Collaboration and communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Slack have become the linchpin of global businesses over the last two years.
Teams, for one, has significantly grown its userbase and expanded its functionalities to support this. The tool has helped businesses stay connected effectively throughout the boom of remote work and is now shaping the modern-day communication culture worldwide.
With more than 270 million active users to date, Microsoft Teams also reported seeing a rise in the frequency of third-party apps usage, a stark increase from two years prior.
While Teams has proven to be a staple for business functions, how certain are you that your users are getting the most out of the tool? As the need for improved and efficient communication processes increases, what can you do to ensure that your users’ needs are met?
Below are some tips to help you get started!
Tips to Improve Microsoft Teams User Experience
A key thing to remember when optimizing any digital tool is to make sure that the tool works for you and your users and not the other way around – that’s how user experience can then be improved.
When their experience is elevated, communication will feel more effective and productive, and this can result in a higher engagement rate.
Encourage Users to Personalize Their Teams Experience
It’s important that users know how to customize Teams to meet their daily communication needs. The app is often seen as a simple instant messaging app, but it’s actually so much more comprehensive and credible than that – and the tool’s accessibility features are the reason for this.
#1: Turn on Live Captions during Teams meetings
Source: Modality Systems
Users with technical difficulties or hearing disabilities can turn on Live Captions to have subtitle-style captions displayed in real-time during meetings. That way, they won’t have to miss a thing that was said!
#2: Turn on chat translations
If you have diverse teams spread across the globe or even clients with different first languages, then the inline message translation feature would be a lifesaver.
When it’s activated, users can have their messages and threads translated automatically in their language of choice.
#3: Use shortcut keys
Users will always appreciate the ability to navigate Teams quickly and seamlessly. So, it’s essential that you let them know about the following 12 shortcut keys.
Source: Modality Systems
This would also help users with vision limitations as they don’t have to go through multiple screen just to navigate a task.
Explore and Leverage Teams Meeting Features and Capabilities
One of the best things about Microsoft Teams is its ability to host various types of meetings that can connect users from anywhere around the world.
Hosting successful and effective virtual meetings lead to improved collaboration and establish better relationships between businesses, so below are some of the Teams Meeting capabilities that your users should know about:
- Start meeting instantaneously with the Meet Now feature
- Record meeting with the Start recording option
- Share a screen or an application with meeting participants
- Eliminate background noises with audio suppression
- Mute attendees to draw better focus
- Host live events, virtual consultations, and audio conferences
- If users enable the Anonymous Join feature, they can join these meetings as anonymous users. This can expand the reachability and accessibility of these meets.
- Invite participants after a meeting has started with Ask to Join
- Interactive troubleshooting when a problem is detected
Improve Conversation Tracking and Consolidate Discussions
Users might not be aware that there are significant differences between a group chat and a channel. If the goal is to centralize all project-related discussions, then a channel would be appropriate. If users simply want to include more than one colleague in a casual conversation, then group chats would be more appropriate.
Some best practices that you can implement include creating project-dedicated channels for each of your projects – but remember to only add involved team members to avoid unnecessary message notifications and disruptions.
On top of that, channels are the better option if users want to make sure that they can keep track of conversation topics and consolidate discussions. This is because, in channels, you can reply to a particular message and start a thread. Via threads, users can maintain context, address only a select few, minimize disruptions, and prevent message clutter in a channel.
While these simple practices can help users track discussions better, users may still have trouble tracking information shared across a channel, which brings us to the next point.
Track Links and Institutional Information Shared Across a Channel
When a user shares a link in a channel, it’s very easy for the link to get lost in a thread or in a sea of other messages that flood in after the link is shared.
This is a common issue for a lot of communication tools out there. Links to important documentation or institutional knowledge are always hard to track because ongoing discussions are more constant and tentative, pulling the attention away from the links shared.
To overcome this, you can leverage a third-party app like Link Spotter that can effectively pull all the links shared in a channel and consolidate them under a single tab. Through the app, users can also find links by keywords within the links or by name of the sender.
Best part? Users can directly start working with a link or jump back into the conversation thread where the link was shared.
Link Spotter in action
Make Teams Enjoyable for Your Users
When your users enjoy using the tools that you roll out, they work better and can deliver better value to the business in whatever they do. As the nature of corporate communication culture changes, so will the needs of your users.
Make sure that your users can easily find what they need when they use Teams. Leveraging Link Spotter and implementing these tips would be the best ways to start.