I want to leave some feedback on the project called “TS5”. Although it is mostly negative, please take it constructively since I really want TeamSpeak to succeed going forward.
First off some emotional stuff: The client really sucks, and I mean it sucks really hard. Nobody I know of is still using TS5, everyone turned back to TS3 for good. Compared to it’s predecessor the software is, in my personal opinion, ugly. It feels non-native on every platform, has the worst UX of all apps on my system and has a terrible performance. To be clear, TS3 is a CPU sucker as well, but this Electron pandemic is a sickness, not the cure. I get it, it saves development time and stuff, but TS5 is offending - even when considering the many other bad Electron ■■■■ they throw at us. VS Code being on of the very few exceptions, of course.
TS3 does not look pretty, but it is functional. It feels somewhat native on my Mac, on my Windows machine and on my Linux system. Yes, it’s looking 90s all over the place. But since it integrates well into OS-specific things like the Menubar / System Tray, Text-to-Speech or common shortcuts like Cmd+, that’s fine.
Now, the new UX
Did someone at the company check this with normal people? I mean, the esthetics are subjective, I get it. But basic things like hard to find features, confusing icons, tabs that do not visually appear as such, bad feedback when performing actions: Really simple and basic UX stuff. This UI feels like a hobbyist project from someone like me who recognizes a good UI but is virtually unable to create one on their own. You should really consider a complete redesign once the reimplementation of the backend is complete.
As I mentioned before, TS3 is taking relatively much CPU time even when completely idle, but TS5 is much, much worse. It sucks up nearly 6% when doing nothing, every time, all-day. When audio streams get processed, it jumps up to over 10% on my Mac and my Windows box. How can you call this a gaming-focused software, where every last bit of computational power should be reserved to the games one might play? I find this offending as well. That’s the price to pay when you save on the people to get a native C/C++ client done properly.
Stability and OS-integration
I know, this is a beta and all the good stuff. But the stability is borderline acceptable on the platforms I use regularly (macOS, Windows). It crashes after some hours, audio is stuck in the pipe, voice levels are hard to balance out (for whatever reason). And the OS-integration is completely unacceptable. No Menubar / System Tray symbol, no Text-to-Speech, closing the window is terminating the app, et cetera, et cetera. It feels like such a downgrade that I am left with the question: Why even bother?
I am no expert on that matter, but I consider this a good thing. I am looking at this developing disaster as a professional programmer / admin type guy. Where are we left with considering TS5 is shipping someday in such a bad shape? We have Discord, also a CPU sucking piece of crap built on top of Electron. It is, and I can not believe that I must say this, far better to use than TS5. I mean, it has a terrible UI as well, but it is lightyears ahead of TS5. So what benefits are left when not using Discord? The only thing I can imagine is that the audio traffic is routed through my on-premise / self-hosted server. There is nobody that I have to trust that much. I am ignoring the fact that TeamSpeak got increasingly sniffy over the last couple of years, but at least the audio streams are “my own”. The downside is that downloading and installing yet another client can be a hurdle considering that most users have a hard time finding their cursor on the screen.
I can only speak for myself and my peers, but TS5 is looking very unattractive compared to its competitors and predecessor.
My words are harsh. But to make it clear: I despise Discord and such. I like using “the underdog”. I want to use TeamSpeak going forward and I want TeamSpeak to stay somewhat relevant. But TS5 made me seriously consider alternatives, and I am saying this as a long-time user, admin and advocate. Please do something good with TeamSpeak, code something user-friendly and well-performing. I do have my doubts that my effort will be taken into account. But I wanted to, at least, give you my honest feedback before I feel the need to switch in a years time.