Introducing Interface Designer 🎉

We are excited to announce that as of today, the Interface Designer beta is open to everyone, which means you will now be able to create interfaces right from your bases, no code required.

What is Interface Designer exactly? Interface Designer lets you build visual and interactive interfaces using your base’s underlying data. By creating custom interfaces for your stakeholders, you can isolate the information that’s critical to them and none of the other details. This makes it tremendously easy to understand the status of a project and what’s required from whom. Jump right in or keep reading for a comprehensive round-up of everything you’ll need to get started, plus information about a few other features you’ll start seeing after today :tada:

Before we go into more details, make sure to mark your calendars for the next Airtable Community AMA on December 1, with Product Manager JB Bakst, where we’ll dive into all things Interface Designer.

Common Questions

What are some of the common use cases for interfaces?

Interfaces can be used for just about anything, but some of the popular use cases we’ve seen so far include dashboards to view aggregated information & metrics, summaries to view key information about a project, record summaries for research insights, and record triage for things like customer feedback or campaign asset reviews - we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

What permissions are required to create an interface?

Creator and owner permissions on the base you’d like to build an interface for.

If I share an Interface with another individual or team, can they see the underlying data?

For now, interface access requires you to have base access. So yes, anyone you share an interface with will have access to the underlying data.

When should I use Interface Designer vs. Page Designer (or another feature?)

Some key distinctions that Interface Designer offers:

  • Dynamic & interactive
  • Can share data from multiple tables within a base side by side
  • Easy to onboard collaborators without needed to teach them how to use the Base or fear that they may edit the wrong thing
  • Filter records based on the collaborator viewing the interface

Page Designer is ideal for instances where you need to provide a non-editable view of static information during a specific moment in time. One example is if you need to deliver a presentation or want to create a PDF.

Resources to help you get the most out of Interface Designer:

Guides:

Support Articles:

Videos:

Want more great news? We didn’t stop there, take a look at all the other fun features you can expect to see starting today as well.

Enhanced features for admins:

You’ll notice a slick redesign of the Admin Panel, created to be more user-friendly. Next, we’ve added significant new security controls—like Audit Log APIs and workspace share restrictions. And finally, we’ve improved base performance across the board, making your largest bases more responsive than ever before.

Additional power for your workflows:

And finally, we’re proud to share new integrations to help you bring more data into Airtable, and improvements to automations.

We’ve updated our automations interface to make it even more intuitive, with easy-to-read modals. Now it’s easier to set up a new automation with a fancy full-screen mode, and a handy guide that will walk you through every step of the process. We’re also starting to beta test conditional logic, which allows users to trigger automations only when certain conditions are met.

And last but not least, we’re adding new integrations for external source syncs from our partners at Zendesk, Github issues, and Google Drive—available to all customers on Enterprise plans.

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Woo hoo!! Gigantic day for Airtable!! These new features are game changing!! :partying_face: :star2: :balloon:

Possibly life changing, but definitely game changing. :wink:

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:clap: Looks very promising!

One wish🙏 The Interface Designer would be perfect for creating easy-to-use apps for clients that do not have access to a base or workspace. Eg. when a client needs to be able to see statuses on video productions and be able to approve them.

So the ability to share an “access without an account” interface with a client would be amazing. Any plans on this?

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The “for now” qualifier in this line from the announcement above gives me hope that non-user access may be in the works:

Brilliant! Been playing with this all afternoon already. By any chance are you going to adding password protection to shared interfaces? That would be an absolute game changer for me!

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WHOA, what just dropped?

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Thank you so much for this!

I couldn’t wait to start playing with it. Here is an initial attempt at building an interface for creating a new record with data validation.

It runs off of formula fields and a single automation script.

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@Jordan_Scott1:

@Justin_Barrett noticed that certain components are only available with the built-in templates. For example, the “Record List” component is only available in the pre-made “Record review” layout, but if we make a new interface from scratch, we don’t have access to the “Record List” component.

