3

Is there any references that anyone knows or has done research on why the applications like teams or webex do not allow two people to share the screen at the same time ?

Eg: I am sharing my screen to my colleague at the same time I want to see what the other person is showing to me to make references to the conversations.

Are there any UX issues that anyone foresees for such a feature addition?

3
  • 1
    If I share my screen with you then my screen appears on your screen. If you then share your screen with me then I can see my screen and your screen showing my screen which is also now showing your screen showing my screen... The controls you'd need to add to prevent some sort of infinite feedback loop could be super complex and confusing. Given that enough people already don't know how to work Teams, this might be too much. Mar 29, 2023 at 9:02
  • 1
    Zoom and Skype support this, so I'm thinking that Teams just hasn't made it a feature yet vs. it being a technical limitation. support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/…
    – Izquierdo
    Mar 31, 2023 at 22:59
  • @RouxMartin: Many people care about privacy now days. That's why they don't share the whole screen. Instead, they share a particular application window or Workspace or Space. For them, there is no such issue are reflecting own screen on the screen of another user. I don't have statistics about how many people care of their privacy and how many don't.
    – mentallurg
    Apr 16, 2023 at 18:54

2 Answers 2

4

I'm going to quote Roux Martin's comment...

If I share my screen with you then my screen appears on your screen. If you then share your screen with me then I can see my screen and your screen showing my screen which is also now showing your screen showing my screen...

However, this could be achievable if both computers are equipped with [at least] two screens and the shared screen on each does not show the Teams window containing the remote screen. Each computer has two screens, effectively showing the same two displays, but each user has control of only one.

The controls you'd need to add to prevent some sort of infinite feedback loop could be super complex and confusing.

The software would need to ensure that the Teams window showing the remote screen did not stray on to the shared screen, and I suspect that giving control to the remote user could also cause difficulties.

Given that enough people already don't know how to work Teams, this might be too much.

Existing solutions might be to

  • combine sharing your screen with a voice call so you're actually talking to each other, and perhaps the shared-whiteboard element of Teams: your colleague can describe or mock up what he's thinking of, and you can action that on your screen which he can see (and again comment on);
  • have one shared screen (say his) so he is showing you what he's talking about. If you want to do something which he can see, take control of his screen and do it on his screen;
  • do what I do with my colleagues and swap the screen being shared as appropriate.
4
  • I'll admit I was being a little facetious having just come out of a very long Teams meeting but you take on my points well and provide very convincing counter arguments. +1 from me! Apr 3, 2023 at 22:20
  • The part about two screens is wrong. It is absolutely not necessary. Users share application windows, or Spaces (on Mac), or Workspaces (on Linux).
    – mentallurg
    Apr 16, 2023 at 18:57
  • Your statement about remote control is a good point.
    – mentallurg
    Apr 16, 2023 at 18:59
  • You can share an application window, but the question isn't about that. There could be more on a screen than a single application. Apr 17, 2023 at 7:03
0

Screen sharing does not mean sharing the whole screen, but sharing something displayed on the screen. Usually one shares only one window or a Workspace (Linux) or a Space (on Mac), not everything. That's why the arguments that one would see own shared screen (part) on another shared screen (part) are not valid. They are only true in the case really the whole screen is shared.

This is not a usability issue. This is primary the privacy question. There can be popups on the screen from different messengers you use, headers from the emails, some sensitive documents opened. That is why it is a bad practice to share the whole screen. It is like setting password to "123456". Users that care about privacy share particular window or Workspace/Space only.

Why MS Teams does not have such function we should as the provider of this tool, Microsoft.

Are there any UX issues that anyone foresees for such a feature addition?

It depends on the context. In some cases having multiple presenters can distract and a single presenter is desired (e.g. a single person is presenting something to the attendees). In other cases it is desired that attendees share their screens simultaneously (e.g. attendees had to perform some task an should show their results simultaneously). That's why having such a feature like multiple simultaneous presenters is an advantage of messaging tool.

People who prefer MS Teams to the messengers like Zoom and who need simultaneous sharing of some visual artifacts use tools like Miro as a workaround (but it cannot of course replace screen sharing).

Why Microsoft has not implemented it (yet), you should ask Microsoft. I would suppose that one of the reasons might be the tight integration of MS Teams with other MS products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint. When a group of people collaborates on a document, they see immediately what other people are doing, in what place in the document. So they don't need to share their part via screen. Another reason might be development resources or costs. Or may be MS analyzed users' feature requests and this one was not as desired as the others.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.