Better Slack profile status
Three Minute Designs: This is a small 3 min column where I write about the problems I face every day with products I use and I how I would go about solving it. Disclaimer: This is unsolicited work and doesn't represent an actual feature.
The problem with Slack
Imagine this scenario.
Suganth, Designer, pings his product manager Jim to share something
5 mins later.
*Opens Google Calendar to see what Jim's up to?*
"He is having lunch. Ah! I'll catch up with him later."
While this might be really tiny problem, it happens quite often and it frustrates you to keep tab on your peer's calendar. Thats because my company like many other companies use Google calendar to plan their days. It's effective way to plan meetings and work time.
n fact Slack addressed this problem earlier this year by announcing Slack Status. While it's nifty and clean, it's not smart because it doesn't talk to apps.
Show Calendar events next to the Name / Slack Status.
Benefits and Downsides
Benefits all the Google calendar users. Even for the folks who don't append everything in the calendar. It also benefits people who work from home/remotely to plan their day and don't worry about not replying. The design is also passive. In a way, it doesn't require active user interaction to show this info. No more opening Google calendar in the background or switching tabs/apps.
The downside is that it pushes people to plan every part of their day out in Calendar and not everyone will be onboard to that. Especially things like Lunch which is very natural to not plan them out.
Why Slack wouldn't do this?
Slack for Apps is why Slack wouldn't do this. Slack is too big and too open that it might not want to integrate with one particular calendar application. It needs to open up for whole bunch of platforms. Besides, Slack might even have plans to launch their own calendar/scheduler to manage events inside slack.
I don't want to even suggest this as alternative, but this is what slack currently supports. You can head over to Google Calendar Slack App(your company's) and configure it to notify you about your team member's events. Its bit manual and might require you tap one or more times to get the info you want, right from slack.
Have any feedback? Hit me up
This is an unsolicited project and I spent few mins to solve this problem I'm sure the wonderful design team at Slack will solve this problem better, soon.
The stunning iPhone 8 device sketch mock is provided by the Facebook design team. There is no such character called Jim in my workspace, but the story I shared is pretty much true. Have any feedback / comment? You can tweet or email your feedback and I would love to read them!