Slack’s redesign announcement and product update tour

When Slack releases an update, it impacts the workflows of millions of people.

That’s why this week, we’re zooming in on Slack’s the product update announcement and redesign walkthrough, which rolled out to users between late March and early April 2020. The changes include a redesigned sidebar, top search navigation, and a more customizable workspace.

An in-app product update announcement

Slack rolled out their redesign to existing users who were notified about the big update with a spotlit modal. We love how clearly the header copy conveys the purpose and value behind the redesign: "A simpler, more organized Slack."

slack product updates redesign 2020 announcment in-app

A unique redesign tour

After clicking “Let’s Go,” the user is given a brief rundown of the changes to their workspace. Slack decided to use a slightly unusual new pattern to introduce new features. It’s a variation on tooltips, with the messaging contained in a small modal in the center of the screen, while a pulsing hotspot directs user attention to the feature in question.

slack redesign updates new feature tour message and hotspot
slack redesign updates new feature tour message and hotspot 2
slack redesign updates new feature tour message and hotspot 3
slack redesign updates new feature tour message and hotspot 4

When users are finished with the tour, they relaunch it at any time from Slack’s help center in the top right corner of the screen. 

slack help center product update tour relaunch menu

Why this is really good UX:

  • By centering the tooltip patterns and using beacons to point out new features, Slack makes it easy to follow along without feeling like you’re jumping around. 
  • Because these updates result in big changes to the way the platform  is used, Slack opted to start the tour with an attention-grabbing modal, rather than a less intrusive slideout or tooltip. 
  • The design of all patterns are true to Slack’s brand, and use short, digestible copy. 
  • Users are able to relaunch the tour whenever they like.