How to make a chat conversation really look like a conversation? The final result should be in text, not in image since this conversation is a supplement of a research article, and it should be phone-friendly, hence MS Word is a preferred program.
If the usernames are emboldened to know who is who, the focus will be shifted to the names rather than the actual text. Together with extra space between each people’s turn, the conversation will look like different sections of the article. Following how chat apps work might be a good idea, but I don’t think it’s necessary to right-align one person and display each message in a bubble. Screenplay is close on what I’m looking for, but it doesn’t reflect the nature of chat that every sentence is always return.
How to display who is who, and have it feels like really a conversation? I want to have it formal, but not losing the atmosphere of chatting.
I think you’re on the right track, and you’re being overly critical of your own work. There is (always) room for improvement, depending on the context where you’re using this (a book? magazine? poster? webpage?) There’s some basic design principles you can apply here:
You can make each participant’s text different from the other by making it visually a group. this can be through something obvious, like drawing a rectangle around it, or more subtle, by using whitespace
You can differentiate each speaker from each other by using color, images, or typography (though I wouldn’t really recommend using different fonts, I think it’ll look sloppy)