Simply over a yr after Skype introduced a colourful, Snapchat-inspired makeover which included its personal model of “tales,” the corporate says it’s now going to refocus on simplicity – and it’s ditching tales alongside the way in which. The redesign had been met with plenty of backlash. Skype had clearly needed to attraction to a younger demographic with its replace, however in doing so, it cluttered the consumer expertise with options nobody had requested for or wanted.
One among these was “Highlights,” a characteristic that was very a lot Skype’s personal tackle Snapchat’s or Instagram’s Tales. With Highlights, Skype customers had been in a position to swipe as much as pull up their smartphone’s digital camera, then snap a photograph or report a video that may very well be embellished with typed or handwritten textual content, in addition to with Skype’s personal set of stickers. This might then be shared with particular person Skype customers, teams, or posted to the Highlights part of the app.
Above: Skype on cell
The corporate had argued on the time that the rise of tales throughout social media meant it was one thing that each one social apps would undertake. And since it was the way in which folks had been used to interacting now, Skype wanted to incorporate the characteristic in its personal app, too.
However tales, because it seems, might not be as ubiquitous or as in-demand as a “information feed” interface – there are locations it is smart, and people the place it doesn’t. Skype is the latter.
In its announcement, Microsoft admitted that the modifications it had launched weren’t working.
“Calling grew to become tougher to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of customers,” wrote Peter Skillman, Director of Design for Skype and Outlook.
As a substitute, the app is introducing an easier navigation mannequin the place there at the moment are simply three buttons on the backside of the cell app – Chats, Calls, and Contacts. Highlights and Seize are each gone. (For those who really used Highlights, you have got till September 30 to obtain them to avoid wasting them earlier than the characteristic is eliminated).
There have been already some hints Microsoft was planning to dial again its design modifications. It recently announced it was holding Skype Basic (Skype 7) round for an prolonged time period, after its plans to shut the app down was met with overwhelming consumer outcry. It mentioned then that it could collect extra suggestions to seek out out what it’s that individuals needed earlier than forcing the improve to Skype eight.zero.
With the brand new desktop model of Skype, the corporate now says it’s shifting the Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications to the highest left of the window to make it simpler for long-time Skype customers to grasp.
Skype additionally toned down its over-the-top use of coloration within the app and launched a Skype “Basic” blue theme adjusted for distinction and readability. It yanked out a few of its goofier ornamental parts, as effectively, just like the notifications with a squiggle form lower out, which it admits “weren’t core to getting issues performed.” (Ya suppose?)
Whereas it’s good that Skype is now listening to customers – it says it’s testing new prototypes throughout international markets and it launched a UserVoice web site – it’s regarding that it had not performed sufficient listening beforehand. If it had, it wouldn’t have launched a model of its app that bombed.
Skype ought to embrace its “basic” standing, and never really feel the necessity to play catch-up with teen chat apps like Snapchat, or social media developments like tales. Individuals use Skype to get issues performed – calling faraway mates, putting work calls, and even recording podcasts. Being a easy and secure voice and video calling app is one that may retain loyal customers over time, and entice those that want to speak throughout platforms with out all of the fluff discovered elsewhere.
The most recent design is obtainable in Skype model (eight.29) for Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, and Home windows 7, eight & eight.1 working techniques.