Smaller Client mode/view?

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Regular Contributor

One of the complaints I hear from users who have tried Teams so far is that the client is far too big.  We've been using Skype for Business for years, and they're used to the narrow contact list window and seperate chat conversation windows of skype for business.  The current Teams client keeps all of that and more in one much larger window, which takes up a lot of screen real estate.  

 

 

Can we get a "contact list view" or such for teams that is similar in size and appearance to Skype for Business?  Ideally this could be docked at the edge of the screen, or at least kept open on one side of the screen out of the way of other windows.  That way a user can be working in our main LOB app, but still have their contact list visible and possibly carry on a chat conversation without it dominating their screen?  I don't think this would be an entirely separate client, but rather just a MinUI mode with a button to switch back and forth between MinUI and FullUI.  

 

I mentioned this when speaking with a few different people in the Teams area at ignite, and one person mentioned that a smaller client view had been discussed and may be coming, while others didn't know anything about it.  They mostly seemed to think that it's a case of "You're doing it wrong", as Teams is not intended to be used that way.  Well, if teams is really supposed to replace S4B, it needs a mode to support this.  

 

So, are there any plans for a smaller view to be added to the teams client.  If so, can you tell us when to expect it?

 

Thanks!

30 Replies
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Hi Steve - Thank you for the feedback. This does resonate with other feedback we have heard. Every user is different and there is no right or wrong way of using Teams :) We are actively working on addressing your feedback but want to be sure we hit all the key issues and have a performant way of doing this.
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Whole heatedly agree. I need to keep my chat open in the corner of my screen all day, but can't with Teams because it won't size down to be small enough. Very annoying.
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This is very annoying.  It's like MSFT wants to over-consumer window space for a chat function.  It is backfiring as people just minimize or shut down the service.  They had to proactively code the dimensions of the window to lock at this width.

 

Enough games MSFT.  Do the right thing, so many app alternatives at bay and such an easy fix.

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Couldn't agree more. It takes up more than a third of my screen if I have it top to bottom. Way too big!

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Hi

I couldn´t agree more. This needs to happen if we´re supposed to switch from S4B to Teams. The Teams UI is far from good right now. The fact that it isn´t possible to make smaller that half the screen is a big issue.

 

BR/chrisg

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Agreed. Teams is almost as real-estate hungry as the new consumer Skype. I'd like to avoid having to have a separate monitor just for the Teams interface. So... much.... whitespace...

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I also agree.

 

I am currently using an alternative solution because of this issue, so either Teams fixes this or I can't migrate.

 

The right way to use it is sometimes however the user wants to use it, I feel as though the users being told what the requirement is by the developers is bass-ackwards.

 

Why code this limitation in unless you want to dictate UX to the user? All that has happened in our case is that the UX and integration is now broken and unsuitable for our use case.

 

 

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I got an email about an update to the uservoice request for this yesterday.  Microsoft posted a survey asking how useful various features would be, and how they should be prioritized. 

 

Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to think we're asking for increased information density in the teams/channel/chat lists, and/or in the conversation pane.  That's not it at all, but that's exactly what the new feature described in the survey was.  

 

I want a SMALL WINDOW mode for teams.  Something that shows just the contact list and/or Teams & channel list, but can be expanded to show the conversation pane when desired.  (Or pop out separate windows for the conversation pane.)

 

Along the same lines, I also want a SMALL WINDOW for call controls.  Currently, when I make a phone call in Teams the Teams window is still huge.  If I need to switch to view a team's conversation or content, that's fine, but often I need to be looking at something outside of teams.  If I minimize the Teams window though, I lose access to the call controls.  If I need to use the dial pad, mute myself, place the call on hold, or even just end the call, I have to pull up the whole Teams window again, with it dominating my screen real estate just so I can use the call controls.  When a call is active and Teams is not the app in focus, it should pop out an always on top window with just the call controls.  Like 1"x2" for audio only, or a little larger for calls with video or presentation content. 

 

Why does Teams insist on taking up a big section of my screen even when the function I'm using doesn't require it?  Grr!

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@Steve Whitcher Couldn't agree more - this is so annoying.  I wouldn't use it if it weren't mandated by my company.  I need to keep my chat open in the corner of my screen, but instead I am leaving it minimized because it takes up WAY too much screen space.

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@kim_the_first 

Can you tell me about your alternative solution?  We are considering switching to Google Apps just to get away from teams, as we have been forced by Office 365 to go to Teams instead of Skype for Business (which works absolutely fine for us).  

 

At this point I am desperately looking for something with a smaller window footprint to do instant messenger and screen sharing only.  Teams might do a bunch of things (like Slack and every other multi-user-multi-platform-sharing tool), but it is NOT a usable replacement for Skype for Business which was EXACTLY what we needed.  Seriously, someone reskin this monstrosity to hide the 85% of the crap no one even wants or needs.  

 

We have SharePoint to share, a softphone for calls, bulletin boards and calendars galore.  I DO NOT need something that does it all!  I want a small window to reach my contacts and conduct day to day business, not an all in one product that does nothing well but take up 1/3 of my screen.  

