Slack has unveiled a range of changes to its team chat app aimed at creating a simpler and more intuitive user experience, as it targets a wider range of users. This includes a message “compose” button, easier navigation and customizable sidebars.

Early adopters of Slack tended to be tech professionals working in IT or software development. But as use of Slack has boomed in the six years since its launch — with 12 million daily active users, including at many large enterprise businesses — the types of workers relying on the app for collaborating with colleagues has evolved. After tech professionals, the fastest growing use cases are now in sales, marketing, and customer support, said Slack.

“Slack is going more wall to wall,” said Ilan Frank, head of enterprise product at Slack, referring to deployments of the application across entire companies. “As we do that, one of the things we are seeing is that less technical users have different expectations of Slack.

“The mission continues to be the same; to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasurable and more productive. What’s changing are the people.”

Newbie-friendly features

The aim of the features announced on Wednesday is to smooth the transition for workers adopting Slack as a new way of working.

Taking its cue from email client apps, a “compose” button placed at the top left of the app lets users start a message before deciding the person or channel to send it to. And, as with email apps, the draft message will be automatically saved if left unfinished.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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