3 killer design lessons from Slack

Why is Slack a breakout success in a crowded field? Dig into what makes Slack’s Mastery Path & Core Learning Loop work so well for so many.

Lesson 1: Solve a real, high-need problem for a small group of people

Their early practices set the stage for rapid growth

Think about it. when Slack launched, the core product experience had been iterated on for 3 years by internal teams. They solved a real problem for a small group of people with a high need — and their solution turned out to be useful to others.

They didn’t pour customers into a leaky bucket

Simple: they built their product on top of a compelling core experience that people used everyday. When they were ready to grow, they weren’t pouring people into a leaky bucket (like so many startups) —instead, they were sending people into a repeatable, pleasurable Learning Loop.

Lesson 2: Create a pleasurable, repeatable habit with skill-building feedback

  1. pleasurable, repeatable activity, triggered by an internal urge or need
  2. skill-building feedback that drives learning & competence
  3. progression & investment systems that unfold new challenges
  4. engaged triggers with meaningful, personalized stats & messages

Lesson 3: Give your Customer Journey a coherent through-line

Customization is the through-line

Similar to Minecraft, Slack team invested in their APIs so other developers could extend or “MOD” their service. They also added hooks for everyday Slack users to customize their identity and emotions.

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