Our working lives already take up a considerable portion of time and energy. Muscling through IT problems or resolving communication barriers are serious and unwelcome drains on our mental and physical resources.

But that doesn’t have to be the case! As industries sorted out the challenges of working during a pandemic, we witnessed a smorgasbord of collaborative communication technologies and software to make our working hours so much better.  

This collaborative software creates digital spaces for more engaged conversations between peers, managers, and teams, even when we cannot gather in person. Additionally, it aims to solve communication problems stemming from our historical reliance on email and in-person meetings.

These digital workspaces help reduce context switching, frustration, and boredom at work, while boosting productivity and revenues. By vastly improving our modes of communication, the rest of our energy can be invested in meaningful and efficient progress.

There are several options available on the market to make this change. We’ll be evaluating two of them: AirSend and Slack. Specifically, we will go over the software development history, pricing plans, user interface, and unique features. By the end of this article, you will have gained an understanding of both products and be able to determine if these products can help improve your communication and collaboration.

Who is this article for?

This article is intended for individuals, teams, or companies searching for a communication and collaboration software tool that will support their business operations. Slack is likely a familiar name, as many large-scale companies made the switch even before the pandemic. AirSend, launched in 2020, is the newcomer to the field, offering staunch competition.

About Slack

Slack was initially developed as an internal chat feature for the game Glitch, made by Tiny Speck. The company was run by Stewart Butterfield, who also founded Flickr. (Incidentally, this platform also started as an in-game feature that was later developed separately for photographers and content curators.)

Glitch was never released, but in 2014, Slack was released as a standalone software technology for team communication, based on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) software. This software is defined by persistent chat rooms, called channels, organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging.

In June 2019, Slack went public through a direct public offering; in 2021, it was acquired by Salesforce for $27.7 billion. There are currently around 12 million active users, with 119,000 paid customers. Slack serves 65 of the Fortune 100 and operates in more than 150 countries.

This prestigious clientele includes Ameritrade, Target, Uber, Netflix, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Intuit, and Expedia. Slack also partners with major SaaS companies and has developed thousands of applications and integrations to extend Slack’s functionality.

Cost

Slack is available for free, though certain advanced features are unavailable, and the storage is limited compared to paid versions. Users on free plans have acess to:

  • 5 GB of storage
  • up to 10,000 searchable messages
  • up to 10 apps and integrations
  • 1-to-1 video calls
  • Two-factor authentication.

The paid version of Slack starts at $6.67 per month for Pro, which includes:

  • 10 GB of storage per member
  • unlimited message archival
  • unlimited apps
  • group video calls with screen sharing
  • Slack Connect to work with other organizations.

The Slack Business version is $12.50 per month, which includes:

  • 20 GB of storage per member
  • 99.99% guaranteed uptime SLA
  • User provisioning and de-provisioning
  • SAML-based single sign-on (SSO)
  • Data exports for all messages.

Enterprise Grid is the version of Slack optimized for major organizations. Organizations interested in this version must request a quote directly from the Slack sales team. Features include:

  • 1 TB of storage per member
  • unlimited number of workspaces
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) support
  • e-Discovery and offline backup providers
  • Designated customer success teams
  • HIPAA-compliant messaging and file sharing.

We evaluated the free version for this review.

UX and Interface

Signing up for Slack is easy. Potential users can go to the Slack website and click the sign-up button. A quick email verification takes the user to their Slack workspace in the web browser. The email also includes links to user guides and the download button for the desktop app.

Before getting to the main page, Slack asks some pre-emptive questions to help set up the workspace. The setup process will also ask about a main project in the works, which will become the first channel. Lastly, users can add the email addresses to populate their Slack account with Direct Message channels.

Once this information has been provided, Slack opens to the main view. The left sidebar includes all the channels and direct messages. These menus can be minimized for a cleaner look by clicking on the arrow next to the header. This sidebar can also be customized with different navigation options. 

Some of these headers only appear once the action occurs for the first time. For example, the header “Threads” only appears after a user replies to a message. From that point on, “Threads” will appear in perpetuity. Select the options menu to access these hidden headers before they’re triggered (or to hide them after they appear). This menu can be found by clicking on the company name at the top of the sidebar. Then click “Preferences.”

This will open to a large menu. Select “Sidebar” to add or simply view more of the organizational options.

As shown above, Slack’s features are often tucked away behind buttons and dropdown menus. This makes learning the platform a bit more challenging. The company does offer a Slackbot inside the interface to help answer simple questions and a dedicated, searchable help page for more complex ones.

