Product Suggestion: Please stop showing new View Sidebar

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?

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

i guess keeping it open makes us get used to new option. but this is really really annoying

Please make it closed by default!!!

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I think the new sidebar is awesome! I do switch between views constantly when troubleshooting and this is a big help. I agree it should remember you’ve closed it if you choose to, but I can imagine leaving it open for an hour or more at a time while hoping through views.

I admit, I have multiple screens. They aren’t huge, but definitely larger than a typical laptop.

+1 Came here for this. Let me toggle this on/off so that I can toggle it OFF.

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In a productivity app it’s so annoying for it to constantly shift back and forth, and have to close it every time. It feels so much slower.

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This is truly awful, please revert this change… Or, better yet, maintain two versions: A stable branch that companies who depend on Airtable can use every day and some kind of experimental version people can opt into to noodle around with whatever features you’re developing.

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I hate this new thing. I have a list of items with about 100 blank lines at the bottom so I don’t have to keep adding a line whenever I need it and having blank lines at the bottom allows me to scroll the last entry higher up the screen (if that makes sense?).

Anyway, now every time I open Airtable, I get that ‘grid view’ thingy and all my blank lines move to the top of my sheet. I have to ‘sort by date’ then cancel out of ‘sort by date’ to get the spreadsheet looking like I left it last time, with all the blank lines back at the bottom again. It’s the only way to shake it out of it’s new default setting, I have to ‘sort’ then cancel the ‘sort’ to move my blank lines back to the bottom.

Every.

Time.

Talk about extra clicks!! I’m not doing this every time, they can stick it, I’ll go back to using excel or google sheets if this isn’t fixed in a hurry. If this is beta, then I want out of the beta, I’m paying too much money for this.

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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.

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I’m glad I found this thread! I was pretty upset to have the Views UI change on me without warning last week and not have any way to change back to the old way. It doesn’t feel or behave in the way that the rest of Airtable feels for me. (It’s clunkier and requires more effort.)

I looked up the other threads that were linked to requesting sidebars, and it doesn’t seem to me that this new Views “sidebar” provides any kind of experience like what was being asked. I’ve sent a message to Airtable support and also posted here in the hopes it will help get this feature rolled back.

Over 2 years of using Airtable, this is the first time I’ve felt so frustrated by the UI, so it seemed worthwhile to post.

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Wow, I think this is pretty much the #1 reason to get rid of this new sidebar. I totally get what you’re saying here, and it makes 100% perfect sense. Now you’re accidentally overwriting data in your Airtable database because of this new UI decision.

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Yes, the new view-bar is really annoying.
What I think would be nice is:

  • The old view bar by default
  • Then there should be a pin option per table to keep it open if needed.

This way we can have the new bar if the table have a lots of view.

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Airtable product team… hello? Your silence feels like a deer in headlights. When is this going to be reversed? Every single day I’m reminded of how horrible bad product management can be. It’s almost inspiring me to work harder using something besides Airtable to build great products. Thanks!!

I think it is a great idea - to be able to see all view options at once in a sidebar…WHEN we WANT to. We should be able to set our preferences to leave it toggled off or on. I would go for off. Then occasionally open it when working on multiple view for a team or something.
So, keep the new option, just give us some control over it please.

Just adding my voice to those feeling frustrated by this change. Please please please make it possible to turn it off completely. While I realize it’s just a keystroke to get it to hide, I switch between bases a ton during the day and to have them all revert to the sidebar that I was not using is very distracting. Please give us the option to turn this off. Pretty please. With your choice of fruit on top. Thank you for your consideration.

+1 for NOT forcing the views pane to appear by default. I could go with several of the proposed solutions - eg, sliding, remembering past setting, or being able to set as off by default