Slack’s Block Party – You’re Invited!
Slack introduces Block Kit for app building
Have you been hoping and wishing for an easier and more flexible way to build apps in Slack? Recently, the leading collaboration platform introduced two new systems to make app development easier: Block Kit, and Block Kit Builder.
The Block Kit and Block Kit Builder make it easier to create a stunning, highly engaging app that’s great for the user, and easy for the developer to build. The Block Kit is a UI framework designed with stackable “blocks” of information. While the Block Kit Builder is a prototyping tool to simplify using those blocks. Blocks give developers more control over the hierarchy within an application, defining both the appearance and order of the information that’s delivered by the Slack app.
5 New Block Types Available Now
With Slack’s new Block strategy, it’s possible to create five new kinds of blocks for your building needs. These include:
- Actions: Interactive call-to-action components such as buttons, menus, and dates
- Dividers: Separating tools that help to make messages clearer
- Image: Image containers that include captions
- Context: Spaces where you can add helpful descriptions or metadata
- Sections: Containers for text which you can couple with inline images or actions
Already, developers are experimenting with what’s available with Slack Blocks. For instance, the knowledge management platform Guru helps people to capture information that’s they find in Slack. With dividers, the help message from Guru is now clearer and easier to use. Optimizely’s app on Slack helps product and marketing teams to brainstorm, track, and test digital campaigns. Scheduling tool Doodle has even used the date picker feature in Slack blocks to enable quick calendar polling in your collaboration app.
How to Prototype your App UX in Slack Block Kit Builder
Rather than just delivering the basic blocks for their users, Slack has also created their Block Kit Builder solution so that you can prototype your app interactions. The kit comes with customisable templates, common use-case options for Slack, and more. This way, you can get a head-start by having most of the code already built for you.
You’ll also see pre-built notification messages in your builder too, including corresponding JSON information. You can add, delete or edit blocks according to your needs, and simply copy and paste the JSON into your app’s code when necessary.
Whether you’re building apps in Slack for the first time, or you’re upgrading an app that you already have developed, the Block Kit hub is sure to help. Go and check it out now to see what you can do.