Slack has unveiled a bold new redesign that the Salesforce owned company hopes will help users improve their focus, collaboration and productivity when using the app.
The update, which will roll out to Slack's estimated 20 million users over the “coming months,” is fundamentally designed to streamline its most important functionality and make it easier to navigate.
Navigation is something some veteran Slackers argue has gotten overly complicated in the app over the years, with the numerous feature additions often distracting from Slack's core messaging purpose – and sometimes getting lost in the Slackosphere themselves.
Slack Redesign: 6 Features You'll Actually Care About
The first thing you'll notice when taking in the Slack redesign is its clean new UI, which is meant to be both easier on the eye with a slightly softer default purple hue, as well as easier to use.
Then you'll start to become aware of the various changes that have taken place in the interface, with our six favorite new Slack redesign features being as follows.
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1) Dedicated DM Section
The heart of the redesign for us is the new far-left navigation bar added to Slack. This now features just six icons to help you decide how you want to navigate the app, with one of them being dedicated to that most old school of Slack features: the DM, or direct message.
The six choices on the new nav bar are better than half the 13 options I currently have on offer in my pre-redesign Slack sidebar – and suffice to say a quicker way to jump to the stuff that actually matters is a welcome addition to the platform.
Image credit: Slack
2) New “Create” Option
Slack probably does a whole lot more than you realize, it's just much of its functionality gets lost amidst the dreaded current Channels list.
In the new Slack, you'll have a central “Create” option that allows you to not only message a channel or send a DM, but start a Huddle video or audio call; use Slack's unloved document collaboration feature, Canvas; or start a new channel entirely.
3) There's Now An Activity Feed
Whisper it softly, but Slack has added an Activity Feed in its 2023 redesign that reminds of a similar view offered in rival workplace collaboration platform Microsoft Teams.
It's a single location where you'll find all your “@” mentions, threads, reactions, notifications and more, so you've got an easy way to see everything that potentially needs your attention in the app.
Image credit: Slack
4) Saving Stuff for Later Gets New Life
Did you know Slack has a special way you can save the messages you want to look at and action later? We didn't really, either.
Fortunately, that's changing in the Slack redesign thanks to the “Later” icon taking pride of place on the main sidebar. Displaying this more noticeably should encourage people to actually use the feature, which is intended to help you better prioritize your workload and therefore improve productivity.
5) Easier Switching Between Multiple Workspaces
Not everyone will be important enough to have multiple workspaces to toggle between, but for those who are, Slack's new Enterprise Grid organizational view is a godsend.
It will let you see all of your channels and messages, from multiple workspaces, in one centralized view via the Home menu, which promises a much slicker user experience for the bigwigs out there.
6) Huddles Added to Every Chat Window
Most people are probably guilty of thinking that video calling at work is a case of Zoom vs Google Meet. There are plenty of other video conferencing apps out there, of course, but it's these two and maybe a couple of other big players like Teams who tend to dominate the discussion.
Slack hopes this redesign will earn its Huddle video and audio chat feature a seat at the table. Moving forward, every messaging window will have the option to start a Huddle in the top right-hand corner. You still might not use it, but at least now you'll know it's there.