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Activity Feed doesn't show related content on mobile

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Matthias Wodka
Occasional Contributor

On desktop, a (personal) mention in a channel opens up the message within a channel stream. A user can understand the comment directed towards him within the context of the channel's conversation. On mobile (Android, iOS), that's not the case for us. If I get notified by an activity or see one in the activity tab and click on it, all I see is the message directed towards me, nothing prior or after. I have no idea what has been discussed and need to manually open the Teams channel it was posted in. Is this a bug or by intention? 

7 Replies
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This is working as designed, the problem you are facing is people are not using reply to keep conversations together, so all you see if the mention and then people are replying outside of the conversation and when in mobile, you click the mention it's taking you to the conversation view, not the channel view of where it is.
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The desktop app behaves differently in that regard and in my opinion better. Reply for me would mean I mentioned someone and the following exchange could be, if intended, be kept somewhat separately. This would help keep the channel cleaner since that reply string wouldn't show up in full in the channel view. But the initial mention is usual part of an ongoing, often general, group exchange, no? That user has no clue what has been going on when opening the notification. Long story, short: Where do you see the advantage to implement it the mobile way in comparison to the desktop implementation? I don't see any harm, only downsides, in not scrolling just up to the mention and allow content to be shown above and below it (as it's the case in the desktop app) aka take me to the channel view. Is there a setting somewhere to change the forward to the channel view?

 

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But same can be said for a high volume Team on the Desktop app. If someone mentions you, and then 6 - 10 conversations or replies to other conversations happen and you click, it's going to take you to an out of context mention above those 10 conversations, What people don't think about, if you don't use Reply, all the conversations reorder and everything is taken out of context if some people reply and others don't.

So basically either way you slice it there isn't a good solution here. If you are mentioned in a reply it should take you into the conversation it would make sense. but if you are mentioned in the first message of a conversation I could see it just taking you to the place in the channel where it is. It's not 100% but it's better experience than now I would agree, but it's not a fix.

If they ever update the text box to a button, this will help a lot of this issue, but still waiting on that feature :).

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I don't see a problem if it takes me to a mention that is outdated or I get 10 alerts about 10 connected mentions. That's pretty much the way private messages are handled as well: 10 private messages trigger 10 different notifications, plus rarely is one mentioned 10 times in a row. What baffles me is that they implemented desktop and mobile differently which makes me think it wasn't by intention (or real bad judgement). At least in my company (and how we used e.g. Stride and Slack before), reply couldn't possibly be used to keep active departmental conversations organized. Way too many of those bleed into each other. My coworker uses the mobile app exclusively and can't follow things easily. He get's a notification, clicks on it, doesn't see any context, has to go to the teams tab (by then the message alert there has already vanished) and has to find the conversation based on the channel information of the original alert. I have not seen it implemented this way in any other chat app either.

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Solution

Because your team participants aren't using reply. I've been using mobile app in high use Teams for over a year and it works great, we use reply and keep conversations together. Mentions and the chats that go with them stay in context. The problem is you guys are just clicking Teams chat and using it like slack or skype with no replies.

There should be no use case where there is just a chat with a mention in it. If there is a reply to that mention it should be a reply, so when in mobile you click on your notification it brings up that thread. If someone is mentioning to get attention, mention them in a reply to the conversation. For example:

"You - Hey @Chris did you get that TPS report I asked about?"
reply - "Chris Webb - @You ,not yet, still waiting for the final numbers to close"
reply - "You - Ok thanks!"

What I can tell is going on here is you guys are using a channel to "Chat" with each other instead of replying and keeping things in context/thread and it's why you are experiencing this in a bad user experience as Team chat is designed around the principal of threaded chats. Same goes for facebook, if you added a status update to someone's page, people reply to it they don't add new status updates, otherwise it would be out of context when reading their page etc. And that's where the 10 conversations I talk about comes into play, if no one uses reply then they will stay in order but if some do and some don't it reorders them.

There is already a user voice entry to making team chats not threaded so people can use it like a chat instead of using replies. I would suggest voting and putting comments on that one.

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Cool, thanks for the thorough explanation on threaded chats. Your example ("You - Hey @Chris did you get that TPS report I asked about?") is something I would either not ask in a team chat, but personal message string, most of the time or just use the reply like you did it with no need to keep the notification confined to the reply string. On desktop, it's handled that way which I like and apparently doesn't create any negative effects for people that keep strict threaded chats. I will make sure to vote this up, appreciate the link.

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