Slack unveils redesign

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The nature of work is changing every day as the coronavirus pandemic carries on. Offices are closing their doors temporarily, and white-collar professionals are moving their work online in response. Slack’s 12 million daily users will also be seeing some new changes in the next few weeks.

Slack is unveiling a big redesign to its communications app that starts rolling out today to make things a lot simpler to use. If you’re a Slack user, you’re probably used to some of the quirky ways the chat app works and how parts of the user interface are hard to discover and customise.

“This is the largest redesign in Slack’s history,” explains Ethan Eismann, vice president of design at Slack, in an interview with The Verge. “We’ve taken a lot of the historical features and reorganized them in a way that makes them much more apparent in the right way and simple to use. That was very much the goal of this process.”

With the new design comes a “people” page, a “compose” button, and a lightning-looking “shortcut” button for accessing and using conversation tools  — polls, reminders, calls, and calendar, for example.

A new top navigation bar will allow users to search and toggle between pages and browse their viewing history.

But there’s more: A modified sidebar includes tabs up top that direct users to important functions of the app (think: threads, mentions, threads, drafts). Paid users will also get to organize channels and conversations into sections with emoji labels.

A lot is new, no doubt — but the redesign is not so much of a complete overhaul as it is a refinement of what already exists.

DeLanghe told Mashable that the redesign configures Slack’s growing list of tools and features over the years into a “simpler, more organized Slack.”

“There hasn’t always been the time or the relaxed space to really think about, philosophically, where everything should go and how it fits together — we were really focused on delivering customer value,” she said. “We hear from customers all the time that they know Slack is so powerful, that it could do so many things; but they’re just not sure how to do them … So we want to eliminate that feeling and make it easier for anybody to use Slack.”