Another potential drawback for users with more than one employer or client is the need to switch workspaces to see updates in each one. The ability for one account to have multiple workplaces is a newer feature since Slack was built for team collaboration within one company. This makes Slack more tedious to use for those who need to work with multiple parties.

Features

Messaging

Slack was created as a communication-centered tool and offers a variety of options when it comes to conversations. Users can start direct messages, as well as public or private channels. Unread messages or updates are easy to see thanks to Slack’s labeling conventions: the names change from un-bolded grey to bolded white. A red notification symbol also appears with the number of changes to the right.

Conversations can be further separated into threads, which occurs when someone replies to a message within a channel. This action opens a sidebar within the channel that other members can participate in; this ensures the main conversation is not interrupted by tangents or side-conversations.

Customization

Keyboard shortcuts for various commands are built into Slack to enable certain actions (such as searching for and posting a gif). Slack also allows users to create a searchable library of unique emojis by uploading images into the interface. This is one aspect of otherwise limited customization offered by Slack to users. Additional customization includes switching between light and dark modes and changing the color of the top bar.

Voice and Video Calls

Slack has integrations for Zoom and other video conferencing tools. More recently though, the software has built its own video conferencing feature. However, the current limitations may prevent users from putting these calls into practice.

The free version enables 1:1 voice and video calls in DMs, as well as screen sharing. Only the paid versions of Slack currently enable voice calls, video calls, and screen sharing for channels (up to 14 people). Furthermore, Google Chrome is the only browser that supports Slack calls; users who prefer to work with a different browser are out of luck. For users joining a call using their mobile device, the call will be limited to audio. If a screen is being shared, they won’t see it.

File Storage and Sharing

When it comes to collaboration, it is easy to share files and images to a Slack channel. However, Slack was not built to serve as file storage, and users will find that storage capacity is limited unless they upgrade to a paid version. Slack’s free plan offers 5 GB of file storage per team.

There are also differences between the free and paid versions when it comes to searching within the app. The search function is powerful, but the free version limits that functionality to 10,000 messages. After a certain point (or with a particularly verbose team), the search function becomes obsolete.

Integrations

Users will have to rely on external software or integrations like Trello or Asana to track tasks and assignments. However, integrations are a major strength for Slack, with over 1,500 available through their app directory. The communication tool can easily be linked with other apps to cover the functions not offered, including cloud storage, task tracking, and scheduling.

Mobile Application

The mobile version of Slack is similarly easy to install, and in fact, both the browser and desktop versions of the app encourage the mobile download for new users. Notifications are streamlined, and conversations are updated automatically between the mobile and the desktop or web browser application. This enables the user the flexibility of staying up to date without having to be tied to the computer. Another feature that some users may appreciate – certain features can be toggled independently of each other on the mobile and desktop applications. This includes notifications and dark vs. light modes. These independent configurations ensure that users can set up their mobile and desktop versions to work best for them in varying situations.

Summary of Slack

As one of the foremost communication apps on the market, Slack has made a good show of creating an accessible interface that doesn’t overwhelm new users. It’s easy to implement, especially for small- to medium-sized teams and businesses. Some of the more compelling features are harder to find, but the Slackbot or a quick search on Slack’s help page provides quick answers. Shifting between the different mediums (web browser, mobile, and desktop application) is also simple and efficient.

Slack specializes in communication, so any functionalities beyond that are not included in the interface; however, Slack has recognized that limitation and developed integrations with thousands of other applications. Users can pair Slack with the productivity apps they already use.

Some drawbacks come into play though for users who need to use the platform to communicate with multiple employers or clients. Switching between workspaces breaks up the efficiency promised by the application.

Additionally, users may be hampered by the limitations of the free version of the software. Since this is not an all-in-one style platform, the cost of Slack, in tandem with subscription costs for other productivity apps, may quickly outstrip a business’s budget. Compared to other communication applications, Slack is one of the most expensive options on the market.

About AirSend

AirSend was launched in 2020 by CodeLathe as an all-in-one collaboration and communication software platform. It was a natural extension of the company’s work on FileCloud, one of the fastest-growing enterprise file sharing and management solutions.

FileCloud provides users with streamlined collaboration and sharing, file streaming and synchronization, Microsoft Office 365 integration, endpoint backup, data classification, and federated search, among many other sophisticated features.

CodeLathe also develops and distributes Tonido, a remote access and home server software for network-attached storage, which turns someone’s personal computer into their personal cloud.

Between AirSend, Tonido, and FileCloud, the company has a trifecta of software solutions that can support anyone, from corporate teams and organizations working in diverse industries to consumers like stay-at-home parents or university students trying to keep up with their schoolwork.

