From the Slack blog:

Let’s say you’re stepping away from Slack for a bit — maybe you’re grabbing some lunch, taking a week off, or even just focusing on a task for a few hours. Now you can set a custom status in Slack to share what you’re up to, when you’ll be back, whom to contact in your place, or anything else that helps your team know when they can expect to hear from you.

I actually fully expect Slack to dial this back at some point. The concept is great but the implementation is too busy. When you set a status update, it appears in the following places:

  • In the sidebar.
  • In the text box that people see when they message you.
  • In your profile header.
  • At the end of your name, everywhere you write messages.

The idea of a status is a great idea in one or two places, but having it in these four places is just too much. Even if only 1/3 of the people in your Slack channel implement this feature, it has the result of getting way too busy. The overall UI looks more like a child’s toy than a serious application for professional communicating.

Every maturing company fights against bloat. Some more than others. Some companies fight tooth and nail at the expense of not looking like they’re innovating. Others fight so little that you get the feeling that the place is turning into a cluttered junk yard. Finding that balance is hard.