Working on development experience tools as Principal Product Designer at Acme Co.

Slack is primarily designed for team communication in channels. Channels are where work happens: It’s where teams exchange ideas, get feedback, and share files. It’s a constant stream of conversation that keeps everyone on the same page.

But plenty of important information in Slack exists in formats other than messages. Think about how often you find yourself opening a doc or PDF or a spreadsheet to get your job done. The ability to quickly cross-reference information in files to resolve issues, answer a question or make a group decision is key to making communication in Slack.

And yet, the fact that most information in Slack is recorded chronologically makes it highly susceptible to the flow of channel conversations. The most recent message ends up feeling like the most important one, even if documents you shared a few hours (or days!) ago are still relevant. Searching for a file in Slack is possible, but success depends on being able to recall information about that file — where it was shared, or by whom. We wanted to build a better way for users to access information once it was uploaded to Slack.