- Workplace chat app Slack has given its product a big redesign, adding some new features that are supposed to make the app easier to use.
- The company is speeding the rollout of this new design, even as it sees a surge in usage for its free product amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The new features include being able to group channels, messages and apps by topics; a new search function; a new way to compose messages to a channel or individuals; and new shortcuts to be able to launch workflows or apps in Slack.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Slack has launched a redesign of its product, intended to help people at work communicate and collaborate even more easily.
New features in the app include being able to group channels, messages and apps by topics; a new search function; a new way to compose messages to a channel or individuals; and new shortcuts to be able to launch workflows or apps in Slack. While all users will get the redesign and most of the new features, some of them – like the ability to group up channels, messages and apps by topic – will be for paid users only.
Any new users who start using Slack starting March 18 will start seeing the newly designed version of the product within a week, while existing users will see it over the course of several weeks. Changes to Slack’s mobile app are also in the works.
This redesign had been in the works for some while, Jaime DeLanghe, Slack’s head of search & discovery and machine learning, told Business Insider. But, given the “significant spike” in usage of Slack as more people work remotely to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, the company opted to make sure customers get access to the redesigned product even faster than planned.
“Knowing how many people are sort of coming to Slack or other tools like it trying to do remote work for the first time…we kind of felt an imperative to get it in those customers’ hands as quickly as possible,” DeLanghe told Business Insider.
To that point, Slack says the goal of the redesign was to make the product even easier and more intuitive for new and existing customers alike.
Some of Slack’s users are technically savvy, said Slack VP of Design Ethan Eissman. Others, however, are more used to email than to workplace chat tools like Slack, and so need a softer introduction to the whole concept. As Slack continues to go after larger customers – it recently signed on Uber and deepened its relationship with IBM, which went-all in on the service – it felt like time for a redesign that made it easier for everybody.
“When we were focusing on this redesign, we really wanted to make sure that we would create an experience for Slack that worked for everybody,” Eissman said.
Things like letting people write a message more easily can help with that.
Meanwhile, Slack has been taking measures to help those working to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this week, CEO Stewart Butterfield said the company is offering any team working on a collaborative research, response, or mitigation to the coronavirus will get access to a paid plan for free. Slack has a free version of its product with basic features, and then tiers of paid plans with more features.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.