Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Microsoft is redesigning Skype again, will kill 'Highlights' feature

Microsoft is redesigning Skype again, will kill 'Highlights' feature

"As Skype functionality has expanded, so too has its complexity".

Skillman gives things a more diplomatic spin: "maintaining simplicity while enhancing functionality is critical to usability", he wrote.

"This past year we explored some design changes and heard from customers that we overcomplicated some of our core scenarios", Peter Skillman, director of design for Skype and Outlook, said in a blog post.

Microsoft is also removing the "Highlights" feature which was added to Skype a year ago and was inspired by photo-messaging app Snapchat.

Fortunately, 2018's redesign sees Microsoft "take a step back and simplify", introducing "simplified navigation", streamlined contacts and a fresh look all while removing the clutter that nearly no one uses.

By removing Highlights and Capture, mobile UI if free to centralise its navigation to three buttons at the bottom, dubbed "Chats, Calls, and Contacts", while notifications sits in the top left.

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"Our new navigation model removes redundant and underused features that create clutter, making it much easier to find the people you want to talk to and contact them in an instant". The simplification was needed says Microsoft because features that users wanted to use like placing calls was harder to execute.

The video-and-voice platform would now also come with light and dark theme options to choose from.

More updates, focussing around calling, chats and contacts would be rolling out in the months to come, the post noted.

"We're confident that as we continue to listen to users and provide updates to the app. we'll be able to keep improving the experience". Microsoft ends by noting that it worked closely with Skype customers to develop the new design and that it will be listening to feedback in the future.

Released in 2003, Skype was bought by Microsoft in 2011.

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