It would be nice if we had access to all components from all interfaces, regardless of whether we start from a template or build our own interface from scratch.

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SOOO Cool Kuovonne! Thanks again for pushing me to learn java script, it’s been a huge game changer and now even more so with this new release. My homework for tonight is replicating your demo!

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Is this going to become a paid feature once it gets out of beta? I just don’t want to spend time playing around and learning about it if I won’t be able to use it once it moves out of beta.

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Great to see that the team has a long horizon concerning accessibility to custom interfaces and a big THANK YOU to the team!

Another aspect of agility is the reusability of interfaces that users create. I assume an interface is bound to a specific base - i.e., the base it was created it. Are such interfaces portable to other bases? Or, are they bound to the data? Slightly relevant…

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That’s a really good question and probably good enough for a sandwich bet. I’ll bet a fine turkey sandwich this will be free forever.

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If interfaces transitions to a paid feature, you will continue to be able to use any interfaces you have already made, per this support page.

While Interface Designer is available for all customers to use for free during beta, it will be subject to pricing and packaging restrictions down the road. After the beta ends, your workspace will retain access to any interfaces you build during the beta regardless of your Airtable plan.

Yes, so far, in my personal experience, code reusability is a power as long as it is taken into account from the beginning of any code development.
Thanks to those who made me aware of this very early.

In the NOcode scenario I quoted, I experienced bad trip while had to recreate the new interface from scratch, whats caused me to run back to reUsable js Components !
(and a huge lot of js coding time too, but once per UI Component(s), not many !)

In the case of Airtable Interface Design, I join questions I quoted!

oLπ

@Jordan_Scott1 and the Airtable marketing team,

Genius marketing video. I loved it - basically as much as I love the feature. Videos like that deserve to be made (and money spent on them) simply for their own sake as works of art. Great work!

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I think this is pretty smart - it incentivizes everyone to jump on this train early and with exuberance.

Also a really good sign. While I’m betting that this feature will be inclusive for even the free accounts, I give my wager a 1-in-4 chance of paying off given today’s data and my inexperience using it. I believe (if fee-bound) it falls into the class of taxing customers for doing the heavy lifting of enhancing their apps, a really bad path for Airtable to be on. The most ideal way to gate payment levels is performance-based (record collections, etc), not feature based.

I think @ScottWorld intimated this is [possibly] a game-changer; I think he’s right. That’s twice in the past two weeks I have agreed with him. :thinking: Given this is an early beta, we can probably expect to see some startling enhancements on the horizon.

@kuovonne - you’re pretty experienced with Interfaces already and I’m curious about this scenario -

  • User in a company (or consultant) spends 20 hours setting up the most perfect interface for base (a).
  • Another group (or client) needs the same interface, but in base (b).

Does the user (or consultant) have to recreate the new interface from scratch?

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If you duplicate an existing base, the interfaces are in the duplicate base.

If you want to reuse an interface in an already existing base, you need to recreate them manually. This is the same restriction with apps and automations–they are tied to the base and to get them in an existing base, they must be recreated manually.

On the other hand, much of the time spent setting up an interface is the design process. Even if it takes 20 hours setting up an interface, it should take much less time to re-create it (assuming that it is a straight recreation with no design changes).

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Can you please clarify? We can already use conditional logic to when deciding when to trigger automations. Do you mean that you are adding conditional logic for determining what automation actions will run after the automation is triggered? If so, adding branching logic to an automation’s actions is a most welcome feature.

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correct, we’re entering beta for adding branching logic to an automation’s actions :heart_eyes:

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Awesome! Can’t wait to see what you create, @JonathanB . We haven’t explored password protection for interfaces, but we do have improvements to our permissions capabilities as a top priority, which should help you control who has access to Interfaces, and everything else, in Airtable. Stay tuned for updates! I’ll pass this specific feedback about password protection along to the team!

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