Since #MicrosoftTeams first launched back in 2017, the core design of the interface hasn’t really changed visually as Microsoft Teams hasn’t really seen a lot of visual or design changes with the familiar “grey and purple” coloured side-navigation bars, and the purple title bar.
A Fresh Lick of Paint
Back in October 2020, Microsoft announced some changes for Teams, including the introduction of new “Fluent icons” and subtle colour changes to Teams both for the light (default) mode and the more popular dark mode in which the changes are much more obvious.
Microsoft recently made it possible to users (if enabled by the Teams Global Admin) to test out some of “coming soon” changes to Teams through a new public preview feature. This new fluent design update is the latest to show itself in the preview. I’m enabled within our corporate environment to try these out, which I have done – and here’s the new fresher view that is coming to everyone soon.
As you can see below, the dark is much more dark (just compare to your own Teams client), and the icons on the left pane are refreshed a much more modern looking and, well just cleaner.
Ooooh…so how do I try the new Teams design?
Great question and it’s really easy to do so long as your company Microsoft Teams / Office 365 admin has enabled the ability for users to “opt in” from the Teams Admin Center.
One this is done (ask them), you (as a user), need to “enroll” your Teams app into the public preview program to get the preview features.
To do this, simply click on your profile picture at the top, click “about”, and then enable the “public preview” option, as shown below. You will get a notification which will alert you that you are about to switch to the public preview version of the Teams Client. At this point you will be signed out (if you aren’t you need to manually sign-out) and will then need to sign back in.
What else is in Preview?
Microsoft publish the features of all release and preview versions of their Office 365 apps here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/current-channel-preview
Additionally, any user can give feedback to Microsoft on Teams by going to the
Help > Give Feedback within the Teams client.
Finally, Microsoft has a Microsoft Teams Public Preview space on their Tech Community Site which can be found here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-public-preview/bd-p/MicrosoftTeamsPublicPreview
Can I switch back?
Yep – simply follow the steps above but untick the option for the public preview, sign-out and back in again.