AirSend integrates the knowledge developed from CodeLathe’s preceding software solutions. With a unique focus on facilitating collaboration and productivity, AirSend was designed as “a people-centric digital collaborative workspace.” As a result, the software incorporates various features beyond the messaging platform that defines Slack. These features include file storage and management, task tracking, note-keeping through a Wiki tab, and integrations with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspaces.

Cost

AirSend has a major advantage over other communication and productivity apps: it’s currently entirely free. One tier of service includes lifetime access to all of AirSend’s features, including up to 100 GB of storage for every account, without a subscription or licensing fee. This includes upgrades and UI improvements.

The range of functionality makes AirSend hot competition for other productivity and communication platforms, including Slack; the fact that all these functions are available without going through a paywall is a significant pro. 

UX and Interface

With AirSend, the interface is easy to understand because of its simplicity. All the features are immediately visible and intuitively placed. The main page of the AirSend interface offers a clear view of all channels. Channel notifications appear at the top of each board and in the notification bell at the top of the screen.

As updates appear in channels, the boards shift to ensure the most active channel remains at the top of the page for ease of access. Users can also opt to change this automatic sorting to “Unread Count” or “New Channels” by clicking on the “Sort by” dropdown menu at the top of the page. The “Channels” dropdown menu changes which channels are displayed (options include “show all,” “show active,” and “show closed.”)

For users with a large array of active channels, the overview includes a search bar at the top of the page. This search bar scans channels and files stored on the platform, which makes life a lot easier if the user knows they uploaded a file but can’t recall the channel it’s hiding in.  

Starting a new channel is similarly efficient. Users can click “Create New Channel” to bring up the new channel dialog box in the channel overview.

If the user is already in a channel, they can create a new one by clicking on the blue plus icon found at the top of the left sidebar menu.

Channels are defined as public or private based on how new members are added. For a secure, private channel, users can create a new channel and invite members based on their username on the platform.

To create a public channel, users can choose to invite members using a link. People who click on the link will be redirected to create their own AirSend account. Once their account is set up, the channel will automatically populate with the channel.

Users can even copy pre-existing channels thanks to the template option. This can be found by clicking on the “Advanced” button within the “Create New Channel” dialog box. By enabling channels to serve as templates, users can easily set up channels for certain purposes (like employee- or client-onboarding). All the notes, links, and URLs stored within the channel are duplicated, sparing the user time and energy. None of the messages are copied over, though, so private conversations remain so. 

This aspect of the interface is an important distinction for AirSend when compared to other communication-only solutions. AirSend was designed to be lightweight, easy to implement, and flexible for various work conditions. Channels can just as easily serve an internal team working on a project as they can a manager or business owner working with external clients. That is because all the functionalities are built around the channels, which operate as independent, modular workspaces.

For guidance on leveraging the full, functional power of AirSend, AirSend provides information through their “Getting Started with AirSend” page. Users can also access tutorial videos through the dedicated YouTube channel. These support features ensure that users can utilize AirSend to its maximum capacity.

Features

Messaging

In AirSend, conversations happen in public or private channels, similar to Slack. These channels can be sorted into user-defined groups, which offers a level of flexibility and customization. Within the channels, users can post messages, emojis, and images and share files, URLs, pictures, and gifs. They can also reply to other messages, which will quote the message, so everyone can stay on the same page, even in a busy channel.

All uploaded files, links, and media can be viewed easily in the right-hand sidebar, under the Files and Links tab. Alternatively, users can expand this tab for a full-screen view. This view includes upload and add folder buttons, which ensures the user can organize everything they share through the channel.

Additionally, AirSend’s powerful search function is not limited to a certain number of messages, as in Slack’s free version. Any content within AirSend can be pulled through the search bar.

Customization

In the channel overview, users can switch between light and dark modes and adjust email notifications. More customizations become available within specific channels. Users can change each channel’s title, background, and logo to reflect a unique brand or personal aesthetic.

Voice and Video Calls

AirSend also enables 1:1 and group voice and video conferencing. Within each channel is a phone icon; by clicking on it, users can choose to start a call with the channel members. Alternatively, they can also choose to create a public call. Selecting this button creates a shareable link that people outside the channel can use to join the conference. This provides users with a high level of functionality and flexibility in setting up voice and video calls.

File Storage and Sharing

One of the places where AirSend goes above and beyond is the fully functional file storage and management system. AirSend currently offers up to 100 GB of free storage per user. Users who don’t need terabytes of storage capacity can use AirSend as an all-in-one tool that replaces other cloud storage services.

