As you may have already heard, we are aligning our design across the Cisco Collaboration App portfolio to deliver a unified, consistent experience for our users. This is to ensure that users have a familiar calling, messaging, and meeting experience, regardless of which app or device they happen to be using. As you embark on your journey to the cloud in support of modern workstyles, this will ensure that the costs and challenges of user change management are kept to a minimum.
Let’s talk through the design changes you can expect to see in the August 29th update of team collaboration tool, Webex Teams…
Layout and Navigation Transformation
As we continue to align with other apps in the Cisco portfolio this August, we will be moving your avatar – and the menu that comes with it – to the first column on the far-left side of the application. This menu provides some key activities; access to your people insights profile, the ability to alter your presence status, the option to change your settings or preferences, and more. This means that this is an important menu to users, and it’s even more important for everyone to know exactly where to find it. As well as aligning with our other apps, having the avatar menu here makes its contents globally available to users, no matter where they happen to be in the app.
While we’re on the topic of the first column, you will also notice that the ‘home’ icon, which ‘houses’ all your spaces and messages, has been updated to be a ‘chat’ icon. All other icons will remain the same as before.
We know how important it is to be able to take certain actions – such as placing a call – quickly. For this reason, we will be making some changes to the in-space activity menu. Popular actions such as making calls and sharing your screen will now be just one click away. For greater visibility and faster access, we will be moving these actions into the space header. All other space activities will remain in the space menu. It might be worth noting that we will also be changing the icon for this menu, changing it from the ‘waffle’, to a three-dot ellipsis. Great news for Jabber users who wish to move to Webex Teams, and for those who prefer kebabs to waffles. As we add more activities, content and integrations to Webex Teams, we will continue to optimise and improve this space menu design to provide our users with the most efficient way to get work done.
Webex Teams Design changes in August update.
You will notice that this isn’t the only change we’ve made to the top of the app. Things are going to look a little… Sleeker. This won’t directly affect how you work in Webex Teams, but it will make the app look a lot neater. What we will be doing is taking over the top bar of the app so that the colors of the columns below blend seamlessly up into the header.
Webex Teams’ Themes
Another thing to mention is that our light theme is going to be changing a little. The first column on the left where your avatar will be is going to change to be permanently dark. The colour of the second column – your space list – will change slightly too, just to a slightly different shade of grey than before. The main reason behind these subtle changes is that we want a theme that will give our users the option to have the exact same design as Jabber 12.7. This way, should Jabber users decide to start using Webex Teams, they will feel like instant power users.
Webex Teams new light mode
Available in August and becoming default theme in September
In September, this updated light mode theme will become the default selection for Webex Teams users. This is so that both Jabber and Teams users will have the same default user experience. If you want to preview this new theme design, you will be able to do so after our August update just by switching to light mode.
Following these changes, we will be keeping the ‘Black & White’ theme available for a time as a user preference. Later this year, we plan to consolidate our themes to two options. This will include the new default light mode and the current dark mode, which is now the convention in both Apps and Desktop Operation Systems. When that time comes, the ‘Black & White’ mode we see in Teams today will no longer be available to users.
Another key motivation for these changes is Accessibility. Improving visual accessibility in our themes like this is so helpful to the many people around the world with low vision. As the theme enhancements above occur, there will be no changes to the High Contrast mode. We will continue to provide this theme for any of our users who experience challenges when it comes to their vision.
With the exciting introduction of Jabber 12.7 this August, users will find a very similar design update to what we have described for Teams above. With these design enhancements in both Jabber and Teams, the two applications will now be directly aligned. As we continue to move towards a unified experience across the Cisco collaboration portfolio, you will be seeing design alignments like this more and more often.
Jabber 12.7 light mode. Available in August
Bring your Brand to your Users
The visual updates don’t stop there! This August, we are providing our users (well, our user administrators!) to co-brand their Webex Teams application with their very own color and logo. Admins will be able to apply their chosen logo and color to the first column – on the left side – of Webex Teams, where their avatar will now be. The company logo will appear just above the avatar for all corporate users. This allows companies to ensure that both their brand and their corporate identity can be reflected in the application experience they provide to their users.
Webex Teams Co-Branding. Available in August
For more information on the new co-branding feature, please check out our help article: https://help.webex.com/en-us/np8ictm/Add-Your-Company-Branding-to-Webex-Teams
We’re very excited about these design enhancements and the added usability benefits they will provide to our users. The new look and improved interaction are just some of what we have to look forward to. That, combined with the alignment of experiences between Jabber and Webex Teams, provides companies with a seamless transition path for their users.