Slack Desktop App Update Introduces Major Platform Redesign

Thursday March 19, 2020 3:20 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

Slack is today rolling out a redesign of its team chat app for desktop that aims to make navigating the platform's various menus and options simpler and more intuitive.


First up, the Slack sidebar is about to become a lot more flexible for users on paid Slack plans. You can now group together channels, apps, and direct messages into nested, collapsible sections using a simple drag-and-drop action.

All users will be able to take advantage of a new large compose button at the top of the sidebar that works as a way to start a message, wherever you are in Slack. When you start typing your message, Slack displays the relevant message history within the compose window to help you refer back to past chat topics.

In addition, links to Slack's People and Mentions & reactions sections have been added to the sidebar, with the aim of making searching for team members and reacting to channel pings less of a struggle.

Elsewhere, the search field at the the top of the sidebar has become more powerful, allowing you to discover key conversations, files, apps and more. There's also extra spacing between menus, panes and preferences, and an added ability to customize the sidebar width, all of which aim to make the Slack window a lot less cluttered. New color themes are also on the way.

The changes to the desktop app are rolling out today, although the developers are prioritizing new Slack users who may have just joined the service owing to an uptick in remote working due to coronavirus containment measures. Other users should see the design changes in the coming weeks.

Tag: Slack

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
Is it still a crappy electron app?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
this is horrible timing. We just dumped a bunch of noobs on to slack due to the virus. To change it when they've only been using it for two days is unfortunate.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
My company was on the pilot. These new features are great.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago


Is it still a crappy electron app?

Came to ask the same thing.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago


Is it still a crappy electron app?

Yup, even with the update pushed to the App Store yesterday and this modest redesign being rolled out to customers, the app is still slow and feels more like a web page than a macOS app.

iOS app doesn't necessarily look any better, but it feels smoother.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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