Slack

3 important things I took away from the presentation:

One, make users pay for what hurts them the most. They shared about how they wanted to look up something in Slack archives, but hit the 10k messages search limit for free channels. That’s a really smart move by Slack, a lot of annoyance for users, but very smart.

Two, make settings obvious. They brought up the issue of discoverability, how channel settings are all over the place, there’s little icons that do different things. Their solution is to have a unified menu, which I don’t think solves the problem. Instead of multiple little icons on the nav bar, it will just be multiple little icons hidden behind 3 dots. I think a deeper user research should be conducted to figure out things like:

  • which settings or features are most frequently used, those should be obvious
  • information hierarchy, are settings located under the wrong headers, i.e. can users find things where they expect them to be

Three, the King of integrations. Slack has a ton of amazing integrations, which was a big reason why many people moved onto it. It didn’t seek to replace anything, what it wanted to do was be the sink where everything flowed into.

And now some original thoughts.

Slack needs to scale. I know a couple of companies that want to use Slack, but because of the size of the company, Slack isn’t able to support them and thus those companies have to use alternatives like HipChat. I’m sure they have been looking into it for a long time.

Go full enterprise, add calendar, scheduling, meeting functionalities. Be a Skype, Outlook, Google Cal killer. All the integrations Slack has? Pick one and build a competitor!

I think Slack’s greatest strength is it’s character. I like how fun it looks, the colours, the animations. It rally feels like playing some sort of game, indicative of Slack’s past.