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Designed to get people talking

How we helped Slack build the fastest growing business app ever
Design and Interaction
iOS and Web
UI, UX, Strategy Concept

The Spark

The brainchild of Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Slack has risen to become the world’s most popular corporate chat client.

In a crowded space, and seemingly saturated market, Slack instantly became a cult hit by challenging the norm. It's beloved for its gorgeous, playful interface and tons of delightful little interactions throughout the app.
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
Screenshot of early Slack interface
We were there from the start. Understanding the value of design, Stewart and his team came to us when Slack was a rough unstyled prototype and asked us to help make it great.

We worked with him to design the app from the ground up—along with the brand, the mobile app, the marketing site—the works.
Screenshot of Slack appScreenshot of Slack appScreenshot of Slack app

How we stood out

At a time when business applications were dull and boring, and workplace communication depended almost entirely on email, our aim was to make Slack stand out from the crowd. Our guiding question—why not?

We wanted Slack to be something people would pull up and talk about with their friends at the bar rather than leaving behind at their nine to five.

It sounds different

Slack bucks the enterprise app trend of dull language that leaves users lost and unengaged.

Instead, each piece of copy is seen as an opportunity to be playful. From the loading screen to the error message, Slackbot acts as your wise-cracking robot sidekick, providing injections of fun on those boring days.
video of Slack app side navigation changing colors
Animation of Slack app

It feels different

We strived to fill the product with delightful, and unexpected, interactions—the logo animates in a burst of color as it loads, the modals slide down from the top of the screen, gifs appear at random like Russian roulette.

Throughout the entire app, everything seems to playfully jump around and pop off the screen. Each of these moments is designed not only to help the user understand what's going on, but put a little smile on their face.
Screenshot of Slack app on a laptop

Several people are buying…

When Slack launched in 2013, its unique design and playful features seemed to instantly steal the hearts of millions. Its widespread adoption has made it the fastest growing business application of all time.

Today, Slack is publicly traded and has a valuation near $25 billion.
Founder of Notarize

Pat Kinsel

MetaLab makes products delightful. It’s really that simple.

Lauren Machado

Operations, AirBNB
@SlackHQ love you boo. That’s all.

Nuno Simaria

CTO, HelloFresh
People were very quickly sold into the idea of getting into Slack.

Dann Petty

Founder, Epicurrence
Just had my first Slack video chat. I love @SlackHQ
Andrew Wilkinson, Founder of Metalab

Andrew Wilkinson

Founder of MetaLab
Most enterprise software looks like a cheap 70's prom suit — muted blues and greys everywhere — so, starting with the logo, we made Slack look like a confetti cannon had gone off.

John Doerr

Partner, KPCB
Never before have we witnessed so much user love for an enterprise software platform.