Skip the tab juggling — and take a shortcut

Slack API
Slack API
Apr 29 · 4 min read

Learn how the latest Slack apps built shortcuts as a simpler, more intuitive way to drive user interactions in Slack.

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Reposted from April 29, 2020

We recently introduced new ways to interact with apps — including shortcuts, simpler, more intuitive ways for users to take action with Slack apps. Starting today, anyone can use shortcuts from their favorite tools to get work done in Slack.

It’s increasingly valuable to make tools and information available at users’ fingertips. As more Slack users transitioned to remote work this past month, they’ve nearly tripled the rate at which they integrate tools — leaning on apps to reduce context-switching and inspire new, more productive habits.

Shortcuts give users visual, intuitive ways to take action with Slack apps. With a quick click of the lightning bolt button next to the message input, it’s easy to pull up the shortcuts menu and quickly create tasks, polls, and more — right from Slack.

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Monday.com, a project management tool, built a shortcut for their app that
makes it easy to add a new item to a monday.com board.

Read on to learn how you can build shortcuts for your app.

Meet users where they’re already working

That’s why Freshdesk, a customer support platform, built a shortcut for creating a new support ticket — a key action that support agents complete dozens of times a day.

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With a few clicks, users can save time by creating a Freshdesk ticket right from Slack.

“Agents and team members don’t need to switch tabs and open Freshdesk — they can just view the full context of the ticket and work from inside the Slack interface, where they may already spend much of their time,” said Tejas Bhandarkar, Head of Product at Freshworks.

Increase engagement with your app

Doodle Bot, a scheduling platform, previously used slash commands and ephemeral messages to facilitate the creation of polls — interactive surveys that teams use to vote on meeting times.

Using shortcuts and modals — windows that collect details or dynamically display information in Slack — Doodle Bot transformed poll creation, making it simpler and more seamless.

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Modals give users a full view of what details to fill out, while ephemeral
messages make it hard to anticipate what actions come next.

“Our completion rates for creating a poll increased 200% after implementing modals. We’re really excited about how our shortcuts experience will drive usage of Doodle Bot in Slack,” said Timoteo Canonica, Product Manager at Doodle.

While you may be tempted to increase app engagement by building multiple shortcuts, less is more. Shortcuts are designed to put a few key actions at users’ fingertips; whereas the home tab is spacious enough to highlight all aspects of your app’s functionality.

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Donut, a team bonding app for Slack, built a shortcut for joining a Donut channel, plus a complementary home tab that shares a snapshot of all you can do with the app.

Create dynamic shortcut experiences

Apttus Max, a virtual assistant for revenue operations, built shortcuts for creating a quote or NDA. After kicking off a shortcut, Apttus Max dynamically updates a modal based on prior inputs, so users can search for an account, fill out details, and submit a request — all in one persistent experience.

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Multi-step modals are used to string together an advanced workflow in Slack.

With Xactly Incent, a sales performance platform, users can quickly submit commission inquiries right from Slack. Xactly shares a custom performance snapshot at the start of the shortcut experience, so relevant details are handy as users complete an inquiry.

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No need for users to pull up a dashboard as they complete a commission inquiry. Xactly Incent
shares the information needed right within the shortcut experience in Slack.

Build a shortcut for your app today

We’re continuing to make ongoing improvements to shortcuts in the coming weeks. As you start building, feel free to share feedback directly in this survey. We can’t wait to see what you build!

Questions? You can always tweet @SlackAPI or email feedback@slack.com.

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