Wiki/Note-Keeping

In tandem with this powerful file storage and sharing and the search function, AirSend also offers a space within each channel to store notes (called a Wiki). The Wiki can be found on the right-hand sidebar, under the “Wiki” tab. This section can be organized by adding folders, and formatting shortcuts make text easy to read.

Task Management

As a multi-functional, efficient communication and collaboration tool, AirSend includes a task-management feature through the Actions tab. Users can create tasks or “actions,” set due dates, and add support details. Individuals can also assign actions to other members in the channel for clear delegation of duties. To change an action from “active” to “completed”, simply click on the box next to the action.

This action menu can be found in the right-hand sidebar, specifically under the “Actions” tab. Users can expand this sidebar into a full-screen Kanban view, with drag-and-drop boards for each action. Users can also move subactions between boards. Lastly, this full-screen view includes a search bar and the ability to filter based on completion status and channel.

These functions (Actions, Files and Links, and Wiki) can also be accessed through the channel overview screen without entering a specific channel. The three-bar icon at the top right of the screen (next to the AirSend logo) pulls up the navigation menu. This menu has dedicated links for “Channels,” “Files,” and “Actions.”

Integrations

One of AirSend’s possible drawbacks is its lack of integrations, especially compared to Slack. However, considering the comprehensive features built into the platform, many apps and integrations may become redundant.

AirSend does include integrations with Outlook and Microsoft 365. For example, clients and team members can send and receive messages to and from AirSend Channels using their Outlook email. Through the AirSend-Microsoft 365 integration, users can edit documents directly in AirSend Channels without downloading, editing, and re-uploading files to make changes. AirSend satisfies a wide swathe of communication and collaboration needs between these major services and the rich, all-in-one platform.

Mobile Application

AirSend carries its minimalistic and streamlined design into its mobile application. Available on iOS and Android, users can access all of AirSend’s functionalities, with no limitations on messaging, calling, file storage or sharing, or Wiki updates. 

Summary of AirSend

AirSend goes beyond a simple communication application thanks to its plethora of built-in functionalities arranged in an attractive, minimalistic design. The interface and features make AirSend a truly streamlined collaboration and productivity platform that answers many needs of small and large-scale businesses alike.

AirSend’s feature-rich platform is user-friendly, with many of the features in plain view. Advanced features are intuitively placed and easy to adjust, and users can easily discover them as they use the platform.  

One of AirSend’s major strengths is its flexibility for different situations, from internal teams within a large-scale organization to a small-business owner working directly with clients. All the features are streamlined, with logical overlaps (e.g., you can create an action directly from a message in the channel chat.)

AirSend is also currently free, which is a major pro for this solution, especially considering everything a user can accomplish within the app. 

Conclusion

Slack

ProsCons
Easy sign-up and set-up Search function limited to 10,000 messages
Slackbot for in-app support, Slack help page for more advanced supportOnly 5 GB of storage per team
Emoji customizationTedious to switch between different workspaces
Thousands of integrationsPaid versions are expensive
Streamlined mobile appFew meaningful customization options
2FA optionFeatures hidden in dropdown menus
Limited voice/video calling

AirSend

ProsCons
Easy sign-up and set-upLimited integrations
Simple, clean interfaceNo option to add custom emojis
Able to view notifications across workspaces all at onceDoes not currently support 2FA/MFA
Intuitive and accessible features
Robust support documentation
Unlimited voice/video calls
100 GB storage per user
Wiki-style note-keeping
Kanban-style task management
Unique customization options within channels
Streamlined mobile app
Currently free to use!

There are pros and cons to Slack and AirSend, which fluctuate depending on a user’s unique circumstances or workspace. If a company has already subscribed to other productivity applications and solutions, with a hefty budget to handle these costs, then adding Slack to the roster might make sense.

However, for companies hoping to make their budgets more efficient or users who want a more streamlined solution that goes beyond communication, AirSend is the obvious choice. It provides users with flexible, intuitive, and feature-rich collaboration solutions, including file storage, task management, and accessible workspaces.

Find out if AirSend is right for you by signing up here!

It’s time for an update announcement for the iOS AirSend app. There are some exciting new features in this update that make collaborating on the go even easier! We also included some general updates and improvements to the app’s User Interface.

  • Message Notifications
  • Meeting Call Notifications
  • Pin/Unpin Channels
  • UI Improvements

Using AirSend just got even better. Read on for more details on these simple yet powerful updates.

Message Notifications

AirSend will now make use of your phone’s push notifications to let you know when a message is sent to a channel you’re in. A bonus feature – simply swipe down on the notification to type and send a reply. You don’t even need to open the app.

Video demonstrating AirSend’s push notification feature.

