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The new Office.com gets first major update

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Editor’s note 12/29/2016:
This post was updated to reflect the latest design for the Office 365 application tiles.

Back in April, we started rolling out a new Office 365 home page experience that provided a redesigned environment for commercial, education and home users to collaborate and work across every device. The update also delivered improved access to recent files and folders and introduced a new platform for faster delivery of innovative features.

We’re now rolling out new changes that will greatly increase the ease of navigating apps and improve access to frequent and recently opened documents. These changes started rolling out in December and will continue through early 2017.

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Get back to your online documents

We know that your best work can take time, so we improved access to your unfinished documents. Users will now see additional controls within the “Recent documents” list to let users filter by document type across Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Have a document that you go back to frequently? Pin it to the list so it’s always just a click away.

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Know what’s coming up

We made it easier to see what’s coming up at a glance. Get an in-depth view of the day’s meetings and quickly respond to or join Skype for Business calls with one click. Enhanced people pictures help you build stronger connections with coworkers and help you keep track of your different teams and projects.

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Stay on top of tasks

Create, view and complete tasks directly on Office.com that stay in sync across Outlook on all your devices. Need to add more details to a task? Double tap to open in Outlook Tasks to add additional details.

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What’s next

We’re constantly developing and improving the Office 365 experience, so be sure to let us know what you think! We read every piece of feedback that we receive as we work to make your Office 365 experience the best it can be.

—Tom Batcheler, @TomBatcheler, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 team

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I re-order or re-size the app tiles?

A. Office.com organizes the app tiles based on which apps are used most frequently. We do not currently offer the ability to re-order or re-size the app tiles. We are evaluating additional options to make app navigation even quicker.

Q. Will I be able to turn off the online documents, upcoming or tasks sections if I prefer not to see the content?

A. Office.com does not currently allow you to turn off this content. However, you can collapse the card containers to hide content that you do not want to see. We are evaluating additional customization, such as being able to turn on and off certain cards.

Q. Can I turn off or hide the install button?

A. These upcoming updates have no impact on the install button.

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22 comments
  1. Was this new experience rolled out to all 365 subscribers already? I do not see the above design on my Office.com homepage nor does it reorganize the most frequently used apps. Nowhere near…

    • “These changes started to roll out in December and will continue through early 2017”

      Be patient!

  2. Fantastic news! I would love to see an integration between Planner tasks and Outlook tasks.

    • Hi Jasper – thanks for the feedback! Stay tuned for some big updates coming to Outlook tasks soon.

      • Hi Tom – Can you expand on the type of updates or when they might be released?

  3. Why have the distinctive colours of the apps been changed to all being the same colour? I use Office 365 with young people and this makes it much harder to advise them which application to choose and is more challenging for users with a visual impairment. Please change the colours of the tiles back to the old ones.

    • I agree, I noticed this with the waffle menu in o365 business. They recently changed it so that it’ll reflect your accent color, but it makes it less glanceable, which sounds silly until you experience not having it that way. They’re making it more like Windows phone tiles, which was one of the things I didn’t care for on that platform.

      • Hi Andrew and Philip,

        Thanks for the feedback! During the design phase, we tested both colored and single-color tiles and didn’t see a statistically significant improvement to the navigation speed for users. That being said, we know that a lot of users find the colored icons useful, and are looking at how we can improve this experience.

        • We hope to see the change to multi-color tiles return. This enabled us to ease adoption and assistance as color gives another way to direct users. Navigation speed is one aspect, but ease of use, training and overall helpdesk assistance need to be accounted for. The single color is a reduction in ease of use for our team.

          • Great feedback – thanks, Adam!

            We’re investigating how we can help users who relied on these colors to have access to an experience that works for them too! Stay tuned…

          • I agree with Adam. The monochrome post-it-notes make it difficult to find stuff. Before, you know Green was either Excel or Planner, Purple was OneNote, and blue was Word or Sharepoint.

            Now, I have to stop every time to find what I want.

            Oddly enough these tiles remind me of when I was with a company that used Lotus Notes and launching everything was a tile.

        • I must say I like the overview of app tiles in one colour better. It reduces clutter while still working just as fine for my navigation. After all, it still shows all the app icons, names and when hovering over their original colour.

    • Every time MS “simplifies” the design, removes colors, flattens texture, narrows form edges to a single pixel so I cannot even get mouse on it to drag/resize…I get sad. Its like the Brutalist architecture of the 1970s. No one likes it but…too bad.

  4. None of these features are as useful as the customizable app launcher, and the majority of them seem like they should be part of Delve, rather than office.com. The “app launcher help” article linked from the app launcher also still defaults to the article about the many excellent features clicking the triple dot used to offer.

    • Hi Ivy – Thanks for the feedback! We’re building the Office 365 home page to be your central launching point for the entire Office 365 suite (including delve) and value your feedback on the information positioning.

      Regarding your feedback on the app launcher ‘triple dot’ – we haven’t changed this behavior and you should still see the ellipsis when you open the app launcher (the ‘waffle’ icon in the top left-hand corner).

      Tom

      • I’m familiar with the app launcher, or waffle, and the ellipses. Since the change, no one in my organization has seen the ellipses in their app launcher. Yesterday I had the new features and the ellipses was gone, and today my account had reverted to the previous features and the ellipses was back. Those here who have the new features still do not see the ellipses.
        I tend to think of Delve as a search tool, moreso than its own product, since there are no creation options through Delve. What’s the why behind putting those features two places, rather than perfecting them in Delve (or removing Delve, and integrating the features into office.com)

        • Thanks Ivy – the disappearing ellipsis is absolutely not the intended behavior. Are you able to reach out to me at tomb@microsoft.com and share your tenant ID so that we can look into why your organisation is seeing this? We’ll make sure this gets fixed for you!

  5. The removal of the triple dot has also removed the ability to open an app in a new tab, and it’s not quite true that the most-used apps come up, as apps that Microsoft is promoting but that I do not use are high on my list in the app launcher.

    • Hi Ivy – as mentioned above, we haven’t made any changes to the ellipsis behavior. Clicking on any of the tiles on the home page should open the application in a new tab.

      Regarding the ordering of tiles – we are working to customize this by user, but noted that this would roll-out over time as we’re able to learn more about the way each user interacts with the suite. I’ve removed this mention from the blog post above to reduce confusion.

      Are you seeing the ellipsis in your App Launcher? If not, please let me know and I’ll have our engineering team investigate for you!

  6. Thanks for the article. Just a quick question: will Outlook tasks be integrated into the mobile Outlook app? If so will it be combined with Wunderlist or will those remain separate services? I use Wunderlist but if I could have Outlook tasks serve that purpose AND just have it within my regular iOS Outlook app, that would be fantastic… and I think that would give people an additional reason to switch over to Outlook services. Thanks!

  7. Could you please let me know how to accurately change the colour of the background in this new Office 365 Home Page? Changing my organization’s theme in the Admin Centre seems to give quite unexpected colours!

    I can change the colour of the main top bar, but when I change the accent colour it seems to give a different variation of this colour, usually a significant number of shades darker.

    I would like the background colour of my home page to be 81c3ff – can you tell me what I need to set my accent colour in order to achieve this colour?

    Thank you.

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