Currently we are using IRC for many functions (it's one of the backchannels for most major events, it's the one of the main places to get tech support, it's a somewhat active nontechnical support forum for various communities and the place to get urgent help from e.g. stewards, it's used for all kinds of real-time tech discussions like deploy coordination), but for all the well-known UX issues it makes it harder for new users to engage the community. We sometimes link to the Freenode web GUI as a way of making participation easier, but it's not great. Matrix.org is an upcoming alternative - it's really its own chat network, but it can be bridged to IRC and so a Matrix client can be used as an IRC client. Most notably, their standard web client, Riot, could be used. This task is about evaluating Riot as 1) an alternative web-linkable interface, 2) the "officially" suggested IRC client for people new to IRC.
See also: T186061: Evaluate Matrix / Riot.im (as a standalone communication network)