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Slack Notifications Redesign

Improving the notifications experience on Slack — KPCB Design Challenge

— ROLE

UX Researcher/

UX Designer

— INFO

  • Individual Project
  • 2 weeks

— TOOLS

  • Figma

— TEAM

N/A

To read the full case study provided on Medium (~8 min read), please navigate here. Otherwise, I have provided a summary below!

—CONTEXT

For the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) design challenge, I had to redesign a feature of a KPCB company product.


I decided to redesign Slack as it is an application I use every day to communicate with friends, peers, colleagues, and mentors; it has transformed how I communicate virtually. I have access to many different communities and have had the opportunity to meet many people around the world. Thus, I wondered if there was a way I could potentially enhance the already well-designed mobile application.


—PROBLEM

Survey respondents reported they generally only used the mobile app (versus the desktop app) when they needed to be notified of important information and respond to DMs. 

 

However, all 4 of my interviewees had trouble navigating workspace and channel notifications on the mobile app. 

 

Users prioritize workspaces over others and find it overwhelming to deal with notifications from multiple workspaces. Additionally, changing a workspace’s notifications setting is not intuitive, and updating a channel’s notifications settings is inconvenient. 



—SOLUTION

I categorized workspaces based on the user priorities and notification preference, and made the process of updating workspace and channel notifications more intuitive and seamless.



Before: Workspaces

Users are involved in workspaces that may have only been important during a short time and aren’t as relevant anymoreThey want to prioritize the active workspaces and group the remaining workspaces by their notification preference. Currently, it’s rather overwhelming to deal with notifications from multiple workspaces.

After: Organizing Workspaces based on Notification Preference

In the current app, the user can set their workspace notifications to “All New Messages,” “Direct messages & mentions,” or “Nothing.” How the user selects their notification preferences ties into the workspace's priority, so I decided to group workspaces by these notifications settings.

Before: Workspace Notifications

When I asked my interviewees to show me how to change their workspace notifications on the mobile app, all of them admitted they never learned how to do this. I asked 3 out of 4 of the interviewees to try it out. All 3 of them initially went to the “Preferences” option on the workspace screen and soon learned they needed to go to the “You” page instead.

After: Workspace Notifications

To help users find workspace notifications settings more quickly, I incorporated the notifications feature within the Preferences module to align with the desktop application and the user’s mental model. To maintain consistency, I modeled this on the “You” page as well.

Before: Joining a Channel

As recounted by users, it’s easy to forget to review and update their notifications after joining or creating a channel. This can cause issues such as missing important messages. Currently, the user can review the channel’s notifications settings by pressing on the channel’s name or the “info” icon.

After: Joining a Channel

I added Slackbot (Slack's chatbot) to remind users of their default notification settings when joining a channel. This prevents users from forgetting to review and update their notifications after joining a channel, and decreases issues such as missing important messages.

Before: Creating a Channel

There is currently no way to update your notifications before creating a channel.

After: Creating a Channel

I added the ability to set the channel’s notifications settings before the user can hit “Create.” This removes the extra step of going back and updating the channel’s notifications after creation, which users usually forget to do.

—IMPACT

I would need to do additional user testing to validate my design decisions. However, if my redesigns were to be implemented, I would expect my solutions to:

 

— Increase user satisfaction as it is now easier to manage and update notifications, and organize workspaces 


— Decrease the number of missed notifications due to prompting users to review and change their notification settings 


— Lessen the confusion surrounding Slack notifications by the increased transparency of notification settings