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New button types in Interface Designer

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Emily_Sermons
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi Airtable Community! :wave: I’m Emily, a product manager for Airtable’s Interfaces team — and I’m back again to share some new updates to Interfaces, available as of today!

Today we’re excited to announce four new button types enabled in Interfaces:

1. Run an automation
image
Trigger your automations from buttons in Interfaces! With this button type, you can create a net-new automation or trigger a preexisting automation from within Interface designer; you’ll be redirected to the Automations experience to further refine & test the automation before deploying. This button type is great for kicking off repetitive tasks in your team’s workflow, such as:

  • Kicking off a slack message
  • Automatically creating a new record
  • Running an automation script

2. Navigation buttons
Updated

Use these Interface buttons to navigate internally and externally, including:

  • Navigate between records: Configure this button to move to the previous and next record of a particular source.
  • Navigate to URL: Configure this button to open an external URL. Choose from a specific URL field, or a static URL.
  • Navigate to Page: Navigate to a given page in an interface.
    • Design tip: We recommend using “Navigate to page” buttons in scenarios when you want to quickly direct your end-users to a single action-oriented page in your Interface (ex: Create a “Report a bug” button that navigates to a bug submission form page). Rather than overloading your Interface pages with navigation buttons for each page, you can use the new Navigation Bar component that showcases all of your pages, launching in October!

3. Copy Record URL: Use this button to quickly copy the Interface link for a given record.

4. Delete Record: Use this button to delete a given record from your base.

In addition to these new button types, we are also launching an exciting enhancement to Update Buttons! Starting today, you can designate an “updated” visual state after the button has been clicked. This makes it easy to see whether a given update has already been performed.

2022-08-17 18.31.03

This is just one of many updates we’re making to Interface Designer over the next few months, including: Kanban element, introducing Nav Bars, a redesigned editor, full-page expanded records, form improvements, and Interface Permissions. We can’t wait to see what you build!

This update is available now. If you aren’t seeing these changes reflected, please try clearing your cache.

49 Comments
Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Good afternoon @Emily_Sermons

Further Interface Button suggestions for yourself and the Airtable dev team.

The scenario - An interface that navigates a Projects Table, with a Linked Field to a Tasks table. Often each task needs review, modifying and sometimes even deletion.

Unfortunately the user experience for engaging task buttons that have been placed in the Interface form is lackluster and annoying.

Some workflow examples:

Project Interface;
image

Task Form upon clicking Linked Field Tasks;
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In my current Base set, projects are spun up with several tasks pre-assigned (depending on who’s generating the project). The Project owner then needs to review that new Project (via an Interface) and clear out the Tasks that aren’t required by deleting the tasks. The desired functionality needed after a Task is deleted is for the UI to delete the active task, then take the user to the next task in the Linked field, or, if there are none remaining then take them back into the active Project (exit the Linked field form).

image

Whilst continuing to work in Linked Tasks - the Next / Previous Record Buttons don’t work, because they currently can’t identify that the users Interface form is currently reviewing a Linked Record table, in this case the users Task table. What we’re needing - is that when a user is navigating Projects via the Project Interface, and then they click into a Task Linked Field record, the form that pops-up needs to forward the Task Table ID to the buttons in that form, so that the user can cycle through each of the records within that Multi-Record Linked Field.

image

And finally, the ability to delete a record should be a button that may be accessed/toggled on display at the Project level;

image

Ok, that’s today’s feedback done! Worth noting that this isn’t me wanting features for the heck-of-it, but is actually real world feedback from our current team who are using Interfaces in production.

Susan_Stevie
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi Emily,
Don’t love the new interface buttons inside an interface but do like that I can go back the the interface page rather than jump back and forth to the base.

We use interfaces extensively and the new format is not helpful to me or my users. Please let me know who can help.

  1. The biggest problem we have is seeing whether there is work to be done. Both the new and the old version force users to go to each interface to see if there is work to be done.

The old format was better: it simply needed a record count at the summary level, which would tell a user that there were records that needed to be reviewed in that interface.

The new format doesn’t solve that. Even makes it worse because I now have to skim through each and then go to MORE to see what else I missed.

  1. I can’t figure out how to change the name of an interface group. Probably simple, but I can’t find it now that there is no category page.

Thank you for your help and for raising the issue in #1. It remains our biggest challenge.

WilliamPorter
9 - Sun
9 - Sun

This is great. But I’m wondering, What is the use case for the previous/next button? I’m working on a detail view that opens from a grid page. I’d like to put a previous/next button on the detail view that would go to previous/next record in the grid the user was looking at when they opened the current detail view. But I am unable to configure a source for the button.

Even on the grid page, I can’t get this action linked to a source.

What placement context is required for this button to be usable? I’m missing something big but I cannot see what it is.

Kamille_Parks
16 - Uranus
16 - Uranus

Your source needs to be one of the List elements. Either Record List or the sidebar thingy. That’s how Airtable is able to define what record comes before or after.

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

The Pop-Up Form form to edit the Link Record field doesn’t allow to set a Source - I’m not sure what step I’ve missed that allows me to tie a Next / Previous Button to a Linked Field source.

image

WilliamPorter
9 - Sun
9 - Sun

Apparently the go to next/previous action for buttons in Interfaces works only on Record Review (master-detail) type interfaces. Sad because it’s much less useful in that context than it would be on a record-detail view (where it might be nice to move to the next record in the parent-page’s list without having to switch back to the list, then pick the next record).

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

@Emily_Sermons - can you confirm if this particular Previous/Next Button limitation (the fact they can’t be used within a Linked Field Child/Form interface) is in the next rounds of development? This functionality is very much needed.

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Good afternoon @Emily_Sermons

Another week, another Button feature request.

In our base, users have Automations that trigger when they Duplicate a record via a Grid View - the Automation has the When New Record Created trigger - along with conditional criteria, that once met allows an automation to tidy up a duplicated record so that the user can then manage and process.

Recently we discovered a limitation with Interfaces, where we have no easy way to duplicate a record from an Interface that allows for the existing working workflow to execute, or ties in with the existing Automation that cleans up duplicated records.

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In the above screenshot, on the Interface Button action, we’re needing to have “Duplicate Record” added to the selection list - that acts exactly how “Duplicate Record” works when in a Base Grid View.

The result is either, one less reason for the user to use an interface and continue using the Grid View - or, waste a couple of hours figuring out a suitable workaround, duplicating scripts, duplicating Automations, re-working trigger logic etc.

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Further request - we’re also needing the default Airtable Colours available for button use. It would be great if the button colour could also be dynamically assigned from an existing select field too.

Really hoping to see my previous request of prerequisite filters too, which determine if a button may be clicked or not, depending on the state of other record fields. Although we can achieve some functionality via the Automation, as it’s obfuscated from the user they may be confused upon clicking a button and not getting the desired outcome (because they haven’t filled out a field, for example).

Ruchika_Abbi1
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Hi @Emily_Sermons Looks like there is a bug with the Interface buttons. I’m trying to use the Update function however it doesn’t show me the option to set fields.

Screenshot 2022-10-31 at 4.50.46 PM

I’m stuck on some updates because of this bug.

[Editing this with updates]
So the interface is a record picker and if I set a filter on it which results in no records, then the Update button doesn’t give me the fields. However, if I select a record and then go to the Update button, it shows me the fields. Since I am still in draft mode, I expected it to still show me the update button properties. This is still a bug according to me since it’s not clear to the user why the configuration is not working as expected.