Sean Ellis

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    1034 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Just popping back to wish a very Happy 2nd Birthday to the work on Compact Mode!

    (I know I'm a day early; I'm out tomorrow.)

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Well, I guess that's it. After 12 months of fruitlessly trying to our engineering team to use Teams, and being rebuffed repeatedly due to the state of the UI, we've deployed Slack instead.

    (This was also helped by Microsoft's forced downgrade from Skype 7 to Skype 8.)

    Takeup was immediate and enthusiastic. Slack has a compact mode option, which is pretty good, and can be made even more compact by CSS injection, a workaround which is not available in Teams.

    That's ~1000 customers gone. Partly because after 20 months you cannot deliver something as simple as editing some CSS to save some space.

    On the plus side, I won't be wasting my time or yours bothering the Teams or Skype teams any more.

    Goodbye everyone. It's been fun talking to you all.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Suphatra is leaving the Teams team. We wish her well, and call on the new holder of the user liaison role to update us on the progress of this simple and necessary feature.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Aaron commented: "... when someone types more than 5 lines in a channel then their message is cut off with a "See More" button ..."

    That's a very good point, especially given the whole point of the program is to facilitate communication. Requiring action to be taken just to see a single message is just unbelievably ...
    [See more]

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Another milestone today. It is now 700 days since Microsoft first said they were working on this, the #1 UI request.

    Since then, they said:

    "We now have a design and are conducting 1:1 research testing with users." (2017-04-27)

    "We are working on changes that will be made in the coming weeks, and just need one last round of your input" (2017-06-07)

    "We spent months testing designs with users, reiterating concepts, and reading through your feedback, to make sure we could meet as many of your common needs as we could." (2017-09-22)

    "We are still working on this. There won’t be one huge update, but instead we will release small updates over time" (2018-02-12)

    "Great news everyone, we have made a first step towards a professional compact chat layout. We have released density changes including updates to how message threads collapse. :)" (2018-03-06)

    "we are seriously considering a compact mode" (2018-12-15)

    Throughout this process, the only changes which have actually made it into product are either so trivial as to be effectively invisible, or the polar opposite of what was actually requested.

    "As we look to 2019, we will be pursuing plans to continue to make the product more and more space efficient. We see this as a guiding design principle." (2018-12-15)

    This is absolutely not evident. If it were a guiding design principle, the compact mode would have been implemented within a month of work starting.

    We have spent 700 days (and more) telling you, showing you, and in some cases implementing prototypes of what we need. We could not be more clear. The support for this feature is overwhelming, and it's an option, so it won't disturb a single user who does not want to use it.

    As we go into 2019, we want to see:

    - A public commitment to implement this idea fully and as specified by the users.
    - A timeline for implementation.
    - A consultation process where we get to see what you are doing.
    - Deployment.

    You have had 700 days. Time to deliver.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    The only meaningful engagement I have had with Teams is on social media. By airing our grievances here, we're just in a walled garden where no-one can see, and where we can be ignored with no consequence.

    Microsoft Teams is on Twitter (@MicrosoftTeams) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MSteams/).

    Complaining there shines a light in public which is harder to ignore.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Anonymous - "An amateur with a basic css knowledge could fix the **** Teams layout in one single day and make it better."

    Several did.

    A dedicated amateur, Emmanuel, made it work properly, in a couple of weekends.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @MrMan - Thank you.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Christopher Clinton - "it is not all about the layout being compact, but about it being organized in a way that is usable for the variety of users"

    I beg to differ. This request IS pretty much all about it being compact. Really compact. Maximally just-show-us-as-much-text-in-a-window-as-you-can compact.

    But we realise that this will not work for everyone, so we've been consistent asking for this as a mode. That way, it's available for those people that want it, without causing problems for those that don't.

    Having it as an option is the only way to make it compact enough to satisfy those of us who want to keep multiple chats open alongside our "real work". Simply making the default view 20% "more space efficient" will not be enough.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This is NOT a difficult change.

    It could (and should) be prioritized, with prototype screenshots shared for feedback in January and delivery in the February* update. This is more important than whatever new emojis are in development.

    The original poster was asking for compact mode for Chat (and conversations) only. It doesn't necessarily affect other aspects of the UI. This restricts the scope of the change quite dramatically.

    Four of us have demonstrated that a prototype can be developed in a couple of hours. Emmanuel has taken this further to show that you can develop this into a working solution with just one person, 4 days' work and CSS changes only.