Meeting Call Notifications

If a meeting starts in one of your channels, you can participate directly through your device’s call function. This feature means you can field meetings directly through your device, without having to open the app. You can also decline the call if you’re not available. You can also view a record of your AirSend meetings through your phone call log/history.

Image of AirSend’s call notification feature. A bar appears at the top of the screen with the option to accept or decline the meeting audio.

Pin and Unpin Channels

AirSend users can now pin or unpin channels in the channel list. By pinning a channel, you can ensure the channels you want to see are always at the top. If the channel is no longer a priority, simply click to unpin, and let the natural sort take care of the rest.

Video demonstrating AirSend’s pin/unpin channel feature.

General Updates and Improvements

In our effort to constantly refine and optimize AirSend, we’ve made a few small changes that can make a big difference. To name just a few, the format for reactions has been adjusted. We’ve also updated the color scheme for messages. Between these two changes, the overall display is more visible and appealing. The reply swipe action has also been updated, so one fluid motion opens the reply bar.

How to Leave us Feedback

We are always seeking to improve our product, so all feedback is appreciated. To find out where to leave comments and/or suggestions, you can visit our public channel or visit us at our support page.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace that allows users to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Due to the Coronavirus, there is an increased dependency on communication tools for remote teams. Imagine a company that has multiple teams across the globe. For global teams to work, there needs to be a working communication tool that allows productive conversations. Skype used to be the solution for remote teams.

However, there are rumors that Microsoft will be shutting down Skype as of July 31, 2021. Microsoft’s goal is to encourage people to start using Teams. But, not everyone likes using Teams due to its complexities. To see alternatives to Microsoft Teams, click here.

If you are a person using Skype, there are more holistic alternatives that can deliver more than what you have. To figure out which communication tool is best for your remote teams, we compare AirSend and Skype.   

Skype

Skype is a communication platform that specializes in VoIP between computers, tablets, and mobile devices. What this means is that users can call via audio or video with clients. Skype also provides instant messaging services. 

The neat thing about Skype is that it is excellent for one-on-one and group conversations and works wherever you are. Skype’s UI is simple, which makes the usability of the product easy to use. With Skype, you can also record meetings. Users can also share files up to 300 MB.

Skype is also great for sending meeting links. However, calling via video or audio and having conversations is the only thing you can do with Skype. Skype lacks the proper essentials needed in business communication tools. A few essentials Skype lacks are task management and note-taking.

While it is important to have a reliable communication tool, especially for remote teams, it is also important to have tools that help get the job done. Preferably tools that are found within a communication tool, such as AirSend.

AirSend

AirSend is a simple communication tool designed for remote teams. Our platform provides built-in:

  • Conversation spaces
  • Video and audio calling
  • Sharing files/notes
  • Task and Business management

AirSend’s capabilities will allow remote teams to work better and faster. No more distractions, everything is found in one space. Even more notable is that users can also plan and communicate on upcoming projects from multiple devices. Working from any device allows users to constantly stay in the loop without missing a beat.

Furthermore, our user interface carries a sleek and simplistic design. A clean design allows users to view all features needed for a channel, such as writing/tracking notes.

Finally, AirSend can do large file transfers, downloads, and uploads. 

Summation

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 communication tool for remote teams. 

We want to deliver a communication tool that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one space.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Did you know, digital transformation helps businesses be more nimble and productive? What is digital transformation? Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of business, such as Human Resources, Accounting, Engineering, and Marketing.

Digital transformation is also taking manual processes, like collecting/filing new hire applications and converting it into a digital process. AirSend can help take manual tasks, such as filing and communication, and automate them.

AirSend’s channels allow H.R. departments to hire, interview, and onboard new employees seamlessly. Let’s discuss how this is all possible. 

How to Make a Channel

For those who are not familiar with how to make a channel with AirSend, we left a short video to help get you started. Now, let’s talk about the possibilities of hiring, interviewing, and onboarding new employees with AirSend. 

In each channel, users have access to a built-in conversation space, task management, file storage, and a notebook. These tools allow H.R. departments to seamlessly: 

  • Carry discussions
  • Host meetings
  • Plan for the week with a to-do list and a notebook 
  • Find all their essential files in one space.
AirSend channel view. Image of AirSend channel

Another cool and useful feature is that departments can have as many notes as they desire within their notebook! Crazy, right?

AirSend wiki view. Image of wiki in AirSend. AirSend notebook

What this means is that your note section isn’t limited to one space. Users can make as many files and folders within their digital notebook. 

Having these capabilities makes it easy for H.R. departments to get their work done better and faster. The next question we must ask is how to conveniently onboard new employees. Channel Templates!

