My original one was a couple of hours, but it had a lot of missing functionality and yours is a lot more polished.

                          It should be embarrassing for Microsoft that four different individual users on this thread have each come up with prototypes in hours or days, while the official team of (how many?) engineers have made precisely zero progress in 600 days.

                          @Suphatra - Can you please let us know if this is actually being worked on.

                          Continued silence from Warren, month after month, makes it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is *not* in fact being worked on, and that the "working on it" status is maintained only as a lure in hope of preventing us from switching to other solutions.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          This was first promoted to "working on it" on 9 Feb 2017, exactly 600 days ago.

                          We have seen zero improvement in all that time.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Suphatra - glad to see you're back from maternity leave - welcome back!

                          Sadly while you've been away, not much has changed. Or progressed. Nothing at all has happened on this request. No progress, no feedback, no sharing, no requests for input, nothing.

                          Oh, one thing of note. Yet another person has spent a few hours playing with CSS and prototyped a compact mode. That makes three of us so far. None of us, unfortunately, are Teams developers, so it didn't actually get into the product.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I just noticed my previous post got caught by the naughty words filter. There were no naughty words, just an overzealous filter noticing two innocuous words close together.

                          To clarify, the first sentence should have started "Just to remind the team who are working hard" and continued "on this, ..."

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Just to remind the team who are working ******* this, this should be a separate mode. A compromise will not work - it will not be compact enough for serious users and too sparse for casual users.

                          The mode must be as minimal as possible.

                          If possible, split it out into separate options so people can customize their UI.

                          - Turn speech bubbles on/off
                          - Turn left/right alternation on/off
                          - Turn avatar pictures on/off
                          - Turn timestamps on/off
                          - Turn single threaded conversations on/off
                          - Hide command bar (move title back to title bar, move command bar to menu)
                          - Choose font
                          - Choose colors
                          - Allow multi-window - sub-windows have no sidebar

                          Compact mode would be a short way to say "All of these off, please."

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I was looking at the Teams twitter feed and found this:

                          https://myeventurl.azurewebsites.net/Events/Details/388

                          There's a public conference call every Tuesday at 10am Pacific, where users have a chance to ask questions. I'm outside the US, so the 800 number won't work for me, but it may be of interest to US users.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I notice that @Warren just yesterday declined the "Screen Space" request (https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/18613144-screen-space), which is fairly similar to this one, and pointed people from that thread to here.

                          Welcome to all the people from that thread. Please vote for this idea too, so that we can get it to the #2 overall position, and hopefully get some (any) movement from Microsoft in this direction.

                          So far, we've had 18 months of inactivity and not a single pixel of screen real estate saved.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I notice that there has been a flurry of official responses on other threads, but nothing here, on the #1 UI request.

                          MrMan confirms that feedback was solicited and that screenshots of proposals were shared with the test group. Can we see them, at least? Then we can give some constructive feedback rather than (metaphorically) shouting down a well.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @MrMan - Thanks for the feedback. It's nice to have some confirmation that something did happen, at least at the start.

                          @Warren - Any reply to this, or news on actually getting a compact mode?Or an ETA? Or an ETA for an ETA?

                          At its simplest, it's purely a presentation change. At least 3 of us have independently implemented prototypes with a few hours' CSS hacking.

                          At the moment, it's hard to avoid feeling like we're Charlie Brown, you're Lucy, and this feature is a football.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Nearly a year ago, Gino wrote:

                          "I’m Gino and I’m the Product Manager that’s been hard at work to bring you a more compact chat design. First, I really want to thank you for your patience while we worked on this request. We spent months testing designs with users, reiterating concepts, and reading through your feedback, [...]"

                          In order to build confidence, could we perhaps see some of these multiple designs which were tested on users? Or share some of the concepts and see how they iterated?

                          Were any of the users they were tested on actually users which had asked for a compact mode in the first place? That seems like the natural set of people to ask. Did anyone in this thread participate in the feedback process?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Nice one, Emmanuel. This is, as far as I can see, the third time in this thread that someone has implemented a compact mode with a few hours CSS hacking, and shared their results.

                          Meanwhile Microsoft have now been "working on it" for over 555 days, with no screenshots, sketches, scripts, not even any mockups, mashups, or maybes.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Warren - over in the Skype 7/Skype 8 user revolt, product designer Peter Skillman is actually showing us what they're doing, to show that they are actually taking people's concerns seriously and reassure them that things are actually happening:

                          https://twitter.com/peterskillman/status/1029738845170888704

                          How about you guys do the same?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Another 8 weeks and we still have no more information. Zero rough designs. Zero proposed changes for review. Zero ETA. Zero feedback. Zero evidence of any work.