    Prioritise, prototype, share, feedback, deliver.

    * - Tempting as it is to call for Christmas to be cancelled for the Teams team, in order to sort this out for January, this would only penalize the developers and I don't think the developers are to blame. It's much more likely to be the marketing team and product managers who have been suppressing work on this.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Troy - " how about you change the status so we're not expecting change for a year and half?"

    With my cynical hat on, because a lot of people would then go and use something else.

    If it takes a month to procure and set up an alternative solution, then if the feature you need is a month away, you'll wait, to save yourself the trouble.

    If the feature you need is a year away, you'll switch, to save yourself the wait.

    This strategy works right up until the point where it doesn't, and you have to admit that it was never a month away at all, and will be at least a year away because that's how long it takes to get anything from Planned to Completed.

    Then everyone gets very, very angry.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    We need a better "contract" between MS and Uservoice contributors.

    See https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/35969446-uservoice-give-detailed-information-on-progress-o, and vote and comment if you agree.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    "we will not be making a sharp design turn towards a permanently heavy dense design"

    Glad to see that this is clear. No-one was asking for that. Many of us have gone to great pains to point out that this is NOT what we want.

    "... we are seriously considering a compact mode. This would be an option"

    This is also good news, and is exactly what we need. We need this to be maximally dense - at least 4x as dense as the default mode.

    "we really appreciate your patience"

    Thanks. But...

    "[PLANNED]"

    Planned?!

    You (as in Microsoft, not you specifically, Suphatra) have been saying since Feb 9 last year that you have been actively working on this. You have had months to update the status to anything other than "working on it". You said that you had "spent months testing designs with users, reiterating concepts, and reading through your feedback".

    It appears that none of these things were true.

    To restore the trust of the UserVoice community, you need to do four things:

    1. Commit to a release schedule, so we are not left in limbo for another two years.
    2. Show progress, and soon.
    3. Share that progress at all stages, so we can feed back early and avoid a repeat of the "collapsed threads" debacle.
    4. Listen.

    We have shown you what we need. We have even shown you how to do it. We now need you to execute and deliver.

    We will continue to press for this feature. It is the first hurdle that all my colleagues so far have balked at when evaluating Teams.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    130 days since Warren's last gnomic pronouncement of no progress.
    283 days since our request for more text on screen was marked "partially complete" with an update that showed less text on screen.
    673 days since first marked as "working on it"
    732 days since submission.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Anonymous - "Their definition of "professional compact layout" is just completely different than ours"

    Indeed, which is why I (and others) have shared screenshots of the kind of layout we want, so there can be no misunderstanding. All of us have shown something more or less similar - as much text as possible, as little white space as possible.

    And the thing is that this needs to be a separate mode, not a slight compaction of the default view. This allows MS to use whatever acres of screen real estate they want in the default view, while still coping with the requests of users who want more text on the screen.

    It's not even difficult!

    The only conclusion I can come to now is that MS is not working on this issue at all, but they do not want to tell us that because a lot of people are delaying switching to other products based on the promise that it is coming.

    I hope I am wrong, but this view is reinforced by apparent instructions to the moderators not to engage with this thread.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday dear Please create a professional compact chat layout!
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Congratulations on 2 years as the #1 UI request and still going strong! In that time, you've had 671 days of work, been voted for 7153 times, been solved by users 4 times, spawned one of the longest threads on the forums, and had the most "This feature is coming soon but we can't show you anything" posts of any idea on the UserVoice forums!

    I look forward to celebrating your third birthday next year!

    (Yes, in the absence of any response from any other kind of attempted engagement with the development team, I am now resorting to poor attempts at humor. Will it work? Stay tuned for the next two years to find out!)

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    I have it on good authority that the moderation team has been instructed not to engage with this thread.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Anonymous - the most annoying thing is that even if the marketing department don't want to ruin the "look and feel" of the enormous default UI, this option has zero effect on it.

    It's a separate mode, created by loading a different CSS style sheet. There is zero reason not to support it.

    And still no update.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Now 666 days "working on it" with no progress. That's got to be some sort of omen. <rimshot/>

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Suphatra on Twitter said today (2018-12-03): "I have an update for you. However, I'm working through our internal approval chains to get it approved to share externally."

    I have asked her to confirm this officially on this thread.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    7000 votes!

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    "This feature is still in the works. I hope to have more info in the coming weeks."
    - Warren

    The "coming weeks" count now stands at 16.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This feature is not marked as "In development" on the O365 roadmap, despite having been "working on it" here for over 650 days.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=In%20Development&searchterms=teams#owRoadmapMainContent

    Why the discrepancy?