How to Make a Channel Template

Image of create a new channel with AirSend

Having a channel template is a fast and easy way to onboard new hires. Essentially, you create an onboarding channel that has everything new hires’ need to get started. When it comes to making a channel with the applicant, you can copy from the original onboarding channel, and the applicant will conveniently have everything they need from the onboarding channel.

Image of AirSend channel view

Now, let’s discuss public channels. AirSend’s public channels are a great way to have outside applicants ask questions about job postings, future opportunities, and job descriptions. 

How to Make a Public Channel

For those who are not familiar with how to make a public channel with AirSend, we left a short video and a link to a previous blog post to help get you started. In a few steps, this is how you create a public channel: 

  • Make a channel
  • Check off “Make Channel Public”
  • Customize your channel
  • Share your public link address, so applicants can easily ask questions

By allowing applicants access to your public channel, departments can easily and quickly answer questions. If you prefer not to answer questions through a public channel or prefer not to ask a question in a public channel, there is an alternative. By hovering on the user’s/employer’s profile picture, you can now send a direct message.

Having a public channel is an excellent way for employers to connect with applicants and vice versa. Updates from employers can also be posted on a public channel, allowing everyone to stay in the loop. If you are afraid of spammers spamming your channel, no problem. AirSend now has moderator functionality, so you can control who has access. 

Summation

The way we work is changing. We are progressing and innovating with technology. Traditional methods and the way we currently do things will now become more accessible. We will connect with others faster, work better, and grow our businesses into empires. But to do that, we need a tool that processes the manual work and turns it into digital work. A tool like AirSend.  

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Alright, folks. It’s time for another update to our Android app, AirSend. Our mission is to deliver an app that allows productivity to happen from one space. To do that, we made some slight improvements to our app. Here is what they are:

  • Dark Mode
  • Direct Message
  • UX Improvements: quoting messages

Without further ado, let’s dive into the latest AirSend Android updates!

Dark Mode

AirSend Android main channel view in dark mode

Android app users can now experience a new feel to AirSend with full dark mode support. With less strain on the eyes, users can now work seamlessly into the night. 

Direct Message

Android app users can now seamlessly DM other team members or groups from within a channel. Click on the user’s picture and a drop-down option for direct messaging will be available. Direct messaging offers minimum clicking, so users can seamlessly chat one-on-one with other team members, and not lose a beat from the main discussion.

UI Improvements

Users can now view clear date separators, read receipts, and a slide-right option in which you can quickly quote and reply to the specific message. By sliding right on a specific message, users can send messages faster, thus getting work done faster. See the video above!

How to leave us Feedback

We are always seeking to improve our product, so all feedback is appreciated. To find out where to leave comments and/or suggestions, you can visit our public channel or visit us at our support page.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace that allows users to share files, send messages and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Image of AirSend discover page.

We are back with another blog post on Discord vs. AirSend Design Edition. We recently wrote about Discord vs. AirSend Community Edition, which you can read about by clicking here. In this blog post, we are going to get a little bit technical on UI and UX capability on both community platforms. After all, when choosing the ideal chat/group software, two of the most important decision factors are UI and UX. 

Without further ado, let’s talk Discord vs. AirSend: Design Edition.

UI Design

UI is the design and visual appeal of a product, basically the user interface. Additionally, UI is used for branding, planning/creating product layouts (wireframes), typography, and visual design. You know when people say, “appearance is everything,” or “first impressions are the most important”? Well, it’s true. When deciding on a product to use, the first thing we notice is visual design. What and where are the layouts, the color chosen, the font, size, and color of texts, and even graphics.

More often than not, when a product does not catch our eye, we are less inclined to use it. Now that we have given an idea of what UI design is like, let’s take a look at Discord and AirSend.

Discord

Discord main channel view

Based on the first appearance, we can see that Discord’s UI is incredibly busy looking. On the right-hand panel, you can see a list of the members, moderators, patrons, and creators of the server, all in different colors.

Alternatively, on the far left side of the panel, there is a list of servers. Next to the panel of servers is another panel; which are the customized channels created for the specified server. There are also voice channels. In the middle is the conversation space. 

The great thing about Discord’s UI is that it is organized. However, having the layout super organized, leaves the product to feel and look a bit overwhelming to some users.

Additionally, servers that have a lot of channels with an amazing amount of notifications to them can appear exhausting to look at or even exhausting to check.

Finally, with servers that have over 200+ members, the conversation medium can appear daunting. This is especially true when you have multiple people chatting simultaneously on several channels. 

