The new and improved Contact List

Introducing the new and improved Contact List

The contact list is one of the most important components of the Lync experience. In the latest version of Lync, we have made a bunch of enhancements to the contact list to help you stay connected your contacts. One of the first things you’ll notice after installing Microsoft Lync is the photos in the contact list! Photo is one of the many things we added to the contact list to improve the contacts experience. In this blog article, I’m going to touch on a few things including tips on how to customize the contact list to help you get the most out of your Lync experience.

There are a few new features in the Lync contact list that deserve some attention:

1. Frequent Contacts
If you were a Microsoft Communicator 2007 user, you’ll notice that “Frequent Contacts” has replaced “Recent Contacts” as the first group in the contact list (the recent contacts group has been moved to the “conversations environment”).

Frequent contacts group is intended to bubble up contacts you frequently IM and/or call via Lync to the top of the contact list without user intervention. When you start Microsoft Lync for the first time, the Frequent Contacts group is auto-populated with your manager and direct reports. As you start calling and IM-ing people with Lync, a cache is created to keep track of your communication patterns. Any contact who you have had a peer to peer conversation with more than 4 times will automatically be added to your Frequent Contacts group. The frequent contacts group will show up to 10 system suggested contacts.
In scenarios where you wish to add a contact to the Grequent contacts group because you want to track their availability but do not frequently IM or call this person at work (for example your spouse), Frequent contacts group lets you do this by either dragging and dropping the contact to the Frequent contacts group, or right clicking on the contact and selecting “Pin to Frequent Contacts”. Contacts that you have pinned will always appear before the system generated frequent contacts. The “pinned” vs. “unpinned” contacts are separated by a line. There is no limit to the number of contacts you can pin.


2. Rich presence
In addition to showing photos in the contact list, the contact list also surfaces rich presence data. The intent is to make it easy for you to glance for presence data from Lync. We know the importance of presence information when deciding to start a real-time communication session with someone. The presence bar is closely tied to the photo, and presence and capability strings are shown next to the contact display name. Also, in the second line of the contact entry, the contact’s status note or location information (if available) is shown. If the second line note or location is truncated, you’ll notice a carat at the end of the line; clicking on that button will expand the note.


3. Contact card
For those you who have been using Office 2010, you have probably seen the new contact card. Lync has the same contact card as Office 2010. The mini version of the contact card is opened whenever you hover over the photo or name, or single click on a contact. This mini version of the card can be expanded by clicking on the chevron on the bottom right corner. The contact card is the place to go to quickly look up contact details, and start a communication session (whether it’s IM, call or email).



4. Different ways to view your contacts
We understand that there are users who like to customize their contact list. They may wish to see more contacts, or organize their contacts based on availability vs groups. Lync provides different ways for you to customize your contact list to meet your working style and requirements.

All the options to control the display and layout of the contact list is located right below the search box. You’ll notice 3 labels: Groups, Status, Relationship. These are the 3 ways to organize your contact list.


Groups view is the conventional view that lets you view your contacts by Frequent contacts and other groups you’ve created. Status view groups your contacts based on their availability: Online, Away, Available and Unknown. Lastly the relationship view groups your contacts based on the system’s privacy groups: Friends and Family, Workgroup, Colleagues, External Contacts, Blocked Contacts. If you use the relationship view, keep in mind that each of these relationship groups have permissions assigned to them. For example, people in “Workgroup” can see all your contact information you have published except for home and other phone numbers. To find out the permissions associated with each relationships view, right click on a contact and select “Change Privacy Relationships”; there sub-menu has a detailed description of each relationship group.

To the right of these 3 view options, you’ll find the contact list display options menu. Here, you can turn off photos in the contacts, change the sort order of contact list, hide the Frequent contacts group, etc. I encourage you to play around with these options and find a contact list layout works best for you.


I hope you find this blog article helpful. Enjoy the contact list!

Thanks for reading,

Published Friday, November 19, 2010 5:24 PM by octeam