Streamlining and Simplifying Video and Audio Controls
Office 365 Notification MC220785 (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 67049) updated on August 24 describes a new pre-join experience for Microsoft Teams meetings in the Windows client. The new UI is designed to make it easier for participants to configure their environment before entering a meeting. The roll-out is starting with the intention to have deployment worldwide complete by the end of September.
Update October 9: Microsoft delayed the deployment. Tenants should now see the new experience from the end of October with roll-out scheduled to complete by the end of November.
New Meeting Experiences
To see the new pre-join experience, you must configure the Teams client to use separate windows for meetings. Thereafter when you join a meeting, Teams launches a window and presents a screen (Figure 1) to set all the video and audio controls for the meeting, including background effects (if allowed by policy), and the ability to add a Teams meeting room (if available).
You can choose different settings after joining a meeting, but it is very convenient to be able to select everything before joining as it prevents situations like your audio and video not working properly when a meeting is in full flow. There’s nothing worse than hearing from your colleagues that they can’t hear you when you’re obviously talking.
The meeting options presented in the Teams browser client because this client doesn’t support background effects (Figure 2).
Why Not Sooner?
The design of the pre-join window is clear, useful, and easy to follow. The question might be asked why Teams didn’t use this approach in the past – and the answer is that Teams is an application that’s been evolving over the last few years; this is a do-over of the join experience that unifies settings and streamlines the experience based on user feedback.
The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook doesn’t cover elements of user interface like the new pre-join experience. We focus on the nuts and bolts of Office 365 rather than the fancy bits, but sometimes it’s nice to comment on UX enhancements.