Popular business communication tool Slack has updated its iOS app with some UI changes aimed at making the sometimes confusing platform easier to navigate. A similar update came last week to Slack’s Android beta.
There are now four tabs at the bottom of the app: Home, DMs, Mentions, and You. Previously some of these much used elements were hard to reach, with DMs appearing under the list of channels in the left navigation bar and mentions sometimes only discoverable by search.
Now, the “four main things people do on mobile”, as Slack puts it in its changelog update notes, are front and centre. The changes mean the app no longer has a hamburger menu and all navigation is done via these four tabs.
There’s a compose icon in the bottom right hand corner now to make it easier to start a new message, as well as additions like swiping left to take you back to your last conversation.
At the time of writing we could update our iOS devices with this version 20.05.10, but the app design did not update. It seems as though the changes are still rolling out.
Slack will have seen an increase in usage since the global coronavirus pandemic leaves people with no choice but to work from home in many situations. It might be that these updates were brought forward to improve the experience for those using the platform on iOS.
The full changelog is below:
TL;DR: We’ve redesigned the layout of the app. Read more about the improvements on our blog at SlackHQ.com or in our help center. Here though, we’ll stick to what’s new, and what has been fixed.
- What’s new? Most things. We changed almost all of the things. So many things! Much change.
- Previously, it was complicated to get to the four main things people do on mobile. We’ve fixed this with a new nifty navigation bar at the bottom of the app containing: a Home view for your sidebar, DMs, (still listed most recent first), Mentions (for quickly catching up), and You (because you’re great) (and also because setting your status/preferences on mobile needed to be easier).
- The quickswitcher on the desktop app is wonderful, but we discovered an issue where people weren’t using it as much on mobile. So we made the Jump To box more prominent (and smarter) to fix this. Fingers crossed!
- It seemed bizarrely hard to create a new message in a channel or DM without finding that precise location first. With an application of logic, software engineering, and a new “Compose” button in the bottom right corner, this has been rectified.
- Our apologies to people who have been wanting to easily set reminders, start workflows or access favourite apps in channels and conversations — it was hard to work out how to do that on the move. A new lightning bolt under the message box now gives quick access to shortcuts, and thereby solves this age-old problem.
- And finally, it came to pass, as time went by, that in the old version of the app, there was a lot of swiping back and forth to get places. We’ve simplified that: Now,swiping right will reveal your workspace and preferences, and swiping left will get you back to the last conversation you were in. With this change in behavior, we hope to give you the powers of both omniscience and time travel. nbd.
- And yes. We know. Change is hard! All our fingers have all built up muscle memory, but after continually adding features and functionality over the years, we needed to step back and make sure things made sense. You can find more about these improvements in our blog post, and as always, we welcome your feedback. Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom. We appreciate it, and you.