AirSend

AirSend public channel At Home Cooking

With AirSend’s UI design, users can immediately see that it is a cleaner look. There is not so much clutter compared to Discord. Instead of showing members on the right-side panel like Discord, AirSend has built-in functions. These functions are Actions, Files, and Wiki. We will explain those features in the UX section of this blog. On the left side panel, are channels. In the center is the conversation space.

Remember that the basic layout of Discord is the server, channels, and conversation space. AirSend eliminates the complexity that Discord presents by creating a simplistic layout. Instead of having three steps to getting to the conversation space, AirSend has two. Channel to conversation space. Having a simplistic UI allows for increased focus. 

Think about it. With AirSend, users can easily shift their focus from one context to another. The context representing the channels. With Discord, most users have a harder time focusing because for one the UI is busy, and secondly, it takes quite a few clicks to get to the designated conversation space. 

While both platforms are arguably designed for productivity, it all really comes down to what design you look for that can guarantee maximized productivity. Let’s get into usability.

UX Capabilities

UX short for user experience is a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product or service. A person’s emotions and attitudes are influenced by the functionalities and capabilities of a product or service. Hence a cycle of user experience. It is also important to note that there are some attributes that make UX a success. Those are:

  • Valuable
  • Usable
  • Useful
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible 

Usually having a product that carries these attributes are what defines a product successful. Let’s get into the comparison

Discord

Discord Warframe channel

Let’s get to the bottom line of Discord’s UX.  With Discord, you can, 

  • Pin messages
  • Hide members list
  • Tagging 
  • Mute notifications
  • Create invites if the creator of the server gave permission
  • Assign roles to everyone in the channel 
  • Create bots

In summation, Discord has a lot of capabilities and functions. Discord is ideally targeted to the gaming community, so having a complex design with access to code, create bots, assign roles, etc, is really helpful. But sometimes not all features are findable. I use Discord quite often, and until recently, I had no idea you could organize your servers with other servers.

As far as the desirable aspect, there are some things I personally still desire. Like, read receipts. Discord has no read receipts, so you don’t know when a community member, or a coworker, reads your message. Discord is definitely useful to a certain extent. The gaming extent. As far as usability, Discord can appear overwhelming at times, and still finding out new features after three years of using the software can be surprising. 

AirSend

Clean and Simple UI Design AirSend

So the golden egg with AirSend is that everything is located in one space. AirSend lets you seamlessly switch between channels, with a ready mind to focus. You can assign tasks to anyone who is in the channel, easily switch to organizing files, and working with others to creating a collaborative shared workspace.

There is also a public link feature for creating intimate groups of shared interests. Finally, there are customizable features to AirSend, such as uploading a channel background (great for branding) and uploading a channel logo. 

Results

AirSend and Discord are both wonderful products. AirSend exceeds Discord in terms of productivity. Discord exceeds AirSend in terms of community.

But, the bottom line is that UI and UX go hand-in-hand. Yes, there are specific attributes that make UI and UX  succeed in their own way, but without having the other element, it will become difficult for the product to succeed. 

  • Private collaboration channels combine the best of chat, email, to-do lists, and file sharing
  • Allows remote collaboration for all types of professionals to work with their clients
  • Insight into remote work and file-sharing behavior led to a new product with a seamless workflow across internal and external teams

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– CodeLathe, the company behind a widely used enterprise file services platform used by millions of customers around the world, today announced AirSend, a new product that allows people-centric collaboration with customers, clients, and teams.

AirSend is free for one year to all SMBs and professional service firms to help with their remote collaboration and communication needs. AirSend’s solution puts all the information for a client or project—messaging, files, tasks—on a single screen, reducing the need to switch from one app to another.

“When we started building AirSend five months ago, we never thought remote work would become a global phenomenon,” said Venkataragavan Ramasamy, COO of CodeLathe. “We just wanted to make a good collaboration product that would work for remote teams like us.”

As a geographically distributed, remote-first company, CodeLathe has team members in 14 countries and five continents in addition to its Austin headquarters. AirSend incorporates the ideas and concepts learned from leading an international remote-working team.

Other collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams require users to integrate the software with other products like Google Drive for file management or Trello for task management. AirSend is contextual: each channel provides a dashboard view of all the necessary information within the context of a single client or project.

Today’s work environment is crippled by context switching as people move between separate apps for email, IM, documents and to-do lists. Studies by the American Psychological Association have found that the brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time. The problem of context switching increases with a remote workforce that is subjected to even more distractions.

“We see the negative impact of context switching from our FileCloud customers because we have an inside view on how people work and share files,” said Madhan Kanagavel, CEO of CodeLathe. “Imagine if AirSend helped reclaim just 15 minutes of productivity per day for 10 million people. That would be 625 million productive hours per year or $10.6 billion of additional productivity.”

