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Plan your app

Some tips to get started with building your own Slack apps

When you decide to make an app, the range of possibilities are infinite. If you're puzzled with the options in front of you, we have gathered some tips to get started.

Your use cases

Start with figuring out how your app will help make other people’s work simpler and more productive.

To decide which flows make sense to hook into, it’s helpful to know about workflows and different workflow types. Read workflows overview page for a rundown of available capabilities.

Here are some questions to look into:

  • Are there any regular types of message that are posted manually in Slack? Imagine a manager posting in a channel asking for deal volumes. This could be turned into an app that a manager can check the deals through an action and share the results in a better format.
  • Are there one or two automated messages that your team members received in the past week and that are critical to their work? These kinds of automated emails can be turned into notifications in Slack oftentimes.
  • Add up interactivity to notifications. An app like the above might do more that just posting automated messages. You can attach smart actions that users can interact with, or send assistive messages to remind critical tasks or guide about next steps.
  • Do you regularly use an external service? Check out if this service offers a web-based API. If so, you can build an app that integrates that service into Slack.

Interaction entry points

Put yourself in a user’s shoes and imagine them trying to complete a specific task using your app. How do they make first contact?

Will it be the simplest way for them to initiate the action by calling /actioner shortcut, or interacting with a button on a notification or posting a message or an emoji reaction? Maybe your app can provide multiple entry points for the same actions to be triggered.

There is no single correct answer. Explore possible ways of interacting with your users and pick the simplest options.

App-user communication

Think about what will happen when a workflow is initiated. Imagine the sequence of steps that might be presented to that user. And then do it again for different personas.

Do you need to collect information? Is the flow better handled through a series of buttons? This helps you figure out what kinds of forms you'll need to use, and the APIs your app might require along the way.

Put it all together

When you have some decisions on the questions mentioned here, you should have a good sense of your audience, and what the app will do.

Follow our guides to start triggers and choosing the right request types. They'll help figure out which features to use while building your app.