Table/Tab selection update needs work IMHO

Hello All, Hello Airtable.

You have changed my life! You have allowed a small team that handles $20-100m in grant funds each year composed of 80-120 major projects to come out of the dark ages (excel and MS Access) and increase efficiency, decrease errors, and significantly increase job satisfaction and sustainable work stress. Everyone who uses it is happy, as are our trustees and decision makers. A state agency making this kind of change/improvement in such a short time (since Dec 2020) is a minor miracle. Thank you.

But this morning I am dismayed to see a reversal of progress, in my opinion, in a very basic function: The table selector behavior. its now a search, instead of a select. Doh!

Capture

I spent A LOT of time color coding , arranging and training to be able to get the entire team working within our 49 tables (each member uses maybe 4-6, but they all need to be there, with the first 15 being the most used). I cant get the table list to pull back up so here is a screenshot with just searching for “A”. As the developer, I cannot always recall what every table is called. I really need to have a way to view all tables in order and select from there. This is super critical basic behavior that existed yesterday, but not today.

Search function? Awesome! But maybe have that as a top row ‘narrowing’ option (like the rest of Airtable does) instead of opening a blank box? Logic has it that most of us will have our main/most used tables in the first 3-6 tables, so why not show us those anyway? Instead of that fun/demoralizing sideways empty table. Poor thing… haha.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to have new stuff rolling out. Gantt charts in views and calendaring, for example, are recent updates that have made a huge difference to us. As were View bins and favoriting.

(related topic: Tabs now DO follow your click/selection, and the highlighted table appears at the top left when you are there. This was a previously submitted bug from me and appears to be fixed. YAY and thank you!! :clap: :clap:)

And lastly, a shot of our base schema which is either a humble brag or a very nervous laugh/realization of how this monster has grown:

Thanks!!

Damon

5 Likes

Thank you for sharing the latest UX/UI changes that Airtable is testing. I agree that this design is not working. In the past when enough of the community has chimed in on design changes as disruptive as this one, Airtable has made changes (sometimes very quickly, sometimes over the course of weeks or longer).

3 Likes

I totally agree that the dropping in random UX/UI changes disrupts teams working on a daily basis. Most software companies let you “opt in” to be the guinea pig, instead of just foisting it on you.

And PS, that schema is AWESOME. So glad to see you digging in @DamonH!

1 Like

I don’t normally complain about changes here, but in this case, I totally agree; our table list, while not quite as intricate as @DamonH’s, is still large enough not to be visible in its entirety on all but the largest screens. Until this change, a combination of naming scheme (main tables in CAPS, secondary ones not) and table comments made for a tidy, easily scrollable ToC; that search-only approach is a clear UX regression!

EDIT: filed a bug report with support about this. Fingers crossed.

3 Likes

UPDATE: Carly with Airtable Support responded that it looks like a bug, and they have engineers working on it. A bug would be a much better answer than a planned change… thanks all for your thoughts above. We shall see!

2 Likes

Support also have acknowledged the issue I filed and are “actively looking into it”.

Hah, crossing of the streams. Now we either get a resolution, or the Airtable universe will end.

Wow, so glad this is a bug and not an intented change :grimacing:

1 Like

Just a heads up: Airtable Support have confirmed Engineering are working on the issue and are expecting an update with a fix for the issue “soon”.

2 Likes

I think that the new feature being tested is the +Add table > at the bottom. I was so distraught at the disappearance of my list of tables, that I didn’t give much thought to these buttons. Are they new or are did I just never notice them before?

image

I followed up with Airtable Support. They just replied that it should be fixed within the next day…

2 Likes

Thanks for the update @DamonH!

“Uh, it’s been 24 hours. You got my money?”

– Stewie, Family Guy.

I got a reply from support (on Tuesday, August 31, 2021) stating that the fix should be done by “end of the day tomorrow”.

1 Like

Hi !
I suddenly got the same 5 hours ago !
Of course, I shared it with support too,
using my own thread’s URL to document my alert !
(So I will not kill my thread until would Support reply.)

Sorry for that doubleThread but I’m frenchtalking so IMHO didn’t tell me anything else than something like HIPAA so I didn’t see any relation with my UI downgrading.

BASE UI : Tables LIST in now EMPTY at any UI Comp render:

Just take a look at this:

It seems to be persistant although my BASE is far from empty:
All my Tables are present and OK !

Best regards,

olπ

Recorded on MACbook M1, OS Big Sur, CHROME ver.92 autoUpdated.

BREAKING (good) NEWS :

Airtable Support will take care of it within 24 hours ! :pray:

olπ

The table selection menu is back.

1 Like

confirmed !

Airtable Support did it ! and did it without delay !
They rock ! :partying_face: :cocktail: :champagne: :cocktail:

Huge Thanks,

olπ