                          All these zeroes add up to zero confidence.

                          Sorry, Warren, but I simply don't believe you when you say that this is being worked on.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @LutzHH - Yes, seriously, this, together with multi-window mode, is my top priority.

                          My preferred way of working with chat is to have several small chat windows open at any one time, alongside my primary task. Without that ability to do that, any other features or defects become a lot less relevant. It is inconvenient to have to use a tool that requires me to change the way I work, not just in Teams but my whole desktop.

                          On the other hand, I understand that it may not be a big problem for the way you work. That's fine too. The user base for Teams is diverse, and we all work in different ways. This is why the vast majority of respondents on this thread have said that this should be an option.

                          And lots of other things should be options too, of course, to help us all work the way we want to.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          To save duplication, here's a link to a message I posted about making code snippets more compact, over in https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16932697-code-snippets

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          We have now reached the (totally arbitrary but nonetheless satisfying) milestone of 5000 votes for this idea.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          And the July update comes around, with no visible change. So, to save Warren the trouble, "This feature request is still in the works. No additional details are available at this time."

                          On the other hand, MS has committed to making both the Teams and Skype-for-Business UIs as compact as the consumer Skype UI on 1 September!

                          Unfortunately, this is by the simple expedient of forcing everyone who is still using Skype Classic to "upgrade" to Skype 8.x, which looks a lot like Teams and has many of the same UI problems.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Good news, everyone. This idea just overtook the "Full planner" thread and is now one of the top 3 most-requested features.

                          This can only be good for gaining attention at Microsoft.

                          Warren - it's almost time for the July update, any progress?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          This is the #1 top request in the UI category. Please vote and comment on the main thread here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Sunday was the 500-day anniversary of the original "Working on it" message.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Warren,

                          It has now been sixteen months since you first said you were working on this request, back in February 2017, and four months since you actually asked us what you should be working on.

                          There is still no effective change in the June update. No "beta" compact mode for us to try out. No change in even the simplest things, like margins or spacing. As far as I can tell, not a single additional pixel has been dedicated to displaying useful chat content.

                          This is the most popular UI/UX feature request, by a very long way, and only about 100 votes from the top 3 of all feature requests. It's an option, which means that it doesn't have to affect the default experience of users or the "brand identity". Basic layout changes using CSS have been independently prototyped by at least two of us on this thread, in a few hours of our spare time.

                          What's holding up development?

                          It's getting increasingly difficult to believe that any work is happening at all on this request. Please share any kind of information about what is being planned, and what has been achieved already.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Drew, having done some experiments with CSS on the web client, it's not as simple a fix as it seems to be at first glance. The document model layout is rather odd and there are CSS properties shared between unrelated elements which just happen to look the same (a depressingly common anti-pattern and a sin I have in the past committed myself).

                          That said, the effort required to clean this up and define a new CSS file is nowhere near a year's work.

                          I think the non-technical problems need further examination, though.

                          The fact that MS did not actually ask what we meant by "compact" until nearly a year after saying that they were working on it suggests strongly that they were not working on it at all during that time.

                          This may not be true, but it leads to a trust issue, and makes it important that MS share any progress - even if it's just sketches on the back on an envelope - to reassure users that they are actually working on it.

                          Warren - what progress have you made in the last month?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Not only does Teams take up an inordinate amount of screen real-estate, but it then refuses to use a fair chunk of it.

                          I have a tall half-monitor-width window with 5 icons in the left side-bar, and room for at least another 10. Do I see 15 icons? No, after 5 we have the "..." icon which shunts the other icons into a pop-over menu. I don't get to choose how many icons are displayed, or which icons are where.

                          Similarly, I click on the "Teams" icon in the sidebar and I see the first 3 channels in my currently-selected team... with a "1 more channel" indicator (which takes as much space as the channel it replaced - go figure) shunting the last channel into another submenu despite having room for about 25 additional channels.

                          Effective use of the space we have is an essential part of the compact mode - reduce the number of pixels but give users the configuration options to make every pixel count.

                          Still, there's hope. Redmond magazine says that developers are getting more support from Teams. (https://redmondmag.com/articles/2018/05/07/build-2018-dev-support-microsoft-teams.aspx) My impression is that a lot of the respondents on this thread are developers, so perhaps this means that compact mode is on the cards?

