Product Suggestion: Please stop showing new View Sidebar

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.

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+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.

From Airtable support:

Thank you for your feedback. As a company, we’re always seeking to improve the product experience; the new view sidebar is an experimental product change that some (but not all) of our users have access to right now. Depending on the results of the experiment and customer feedback, we may either roll out this new view sidebar to all customers or revert back to the old view switcher.

If you have any more thoughts about this change, please let us know!

Take me out of this ridiculous experiment.

Their AB testing metrics will show my engagement is the same, but cannot show how every time I type command-shift-K, I now think about how much I dislike Airtable.

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Be sure to email that to them, so they know how you’re feeling. (Personally, I agree with your sentiments.)

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Yes I did… just repeating it here as I can’t presume one hand talks to the other (in regards to the sentiment)

Another bad aspect of this from a UX perspective is the inconsistency of the presence of the views panel. Previously it only appeared when it was called on, so it was there for a specific action, then closed.

Now, it’s maybe there, maybe not there.

As I’m working, if it’s there, I stop paying attention to it. It’s eating up my screen real estate and I don’t really need it, and that sucks, but I gotta get work done. But when I do need it, I enter the keyboard shortcut to quickly search and find a view, without using the mouse. But I’ve forgotten the view panel is fixed there, so command-shift-K now closes the view list. I then continue instinctively typing the next view I want to see following the key command, but now I’m typing into a cell and overwriting my data instead of typing into the search bar. There is now no way to quickly search for a view without having to take a second to see if the view panel is there. If the view panel is there, I have to type command-shift-K twice to enter the view search (crazy). If the view panel is not there, I have to type command-shift-K once. It is a major disruption to the workflow, and frankly really terrible design principles.

It’s amazing how a year of using Airtable every day, and all of my positive feelings about the service and the brand, can be so completely undone by this boneheaded move. Even as an AB test, it’s just a terrible solution to whatever problem they are trying to solve - whether it shows better metrics for them or not. It’s bad product management run amok.

I can’t live without this new bar.

Talk about extra clicks, using it the old way was a nightmare.

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I’ll quote myself here to save you from having to click and crop the result in your viewport if it wasn’t precise enough because it’s short and doesn’t contain any widget:

The best FIX for everyone who spoke out against this UI seems to me:

I like the new bar and think that layout is great because I have a TON of views BUT, having it open by default makes the new layout not worth it. In my case I would much rather not have the new layout then have to constantly be closing it.

Any word on when this will be updated to be closed by default (or a setting) or where we can opt out of beta?