You’ll have to forgive me in advance, I get very excited about this. The thing is, we’re at this fascinating point where people are settling into this different way of communicating through messaging and feeling more comfortable with it, and allowing themselves to be less formal, more conversational, more human and more transparent.
There’s definitely something about the fact that people are more used to talking to family and friends through short, concise messages — and that we’re getting more and more used to talking to our technology out loud, and hearing it talk back in a human voice — that means that simple human-to-human messaging is feeling more natural and more fitting for a work situation too. And of course this impacts how we write for the technology, how we create that human tone that allows people to feel more ease in communication, but that wasn’t exactly the question. 😉
The move from closed communication between very small amounts of people to communication in channels is just going to become the norm in the next ten years or so. In Slack and other tools like it, you communicate with your teammates in open channels that are organized by team, topic or project.
We’ve got used to having a tool for everything, but that means a lot of context switching and wasting time trying to remember what you were doing before you leapt from here to there to do the last thing you did before the next thing you really had to do — finding ways to better organize those tools, to bring them together and help automate some of them, that’s what we’re working on now — everyone building communication tools is grappling with this (though some better than others) (I know, I know, I would say that).
Basically it feels like we’re all talking more clearly — not louder, and not like a cacophonous din, but learning how to be more effective in when and how we communicate. And the more people do that in an open space like channels, the more we learn from each other, and the better we all get at it. The more human we sound. Which is funny, given the fact we were all human all along.
By Anna Pickard, Creative Director, Voice and Tone at Slack
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