                          What? No, I don't believe it either, unfortunately.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Hi, Warren. Thanks for the update, but "No updates"?

                          No plans, prototypes, or precursors; no screenshots, samples, sketches, specimens or suggestions; no requests for feedback; no mockups, no models, no what-ifs or what-d'you-thinks; no designs, drawings, or delineations; not even any napkins with scribbles on them?

                          Not a single margin reduced? Not a single size limit changed? Not a single new option anywhere? Not a single additional line of text on the screen?

                          Forgive me, but after more than a year, I'm getting the feeling that there really *is* no work going on here, despite the "working on it" status. I will be ecstatic to be proven wrong, and if so you may dance about outside my office for a week singing "I told you so".

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          The main thread calling for a more compact UI option is here - https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout - and currently has over 4000 votes and a promise from MS that Something is Being Done.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Anonymous - the ability to 'roll up' Conversations was introduced in the last update.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          For comparison, here are the view options of various MS products:

                          Windows Explorer: Extra large icons, large icons, medium icons, small icons, list, details, tiles, content.
                          Word: Read mode, print layout, web layout, outline, draft, zoom, multi-page (vertical, side-to-side), advanced options/customization.
                          Excel: Normal, page-break preview, page layout, custom view, zoom, freeze panes, split, hide, advanced options/customization.
                          Outlook: Compact, single, preview, pane layout, sort, conversations, advanced options/customization.
                          Powerpoint: Normal, outline, slide sort, notes page, reading view, zoom, grayscale, advanced options/customization.

                          Teams: Dark or light.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          This is a very popular suggestion. The main thread is at https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions /17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout - please comment and vote!

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Forgot to mention the changes to the reply box:
                          * Remove the "start a new conversation" box - that's one action in the "..." menu.
                          * Reduced height of reply box by default. All non-trivial options now in the "..." menu. (There should be an option to display the formatting controls for people who need them a lot.)

                          And most importantly of all, MAKE THIS LAYOUT MODE AN OPTION.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Here's a modified screenshot based on my CSS modifications, with some extra changes: https://moteprime.org/images/teams-compact-screenshot-modified-20180312.png

                          It includes these changes:

                          * The conversation compaction changes I pointed out in my previous post - collapse pretty much all padding, spacing, separators, etc.
                          * It moves the conversation topic back into the title bar, where it belongs.
                          * The left bar is narrower. Could be made even narrower with smaller icons.
                          * Vertical space at the top is reduced by putting more things on the same line.
                          * The right gutter is removed.
                          * The name fields could probably be smaller - how about allowing people to drag the width of this region so they can choose just enough space to distinguish between people in the conversation?
                          * The image is a bit wonky in places, but those are bugs, not features.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I have created a Stylus stylesheet that overrides the formatting of Teams for the web, so that it approximates what I would want to see from a compact mode.

                          It hides the left pane, user icons, timestamp, and separators. It collapses almost all padding and margins. It shifts the user's name to the left, and the reply icon off to the right. It shrinks the title and tab bars.

                          IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not designed to be functional. The hidden things are permanently hidden. I cannot get rid of the right margin for some reason. I haven't tried to hide the action bar or the sidebar. There's some kind of Javascript interaction that tries to scroll downwards all the time. But it should give an idea of what a truly compact mode should look like.

                          If you're interested you can download it from:

                          https://moteprime.org/downloads/style-teams-compact-mode-20180307.txt

                          Note that this is just the result of some CSS tweaking and took me a lunchtime. Clearly, to be properly functional it'll take more work, but since selecting the mode apparently involves little more that the choice of loading two different CSS templates, it should be easily achievable.

                          I look forward to seeing it in the next update ;-)

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          The reply button and text widgets are only required because all conversations are presented in a single pane, even when you are participating in one.

                          One feature of the compact mode could be to switch focus to a single conversation, which would take over the whole pane, like Chat does. You wouldn't even require a reply button in this mode - just click on any message in the conversation to open it. The conversation would then have a single text input box at the bottom, like chat.

                          This may require an additional level of hierarchy to easily switch between conversations, but would be usable even just using the existing multi-conversation pane to select one, and it would be even more useful when combined with the ability to "tear off" panes into separate windows, which is also a popular request.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Repeating myself, THIS ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO BE A SEPARATE LAYOUT OPTION.

                          We really do want this feature, but not at the expense of others. There is simply no way that a single layout can be sufficiently compact for those who need it (e.g. most of the people here), and also support those who don't (e.g. Chris Webb, below).

