Redesigning the Slack App Directory

The concept of the Slack App Directory is awesome —it’s the place to find and install apps that enhance your team’s Slack experience, making the communication tool even more useful.

When I landed on the App Directory, I was surprised to find myself confused —it took me a number of seconds to find my feet and make my first click.

Even as I fumbled through categories, clicking into random apps, I wasn’t sure what to do. Or more importantly, what Slack wanted me to do. IMHO, the answer to the latter, solves the former.

As a user, I want the App Directory to help me discover the most useful apps for my team.

Here’s how I think that could be achieved:

1. The primary call-to-action

Problem

The current CTA

As a first time visitor, “Make Slack even better.” doesn’t hook me in — it’s vague enough that I can’t get a grip on it from which to launch into my next action with the comfort that I know what this is (an app directory) and what I’m here to do (find useful apps).

“All the tools you use for work, in one place.” helps, however, it sparks a question — what if I want to find new tools, ones that I don’t currently use for work. Does this help me with that?

The search placeholder text answers that question, if you notice it —we’re skimmers. However, by this point I’ve hit upon two confusion hurdles — making me, as a user, feel “dumb” and uncertain.

Solution

Proposed solution

My solution focuses on telling the user why they’re here and what they can expect to find — a world of apps (at their fingertips, no less) that will make their life easier. It informs me, as a user, enough to feel confident in taking my next step — heading into browse mode or searching for a specific app.

2. Finding the most useful apps

Problem

As it stands, users don’t have a way of finding the most useful apps for their team. When assessing an app’s usefulness, we have 2 inputs at our disposal: the app description or any prior knowledge we have of the service. And the latter is only relevant for services that we’re familiar with.

Solution

To help users find the most useful apps, I would:

  • Add star-ratings — with the overall rating on the homepage and a more detailed breakdown (and in the future, reviews) on app pages
  • Add a “Recommended for you” category to the homepage — surfacing the apps relevant for my team, based on our current app integrations, team size, distribution etc.
  • Add a brief description of the app and install buttons to those in the “Recommended for you” category — encouraging in-the-moment installs

Here’s what it could look like in practice

Proposed solution — please note: these ratings are fake and for wireframe purposes only

I mentioned a breakdown of the star-rating on app pages — this is what I have in mind:

An example — again, these ratings are fake and for wireframe purposes only

Closing thoughts

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ideas — these are just a few thoughts that came to me after spending time on the App Directory.

As an avid Slack user and all round fangirl, I would love to see the delight baked into Slack’s core product extend to the App Directory. It has so much potential and I know they’re just getting started — the team even shared their roadmap here.

And if you’re new to Slack or, more specifically to Slack apps, here are a few of my favorite apps: Google Hangouts, Foursquare and Giphy.

Thanks for making it this far! If you’d like to say hello, you can find me on Twitter.

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