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Slack Debuts a Simpler, More Discoverable Design

A redesigned Slack app with customizable sidebar and search bar up top.

Just in time for everyone working home for the first time, Slack is debuting an overhaul of its desktop app today. Soon, you’ll see new features, like a universal search bar and action buttons that should make the app’s features easier to use and discover.

Slack is rolling out the update starting today, so you may not see the changes right away. But when it does come to you, the most noticeable difference you may see is a more prominent search bar at the top of the window. While Slack has always had search, the company says the redesigned search should make it easier to find your conversations.


The Sidebar sees an update too, and paid users will especially appreciate some of the new capabilities. On paid accounts, you can now reorder and even group the channels under custom labels you create.

And in addition to a dedicated threads section, Slack is adding entries for mentions, reactions to your messages, files, people, and apps. And above those entries, you’ll find a new compose button.

Now, when you click on the compose button, you can type your message then choose which channel or person to send the message too, instead of the other way around.

A closeup of the new Compose window, with a typed message pointed towards an announcements channel.

The old message box is sticking around, though, and it’s getting a new button—a shortcuts button with a lightning bolt icon. Until now, slash commands were a quick and easy way to get to Slack’s extra features and app, but many users never discovered them.

A Slack shorctu button creating a new poll.

The shortcut button supplements the slash commands to make those extra features more visible and discoverable. You can click on it to create a poll, start a meeting, and more. Slack says the shortcut button will grow more powerful as other apps take advantage of it.

The update is rolling out now over the next few weeks, so you may not see these changes right away. And while Slack focused on the desktop for this redesign, the company says it will bring the new experience to mobile shortly.

via Slack

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »