Slack rolls out biggest redesign with simplicity, customization in mind

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Slack rolls out major update as coronavirus forces more to work from home
Photo: Slack

Slack, the workplace chat and productivity platform used by more than 12 million people worldwide, is getting a major upgrade soon with a simpler and more organized layout, the company said in a Wednesday blog post.

The announcement comes as more people are working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest changes Slack users will see will begin appearing in the desktop version Wednesday, and will continue over the next several weeks, the post said. The company will also redesign its mobile app in the coming weeks.

The paid version will see major changes including the ability to organize channels, name sections, drag and drop channels and conversations in a customized order, and move direct messages and apps into customizable sections within the sidebar.

Slack is also getting a lot of minor UI changes to clean up channel details panes, preferences, menus, and increased use of space to avoid clutter. Among some of the other changes coming include…

Lightning bolt shortcut

Slack integrates with lots of different work tools like Cisco WebEx and Simple Poll). With the update, users will be able to click on a lightning bolt icon next to the message input field that gives access to the shortcuts menu.

Improved tool integration

Users could then start a meeting with Cisco WebEx, creating a Simple Poll or create a customer support ticket with Freshdesk. More app shortcuts will be coming, the post said.

Navigation bar

Users will see a new navigation bar, allowing people to more easily find channels, search across an organization, and toggle between recent conversations. Information like mentions, reactions to messages, files, people and apps will also be found on top of your sidebar for easier referencing.

Compose button

With a new compose button, users can begin drafting a message before deciding which person or channel to send it to. Messages can now be saved as a draft for use later.

Slack has 110,000 paid customers and 893 customers spending more than $100,000 annually on the service, according to the company’s fourth quarter results.