Skype gets yet another redesign.
Microsoft announced it is all set to redesign Skype. The technology company is working on removing the Highlights feature in an effort to simplify the user experience on the platform.
Since acquiring the online messaging service in 2011 Microsoft has rolled out several redesigns and new features, although not always to much fanfare.
Last year, the company launched a new Highlights feature seemingly styled after Snapchat’s Stories, which allows users to post photos and videos which their friends could view, but for now the feature is been dropped. A blog post from Skype admitted that Highlights “didn’t resonate with a majority of users”, and set out its aim to focus on the core messaging features its community is actually making use of.
On mobile, the app is slimming down to three navigation buttons for Chats, Calls, and Contacts along a bottom bar, while the desktop app is grouping them with the Notifications button at the top-left of the window. The design is also being toned down, with less contrasting colours and fewer “decorative elements”.
Meanwhile over on desktop, buttons for Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications are being moved to the top left of the application window, which should make more sense for veteran Skype users. In addition, contacts are being “updated for simplicity” to make them easier to discover.
Skype was the go-to messaging app for calling your friends and family online – until everyone else started doing it. And now that it’s easy to set up video calls over FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger, it’s becoming harder to make the case for Skype as a unique offering.
Beyond that, Microsoft is making a few changes to the app’s customisation options. In addition to a new Dark theme, the company is also introducing a Classic mood with Skype’s standard light blue colour scheme. The blog also mentions that the team has decided to remove some of Skype’s decorative options in order to keep the focus on the areas of communication and “getting things done.
So it makes sense for Skype to listen to its users and cut the chaff from its UI – and it has also set up a UserVoice website to collate feedback on incoming features and changes; however, if that’s not enough for you, we have a number of alternative services at the link below.
“This is only the beginning and you can expect many more updates over the next several months as we continue to simplify and improve the core experiences around calling, chat, and contacts,” said Skype design director Peter Skillman. “While we have plenty of work left to do, we hope you find these changes simplify your experience and bring you closer to those who matter.”
If you want to check out Skype’s new look for yourself, it is currently available on the desktop and mobile apps. Also Until September 30, 2018. Users can download any Highlights they have posted in Skype.