User Interface Suggestion Re: Comments (@mentions)


#21

Funny to see this thread going again. I find Elias’ comments little more than trolling. He asks for a use case, he’s given 5, then claims they are too broad. And then to top it all off with some first rate trolling, announces he’s “giving up on this”.

David, it’s not terribly difficult to understand your use cases. As you pointed out, such abilities are in many other solutions such as Google Sheets, and they work beautifully. I really like airtable, and find it strange that they are not matching these types of features, when they (airtable) are so much better in so many areas. Instead what could clearly be a far superior product is better in some areas, but much weaker in others that are super important to collaborative teams.

When I first used the product I figured it would only be a matter of time before they were purchased by Google or Microsoft or some other larger company. I think they have something very unique here, but development seems to have slowed to a snails pace.


#22

I’m not trolling, I just don’t get the need of cell-comments for that use cases, maybe I’m missing something and that’s why I was giving up (I didn’t want going on trying to understand).

Not themselves, but for the needing of the requested feature (at least for me). Then I’ll reply to them.

But those are a different products: you can’ link a column/row values to a different sheet/table in a structured way as you can in Airtable. Of course I have some spreadsheets with comments, and they always add data that could live in a field/record in Airtable.

I’m thinking on my Events Tracking base that used to be a sheet in Google Sheets, I had a Payment column where I used to sometimes leave comments to specify the method, maybe the date, and so on. But now, I have structured that into a Payments table, linked to the Event and with some fields: date, method, receipt, etc.

About what? Why not use the Record comments instead? Again, if it is about the value of the field, you maybe need that extra table (or another tool as I mention later).

I don’t understand this. You want to give something like a description to a Table, but in a comment inside a cell (a Field of a Record)?

This example seems appropriate to me, but I still think there is other better tools, specially to discuss with a team about that specific result.

I would just have a Images Notes field.

A disclaimer of a cell content? I can’t imagine the case.


#23

I’m not trolling, I just don’t get the need of cell-comments for that use cases, maybe I’m missing something and that’s why I was giving up (I didn’t want going on trying to understand).

The incredibly obvious use case is the ability to add comments to a single piece of data. I’m having a very difficult time understanding why this incredibly simple and common use case is difficult to understand. Almost every collaborative software offers this functionality in some form or another, and even Airtable does at the record-level. I could literally name a 100+ use cases if I had time to waste doing so. Your argument is akin to saying “I don’t understand the use of threads in a forum or chat software because I don’t use or like threads.” Just cause you don’t have a use for something, doesn’t mean LOTS of others don’t: you are not the user here, I am, and it would be very useful to me and users that I support. We don’t want to create cumbersome hacks to awkwardly simulate common functionality that exists in competing products, as this does not make things more efficient. The point of spreadsheets and databases is to organize information efficiently and we want to consider comments and conversations regarding data separate but linked directly to that data without creating entirely separate parallel constructs.

But those are a different products: you can’ link a column/row values to a different sheet/table in a structured way as you can in Airtable. Of course I have some spreadsheets with comments, and they always add data that could live in a field/record in Airtable.

In some situations, comments theoretically could live in other fields/records, but that adds a great deal of unnecessary complexity and clutter. This also assumes that cell-level comments are useful data that should be linkable to other tables and fields, but that’s an invalid assumption in almost all of my use cases; sometimes a comment is just a comment, usually even. Many times, comments are one-offs, much like you’d see an asterisk next to content in various media to indicate an interesting tidbit of info, another consideration, a technicality, etc…

I’m thinking on my Events Tracking base that used to be a sheet in Google Sheets, I had a Payment column where I used to sometimes leave comments to specify the method, maybe the date, and so on. But now, I have structured that into a Payments table, linked to the Event and with some fields: date, method, receipt, etc.

Even in your example, someone might want to add a simple note or note regarding a payment that doesn’t fit into another neat little box or doesn’t warrant adding more fields or tables. For example, this payment paid off a loan/mortgage, this payment is the first since I set up auto-payment, this deposit is the first since I changed my asset investment allocations, this payment was for lunch with Bill and Bill gave me $10 cash for his share, etc.

About what? Why not use the Record comments instead? Again, if it is about the value of the field, you maybe need that extra table (or another tool as I mention later).

Freaking anything that I and others would like to have a collaborative side conversation about! Once again, extra tables and fields that are rarely used are clutter.

A common example is a user research spreadsheet for collecting observations from usability test sessions or interviews. Let’s say a rating-scale question was presented to a user to rate a feature on a 1-7 scale. The user might hedge on their answer and say “5 or 6, maybe 5” and the observer might want to record their choice, but also make note of their indecision. Or if their body language disputes their selection – like if they sigh loudly or express visual frustrating during a task, but then rate such very easy-to-use afterwards – research observers may want to add simple notes or “asterisk” next to this data point. And others may want to add to those notes without cluttering the data themselves (e.g., observer 2 adds “I noticed that too, he also dropped 3 F-bombs under his breath while trying that task”).

I don’t understand this. You want to give something like a description to a Table, but in a comment inside a cell (a Field of a Record)?

For example, if an external link is provided in a cell, the table creator might want to add a disclaimer that this is a sponsored or paid affiliate. Or that they used a particular brand of soy sauce in their teppanyaki recipe, but that’s just a personal preference. Or in a software comparison table that Airtable is much superior to Excel and Google Sheets but that it doesn’t offer cell-level commenting! :stuck_out_tongue:

This example seems appropriate to me, but I still think there is other better tools, specially to discuss with a team about that specific result.

So, your recommendation is to have a direct conversation with the consumers of said data every time when a simple side-note could suffice? LOL Yeah, that’s a scalable and feasible approach, especially for table hosted on a public website! Context is king and once again the point would be to keep comments in context without adding clutter or distorting the data.

I would just have a Images Notes field.

This would add clutter and you would need to anticipate exactly what OTHER users may want to comment on. Spoiler Alert: They may want to comment on ANYTHING!

A disclaimer of a cell content? I can’t imagine the case.

An advertiser disclaimer, a disclosure, etc. For example, Full disclosure: I am an employee of Company A…I wrote this book…This is a client of ours…This client received compensation for this testimonial…Bias alert: I like dogs better than cats…I don’t recommend actually eating ham with green eggs, as they’re likely spoiled…Spoiler alert: Darth Vader becomes Luke’s father, etc.


#24