Presentation critique: Slack

Prior to CS3216, I’ve never heard of this app called Slack. So when i heard people talking about Slack, I assumed that it is an app meant for coders to discuss and talk about work. I carried that assumption along with me as the presentation began, and truth be told, it was a little confusing. But I’m gonna attribute the confusion to having a misconception early on.

What Slack is essentially is a team communication and integration tool. It has real time messaging, and it syncs automatically with different platforms.

Articles online have been singing its praises, and some have even touted it as the next big thing to replace email. In the fast paced society today, instant messaging does seem to have its edge over the traditional email and its not difficult to see why most people prefer it over sending emails.

In the presentation, the group suggested voice messaging as a way to improve the app. That suggestion drew a lot of feedback, almost entirely negative. While I feel that it is not a major feature that they lack. However I guess it is still useful to include multiple methods of achieving communication, should there be any specific situations where typing might be a problem, or if using voice messaging is simply the better option. (like in the case where Chinese users find it difficult to type in chinese)

‘Details make the design
One thing I noticed about Slack is how we can determine the sort of notifications we receive, by setting certain words as the ‘trigger’. This feature sounds really useful, especially when group chats contain many participants and certain messages are not important for everyone. It also means that users in a huge group project wouldn’t be subjected to checking notifications that do not relate to them at all, and this saves a lot of time.

Initially, I felt that its a pity they didn’t have a calendar or a system to show everyone’s tasks on hand. For an app who’s main users are project collaborators, it felt like there should be some way for users to see what the workload of their peers. However, it also makes sense that Slack should just focus on communication, instead of branching out to task allocation etc.


Here’s an article I stumbled upon over the week. It talks about how and why designers should be left to design, and how designers and coders should learn to understand each others’ way of working. I found this article really useful as it does highlight the differences between both fields. I hope this goes out to all those who found it difficult to work with each other.

Presentation critique: Slack

Week 3- Zopic x Bjorn talk

The talk by Bjorn Lee and Zopim was really insightful and refreshing. I’d expected lots of tech talk but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

What I learnt from Bjorn was that design is all but one of the crucial elements involved in commercial success. It was the first time I’ve heard of those advice that he spoke about. He’s a really engaging speaker too. Although some of the methods he spoke about are pretty unorthodox, it seems like it really works.

Most importantly, the necessary element in succeeding seems to be passion and drive. You could almost hear it in his voice. That could be something missing from people nowadays, but i might be generalizing. I won’t touch on the points he spoke about, but I REALLY enjoyed his talk, please try to get him back for all the future batches haha!

Zopim’s talk also shed a lot of light to the hard truth behind start ups. How it isn’t always glitz and blitz. Over the holidays I found a short internship at a local Design firm, Monocoque. It was founded by a few of my seniors from Industrial Design, and coincidentally 2 of them are alumni of CS3216. I guess its partly thanks to them that I ended up here- they told me to go for it although its a hell module and i’ll be drowning in work. and its true, i’m starting to feel the heat. But talks and insights I gained from the talks really made me feel like its worth the effort and busyness. (Yuan Kai and Benjamin, if you guys can recall)

Anyway back to Zopim, Wenxiang really shared a lot of things that outsiders can never tell from observation. The struggles they’ve been through, the stupid things they did, how they learnt and how they stuck together despite all the hardships. It makes me wonder if I can find friends like that, who truly believe in Design, and whether we can meet people who share the drive and skills. Maybe even if the start-up fails and we have to eat grass, we would still be content that we tried and died.

Week 3- Zopic x Bjorn talk