Skype takes a step back, removes Highlights and Capture features

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Last year, Microsoft had made some main changes to the Skype to tempt younger consumers and compete with rivals like Snapchat. But the redesign ended up complicating the user experience.

Now, the tech giant is taking a step back to simplify and offer better experience to the users. The update will remove the Highlights and Capture features from the mobile version of Skype. The new navigation model will include only three buttons at the bottom of app— Chats, Calls and Contacts.

“As with any feature rich product, maintaining simplicity while enhancing functionality is critical to usability. This past year we explored some design changes and heard from customers that we overcomplicated some of our core scenarios. Calling became harder to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of users,” wrote Peter Skillman, Director of Design for Skype and Outlook, in a blog post.

Microsoft said that the Highlights and Capture features, introduced last year, were creating clutter. Removing them will make it easier for users to find the people and contact them instantly.

The Capture feature allowed users to capture a video or image and apply text and graphics stickers to them. Whereas, the Highlights feature allowed creation of a gallery of related posts. Both the features resembled closely with Snapchat’s capabilities. Users can download all the Highlights that have been posted until 30th September 2018.

Coming to the desktop version of Skype, the navigation model is getting redesigned for a mobile-like experience. The buttons for Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications are being moved to the top left of the windows for making the user interface less cluttered.

Microsoft has toned down the visual image of gradients and reintroduced the Skype Classic blue theme for more elegant experience and improved readability.

Lastly, a new UserVoice site has been created for users to share their feedbacks about the features, designs etc.

“We are listening to your feedback and are wholly committed to improving the Skype experience based on what you are telling us. We hope this updated design makes Skype easier to use and provides a better Skype experience,” added Peter.

Also read: Skype to bring back split view for chat screens in latest version

The updated design is now available with the latest Skype version (8.29) for Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 operating systems.

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