Microsoft Teams has replaced the conversation text field with a “New conversation” button. Now, to initiate a new conversation, users must click the Microsoft Teams “New conversation” button to reveal the text field. While this may seem like a minor change, it has big implications for improving usability.
Threaded conversations, available in channel discussions in Microsoft Teams, enables users to keep messages and their replies together visually. This grouping allows users to engage in multiple conversations in the same channel, while keeping messages organized, structured and focused. To reply to a specific message or thread, users click the “Reply” link at the bottom of the threaded conversation to reveal the text field box.
And this is where Microsoft realized it had a usability problem.
Because the same style field box is persistently available at the bottom of the screen, users would often default to replying to messages using this text field instead of clicking the reply link. This often had the unintended effect of starting a new thread, not replying to a specific message, which meant that replies and messages would often be separated, and conversations would be disjointed.
Microsoft Teams “New conversation” button: Another new way to #UseTeamsBetter
Replacing the text box with a button is an elegant solution to a simple problem. By forcing users to take a single additional action, they will re-wire their brains to recognize that they are in fact not replying, but starting a new conversation, thus eliminating the likelihood of users accidentally starting a new thread.
This is another great example of how Microsoft is continuing to evolve and advance Microsoft Teams as a hub of collaboration and a critical tool for communication in the Digital Workplace.