So far we’ve received a few responses to last week’s question – would you like fewer/more detailed posts each month, or is the current once-a-week schedule good for you?
Right now it’s about even. So please keep the responses coming in!
In the meantime, let’s see if we can help some more Skype4B Insider readers.
A few of you voted on our December poll, citing notifications for improvement. For instance, one reader had this to say:
“Number one complaint is notification of incoming IMs should stay up until people see them. Fading away is not the way to go.”
More control over notifications, at the user-level, I could definitely agree with. One time I missed a Persistent Chat room announcement for 2 days! Co-worker was less than pleased.
I did give some advice in our March 2015 post titled, Make Lync Stop Bugging You – How to Shrink its Powers of Distraction.
That was on how to turn OFF notifications, like the jaw-clenching-level annoyance of Lync 2013’s “DING!” sound.
You can always change the default sounds Skype4B makes from the Ringtones & Sounds window. Two of the available ringtones mimic the old rotary phone dial-tone—great for those of us who remember running across the house to answer it!
However, if we want to strengthen those notifications instead, we head back to Skype for Business’ Options window. But to a different section – “Alerts”.
Catch Yourself – Change WHERE Notifications Appear
In the Alerts window, under General Alerts, you’ll see a question: “Where should alerts appear?”
Below it are two dropdown menus. The Display on which to show alerts, and the Position. Position is a great way to catch yourself. By default, this menu is set at “Lower-right corner”. However, you can change the position to any corner of any screen you have.
Try switching notification position to Upper-Right (where the Close button is). Or Upper-Left. If you’re missing IM notifications when they’re at lower-right, this should catch your eye more quickly.
Make 100% Sure You See the Notification – Using SuperToast
Changing a notification’s location doesn’t address the fade-out though. I looked in Control Panel for an option to change the fade-out timer, but found none. Then I came across this:
Can I change the default size, color, content, or behavior of the pop-up IM notifications I am getting? – FAQs about Skype for Business (Lync) IM
Which says, unfortunately, that we can’t modify the IM notification’s behavior.
At least not from within Skype for Business.
There is a third-party option. It’s from our old friends at Modality Systems – SuperToast!
SuperToast from Modality Systems
From their site:
If an instant message is not acknowledged within a certain configurable timeframe, or a call goes unanswered, the application [SuperToast] will notify the user by displaying the missed item in a pop up window. The notification remains on screen until the user clicks it away or clicks on the missed item in the case of an IM to re-engage.
There we are. Immediate and unavoidable awareness of a Skype for Business notification. If you miss IMs or calls frequently, SuperToast makes 100% sure you’re aware of them.
Plus SuperToast is free to use! (Basic version. They do have a paid Pro version. No, they didn’t pay me to say that.)
UPDATE JAN 2019: SuperToast has discontinued their free Basic version, in favor of a three-tier pricing structure. They now have a 30-day free trial, a “SuperToast for One” individual license at $7/year, and a “SuperToast for Business” on a sliding scale from $7/user per year (5-99 users) down to $1/user per year (2500+ users).
I grabbed a copy to try out. Here’s what its options window looks like.
Notifying you about IMs is on by default. But you’ll need to check the last box if you want it to notify you about missed calls. I tested it with a co-worker, and sure enough! Ignoring his IM notification prompted SuperToast to open the full IM window right in front of my OneNote.
May You Never Miss that Important Notification
That should help some readers keep on top of their notifications. It’s a little funny, writing a post about increasing Skype4B’s power of distraction less than a year after I posted about decreasing it. But hey, if that’s what you need, that’s what you get!
Commenters have expressed that the SuperToast option is unfeasible, since their company bans third-party add-ons. I understand the caution; allowing such add-ons can lead to malware infections & data leaks. If it helps, SuperToast has a reliable, professional team of Microsoft experts behind it. Perhaps Management could make a Site-wide exception?
Do you have a Skype for Business add-on you’d like me to test? If so, please comment or email. Let’s talk about it!