Focus on the important things with Highlights in Slack

I have to say I’m disappointed with the way you’ve rolled out this feature. This is the first time I’ve felt “Slack dropped the ball and put this out half baked.”

So far the highlights this feature has produced have never been things I cared about, and it takes up a *LOT* of screen space to say “you don’t have any highlights.” I’m willing to continue to give it a try, but this needs two emergency fixes in my opinion:

  1. It shouldn’t use a large block of space if there are no highlights. It should disappear. This lost space is a step back in usability.
  2. It MUST be something we can disable. Badly chosen highlights are a distraction, and so far I’ve yet to see one that wasn’t badly chosen.

Even though I think it’s critical that you offer a way to turn this off, I’m not ready to turn it off (if you fix the wasted-space problem). However, I’m skeptical that it will ever make great choices, because it tries to show single messages, out of context, and it lacks adequate training data. I think most of us are using Slack at work, where likes & clicks don’t necessarily correlate well with the most important messages.

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