Slack has taken the tech world by storm over the past few years. With many companies moving to it for team communication and collaboration, it’s earned a permanent spot on many designer’s most-used apps. Did you know that there are also public Slack communities for all sorts of design and development-related topics? You may have heard of one or two, but chances are there’s a community for just what you’re looking for.
Slack’s not really built for people to join public groups automatically so each group’s invite process is a bit different. Some merely require a name and email address and will send an invite shortly afterward. Others have a more involved application process that may take days or weeks to get a response. Be patient and honest when you apply, and you could be rewarded with a new community of like-minded peers.
These Slack groups are a great place to start finding designers, connecting with diverse peers from around the world, and learning a wide range of interests.
- Designer Hangout - The juggernaut of the design Slack groups, Designer Hangout has channels for a variety of design-related topics and hosts live Q&A sessions with prominent leaders in design.
- The Designership - An active and global design community for creatives to share, grow and learn with one another.
- UX Mastery - The folks at UX Mastery have a large (and open) group specifically for UX designers.
- Dear Designers - Similar in concept to Mike Monteiro’s Dear Design Student, this community invites new and aspiring designers to ask questions and learn from experienced professionals.
- Design Talks - Learn, critique, and get feedback from other designers in UX, UI, illustration, web design, and more.
Want to focus on a specific subject in design? These Slack groups will help you dive deep on animation, content strategy, design systems, branding, or Sketch.
- Animation at Work - Built around Rachel Nabors’ Animation at Work book (coming soon from A Book Apart) and the Web Animation Weekly newsletter, this community focuses specifically on web animation and motion design.
- Content + UX - Let’s say you love words, and you think great content makes for a great experience. The Content + UX Slack group, hosted by Michael J. Metts, will be your cup of tea.
- Design Systems - Interested in building a design system? This team has you covered with members who have done it at companies big and small, channels devoted to specific topics, and even local channels for some larger cities.
- Let’s Talk Branding - Interested in branding? Here you can discuss anything branding related, from logo design to identity, from lettering to messaging and so on.
- Team Sketch - If you want to grow and learn how to better use Sketch, this is the community for you.
Maybe product management is more your style. Check these communities specifically focused on product managers.
- Product Manager HQ - Just for product managers, the PM HQ is a paid membership community that gets you access to product managers from major firms, regular AMA sessions with noted leaders, and exclusive access and discounts to product-related events and resources.
- Product Tribes - Sponsored by UX Pin, Product Tribes is a community for product managers, designers, and developers.
Looking to expand your skills beyond design? These development communities are a great place to connect with developers and learn more.
- Code Newbie - Learning to code? Code Newbie is a great community to get started and find support. They also have a podcast, blog, forums, and more.
- FEDs on Slack - FEDs on Slack is just the right spot to hang if you’re a front end developer looking to share best practices and up your game.
- #frontendDevelopers - Choice is always good, and front end developers have the option of not just one but TWO great Slack communities.
- a11y - Accessibility is one key to a more inclusive future. Get support and camaraderie from fellow accessibility-minded developers and designers here.
- Progressive Web Apps - Progressive web apps are the new hotness for mobile and offline solutions, and this Slack will help you become a master.
Design is a part of every type of business. Find a community to connect with people who are doing the same kind of work you are.
- #freelance - Freelancing is often a lonely business. Why not chat about it with other freelancers?
- #Launch - Boasting over 10,000 members, Launch is a place for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, & makers to chat about the products they’re making.
- #smallbiz - Whether you’re a small agency or a designer in a small business, you might feel right at home in the #smallbiz Slack community.
- Startup Chat - Being a part of a startup is a journey all its own. Connect and share with others who are on the same journey.
While some of these larger communities may have location-specific channels, there’s also a good chance that there’s already a Slack group for your local design or development community. Do some research, ask your local peers, and if you can’t find one, consider starting one!
Did I miss a group?
While I dug around quite a bit for these groups, I may have missed your favorite or another may have started up in the meantime. If you think another group belongs on this list, let me know. I’d love to keep it up to date and add more.
Updated on Aug 22, 2017: At the request of #MotionDesign, I removed their Slack community because they want to cater to a very specific group of motion designers. In their place, I’ve added The Designership and Let’s Talk Branding. Be sure to check those communities out!
Updated on Aug 28, 2017: I’ve added the UX Mastery Slack group above under the General groups.