                          The small changes so far are very welcome additions to the non-compact view. But this is nowhere near a "compact layout" - not even close.

                          The latest version increases information density (pixels in actual conversation / pixels in window) by maybe 20%. But that's from a baseline of about 10%, so it's now at around 12%. I am prepared to bet that the people asking for a a truly compact view want it to be closer to 50% - that's 4x denser than it is now.

                          Tinkering with the default view will not achieve this - it needs to be a radical trim of all extraneous information.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          I see the collapse/expand, which is a good addition to the non-compact mode, but I don't see a way to switch into compact view mode

                          I would expect it to be on the settings menu somewhere, or on the channel menu if it's a per-channel setting. Am I missing something?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Just to ram home the extent of the problem, I have uploaded an annotated screen shot at http://www.moteprime.org/images/Microsoft%20Teams%20Quarter%20Screen%20Example.png

                          This is a quarter-screen window (800x600 on my monitor) which leaves me space for other conversations and activities. The total window area is 480,000 pixels

                          The red areas indicate the content I am actually interested in while engaged in this conversation. This totals roughly 47,500 pixels.

                          The useful information density in this window is therefore just below 10%.

                          Clearly, we still need things like window titles, and some UI elements, but a 4x increase in density should be achievable without too much fuss.

                          Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Personally I need compact, but this crucially ALSO requires density. I really want to be able to work with multiple small windows open at once, onto different channels. This requires a maximized density of chat in each window.

                          And it absolutely must be an option. Trying to somewhat-compactify the default view will not work; it will not be compact enough for those of us who require a compact view, and too compact for those who don't. Skype tried this and they failed.

                          And even doing both isn't a year-long project. Making it both compact AND dense should be about a week's work if the code is well structured, a couple of weeks if it isn't. Oh, go on then - I've seen the CSS for web Skype, and if it's anything like that, lets give the developer a whole six months to untangle it first. Still nowhere near a year.

                          If it's not perfect, fine - it's an option; label it "Beta" and give us something concrete to critique and build confidence. Or even just share a screenshot or two of what you've done so far.

                          This question should have been asked at 8 o'clock, day one, 9 February 2017.

                          It's now 12 February 2018, and you say you've been "Working on it" for the intervening year. But you're only just now asking what "it" means. I'm sure you can see how that looks from the outside.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Happy Birthday, Compact Layout Implementation Team!

                          Today is the first anniversary of the announcement that MIcrosoft were working on implementing a compact chat layout. "Its happening. We’re working on this!" said Suphatra.

                          Any chance of an anniversary update? Are you really working on it? Really? Honestly? No, really, this is a serious question. What progress has been made? When will we see, well, anything at all?

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Paul Diller wrote "It would be nice to offer options in this area" - I'll stress again that this isn't a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. There is no one layout which will satisfy everyone; meaningful layout options are therefore essential.

                          This also allows the Teams developers to appease the marketing department ("The default view will stay the same, don't worry about the Brand Identity...") while actually giving more users what they have been asking for.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          No mention of compact mode or UI changes in the 10 January update.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          This has been a very popular request. The main thread was started over 2 years ago, and it's nearly a year since Microsoft acknowledged that they were working on it.

                          See: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Warren,

                          "No additional update details"

                          Sorry to be negative, but are you really working on it? Really?

                          OK, let's avoid details and instead focus on some broad brush questions which are unlikely to change in the few days it should take to implement this feature...

                          - Will this be an option? (And if not, why not? You will never please a wide user base with one layout - see previous posts ad nauseam.)

                          - How much more compact will it be? Let's say, a ballpark figure for, say, how much text you can fit in an 800x600 quarter-screen window, compared to speech-bubble mode. 1.1x? 1.5x? 2x?

                          - Why is is taking so long to make what should be minor parameter changes to the text layout engine?

                          There's still a week before Christmas - that should be plenty of time to come back with a reply.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          @Anders: Surely that's "Still waiting x 281"

                          (First confirmation that MS are working on this simple feature was posted by Suphatra, Feb 09 2017. It is currently November 28. That's 281 days... so far.)

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Erik Maas has, on his own, gone a long way to addressing the problem for browser users using some straightforward CSS wrangling.

                          Contrast this with the progress we see from the developers.

                          I am convinced that the developers could easily address these problems, but that they are being instructed not to by the commercial team, because of a perceived requirement for "style" over "design".

                          A similar request made to the Skype team resulted in exactly that response - the "look" is part of the Skype brand identity, never mind whether it's actually usable or not. Tough luck, sucks to be a serious Skype user.