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

    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  · 

    This is the #1 UI request, and the #3 request overall.

    However, despite Microsoft announcing that they have been "working on it" for over 18 months, there is zero progress.

    Please vote for the main thread over here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout

    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  · 
    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  · 
    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  · 

    The free file explorer application that comes with Windows does this, with various view modes available for different types of content and persistently configurable for different folders. Teams should offer the same functionality.

    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.)

  2. 9 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  3. 18,501 votes
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    1575 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hi Everyone – thank you for your patience. As was commented by someone below, Suphatra is no longer at Microsoft, but rest assured we are working on this feature.

    ~ Alex

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Suphatra is leaving the Teams team. We wish her well, and call on the new holder of the user liaison role to update us on the progress of this necessary feature.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    We're coming up on 3 months since the last update, where Suphatra (whose job is dissemination of information) was being denied permission to disseminate information about progress on the #1 most voted feature request.

    Once again this shows that Microsoft's communication strategy with users is fundamentally broken, and continues to call into question the effectiveness of engaging with them semi-privately through UserVoice.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    700 days since first marked as "Working on it".

    Seven. Hundred. Days.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Heppy (belated) Birthday, ticket! Two years old on 1 November.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

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

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    20 months since first requested. Still no action.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  4. 15 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Public » Linux  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  5. 3 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Public » Messaging  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  6. 2 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  7. 6,358 votes
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    288 comments  ·  Public » People/Presence  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    working on it  ·  Warren responded

    This feature item is still in the works. Unfortunately I don’t have any additional details to share. I will keep you posted as I hear new info from the feature team.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    How long does it take the Teams team to show a simple list of users?

    167 days since last update to tell us of no progress
    447 days since last update telling us of progress and that it was about 3 months away
    629 days "working on it"
    805 days since request

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    June update - still not available.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    It is now over a year since the promise to implement this feature - which is to simply display a list of people which must already be known to the app and/or server.

  8. 1,153 votes
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    143 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    567 days should be enough to insert one call to toLocaleDateString() and one call to toLocaleTimeString().

    This gets everything displayed in the machine locale's date and time format.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    20 months since first report, still no action.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Warren: "the team does understand this is a big need".

    MS UI guidelines say that supporting the system time and date format is "the very least" that an app should do.

    My initial thought was that the Windows API has a function that does exactly this - GetDateFormatEx(). But it's really a HTML application under the hood.

    No problem - the Javascript API has functions that does exactly this too - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/scripting/javascript/reference/intl-datetimeformat-object-javascript

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    I'm voting for this but as an option. At the very least, the application should respect the user's choice of locale which includes date format.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This has already been discussed at https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16935160-use-same-date-and-time-format-as-in-my-computer-s and MS say it's "under review" despite proper date/time format handling listed as best practice in their own UI guidelines.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Ooh, look - Microsoft's own UI guidelines instruct app developers to respect the user's choice of date and time format:

    --

    Dates and times

    Don't hard-code the format of dates and times. Respect the user's choice of locale and customization options for the date and time formats. The user selects these in the Region and Language control panel item.

    --

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dn742478(v=vs.85).aspx

  9. 1,470 votes
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    71 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Warren responded

    This item is still under review by the feature team. I have no details as to when a decision might happen.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    619 days of review is enough. Implement this already.

  10. 1,766 votes
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    60 comments  ·  Public » PowerBar  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    partially done  ·  Warren responded

    The slash command changes are still in the works. I hope to have more details to share soon.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Joar Ekendahl wrote: "Would be awesome if the "power bar" was completely moved and integrated into the existing chat bar."

    Exactly. Plus, this would have the advantage that the power bar would no longer break the UI model for the platform. The search bar, being interactive, should be in the client area of the window. The title area of the window should be reserved for the conversation title.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  11. 2,689 votes
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    314 comments  ·  Public » Wiki  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    planned  ·  Warren responded

    This feature is still in the planning stage. No new updates are available at this time.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    "we’re looking into this straight away."

    598 days.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  12. 5,007 votes
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    547 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    working on it  ·  Suphatra responded

    It has been three months since the last update, so checking in here to let you know this is still being actively worked on. I really appreciate your patience as we work on this.

    I hope you’re all enjoying the holidays, and have a very Happy New Year!

    Thanks,
    Suphatra

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    "It has been three months since the last update, so checking in here to let you know this is still being actively worked on."

