Slack starts looking like competitor’s platform after biggest redesign ever

Slack starts looking like competitor’s platform after biggest redesign ever

Slack is about to roll out the application’s biggest redesign ever to users. In doing so, it is opting for order and structure. We cannot help but notice that the interface looks familiar to us.

The communication platform Slack has been growing steadily in size over the past few years. New features are introduced regularly, making the platform bigger and more useful. All these expansions can however hurt usability. A new design that responds to the current size of the platform, therefore, appeared to be in order for Slack.

Tabs instead of lists

The new interface will place more value on direct chats. A separate tab is provided for this, where you can find all direct chats. Just like in a messaging app, the most recent chats will be at the top.

Source: Slack

Features from Slack should be better displayed by giving them a more prominent placement. At the top right of the chat, for example, you’ll find buttons to start a Huddle or create a canvas.

Seeking inspiration

But at the same time, Slack promises that users can find information that is important to them and their workload faster. The ‘Activity’ page serves that purpose. Competitor Teams also has this tab and in addition to the name, Slack also steals the icon for this tab: an alarm bell.

Under the tab, you’ll find all messages that should interest you. See an important notification, but don’t have time to act on it right away? Then you can save the message in the ‘Later’ tab. This is not a new feature but will have never been discovered by many users on the communication platform.

Source: Slack

Finally, there is the ‘More’ tab indicated by three dots. We recognize this again from Teams, and it also has the same functionality, which is to be a conduit to (company)apps. Canvases will also be found under this tab.

A search function is found at the bottom of the sidebar, as is a shortcut to starting a new chat or Huddle.

Questionable rollout

The new design will be available to the first group of users starting today. It will take months before the new design is available to all users.

Moreover, the final design may still differ from what Slack shows today. “Unreleased services or features we refer to here are currently unavailable and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers should make purchasing decisions based on features currently available,” the announcement reads. This mode of operation raises at least some question marks.

Bigger ambitions

With the redesign, Slack’s larger ambitions should also become clear. As part of enterprise software vendor Salesforce, Slack wants to become more than just a messaging service. Chats will therefore be reduced to one tab of the platform.

Moreover, the redesign makes the platform future-ready: “As we add new productivity capabilities and as we integrate some of the latest generative AI technology into the product and add more capabilities to automate work, we’re trying to future-proof some parts of it,” Noah Weiss, chief product officer at Slack, said in the announcement.