Welcome to Gizmo! Gizmo is an app for the Slack platform that enables you to easily create lightweight data-driven apps.
A gizmo is a structured document whose data lives in the cloud, and whose interface lives inside a Slack message. Using Slack as the interface allows a gizmo to be easily accessed or updated by anyone in your organization. Creating a gizmo gives you a custom Slack app without the rigamarole of rolling your own.
Every platform demo we’ve ever seen starts with building a to-do lis, and who are we to break form? In about 3 minutes we’ll use Gizmo to build the world’s worst todo list, and progressively refine the UI to make it better.
We start here and install Gizmo into our team’s slack:
You’ll skim by the permissions, so we’ll tell you here: Gizmo doesn’t read the data in your channel. We need to have access to user names in order to drive some functionality, and we need to be able to post to channels. That’s about it.
After install, we land on the Gizmo dashboard and click “Create new gizmo”. We’ll give the gizmo a name, and start laying out the data that will drive our to-do list:
A gizmo is a data-driven app; you start with the shape of your data, and then later make refinements to the UI. In this case we’re modeling a to-do list as a list of objects, also known as “custom types”: this gizmo contains a list of “tasks”, and a “task” is defined as a custom type that contains a title, an assignee, a flag that indicates if the task is complete, and a description.
And that’s it. We’ve created the world’s worst to-do list. Let’s see it in action on Slack:
We can add a task to the list by clicking the “+ task” button:
As we modify the list data, the message in Slack changes to reflect our updates:
Interested to know more? Best thing is to try it out for yourself:
And stay tuned for the next installment, “creating the world’s second-worst to-do list”