Slack’s big shortcoming during a pandemic

Aaron Cecchini-Butler
3 min readAug 15, 2018

Outside Impressions vs. Reality

Slack logo
From Slack’s media kit

For years, I assumed that Slack was a website for developers, with no real functionality for anyone outside of tech. This was based on my second-hand exposure to the platform, through friends who worked in programming.

old slack logo
RIP to the old logo, Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

When I signed up for my first UX/UI course, I was required to use slack to communicate with my peers and teachers, and realized two things:

1. It is an amazing platform.

2. A lot of people don’t consider it for their use because of the connotation it carries.

Although I can assume many people reading this know what Slack does, for those of you who don’t, here’s a brief explanation:

Slack is a messaging app for use in an organization. It allows for direct and group messages to peers, as well as the creation of subject-specific “channels.” It has a clean UI and allows integrations with external apps to expand its functionality. (Get GIPHY!)

Integration of multiple workplaces is seamless, not requiring the nightmarish “log in/log out” scenario so many apps require.

Slack’s integration with other software, such as Google Drive, adds another layer of appeal to an already ideal product.

Slack’s recently updated search function allows you to search any word and it will show you every instance of it throughout a given channel or message. This is great for those times you remember that a coworker posted a great article about wireframes but don’t want to scroll back three weeks to find it. Search “wireframes” and voila.

view of slack search, searching for “wireframes”
Live photo from the wild

The issue I have with slack has nothing to do with its design or functionality.

The issue I have is with the way it’s perceived by many in the outside world.

For a number of years, I worked as a teacher at an afterschool program. Slack would have been an ideal communication tool, yet after…

Aaron Cecchini-Butler

Senior Systems Designer at Grubhub working on Cookbook (our design system) — as well as contributing to product design work.