    Forgive us, but this is what was said about Compact Mode. And Linux support. And many other features. We need to see evidence of progress.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Happy Belated Birthday, ticket. Two years old on 2 November!

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    All views should (a) retain their state when not visible, and (b) be able to be pulled out into separate tabs/windows.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Skype 8 started work on this at roughly the same time, and now has this feature in preview. Perhaps you could contact Peter Skillman and ask for a few implementation tips?

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @AJ - Glad you're finding the existing UI useful. The Teams ecosystem is large and diverse, so options are important.

    I often have chats open with several people, usually discussing something which requires me to look through source code or specifications, as well as working on my primary task. This means having multiple, small windows open alongside that task, so I would prefer to have an option for a maximally compact UI which supports multiple windows.

    This was available in Skype 6.21, for example. Skype 7 made it less compact. Skype 8 removed the multi-window support completely, making it much more like Teams (and much less useful to me). But they are (apparently) putting it back in, and they have shared screenshots of a prototype.

    As I have said before, ad nauseam, "no options" is not an option.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A very popular request. You may also want to vote and comment on the main thread here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A very popular request. You might also wish to comment and vote on the main thread here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This is a much-requested feature, and the main discussion thread is here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    (I note that Skype 8 removed the multi-window option, although they are apparently putting it back after everyone complained.)

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Peter Skillman, the Skype 8 design lead, is actually sharing screenshots of what they are doing to restore multi-window mode:

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

    As Skype 8 is also a Microsoft product built on Electron, perhaps you could (a) ask to share their code, or at least get an explanation of how it works to save you some time, and (b) share some screenshots as you go.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A popular request. The main thread for discussion of this is here - https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more - please support and vote.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    "Desperately need this. Meeting much resistance to leaving Skype due to this."

    That won't be a problem for long. As of 1 September 2018, Skype users will be forced to use a version without multi-window support too.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This is a very popular request. Please also vote and support on the main thread, here: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    16 months in planning so far. Any chance of seeing that ballpark ETA?

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This is a very popular request. Please vote and support on the main thread at: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Ideally, all tabs, channels, and other content should be able to be "torn off" into their own separate windows. This is an example of another use case which would be addressed by that change.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This is closely related to the popular request for a more compact layout - https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout - currently on about 4500 votes.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    It should also be possible for users to group panes together arbitrarily, including into groups-of-groups. The default would be the organization of team=(files+chats+channels) but this shouldn't be the only way to organize things.

    The same thing should also be possible with users, so you can create groups of users, and groups-of-groups.

    This fits nicely with a hierarchical settings system, where each node in the resulting graph gets a series of permissions and settings.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Ideally all channels and tabs should be able to be "torn off" into their own separate windows, and each one should also keep track of its own state.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    All tabs and channels should be able to be "torn off" into their own separate windows.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    I'd go further and say that every tab/channel/chat/video should be able to be undocked into a separate window.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    It should be possible to tear off any channel or tab into a separate window.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    It should be possible to tear-off every channel or tab into a separate window.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Ideally every channel (team, conversation, chat, etc.) should be able to be popped out into its own window, so we can have as many things open as we want.

    As a model, look at tab handling in modern web browsers.

    Also, the settings for each of these should be individually configurable (but start with global user-editable default values).

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A multi-window user interface option is a popular request. Here is the main thread: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Glad to see that this has progressed to "planned". The "compact mode" feature would make this a lot more useful, as it could dramatically reduce the screen real estate required for multiple windows. I hope that this will be going in at the same time.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This also needs the compact view option, so that small windows can be used effectively.

  13. 5,138 votes
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    working on it  ·  330 comments  ·  Public » Notifications  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Another plug for how to implement a proper hierarchical settings system: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/33224782-hierarchical-settings

    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.

  14. 6,684 votes
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    443 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    on the backlog  ·  Warren responded

    Unfortunately due to re-prioritization this item has slipped back onto the “backlog” for the time being.

    I hope to see it move back into “working on it” soon and will continue to engage the feature team with your feedback.
    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Yet another feature with 12+ months of "Working on it" and then a sudden de-prioritization, then 5 months of silence.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  15. 83 votes
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    27 comments  ·  Public » Search  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  Warren responded

    The feature team has decided to decline this request after careful consideration. Thank you for the suggestion and all the feedback.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Still present. Still not optional. Still wrong.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    As revealed in https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/19161262-do-not-disturb-unexpectedly-changes-to-available, it is possible to download a log file.

