What do you think about RSVP in Outlook?

Microsoft

Hello Calendar Community,

RSVP (responding to meeting invitations) is an area with lots of opportunity for improvements in Outlook Calendar. I’m reaching out to gather your feedback on RSVP.

We’re particularly interested in understanding:

  1. Ease of Use: How intuitive and user-friendly do you find the current RSVP process?
  2. Functionality: Are there any features you wish were included to improve the RSVP experience?
  3. Efficiency: How could we make RSVPing quicker and more efficient for you?
  4. Overall Experience: Any other comments on your overall experience with the RSVP functionality?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. I am really eager for some insights from our community and its power calendar users.

 

cheers,

Gio

9 Replies

@Gio 

 

I love the new RSVP! My favourite things are: if the RSVP'er and the Host are on the same version, the tracking happens regardless of if a response is sent (this is HUGE for me :)), I also love being able to add a note so easily to the host, I never send a tentative or decline without a note and I LOVE that even declined meetings can still show in the calendar!

@Gio 

RSVP and unticking “Email organiser” are on my every-growing list of favourite, intuitive features. I still believe it needs to be made clearer under which circumstances the tracking information is not updated, as I feel this can lead to confusions, similar to the “Do Not Send a Response” in Classic Outlook.

@Gio  I think the new RSVP is great, especially the fact that declined invites still show. It is simple and easy to use, even for tech-not-so-savvy executives!

HI @KimT555 

"never send a tentative or decline without a note"
Good to know and noted :smile:. We are currently exploring some changes to the design/flow of adding notes on Outlook on the Web and the New Outlook for Windows. The vast majority of the time, users do not need to add a note (e.g. when accepting the invite), but when they do it is very important. So it might be useful to make the note field a little less evident to not take up so much space all the time for everyone, but still keep it easily accessible at a click for those users that sometimes need to use it. 

"tracking happens regardless of if a response is sent ... when RSVP'er and the Host are on the same version"
We also refer to these as "silent responses", when no visible response message/email renders on the organizer's Inbox. I know there is still a lot of improvement opportunities for silent responses. We are currently investigating them, with a special attention to scenarios involving cross-client (i.e. organizer and attendee in different Outlook apps), cross-tenant (i.e different companies) and cross-platform (i.e. different products).

"declined meetings can still show in the calendar"
We finally delivered this in Nov 2023, and it has been a great success. And we have more coming soon in this line of preserving/keeping things instead of deleting/removing. If you don't like your invite emails disappearing from your Inbox after you RSVP, we've got a new setting already in internal testing for you: "Do not delete invitation after responding".  

Thank you for taking your time to share your feedback, @KimT555.  I will remember you for more feedback when time comes.

Hi @Karen_Roem 

"unticking email organiser"
You seem like one of those users that rely a lot on silent responses, because you have empathy for the organizer and do not want to load them with tons of potentially unnecessary response emails in the Inbox; am I right? Most of the time, there is no need to add an RSVP note, but when they are added, it is very important that they become clearly visible to the meeting organizer. One of the improvements we are looking into is to give organizers more power over what they see or not in their Inbox, which would mean transferring this "burden" from the responding attendee to the organizer; instead of attendees having to worry about "if there will be a visible email arriving at the organizer's inbox", we could give the organizer a setting or filter to choose if/when they want to see/hide the RSVP emails in their inbox.

"I still believe it needs to be made clearer under which circumstances the tracking information is not updated"

Ideally, the tracking information should always be updated. RSVP ("répondez s'il vous plaît") is by definition a means of communication through which the invitee lets the organizer know if they will be attending or not; thus if someone responds, the organizer must be able to see/access the response somehow, otherwise the core goal of RSVPing is not fulfilled. The most important reason why we are looking into changes in the "email organizer" flow/design and into "silent responses" is exactly to improve "tracking". We want tracking to be available and reliable for all meeting sizes (including large events with tens of thousands of attendees) and across all scenario combinations (cross-client, cross-tenant, cross-platform). Saving one's response locally without letting the organizer know is not RSVPing per se; if this user need exists, it can be fulfilled via other means, not necessarily the RSVP flow. And tailoring the impact of RSVPs (e.g. email; notification; silently update tracking table...) on the organizer's experience should be under the organizer's control, as they are the most interested party.

Thank you for sharing your feedback, Karen. Always good to hear your thoughts!

 

Hi @mstorie

"declined invites still show"

Yes! I believe this was the most important improvement in the core RSVP experience in the past couple of years. And it is now becoming a great adoption differentiator for those users upgrading from the legacy Outlook for Windows to the new Outlook for Windows.

We've taken care to implement this feature in such a way that it will also work if you are declining from Mac, mobile (iOS, Android) and Teams. But we are aware that there are still some small improvements to be delivered on these other clients to make the declined events experience better across all M365 products.

 

Please feel free to share feedback about things you don't like about RSVPing on the new Outlook Desktop too. 

@Gio 

Introducing the Classic Outlook check box (File > Options > Mail) to select the Update tracking information, and then delete responses that don't contain comments would no doubt be much appreciated; thanks, Gio. And yeah, ideally, the tracking information should always be updated, but if it doesn’t I feel we need to manage expectations and make it clear when it doesn’t work.

@Gio,

I came across a TechCommunity post that you may be interested in. The meeting organizer created a rule to move accepted and tentative responses to a folder, which declutters her inbox. She wants only declined responses to arrive in her inbox to prompt potential action on the declined responses.
 
Hmmm. This functionality could be helpful to many. Having "more" flexibility to choose how RSVP responses are handled would be nice. 


Kudos to @KristyKairos for this idea.
My Favourite Outlook Rule - Microsoft Community Hub


#traccreations4e 7/17/2024

Thanks for tagging me, Teresa.

I feel very strongly about the current RSVP UX in Outlook. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

It makes me so mad that rsvp's show up when I'm looking for legit emails and they are carded in such a weird way within Outlook, I somehow constantly end up clicking through these when there is 0 information. [If there's 0 information to be gained, should clicking even be an option?]

This seems to be such a basic feature, it seems to subject to heavy overthinking.

G-Suite's way of managing:
- scheduling cross-functional meetings and intuitively being able to book them (and if I have all their calendars selected, google automatically adds them to the invite, saving me a ton of redundant work I need to do in Outlook Calendar)
- no weird UI of rsvps in the inbox ... it's just a unique subject line, if any message is displayed, you immediately see the preview of that

That's it. Because it's so easy to identify the standard invites, it's also very easy to filter / automate them in any way possible. It took me substantially longer to find the right online resource to help me come up with my own rule. [actually through another help forum that I don't remember off the top of my hat]


Sorry, my rant is over :) Outlook has many strengths, but the calendar scheduling + rsvp's is bananas.

Happy to be available for questions / user interviews / show how easy and uncomplicated it is with Google if that's of interest.