At the heart of AirSend are its individual channels, which integrate chat conversations, track the next steps and organize large files with up to 100 GB free storage. Combining those actions into a single channel eliminates the need for managing individual email folders, separate client Slack channels and separate cloud storage apps. Each channel has all of the tools needed to get work done. Customers can:

  • Send messages: Have seamless conversations with clients in private channels. Messages also work with email, so clients don’t need to have an AirSend account.
  • Organize files: Securely share and organize files using AirSend’s powerful file management system.
  • Track open items: Assign actions to channel members to track and complete a to-do list quickly in one place.
  • Find everything fast: Find channels, messages, members, files and open items in seconds.
  • Create a guidebook: Share key information with clients like notes and links with a built-in wiki for easy reference.
  • Collaborate with anyone from anywhere: AirSend is built for teams that work across organizational boundaries and offers the possibility of unlimited shared channels for both internal team members and outside clients to collaborate.

Along with the free one-year term, CodeLathe is also providing free 30-minute consultations to SMB teams on remote work.

Sign up for AirSend now at airsend.io or in the Apple or Google app store.

About AirSend

AirSend is a communication platform that brings all your conversations, files, tasks and notes into one contextual workspace to get work done faster and better. AirSend is developed by CodeLathe Inc., a remote-first company. AirSend is targeted at professional firms, teams, and SMBs to offer powerful collaboration, communication, and work-sharing between team members and clients. The company offers two products, FileCloud—an award-winning enterprise file services platform and AirSend—the world’s first-ever contextual workspace built for remote work, used by millions of customers around the world. For more information, visit http://www.airsend.io/.

Do you ever wish to communicate with like-minded people who have synonymous interests, hobbies, theories, or ideas?? Do you also wish to have conversations in which you can opt-in a private only intimate setting? We have your solution. AirSend. In today’s blog post, we will give you the step-by-step process of how to create a secure channel to have the best conversations of your life.

How to Create a Community

We believe communication should be the focal point between every relationship built. To do so we needed to create a platform that allows for an intimate setting. One, where unlike others, you can solely chat with others on the specified interest. In the video below we present a how-to scenario on how to create a Community.

With so many people in a group, the noise-to-signal ratio is high. Put another way, the hundreds of notifications (noise) you receive from Facebook Groups are usually irrelevant messages that do not pertain to you.

With AirSend it is the opposite. Anything you send in the channel is relevant to what you want it to be. AirSend is perfect for creating deep and meaningful conversations in a close-knit community. A community that is involved in their interest/hobbies, and who wish to spread their passion to other like-minded individuals.

Through tight security measures, you have the pleasure of sending invites to those you want in your community. Additionally, you can customize your built-in wiki, assign actions, and assign files. In other words, AirSend is a platform that builds communities through invite-only. Whereas with Facebook Groups or Discord, for example, there are thousands of people who join groups.

Image of AirSend Channel

Our Purpose

We want our communities to feel inspired when they use AirSend. Compared to Discord and Facebook Groups, where they too have invite-only, they also have hundreds of members in their specified community. How is one supposed to feel a part of their community when there are endless threads of conversations happening, and you aren’t sure where to jump in??

AirSend relieves this pressure, by allowing you to control the channel the way you want to, and to have the perfect conversation with a few other people. We want you to have innovation. We wish for you to feel the excitement of having an amazing conversation through a technological medium.

Much like Discord and Facebook Groups, AirSend strives to build communities. BUT the difference that sets us apart is innovation. AirSend strives to create close-knit communities. This allows for ease of communication and 24-hour exchanges of ideas, theories, comments, interests, likes and dislikes, everything.

Image of AirSend channel

The Essence of AirSend

We believe that having a great conversation should include efficient and, if possible, limited context switching. In other words, creating a micro-networking environment.

What is micro-networking you might ask? Well, as the name implies, micro-networking involves networking in a small secure environment through one platform. I.e. Micro. We are the first-ever platform to deliver innovation through micro-networking.

With a clean UI design, micro-networking has never been clearer. Unlike Discord where the visuality is overwhelming, AirSend has a clear cut design, made for accessible and visually appealing clicking. With AirSend you can feel comfortable having the conversations you love.

AirSend allows you to customize your built-in community using our wiki. Further, we give you the efficiency of context switching and uploading and sharing files. Best of all there are several designated locations to see your files uploaded. In your specified channel, and in your profile center where you can see ALL the files from your various communities.

We strive for our clients to feel inspired to innovate when they converse with their community. Building your own micro-network is the new medium to innovate. AirSend is the new medium.

AirSend helps with community building by creating a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.