All of the leading video-conferencing solutions like Google Meet, Teams, Zoom, Whereby, etc... have the main toolbar at the bottom of the screen. What is the reasoning behind it?

Shouldn't it be more logical to be on the left-side, because monitors have more space horizontally? By putting the toolbar at the bottom, isn't it eating the less available vertical space?

Also when a panel like participants is opened it goes either on the left or on the right side, so if toolbar was on the left it could open nicely next to where the user clicked. When it is at the bottom, you have to move the mouse much more to reach it after the left panel opens.

So I am very curious to know the reasoning behind putting the toolbar (video/mic, etc...) at the bottom of the screen.

  • 2
    This is just my guess, but I'd say that they're trying to make the desktop UI consistent with phone UI. Controls for phone calls are easier to reach with a thumb when they're at the bottom of the screen. And regarding the first sentence: a few versions ago MS Teams moved to a persistent top navigation bar on desktop.
    – fri
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 13:29
  • 1
    This is no longer the case with Microsoft Teams' latest update. The toolbar is at the top right of the window
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


I think/hope this is a usability issue that has already been picked up by a lot of companies working on these types of applications.

I suspect that it takes longer for larger companies with bigger userbase to push out updates quickly if they want to go through the normal due diligence with design changes (unless you are Google), so it is probably being addressed as we speak.

However, I have seen lots of video conferencing design concepts floating around that have side navigation as well as floating navigation so I don't think it will be too much longer until we see some changes.

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