    Within this log file is a setting called "enablePowerBar" which appears to be set to "true" by default. What happens if it is set to "false"?

    Given that this option apparently already exists, it should be exposed to the user.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Still present. Still wrong.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Sorry, but this is simply wrong. No other application uses the title bar in this way.

    Why not make it an option?

    When we get multi-window compact mode, I hope that this will not appear on the separate conversation windows, which need to be easily moved and sized - something which this feature hinders.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    This defect is still present in the August update

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    June update - still present, still annoying.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Still present in latest update.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A classic example of a violation of the consistency principle. For any application, most of the user's time is spent in other apps, so it is necessary to conform to common platform conventions.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  16. 8 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Public » Bugs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
  17. 176 votes
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    13 comments  ·  Public » Getting Started  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    A recent example of why a new contract between MS and UserVoice contributors is sorely required is the Compact Mode update from 15 December 2018:

    https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-compact-mode

    Over two years after submission, and 670+ days after being told that the Teams team is "working on it" (with tales of "months of work" being done testing designs, no less), it has now been revealed that it was never being worked on.

    It is now in "planned" state, and they are now "seriously considering" adding this feature at some unspecified point in the future.

    This is the antithesis of transparent development. It's not even opaque - it appears to be intentionally misleading.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 
    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
    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 commented  · 

    On UserVoice, there are many ideas which are in "Working on it" state which nevertheless have no updates, or updates with no information.

    Please allow us to contribute to the development.

    1. Give regular updates

    Some of the "working on it" items have had no updates from the admin team in 3 months.

    2. Make sure the regular updates have real information

    Too often the updates are just "we're still working on it, nothing to report". If you are working on it, then there should be something to report. For example, the #1 UI request, compact mode, has had no actual progress reported for 8 months.

    3. If requirements are not clear, ask, and ask quickly.

    If it's not clear what we are asking for, we'll be very happy to tell you. In excruciating detail. People make mockups and prototypes to show you what we need all the time - leverage that enthusiasm.

    For example, it was a year after you said you'd started on compact mode before anyone popped up and asked "Er, what you you mean by compact, exactly?"

    4. Share screenshots, design goals, and other substantial information, to allow us to help steer implementation

    An example of this process not working is the implementation of slash-commands. Only after going through the whole development process was it discovered that the proposed design did not meet the basic requirements of the users. By sharing earlier, we could have helped the Teams developers deliver something that was more useful, rather than wasting precious development time.

    Similarly, the last update on compact mode was back in March, and delivered exactly the opposite of what was required. Rather than displaying more information in a limited space, it simply removed useful information by collapsing threads. This was not at all what people were asking for.

    5. Let us trust you

    Too often we just see no evidence that you're "working on it". We want to use this product. We want to see it improve.

    But too often we see simple, obvious improvements (options! options!) sitting there going nowhere, while you simultaneously tell us that they are progressing. Give us evidence. Rebuild trust with the UserVoice user base.

  18. 1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Public » UX/Design  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Sean Ellis shared this idea  · 
  19. 7,444 votes
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    958 comments  ·  Public » Linux  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    on the backlog  ·  Suphatra responded

    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback – we hear you loud and clear. After talking this over with the Engineering team, I confirmed this will remain on the backlog and we are actively considering how to accelerate.

    Tweet me if you have any questions! @skprufo

    Suphatra

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Anonymous - "are you really working on this ?"

    No, that's why it's "on the backlog", rather than in "working on it" state.

    (Not that being in "working on it" state is any guarantee of progress, though.)

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Anonymous

    Good point about the prevalence of Linux in technical environments - there are a lot of Linux users where I work too.

    But I think you're being overly harsh on @Charles; he may simply not be in a situation where lack of Linux support is a problem, and has thus not seen the (real) need for it.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Charles Roddie

    Teams is a collaboration product. As the size of a team grows, especially in a technical environment, the chances of needing to include Linux users approaches 100%. If you need to communicate with them, and Teams doesn't support that, then you end up having to have a second system which supports them too. And you're then maintaining two systems, one which meets the needs of all your users, and one which doesn't, then you might as well ditch the one which doesn't. Even though the raw percentages of Linux users are indeed small, it's still in Microsoft's best interests to support them.

    Also, one of the reasons for developing the Teams client using the Electron framework is precisely for cross-platform portability. The real question is why are they *not* supporting it, when literally the first words on the Electron framework's website are "Build cross platform desktop apps".

