Slack Theming

Themes for Multiple Teams

As a remote developer/teacher Slack is one my most important tools. There are 5 teams I communicate with on a regular basis:

  1. Developers/PMs at Citrusbyte
  2. Developers/PMs for our primary client
  3. Students at Thinkful
  4. Mentors and admins at Thinkful
  5. The local Bozeman JS Meetup group

In addition to these core 5 I routinely join other teams when I'm looking for support on issues. That is, many companies use Slack as a support channel so I temporarily join teams when needed.

With 5 (or more) teams it starts to get a bit busy on the Slack app. At any given time I might have 1 or more ongoing conversations, and with that comes the potential for me to send an errant message to the wrong person/team.

To prevent errant messages I've come up with a theme scheme in Slack - both to make the UI consistent across teams, and more importantly to make it obvious which team I'm communicating with. The scheme can be easily extended to any new teams I join.

The theme(s) can be added following these instructions.

The Theme Scheme

My theme scheme is based on assigning an easily identifiable color to each team. Using this color the rest of the theme is easy to put together.

Suppose you work for The primary color in the Amazon brand is #FF9900. The theme colors are determined using the primary color.

The first is the active color, which we'll get by darkening the primary color by 10%. Darkening #FF9900 by 10% we get #E68000.

The next is the text color, which will be #FFFFFF or #11111 depending on if the primary color is dark or light, respectively. In most cases #FFFFFF will work fine but if your primary color is really light you'll want to use the darker option. For Amazon we'll go with the lighter.

The Amazon theme would then be:

Column BG: #FF9900;        // primary
Menu BG: #E68000;          // active
Active Item: #FFFFFF;      // text
Active Item Text: #E68000  // active
Hover Item: #E68000        // active
Text Color: #FFFFFF        // text
Active Presence: #FFFFFF   // text
Mention Badge: #DA0000     // RED

The Mention Badge color is the same red across all my team themes.

The Result

The color scheme above results in:

Multiple Teams

When extended across multiple teams the end result is a consistent UI, with visually distinct themes for each team.

With the theme scheme in place I can quickly identify which team I'm currently on.