Designing your personal app for Microsoft Teams
A personal app can be a bot, private workspace, or both. Sometimes it functions like a place to create or view content, other times it offers the user a bird’s eye view of everything that's theirs when the app has been configured as a tab in multiple channels.
To guide your app design, the following information describes and illustrates how people can add, use, and manage personal apps in Teams.
Microsoft Teams UI Kit
You can find comprehensive personal app design guidelines, including elements that you can grab and modify as needed, in the Microsoft Teams UI Kit. The UI kit also has essential topics such as accessibility and responsive sizing that aren't covered here.
Add a personal app
You can add a personal app from the Teams store (AppSource) or the app flyout by selecting the More icon on the left side of Teams (shown in the following example).
Use a personal app (private workspace)
With a private workspace, you can view app content that's meaningful to you in a central location without leaving Teams.
(Implementation note: The private workspace is based on the personal tab capability.)
Anatomy: Personal app (private workspace)
|A||App attribution: Your app logo and name.|
|B||Tabs: Provides navigation for your personal app. For example, include an About or Help tab.|
|C||Popout view: Pushes your app content from a parent window to a standalone child window.|
|D||More menu: Includes additional app information and options. (You could alternatively make Settings a tab.)|
|A||Tabs: Provides navigation for your personal app.|
|1||iframe: Displays your app content.|
Designing with UI templates
Use one of the following Teams UI templates to help design your personal tab:
- List: Lists can display related items in a scannable format and allow users to take actions on an entire list or individual items.
- Task board: A task board, sometimes called a kanban board or swim lanes, is a collection of cards often used to track the status of work items or tickets.
- Dashboard: A dashboard is a canvas containing multiple cards that provide an overview of data or content.
- Form: Forms are for collecting, validating, and submitting user input in a structured way.
- Empty state: The empty state template can be used for many scenarios, including sign in, first-run experiences, error messages, and more.
- Left nav: The left nav template can help if your tab requires some navigation. In general, you should keep tab navigation to a minimum.
Use a personal app (bot)
Personal apps can include a bot for one-on-one conversations and private notifications (for instance, when a colleague posts a comment on your artboard). The bot is available in a tab you specify.
Anatomy: Personal app (bot)
|A||Bot tab: For example, include a Chat tab to access bot conversations and notifications.|
|B||Bot message: Bots often send messages and notifications in the form of a card (such as an Adaptive Card).|
|C||Compose box: Input field for sending messages to the bot.|
Do: Show the most relevant content in the first tab
With responsive sizing, tabs on the right may become truncated or out of view.
Don’t: Lead with secondary content or metadata
Like a standard web app, tab navigation should progress in an order that helps make sense of your app’s primary features.
Do: Tabs should be of equal hierarchy and represent key app pages
Your tabs should categorize your app’s primary features and content. With responsive sizing, content on the right may become truncated or out of view.
Don't: Include different levels of hierarchy
Your content should progress in a logical order that helps users make sense of it. If you have two tabs that are closely related, consider combining them into one tab.
Do: Include a first-run experience
There should be at least a welcome screen the first time you use a personal app. For bots, describe what your bot can do and provide quick actions, such as a sign-in button.
Don't: Start with a blank screen
Users might be confused if nothing displays the first time they run your app.
Do: Aggregate app content relevant to a user
Whether it's a personal tab or bot, display content related to only a user's activity in your app.
Don’t: Show unrelated or overly broad content
In personal contexts, don’t display content for teams a user isn't part of. Personal bot content should focus on the individual—not a group.
Complex app features
Do: Allow users to access complex features in a browser
Your app should focus on core tasks in Teams, but you can still view the full, standalone app in a browser.
Don’t: Include your entire app
Unless you created your app specifically for Teams, you probably have features that don’t make sense in a collaboration tool.
Manage a personal tab
On the left side of Teams, users can right click the personal app to pin, remove, and configure other app options.
These other design guidelines may help depending on the scope of your personal app:
Validate your design
If you plan to publish your app to AppSource, you should understand the design issues that commonly cause apps to fail during submission.