"You can't enter data here" hints


The problem: the people on my team who do data entry are confused about which fields they should enter data on.

For example I made one column for the sole purpose of counting the entries on a separate table. The column uses an IF formula to find if another column has “Paid in Full” selected.

While training a coworker she pointed to the column and was confused - why did she have to add duplicate data?

It would be awesome if the column hinted that it was “computer generated” at just a glance.

Here’s my suggestion:

  1. Airtable should use a different font for data that’s produced by a formula or otherwise can’t be changed directly. I suggest a monospaced font that looks “computery”.

  2. When something changes that makes a formula-powered filed change don’t just update it instantly. Use the yellow fade technique to clue the user that something has changed https://signalvnoise.com/archives/000558.php

  3. If there’s no data in the field already, use a slightly greyed out background so it looks like “nothing can be entered here”