Microsoft claims to have returned to "simplicity and familiarity" with their latest Skype redesign.
The company has set their sights on winning users back amid the upsurge in usage where competitors like WhatsApp, Facetime and even Google hangouts are concerned and they've made several changes.
Skype used to be the go-to video-calling application some years back, but it has since been overtaken by the aforementioned, with the exception of Hangouts, which is slowly gaining ground.
Microsoft are now looking to return to former glories on that front, but have employed a simpler approach, removing the Snapchat-inspired Highlights feature, among other things.
"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,"Skype's director of design Peter Skillman explained in a Skype blog. "On mobile we are moving to three buttons at the bottom of the app—Chats, Calls, and Contacts.
"Removing Highlights and Capture provides a cleaner and more efficient user interface (UI) that is easy to navigate while still providing all the functionality Skype customers want. (Note: you will be able download all the Highlights that you have posted until September 30, 2018.)
"Your content is king. We want to celebrate content AND give you a full range of color expression with light and dark themes. We toned down the visual range of the gradients and reintroduced a simplified Skype “Classic” blue theme—adjusted for contrast and readability. We also reduced some of the more decorative elements—such as notifications with a squiggle shape cut out—which weren’t core to getting things done. The result is a more elegant experience that brings your content to the forefront.
"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. This is only the beginning and you can expect many more updates over the next several months as we continue to simplify and improve the core experiences around calling, chat, and contacts."
Microsoft also had plans to fiddle with the desktop app and liken it to the mobile version. But users expressed displeasure, mostly given their liking for the original Skype.
The software giants listened to the masses and will keep the PC version as close to original as possible. However, a few changes are still afoot, such as the moving of calls, chats and notifications to the top left of the interface.