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Happy (belated) Birthday, ticket! Two years old on 2 November.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Glad it's on the backlog again. But given that the top request (Private channels) is already in "working on it" state, and has been there for over 600 days, it would be good to have an ETA. Otherwise we're just as much in limbo as before, just with a different label.

    For so many features, we feel like Charlie Brown, and MS is Lucy with the football.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    The very first bit of text on the Electron website is literally "build cross-platform".

    Given that the Teams client is really just a website wrapped in a Windows-flavored box, and if the website works on Linux, which you say it will Real Soon Now, then why is it impossible (or even non-trivial) to put the same website in a Linux-flavored box?

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Wow. One of the stated benefits of using Electron is that it is cross-platform.

    The problem you have here is that Teams is, well, a team product. If not everyone in the team can use it, then its usefulness as a central resource is greatly reduced. Even the web client doesn't work properly on Linux.

    If workplaces have a mixture of platforms, then the probability of having at least one Linux user in at least one team approaches 100%, at which point you have to maintain two separate ways of doing things. (Assuming you want to talk to them, which I hope is a given.)

    And if the other solution works for Linux users too, why not just maintain that one?

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Isn't the whole point of developing apps with HTML5 and Javascript so that they are inherently cross-platform?

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    The user calling themselves 'Someone' said: "While Linux is nice thing, it brings not a lot for the low number of users".

    While it's true that the absolute number of users is low, the probability of a team containing at least one Linux user is much higher, especially in a technical setting.

    To a first approximation,

    P(linux user in team) = 1 - (1 - P(linux user))^(team size)

    Also, one of the key benefits of using Electron as an app framework is supposed to be the ease of developing cross-platform apps.

  20. 997 votes
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    134 comments  ·  Public » Teams and Channels  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  Warren responded

    This request has been reviewed and declined by the feature team.

    You can continue to up vote this topic as well as leave comments. Depending on the ongoing feedback, there is always a chance a topic will be revisited based on user demand.

    -Warren

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    @Juan This is why I suggested that there may actually be two separate requests here.

    The first is the hierarchy you describe, where there is a real inheritance of properties from one level to the next.

    The second just a way to arrange items in the UI to match the user's mental model.

    A similar thing happens with arranging contacts in your phone. Although all contacts are in fact equal, it makes sense to group them as "Family", "Work", etc. solely for ease of use.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    There are two possible requests here.

    One is to have actual nested teams, which inherit permissions, etc. from their parents (which would require a hierarchical settings system - a good idea anyway https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/33224782-hierarchical-settings)

    The other is simply to allow people to arrange the display of the teams that they have into groups.

    The former is more general, but the latter should be much easier to achieve, but requires Microsoft to allow users control over their UI - something which has historically been resisted.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    My guess as to why this has not been implemented: the underlying data structures representing teams and channels have a fixed relationship to each other.

    Assume that a team has some of its own state, plus a list of channels which "belong" to it, and channels do not have their own lists of sub-channels. None of the code which deals with channels will ever have had to deal with sub-channels, so things like permissions, lists of users, etc. will just jump directly to the enclosing team to get them. There's no provision for hierarchy.

    This is probably why it's so difficult to add private channels, too. The channels themselves have no concept of user permissions - it's all delegated to the teams.

    Adding nested objects would be possible if the access to permissions and management is nicely encapsulated. This is unlikely; developers will deliberately or inadvertently bake those same assumptions into their code. Why put a check_permissions() method on the channel object when all it's going to do is always delegate to the team object? Just call check_permissions() on the team object directly. It's more efficient and much easier to deal with ... until you want to change the assumptions.

    That said, the initial assumptions on the shape of people's workspaces are false, at least for a fraction of the users. Some people need more than one level of hierarchy.

    I hope that the changes being made to support private channels are also supportive of deeper hierarchy, too.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Functionality still not present in the September update

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    Functionality still not present in the August update.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    That's OK. All the millions of Teams users have exactly the same requirements for team layout and setup. There's no need to change the organization in Teams, just change your organization to fit.

    Seriously, though, this is just another example where a "one size fits most" approach doesn't work. Teams users are diverse and work in small to very large teams. The default is a quite sensible, but does not address the needs of everyone.

    Once again, "no options" is not an option.

    Sean Ellis commented  · 

    The configuration of a sub-team should be inherited from its parent team by default, with overrides for those specific features that need to be different. This fits in nicely with a hierarchical options system.

    Sean Ellis supported this idea  · 
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