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Slack unveils its biggest UI redesign ever

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Slack unveils its biggest UI redesign ever 4

Let’s face it, you’re probably working from home or as remotely as possible as a result of the threat from Covid-19 and as a result, you need to rely on a few tools to stay in communication with your colleagues. One of those could likely be Slack which has become a popular tool for many organisations to communicate with people across many teams or remotely.

It’s also a tool that is about to get what they claim is their biggest user interface redesign ever (as revealed by The Verge) with better sidebar customisation, a new compose button, a top navigation bar, and many other tweaks and changes.

This is the largest redesign in Slack’s history. 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. The design of Slack was more complicated than we really felt like it should be. We want to make sure it’s easy for anyone to use Slack. It’s important that Slack is adaptable to the way people work.

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The biggest change coming is the way that messages, channels, and apps will now support grouping into collapsible sections within the Slack sidebar. Meaning that if you’re working on a project that has certain channels and group DM conversations, then you can nest them all together under one handy section and drag and drop it to exactly where you want it in the sidebar, making keeping track of that project’s channels a lot easier. A nifty feature, though unfortunately, one that will only be available on paid Slack plans and not free versions.

There’s also a big new compose button in the sidebar that works as a universal way to start a message anywhere in Slack, rather than navigate to a specific channel. So you can now start drafting a message as a DM or straight into a Slack channel, and Slack will load in the relevant message history within the draft view before you hit send.

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One annoying thing with Slack has always been how it deals with responses to threads. They have finally started to clean all this up. Well, a little. There’s a new section in the sidebar for people, mentions and reactions to highlight these things more. Still not ideal, but I guess better than how it currently handled these things. There is also now a new top navigation bar that helps with searches in Slack and lets you switch between channels.

Elsewhere, Slack is also getting a lot of minor UI changes to clean up channel details panes, menus, preferences and even an increase in spacing throughout. I wouldn’t exactly call this a major UI redesign, but it does offer nice improvements which should be major enough to improve things for people. The changes will be released today to many customers via the web app with Mobile apps to follow soon.

Last Updated: March 20, 2020

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