What are the Essential Tips for designing your Microsoft Teams Messaging Extension?


During and After the Corona Pandemic, Many meetings are happening using a virtual environment. Microsoft teams have gained many users and their interest! MS Teams is a kind of proprietary business communication platform like other software such as Google Meet and Zoom. These days software development firms prefer team extension!

MS Teams was launched in March 2017 as an invention at an internal hackathon performed at the Microsoft headquarters. It is basically an internet-based desktop application. The app is a part of the Microsoft 365 suite of products!

In 2021, MS Teams has around 250 million users for a month. It supports 45 different languages worldwide. The app is compatible with many OS platforms like Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. The software is prepared using the Electron framework from GitHub. It also combines the Node.js, Javascript platform, and Chromium rendering engine.

MS Teams can help people perform video conferencing. It is also good to use for workspace chat, application integration, file storage, and more features. Hence, MS Teams are more effective to use for such purposes than other business-related collaborations. Some people find it even better than messaging platforms of Microsoft like MS Classroom and Skype for Business.

How to add Messaging Extension to Microsoft Teams?

You need to use the shortcut in the form of messaging extensions. It applies when you want to perform some action on a message or insert app content without moving away from the conversation.

To add the messaging feature as a part of app design, Users can add, use and manage the extensions of messaging in Microsoft teams. You can use Figma (MS Teams UI Kit) to use and modify the elements as required. You can also get design guidelines for a comprehensive messaging extension.

Below are the two Teams contexts on which you can add the messaging extension;

– In a channel, meeting, or chat (after, during, and before) near the compose box. Adding the messaging extension to any of these places can help you to use it in such a context. You can do it either in its Desktop or Mobile versions.

– Using the Teams store.

How to set up the messaging extension?

The authentication to use the messaging extension in your app is not necessary, but you can use it for security purposes. In case you use, SSO (single sign-on) authentication, users will be automatically logged in. You cannot modify the sign-in screen!

What are the types of Messaging Extensions?

There are two kinds of commands i.e. Action and Search to use with Messaging Extensions. It all depends on the Team’s use cases and your app’s features for the best use of these commands.

5 Tips for adding Messaging Extension on your MS Teams App

Below are some expert suggestions to get the best experience from a quality app;

a) Related to the Setup and General Use

1) Try to highlight your MS Teams messaging extension – It is not easy for a user to find the messaging extensions. If you use a bot on your app, you can attach the help documentation of messaging extension in the welcome tour of the bot. You can also use its screenshots on the details page of your app.

2) Do not make users go anywhere else from the conversation – If you want to reduce context switching, messaging extension is the shortcut. Do not allow your extension to direct its users to move to any webpage outside MS Teams.

3) Use single-sign-on feature – Your app might not need any high security or does not have any sensitive data to allow access to only authorized users. In this case, you can make the sign-in process quick, easy, and secure by SSO. A user might feel irritated to log in again to access the messaging extension in your app.

b) What to care about while designing the Theme?

1) Do not use hard code color values – If you do not use MS Teams color tokens, your design will demand more effort to manage, time-taking, and less scalable!

2) Take the benefit of using Teams color tokens – A theme of the MS Teams comes with its color scheme. You can use Fluent UI (color tokens) in your design to automatically handle the changes in the theme.

c) Things to keep in mind while using Templates

1) Avoid embedding your whole app inside the task module – Do you need to use action commands for your messaging extension? If yes, you can complete the action by displaying only necessary components and using a simple task module.

2) If possible, allow Teams to do some of the Design part – Use a search-based messaging extension if it is more valuable for your use scenario. Built-in accessibility and themes can be used on Teams to render this kind of extension.

d) Using Searches

1) Use zero-term queries – A user might want to reuse any previously accessed content in their conversation. So the last viewed content should be displayed before a user uses the search box to write the message.

2) Do not make it mandatory for users to submit their queries – Configure your app by allowing people to use a button or press a key to send queries to the app. It might otherwise confuse users that they are not getting real-time search results while typing.

3) Prefer to show search results while user’s type – It is best for the people to get the suggestions of search results by typing minimal characters.

e) How to better do Actions?

1) Do not use non-contextual actions commands – Try to not include message actions like ‘View your dashboard’! These probably look unrelated to many conversations.

2) Use sensible action commands as per the context – Message actions must fulfill its user’s desire. For instance, a user can use a shortcut to use the text in another’s post to create a work item or issue.

Wrapping Up

If you are not well versed or interested in IT coding or do not have time to spend on this, then you can better take the help of talented professionals. You could modify your Microsoft Teams as you like it to be using helpful features like messaging.

You should discuss your needs with an expert of an experienced custom web and mobile app development agency like GBKSOFT! Never hesitate to take the help of an expert for more helpful tips, suggestions, and guidance.