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@kim_the_first 

Can you tell me about your alternative solution?  We are considering switching to Google Apps just to get away from teams, as we have been forced by Office 365 to go to Teams instead of Skype for Business (which works absolutely fine for us).  

 

At this point I am desperately looking for something with a smaller window footprint to do instant messenger and screen sharing only.  Teams might do a bunch of things (like Slack and every other multi-user-multi-platform-sharing tool), but it is NOT a usable replacement for Skype for Business which was EXACTLY what we needed.  Seriously, someone reskin this monstrosity to hide the 85% of the crap no one even wants or needs.  

 

We have SharePoint to share, a softphone for calls, bulletin boards and calendars galore.  I DO NOT need something that does it all!  I want a small window to reach my contacts and conduct day to day business, not an all in one product that does nothing well but take up 1/3 of my screen.  

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@Steve Whitcher 

 

For me, this is going to be a big part of making the big switch from S4B to Teams.

Some of our user base would be happy enough with teams as it is, but i think the vast majority would find it very annoying to have to use a window that size for Instant Messaging and starting up calls. Having a S4B style IM/Call window that you could pop-out of teams would be ideal.

The meeting functionality is much improved and i like it so far, but a separate chat window would be a game changer. 

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@Sharvari Nerurkar That sounds like a marketing enforced response.

 

If we look at it from this point of view, you will see were those of us who are frustrated come from:

1) There was a designated space for SKYPE with enough real estate to ensure that the applicant and chat window would fit it.
2) The Teams app, does not fit within the boundaries of the designated space. It exceeds it by a large amount (mostly, in width by at least 25%).

Enclosed is a screenshot of my workstation with 4x 24-inch monitors. Every space is allocated to run an app of some kind. Skype, was on the bottom right of the primary monitor. Teams extends out of that range into the next monitor. The screen shot shows a black area with no data. This is accurate, as the Monitor on the right was not designed to show that space. The box does represent the cutoff, where the original Skype application resided in. If you follow the black box on up, you will find that Teams, takes up more than 25% more real estate that Skype. Skype, was already too big (we used Trillian for a long time, until Microsoft killed the Skype APIs).

 

We just want to collaborate. We don't need something pretty, we need it functional. Forcing your users into a new normal that they are not ready to accept gives them the motivation to begin to find alternative solutions. That is a pretty big risk, and could lead to a significant reduction to your base.

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@ilperez 

OMG! Our company is switching from Skype to Teams for chatting and it's NOT functional! It's been years now that people have complained about the size of the Teams chat activity. Seriously, they haven't figured out how to JUST see the contacts in a reasonable size??? The contacts are visible ONLY on top of the previous chat conversation and takes up approximately 25% of the screen. NO!! Fix it!! There are IT people who can help get that done! Microsoft, please care about this and get it fixed. Not sure what I am going to do until you fix it. 

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@Sharvari Nerurkar   I don't get MS at all... two years later and we are still waiting for basic functionality like this? 

Two major issues with Teams is:

1) cannot minimize to just a contacts view like Skype

2) you cannot delete past conversations.  If someone simply pings me asking if I'm ready for lunch, that 'conversation' shows up years later.  It's absolutely dumb and has our groups ready to move away from the app completely.  MS needs to fix this so we can clean up and get rid of junk clogging histories.

 

/rant

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What I think is really sad is that it's a "responsive" web design.  It's just doesn't make any sense.  It's like, ... I'll go somewhat smaller (maybe tablet?), but no smaller.   I mean it's ridiculous in that respect.  Why make the attempt at all?  Unlike any other good web browser i/f (I've seen one this bad) for chatting, Teams only allow for a fairly wide display (much wider than most, like 30% wider or so at its smallest).

 

I read some of the "supposed" Microsoft replies.  And those people need to grow up.  Stop making useless excuses for why "you're right" and your customer base is wrong.  There's nobody in IT that would agree with the position that the way Teams works is "ok".  Needs to be fixed.  Hire some people that know how to do responsive design.. and oh, btw, this case is very very very simple.

 

We'll suffer for now.  But Teams could be a whole lot better (with very little effort).  Boggles the mind.

 

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@Steve Whitcher 

Teams is a monstrosity.  What they have done is replace a Mini Cooper with the Titanic. If you are using a laptop or have a single monitor setup, you are doing teams and nothing else. Then there are the default settings that make Teams very difficult to close/ exit. It will stay open, pop-up and disrupt your work all day long. 

 

I for one have to rely heavily on Teams all day long and I have been manually exiting and then checking back in every so often because of how ungainly it is, size and notification wise. Settings are extremely limited especially when it comes to user customization. 

 

Microsoft, this is an issue that really makes the application unusable in many situations. Please address this.

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@Paulette GuerrieroI would like to be able to minimize the chat screen and show only the contact list. Would be good to be able to show who on the team is online and hover it over the time/date -- especially when managing remote teams. Just can't do it with TEAMS. Any ideas?

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I have started using WebEx Teams - it's a lot more flexible as far as screen size and what you show in the window.

- Paulette