Why do forms have to be only one column?

Topic Labels: Base design
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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Why do forms have to be only one column? I need to develop forms that are more complex than all the fields in one column. Any suggestions?

13 Replies 13

Check out JotForm — they support multiple columns, and they also have built-in native integration with Airtable.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

What JotForm provides, Air Table should provide natively. When I make a form from a table in my base the same tools found in JotForm should be available from within Air Table. Having to use another paid service to make better forms is not useful.

By logical extension then – Airtable should also include best-in-class:

  • Search and Findability
  • Storage
  • User Security
  • API Security
  • Computational Performance
  • HIPAA Security Compliance
  • DPA Security Compliance
  • GDPR Security Compliance
  • Formula Editor
  • Formula Library
  • Javascript Engine
  • Document Management
  • Reporting System
  • Email System
  • SMS System
  • Data Visualization
  • Attachment Annotations
  • Video Streaming
  • Image AI
  • Microservices
  • Webhook Architecture
  • Backup Services
  • Recovery Services
  • Professional Services
  • Support Response
  • UI Configuration

I apologize for the snarky manner I chose to make a point. That point being that we all have our key wants and we’d all like the world of IT to be seamless, perfect, and exactly how we interpret the product should be.

But the reality is that vendors must make choices and compromises or they will fail to sustain profitable operations and possibly raise fees to compensate for the added costs.

Would you like to pay $35/month/user to subsidize my interest in GDPR compliance and video streaming?

I didn’t think so.

No platform can afford to copy other provider’s feature lists; it’s risky (because of patents) and it’s never likely to work anywhere close to what specialists have created in various feature segments. Furthermore, you’d have to hire a lot of specialty skills across all these feature categories.

Yes - I agree that forms is closer to the core functionality of data collection, a feature segment that Airtable could do better. But, each vendor must be able to set boundaries and work well with partners to facilitate ideal solutions.

I agree. Given my comments, what’s the best remedy you can recommend?

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Sorry, your reply is not helpful. At. All. Form design is a core feature or function of database design that is at the heart of the Air Table platform. Maybe it doesn’t need all the functionality of JotForm, but should have more than what it has now. It doesn’t have to be best in class, just more than rudimentary like it is now. Much of what you list is more specialized but I see several listed that would be useful to be included or improved.

I disagree with you. Airtable is not form software. I think they should fix the bugs with their forms (i.e. not being able to submit hidden fields), but that’s about it. And possibly include the ability to edit existing records via a form. But their mission is not to replicate pre-existing form software that has thousands of features. There are hundreds of different form software services out there, all of which can be integrated with Airtable.

My remedy? At least add some design features. Drag, drop, resize fields on the form and not be limited to just one column would be helpful.

Well then - we agree! We’ve determined that it would be ideal and probably reasonable if Airtable would improve the forms feature in a few simple ways.

Forms are very useful for viewing, browsing and entering data in a database. With many fields, having one long column is not very useful. I don’t think replicating all the thousands of features of full fledged form services is needed, but Air Table could benefit with some additional form design features so we’re not locked into just one column. This is an issue with other platforms to by the way and not just Air Table.

Indeed, they are each walking a tightrope; some better than others.

I recommend letting your voice be heard through support and by posting a clear list of ways they can improve forms over in the Product Suggestions section.