Slack for the win!
August 23, 2016
Slack for the win!
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Slack
I use Slack at work on a daily basis. It represents the first point of contact for me with my colleagues and managers (even before email). We exchange work interactions and tasks statuses, product information and news, and also feedback about everything in the office. Also we use slack to organize information and generate discussions channels regarding incoming issues and work to fix them. Slack became a good alternative to using emails.
- Slack has very rich UI components allowing us to express and exchange information and communications in a very nice and fun way
- The ability to form private and public channels and invite people is very useful to set up quick channels and invite specific users for discussing urgent issues without interrupting and bothering the whole team.
- Ability to integrate many third party plugins to provide integrations with useful services like Github notifications.
- Ability to type code and normal conversation in the same message quickly utilizing markdown formats and ability to create snippets and posts inside the same channel as first-class members of the channels.
- Unified user experience among all mobile and web devices.
- Very cost-effective compared to the benefits it provides.
- Vbility to "star" and "pin" important information and easily find it later.
- The rich UI can easily become a hurdle especially when the number of channels grow into a large number thus making focus on one topic very hard.
- Anyone can create a channel without having to go back to an admin to manage this. Many hidden or replicated channels can become a problem for bigger teams.
- Notifications can be fully silenced, and also this can be done automatically when setting up a schedule for that. But there's no way to set up a temporary busy or away status to let the team members know whenever you're online/offline for very short periods.
- Also there's no regard for meeting times. Slack (for a channel) can be either all snoozed or notifications-enabled.
- Searching through a lot of history is available but there needs to be more advanced searching capabilities to parse words and cross-search users/days/times/topics/words.
- Provides a unified place for communications, projects management and customer support.
- Better UI capabilities with easy learning curve.
- Cost effective compared to the provided value.
- Available search capabilities, but migrating to and from Slack means usually losing previous conversations and information (no export or archive capabilities).
- When being offline, and settig notification to "snooze", there's no way to get notifications using email. Adding this feature can be a good reminder of some lost Slack messages.
Slack has very useful and nice capabilities within its channels and integrations, but more sometimes can be less. Distraction can be a very bad factor for busy channels, and that might lead indirectly to losing information, especially since many users can set "snooze" on multiple active channels. Slack can grow easily to become a task of its own, which is not supposed to be intended when using office chatting apps. HipChat has similar problems, but HipChat rooms management by a single admin allows for more control over traffic. HipChat allows for exporting rooms' conversations, unlike Slack. Slack notifications can be snoozed on a channel base, unlike with HipChat. But when it comes to service stability, Slack is always a winner with a noticeable lower downtime than HipChat which tends to go down a lot with every new update.
If you have a big team, or you would like to provide online support for your customers, all in one place, this is the tool for you. If you have a small team, Slack can be very nice and useful. Channels provide isolation if created and managed carefully. But channels can grow out of hand and become confusing to users. Slack claims it can replace email communication altogether, but honestly, with Slack you don't have a way to save a message to read later since all messages are useful within their contexts. Also, if you're trying to use Slack to save information (in posts and snippets), you might get to a point where all this information is lost, especially since there's no clear way to archive and export such valuable information.