Slack will let users customise their profiles with more detailed personal information, including audio clips that reveal how they pronounce their name.
The vendor announced several updates to its product on Wednesday. User profiles accessed by colleagues have received a visual makeover meant to surface more information about the user, including the addition of three new fields.
Under Contact Info, a user can provide a list of ways to be contacted, including additional phone numbers and email addresses. The About Me section provides space for information such as birthdays, pets, and languages spoken. An organisational chart is accessible under the People heading.
Other additions include a name pronunciation field that can be embedded in user profiles that plays a short audio clip, as well as space for phonetic spelling. Hover Cards will also appear when moving a mouse cursor over a user’s name to display their profile picture and a shortened version of their profile information.
The UI updates are now being rolled out to all users starting June 1, though the company said it may take several weeks for changes to take effect for all users.
The aim is to help build connections between workers using its platform, Slack said, particularly those working in separate locations.
“In a work-from-anywhere world, having deeper context about colleagues not only fosters better collaboration, but also stronger feelings of inclusion and belonging,” said Maxwell Hayman, director of product at Slack. He said the updates to profiles in Slack enable customer organisations to “provide more context about people and for people to share more about themselves.”
“The newly added profile UI updates in Slack should help organisations support a hybrid workplace, particularly as it pertains to team building,” said Raúl Castañón, senior analyst at 451 Research, a division of SP Global Market Intelligence.
More than two thirds (68 per cent) of organisations expect to support a more distributed workforce over the next two years, according to 451 Research’s 2021 Voice of the Enterprise survey. Doing so will be significantly (24 per cent) or somewhat challenging (43 per cent), according to respondents, with factors such as team building considered difficult with remote teams.
“The updates might appear at first glance to be minor, subtle improvements to the Slack user experience; however, they highlight how the company is expanding the role of embedded, behind the scenes intelligence capabilities within the collaboration tool,” said Castañón.
Slack has also been adding to its Atlas product recently – a paid add-on launched last year for customers on its Business+ and Enterprise Grid plans that builds on its acquisition of enterprise directory firm Rimeto in 2020.
This includes the addition of Smart Tags, which enables search of user profiles for “tags” such as languages or focus areas. This might help an individual find a colleague fluent in French of Spanish to check a translation, for example. The Flexible Text feature provides a larger space for users to write an expanded personal bio of up to 5,000 rich text characters, which means the ability to include emojis, code blocks, line breaks, and more.