Slack New User Interface


On Jan. 3, 2024, Slack will roll out a redesigned user interface and user experience to the University of Southern California environment. With its better organization and more intuitive layout, you’ll be able to get work done faster. The new design helps you:

  • Easily navigate your channels and conversations so you and your team can move work forward faster.
  • Focus on what’s important so you can knock out tasks without distractions.
  • Find and use essential tools so you can simplify your workday.

The new interface includes several notable updates. At first glance, Slack may look different from what you’re used to seeing. Here’s where to find the channels, information, and tools to get to work.

This is how it will look in your University of Southern California Slack app.

The left column of the interface has been reorganized with centralized tabs for your channels (“Home”), direct messages (“DMs”), and notifications (“Activity”). This makes it easier to navigate and find what you need. A new “Later” tab appears only if you’ve tagged posts you want to return to later on. This feature is useful for saving a message or conversation for later. Finally, quickly browse and easily access all your most important tools, data, and collaborators from the “More” menu to launch dedicated views.

Overview of the New Sidebar Design

  1. Home – The sidebar is now Home, showing all your channels, direct messages, and apps in a single view.

Tip! If you stay in the “All workspaces” view, adjusting your sidebar preferences can be a useful way to keep organized.

2. DMs – Now live in a dedicated tab so you can choose when to engage in conversations and when you want to be heads down. Now you can filter DMs:

  • By external
  • By unread

Tip! Hide DMs from home for even more focus there. Head to Preferences > Home tab.

3. Activity – The new Activity tab centralizes your mentions, threads, reactions, app notifications, and more so you can quickly identify the collaborative work that requires your attention.

Tip! Toggle “Unreads” at the top of your Activity view to only show unread messages and notifications.

4. Later – Later lets you collect your reminders and saved messages to help you manage your important messages to reference or create a working to-do list. Keep track of your tasks with due dates, and quickly jump back into the conversation to pick up where you left off.

Tip! Right-click on any saved message for the full set of available actions. Check the details here Save messages and files for later.

Note: Later will only appear for users who have saved at least one item for later.

Reminders and saved items can be marked as in progress, archived, or complete.

5. More – Quickly browse and access all your most important tools, data, and collaborators easily from the More menu to launch dedicated views for:

  • Canvases
  • Workflow and app automation
  • External connections in Slack Connect
  • Channels
  • People and user groups
  • Files and clips

 Tip! You can also hover over a category to get a preview of your latest message or notification. 

6. Create a New…(+)

Messaging is still the core of Slack, but these days, there are so many more ways to collaborate with your team. From the new create menu, you can start:

  • Messages
  • Huddles
  • Canvases
  • Channels
  • Add new internal or external people if your permissions allow

7. Profile – It is now in the lower left corner of the app. Click it to manage profile settings, notifications, status, and lets preferences, such as your color theme.

How to start navigating the new Slack experience

By default, your sidebar will now show “All workspaces” when listing your channels, but you can filter by workspace to focus on a specific USC workspace and its channels, DMs, and apps.

Filter workspaces to focus on specific channels.

Click the “All workspaces” drop-down at the top of your sidebar under “University of Southern California” to select the workspace name you want to access.

Tip! We recommend organizing channels in custom sections. Custom sections can be collapsed or set to have unique sorting and view preferences.

Edit and reorder workspaces.

You can change the way your workspaces appear in the dropdown filter. To edit and reorder, click the “All workspaces” dropdown and select “Edit and reorder workspaces.”

  • To reorder workspaces in the filter, drag and drop to your preferences. When you’re finished, select “Save & Reload.”
  • To delete a workspace from the filter, hover over the workspace name and select “Remove.” When you’re finished, select “Save & Reload.”

Switching between workspaces – Internal and external (non-USC) workspaces

You can switch between workspaces if you are part of more than one Slack organization or have workspaces besides the ones at USC.

  • Click the USC workspace’s icon in the top-left corner of the Slack desktop app.
  • Select the option to Show workspace switcher, as shown below.

If you regularly use multiple workspaces, click Show workspace switcher (or click ⌘+ Shift + S on Mac or Ctrl + Shift + S on Windows) to always show each of your workspace icons in the sidebar.  Learn more here Switch between workspaces.

Determine a channel’s workspace

In the “All workspaces” channel view on your sidebar, you’ll see an extensive list of channels from every workspace you are part of. To identify the workspace(s) to which a particular channel belongs, there are two methods:

  • For channels with identical names (e.g., #general), the workspace name will be displayed next to the channel name in your channel sidebar.

For channels without duplicate names (e.g., #proj-slack-2023), you’ll need to follow these steps to discover the workspace(s) it is associated with:

Click the name at the top of the channel feed.

  • Navigate to the channel’s details.
  • Under “About,” find the section labeled “Workspaces with access to this channel” to identify the relevant workspace(s).

Features that have been relocated include:

  • Files: To see files shared through workspace, click “More.” Then select “Your Organization” and click “Files.”
  • Huddles: The huddles icon has moved to the top right of each channel or DM. Start an audio or video huddle by clicking Create (+) in the sidebar menu.
  • Apps: Click “More” to find a new “Automation” section.
  • Connect: Slack Connect, which lets you chat with people from outside your workspace, can be found by clicking “More” and navigating to “External Connections.”

Change Your Slack Theme

Create a New The new Slack interface has retired some of the “legacy” themes, meaning that your app might have a very different look and color scheme from what it had previously.

If you had customized your theme prior to the rollout, you may have noticed that the theme is no longer available, but you can effectively create a custom theme that gets you close to how it looked previously.

The option for editing themes has moved. To choose a new theme, on any workspace with the new design, click your profile picture in the bottom left corner of the screen, from the menu, then click Themes. Learn more about customizing your Slack theme.

More Resources from Slack