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Salesforce Announces Major Design Update to Slack Platform

Salesforce Announces Major Design Update to Slack Platform

The News: Salesforce announced in early August that it will roll out a major design update to Slack over the coming months that is designed to make it easier for users to navigate the platform, stay focused on tasks, and more effectively access additional essential tools that are required by enterprises. The design updates include the introduction of a single view for channels, direct messages, and apps; dedicated views to help workers prioritize tasks; and simple access to key functions to speed up access to pertinent information or actions.

The new user experience (UX) began rolling out to new teams on August 9, and will reach existing users over the coming months, according to Salesforce.

See the Press Release containing additional details about the announcement on the Salesforce website.

Salesforce Announces Major Design Update to Slack Platform

Analyst Take: To help users work more efficiently and productively, Salesforce announced in early August that it will roll out a major design update to Slack over the coming months. The updates are largely focused on streamlining the design of the user interface, with the goal of making it easier to see critical information, help users stay on task, and provide quick access to key functions to speed up their daily workflows.

The updates reflect a growing need to simplify access to information, given the proliferation of enterprise applications and systems that workers must use to complete their jobs. A 2023 survey from Gartner conducted in 2023 found that the average desk worker uses 11 applications to complete tasks, up from six in 2019. The growth in the number of enterprise applications and tools can also manifest workflow challenges, leading to decreasing worker productivity and efficiency.

Single Workspace View to Eliminate Toggling

One of the key challenges faced by today’s desk workers is the need to toggle between various applications to find the information they need. The Gartner survey indicated that nearly half of employees say they struggle to find the information they need to complete work, and more than one-third missed important updates due to the multitude of apps and the volume of data flowing through them.

This is also true within collaboration tools such as Slack, where information may be contained across myriad channels. The design update includes a redesigned Home interface for teams on Enterprise Grid accounts, which will allow users to view channels from every workspace, without needing to toggle back and forth across different workspaces.

single-workspace-view-1
Source: Salesforce/Slack

Dedicated Views Let Workers Prioritize Action Items

Few jobs today require workers to complete one task repeatedly throughout the day. In fact, most workers are pulled in several directions, and need to prioritize tasks based on deadlines, availability of teammates, and other scheduled elements, such as meetings. The latest Slack design update features dedicated sections to help teams better focus their attention, navigate tools and conversations faster, and peek into other work with hover functionality.

Instead of organizing information by content channel, the new design update supports action-based groupings, pulling in relevant Activities and DMs, regardless of channel, into a single view, making it easier to see all relevant action items. A reminder feature, called Later, allows any item to be highlighted with a reminder to complete in the future.

Source: Salesforce/Slack

Salesforce has recognized that today’s workers require tools that help them get work done efficiently. The new design update includes cross-channel Dedicated View enhancements, which likely will help workers who are constantly switching from task to task, or whose days are being frequently interrupted for meetings, which can cause a loss of focus.

Similarly, the new “Create” button allows users to quickly start any item, including messages, channels, canvases, and huddles, with a single button, reducing time and effort. A further design update to the Search experience also allows users to click into each result to see its full context without having to jump back and forth as they look for what they need.

Interface Enhancements Demonstrate Responsiveness and Customer-Centricity

When assessing the new Slack interface design update, it is likely that some users will find these changes very helpful, and allow them to improve their workflows and processes. Other workers may not care; they may have already gotten used to using Slack the way it was, and were perfectly happy with the tool.

In the end, what really matters is that Salesforce has demonstrated it is willing to continue to incorporate user feedback into their design update, and are doing so in a manner that is largely additive. It does not appear that Slack is removing any much-loved features, but is simply moving things around to make it easier to access them in what seems to be an intuitive way, which is a smart way to update a product, without incurring the wrath of unhappy users.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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