Deep Dives

🎨 Slack's biggest redesign ever

August 9, 2023
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Slack, the workplace communication platform, has unveiled its first major user interface (UI) redesign in three years. This overhaul offers users improved navigation and introduces a suite of productivity tools to enhance the platform's efficiency.

UI Placement Changes:
  • Channels, previously on the left, have moved to the right side.
  • A new taskbar on the left now houses the Home button, which holds traditional company channels, and offers swift access to Direct Messages (DMs).
  • Notification bubbles on these buttons inform users of active messages or mentions.

  • Objective and Background:
  • Noah Weiss, Slack’s Chief Product Officer, shared that the revamped design aims to alleviate users' anxiety over missing crucial messages.
  • The new design also emphasizes features introduced after the last significant update in 2022, such as "huddles".
  • Weiss recollected that the previous major design alteration in 2020 addressed the needs of users increasingly relying on Slack due to the inability to attend physical offices.

  • New Features:
  • Users can now set reminders to address conversations later.
  • A "Later" function displays all flagged conversations and tasks for future attention, alongside tracking in-progress, completed, and archived activities.
  • The "Activity" button highlights recent mentions, reactions, and app notifications. Dedicated tabs further segregate these notifications, including one that specifically displays reactions to a user's posts.
  • All notifications appear in a chronological timeline, with an option to filter unread messages. The updated DMs tab shares this feature.
  • A fresh "create" button on the left taskbar enables users to draft messages, start huddles, or create channels.
  • The platform's search capability has been refined. Instead of channel-specific searches, users can now search across DMs, threads, etc. Additionally, they can toggle between messages, files, people, and channels during their search.

  • AI Integration and Future Prospects:
  • While end-to-end encryption remains uncertain, Slack’s renewed "create" function hints at a stronger alignment towards AI tools.
  • In March, Slack shared its plans to integrate a chatbot similar to ChatGPT.
  • Weiss hinted at the potential introduction of AI functionalities that can effectively condense extensive text into concise summaries.

  • Rollout Plan:
  • New teams will experience the updated UI immediately, while existing users can anticipate the fresh look and additional AI functionalities in the upcoming months.

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