Product Suggestion: Please stop showing new View Sidebar

Starting yesterday, Airtable rolled out a new sidebar in the left margin to display the views in our base.

This is fine, but please stop auto-opening this sidebar by default.

Every time we refresh our web browser or enter a base, this view sidebar auto-opens.

It takes up a significant amount of screen real estate, and it is a real pain to continually be closing this new sidebar. Every time we enter a base, we have to close the view sidebar again.

The vast majority of people aren’t continually switching views constantly throughout the day. For this to be ever-present and taking up a significant amount of screen real estate is not helpful.

This should stay closed by default.

p.s. The old view switcher was not difficult to find or use.

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Not necessarily difficult, but people have been asking for a views sidebar like the Universe has since 2017. (i.e. here, here, here etc.)

The sidebar should, however, be hidden by default or it should remember when it has been toggled across sessions.

Also, someone may want to show the sidebar for one table which may have a great number of views, but hide it for the others in that base. Right now, the toggle is universal (hide the sidebar for one table and its hidden for all the other tables too). Something to consider.

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That’s a great idea — the sidebar should remember its setting for each table. That makes the most sense!

Yes, I’ve noticed that people have been asking for Sidebars for a long time, although my interpretation of this was that they wanted to see both their tables and their views in the left margin, which is how the Airtable Universe does it.

However, I think that Airtable’s current implementation of only showing views in the sidebar is much much better than the Universe, because if the tables were shown in the sidebar, then we would always be forced to keep that sidebar open.

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Agreed, I think it makes sense for the sidebar to only show views.

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+1 It should remember your setting

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+1 closed by default, memory etc. it is a little annoying to always be closing it.

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Where? I don’t see this new sidebar in mine, though from your description, I’m kinda glad that I don’t see it, but I’m also curious what it looks like. Could you post a screenshot?

@ScottWorld Never mind. I saw it in another thread. I’ve reloaded Airtable several times, and even restarted my browser, but still get the old version.

Yes, I’ve posted a screenshot below! :slight_smile:

I heard from Airtable Support that this is an experimental feature that they’ve only rolled out to certain users right now. Not sure how they chose the users.

I actually think it’s pretty cool, and I think it’s an improvement over the old “View” menu.

The only real problem with it is that it continuously opens up on the screen whenever you refresh your base, or whenever you re-open your base. That’s the only issue.

Support also told me that they might revert back to the old “View” menu, depending on user feedback.

I hope they keep it, because it seems like a better interface. (Although I suppose that some users might be annoyed that every time they open the sidebar, it shifts their entire base to the right to accommodate the sidebar. That might take some getting used to.)

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Actually, I’m changing my opinion by the minute here. Lol.

The more I play with the new sidebar, it does seem to be annoying because it seems to get in the way & slow me down.

Since I never want to keep the sidebar open at all times (because it takes up such a big chunk of my laptop’s small screen real estate), I have to continuously go through the hassle of opening & closing the sidebar just to switch to a different view.

And every time you do that, the entire base shifts to the right and then back to the left again. I don’t think it’s a great interface idea to have the entire database continuously shifting to the right and then shifting back to the left again. It’s very disconcerting.

But also, it just takes too many steps just to switch to a different view.

I’m starting to feel like the old view menu was easier, quicker, and less intrusive.

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Yeah, the feedback I saw in that other thread seemed to be mixed. People like the design, but not the shifting of the grid, and not the hassle of closing it. For me, I mostly open the view switcher with the Shift+Command+K hotkey, which also closes it (with the old one, anyway). Curious if that carries across to the new one.

Based on your comments, I might like it, but only if it did not auto-open when changing to a new base, not shift the grid but just slide over it, and auto-close once a new view is chosen.

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Ah, yes — now THAT is a brilliant design idea that would actually make sense!

If they decide on keeping the sidebar implementation (and now I really hope they don’t keep it), then the design decision that makes sense would be for the sidebar to SLIDE OVER the existing interface, and then immediately slide away when we switch views. That makes sense.

And yes, it looks like Shift-Command-K toggles the new sidebar open & closed.

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p.s. Where is the other thread?

Agree! It requires more clicks - which adds time and frustration. No only is it an annoying distraction from the view that you have to click to close when you open a base, every time you want to switch a view, you have to click twice - once to find it, and once to get rid of the view display. UGH. Not a friendly UI at all. PLEASE, Airtable, get rid of this - or at least provide an option to change settings to auto-off and auto-close. A scroll over to open and auto close would be much better. And one vote from me for the old dropdown - maybe I just got used to it, but I though it was cleaner and more intuitive.

+1! It’s annoying having to close it every time

Yep, I tried to use this new sidebar all night long, and it was just a really undesirable & unlikeable experience.

Here’s the Other Thread I started into VIEW-Topic where this sidebar’s reviews are mixed.

oLπ

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@Olpy_Acaflo Thank you! This is what I posted over there:

After trying to use the new view sidebar all night long, I now find it intrusive, unwieldy, disconcerting, and a terrible use of screen real estate. I discuss my thoughts in full detail in that other thread.

I believe that it is a highly unusable design decision that slows us down due to too many clicks, continuously gets in the way, and makes it way more difficult to use our systems because the entire base is constantly shifting left & right to accommodate the sidebar.

Not user-friendly nor enjoyable at all.

Yes! It should slide over it.

I like it (apart from it being always on, and not remembering closed states between sessions), but then again I have a wide screen. It isn’t ideal for smaller screens, and AT should be a pleasant experience on both.

Since this is an experimental addition, they should try the slide out from the left like an overlay without pushing the table’s position in view. That might make a good middle man between the test version we’re seeing and the original views switcher.