This morning I received an email which made my heart sink.
In order to co-ordinate things better, we’d like to invite you to our exclusive Slack Channel!
A variety of rude words danced around my brain. I think this makes the, what, 9th? 10th? Slack that I’m part of.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Slack as a service – but it only really works if you have One Slack Team To Rule Them All.
I’ve just got a new tablet – so I need to sign in to Slack TEN TIMES! How is that an acceptable user experience?
Oh, and then I have to do it all over again on my phone.
You'll have to sign in on each one Terence! Sorry for the trouble.
— Slack (@SlackHQ) August 24, 2016
sigh fine. Whatever.
So I go to sign in. I have to give an email address – I can’t use one of the half-dozen social sign-in providers I use. That also means I have to give my first and last name, and a preferred username. Tiresome.
I have to set a new avatar image – because it’s not picking up from my Twitter, Skype, Facebook, etc.
And then, to add insult to injury, I have to change the default timezone – because not everyone lives in California.
This is a scaling issue. Each time I get a new device (a few times a year) I have to go through this time-consuming and annoying rigmarole. Each time I get invited to a new Slack (hey, I’m a popular guy!) I have to faff around setting it up, configuring it, and maintaining it.
Look, I get that some Slack Teams need 2FA and all sorts of custom stuff – but why should I as a user care about that?
- One Slack account – which has my avatar, timezone, username, preferences, teams, and so on.
- … nope, that’ll do.
Sure, if my Top Secret Slack imposes extra security requirements on me – present them when I sign in to my account. Or let me have a separate password. Or mandate 2FA for everything. I don’t care. I’m just tired of feeling dread whenever I think about joining a new Slack team or setting up a new device.
I’m only human.