                          @Gino - is this what's actually happening? Will we ever see a real compact mode, and separate conversations in separate windows? If you say "hard luck", then at least we know where we stand.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Gino - Is this an option?

                          The key thing here, as I have said on multiple occasions, is that different people use the product differently. A single layout will necessarily be a compromise and will not satisfy anywhere near as many people as a couple of distinct, targeted options.

                          Personally, I want to see a maximally-compact layout. No left rail. No gutters. No emojis. No bubbles. Just show me as much of the text of the conversation as you possibly can, in a small window that I can use alongside my primary task.

                          That's not going to work for everyone - and I wouldn't expect it to. Options allow you to span more of the space of user requirements.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          TL;DR: we definitely need a maximally-compact view as an option.

                          Why? You're making the main view more compact, isn't that enough? No.

                          The File Explorer in Windows is a great example of why optional view modes are a requirement, and why a single view mode is insufficient.

                          When viewing a folder full of files, you have the choice of "Extra large icons", "Large icons", "Medium icons", "Small icons", "List", "Details", "Tiles" and "Content".

                          These all address radically different use cases. There is no one view mode that would successfully satisfy the different needs of all of them.

                          It's the same with Teams (and the other Microsoft chat products too) - the user base is diverse, and we use chat for a number of different purposes in a wide range of different contexts.

                          Trying to find a compromise that will satisfy everyone will end up pleasing no-one.

                          Please give us options to customize the product to serve our individual needs.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Excellent - a move in the right direction.

                          There's no need to "jar the existing user base" with a truly compact mode: simply make it an option. Microsoft products are used by a wide range of people in lots of different ways, so supporting good configurability should make it better for everyone.

                          Different people have different perceptual needs. Some of these are physical; a color-blind person will falter if a UI presents status information using only color as a cue. A person with impaired motor control may require larger icons or slower double-click times. Sometimes these needs are not physically constrained, but are simply a consequence of the way something is being used.

                          There is, in many cases, no one right answer. Different needs may, in fact, be diametrically opposed, and a solution for one is a serious impairment for another. Therefore there must be some configurability in order to meet the diverse needs of the user. Here's Ben Shneiderman, from his "Eight Golden Rules of Interface Design":

                          "Recognize the needs of diverse users and design for plasticity,
                          facilitating transformation of content. Novice to expert differences,
                          age ranges, disabilities, and technological diversity each enrich
                          the spectrum of requirements that guides design. Adding features
                          for novices, such as explanations, and features for experts, such
                          as shortcuts and faster pacing, can enrich the interface design
                          and improve perceived system quality."

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Any official update on progress on this feature? It doesn't seem too difficult - a few parameter changes to the chat layout engine should be enough to make the chat a lot more usable, at least.

                          Sean Ellis commented  · 

                          Absolutely - this is my top request.

                          (This view option also needs to be available for Skype for Business and consumer Skype, although user opinion on this feature has been studiously ignored for both those products.)

                        • 7 votes
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                            2 comments  ·  Public » Emojis and GIFs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            Sean Ellis commented  · 

                            A temporary workaround until we get the option (when?) - if you type Crtl+Z (undo) after the emoji substitution happens, you get the text version back.

                            Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                          • 2 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Public » Notifications  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              Sean Ellis commented  · 

                              A popular request. We should have the ability to separately select the sound (and volume) to use for each type of event.

                              Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                            • 2 votes
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                                Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                              • 3 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Public » Developer Platform  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                                • 2 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                                  • 3 votes
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                                      2 comments  ·  Public » Bugs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      Sean Ellis commented  · 

                                      Since different people use the product in different ways, it would be good to allow the user an option to set the default for Ctrl+V to preserve formatting or paste plain text. (Both functions should still appear on the right-click menu.)

                                      Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                                    • 2 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        Sean Ellis commented  · 

                                        We have never had any kind of feedback from Microsoft as to why there's an arbitrary limit of 20 people in the first place.

                                        Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                                      • 4 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Public » Messaging  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                          Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
                                        • 3 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Public » Emojis and GIFs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                            Sean Ellis commented  · 

                                            There should be a range of options (options! imagine the luxury of having options for things!):

                                            - Animate emojis
                                            - Animate once
                                            - Don't animate
                                            - Don't translate emojis (show as text)

                                            As well as a large/small emoji setting.

                                            That way, everyone can set their emojis to what they want. Ideally this should be configurable globally, per-team and and per-channel.

                                            Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
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