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Re: 2023-07-11 NEW Record Detail Layout Feature Set

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Tobias_LGKR
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

I am a little confused about the release of all these new features in the interface designer for the record detail pages. Many great additions and functions. Many that we asked for. Thank you.

BUT

All of them only seem to apply only to new pages I create (which is a good thing for now), not to existent pages.  Do I eventually have to redo all my old pages from scratch or will these new features eventually be available (by my own choice) on my existent pages?

Many things seem to have gone missing or are different:

  • I can no longer place individual text elements on my pages.
  • I can no longer user separators.
  • I can no longer duplicate reference field items, such as lists, etc. to use them in different places of my page.
  • I can no longer place the comments section where it best suits our needs.
  • I can no longer place buttons exactly where I need them.
  • I can no longer idividually choose/adapt the width of a field. I am forced to using equal width colums or rows in a section.
  • I can no longer put fields into the header above the interface page that stays put when scrolling.
  • I am forced to put fields into sections. Each section can either only be rows of fields or columns.
  • I can no longer choose between the full page width layout or the "center restricted" layout of a page. It's center only now, which wastes a lot of screen real estate.

I would appreciate an Airtable update post about all these new features to guide me. Especially what the next steps will be.

Is this the first release of a planned series and thus "incomplete"? Once again I feel confronted with a totally new paradigm without any notice, release notes or choices. Two steps forward but in my opinion at the expense of five steps back.

22 Replies 22
ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

I think you’re specifically referring to the 5 new interface page options that Airtable has given us?

Yep, they’re essentially useless, because they each only allow you to ONLY HAVE ONE ELEMENT on the screen, and it’s the one element that they have pre-chosen for you. There is no design customizability at all.

They are basically “single-use views” that only do ONE THING ONLY.

It makes absolutely no sense and it completely undermines the whole point for interfaces even existing in the first place. And yet, they tout it as a “new feature”. 😂😅

All of this underscores, once again, that Airtable engineers don’t use their own product, which explains the lack of thought, the lack of planning, and the lack of consistency that we all see in Airtable. They throw a bunch of half-baked “features” against the wall and then walk away.

And yeah, you can’t change interface pages once they are designed from another interface page. This is probably a good thing, because you would lose all of your hard work if you converted a page to one of these new “single use only” interface pages.  

Tobias_LGKR
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

@ScottWorld I am referring to whatever I found this morning when I started working. I don't think I heard anyone call it anything. It was just there.

Tobias_LGKR
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

At this point in time, I see absolutely no way forward as I can no longer design any new pages. None. And I thought we had seen it all "all" when the left navigation bar woke up in my house one morning.

You can still design and create new pages, as long as you haven’t reached the maximum limit of 50 pages total.

But not with the old layout tools, right? I did not even know there was a limit...

Yes, all the old layouts are still there. They just added 5 new ones that are unhelpful. 

But when I create a new page layout (record detail view), how do I choose the old layout tools vs. the new?

Here's what I do:

I have a page with a list view. Now I activate the "click into record details" view. The new layout pops up as a side sheet. And this new page layout (view) automatically has the new feature set. I don't get to choose.

The same happens when I create a new layout in the menu where I choose which layout to show.

Anytime I create a new layout (record detail view) I get this new feature set.

 

annikahubert
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I can create new layouts with no problem but my problem is the lack of control over how they look
The new Record Details layouts allow me to group fields into sections which is ok-, I guess but I have no way to set the width of fields and sections as I do in the old editor. I WANT to be able to have a field with limited characters have a narrow width alongside a wider field. But now I seem to be forced into equal-width columns.

So now I am halfway through building a series of bases for my organisation and they are going to look and work differently. One of the key selling points was to be able to add text WHERE I WANT IT to the layout. 

Has anyone found a way to use the old layout designer for new record details?
This is a MASSIVE step backwards. 
We are halfway through replacing a series of old tools with Airtable bases and this has completely stuffed up our plans. 
I honestly don't know if we can work with this new layout.

Yes, that is exactly my problem. I am honestly surprised we don't hear from more people about this. It's a massive change and it gives me no real layout and function choices whatsoever.

YasinArshad
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Agreed, so very confused by the new record layout,

Recorded this loom to further show the dev team how big of a step backwards this is - very confused by it: 
https://www.loom.com/share/8ebbb11a89414d338a6a03fee30d176d?sid=3a0a2903-7557-4887-bc84-14f34c9f53fc

You can put fields side by side if you put them in a section and choose column layout. But that's as far as that goes.

It really feels like being kicked back to the dark ages in terms of design choices, which, aren't merely esthetic but result in functionality and thus productivity.

I just realized we are not talking about the same thing. I am talking about the new Record Detail View pages in Interfaces.

Joseph_Roza
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

There’s another thread about this with some great breakdowns by @Kamille_Parks here: https://community.airtable.com/t5/interface-designer/changes-to-sidesheet-behavior/m-p/159111#M2084

Thanks, very helpful

I started the other thread with the hope that if I directed the post to several airtable employees there might be an official response, but so far nothing. 

I think the best quick solution would be to provide an option when a record detail page is created where we could stick with the older style, at least for existing interfaces.  I have users just getting acclimated to the existing sheets, and having two different styles and workflows is not going to make things easier for them, or make them more receptive to using an tool that they haven't gotten to see the benefit for at this point.

Tobias_LGKR
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

@BillH Someone from from Airtable reached out to me. However not based on my thread in this forum but my lengthy feedback I submitted at the bottom of the new Record Details Layout tool.

Screenshot 2023-07-17 at 07.04.57.png

 

 

 

I don't know how high the interaction level with AT staff in this forum really is. I have been tying to reach out to a community manager (on a completely other subject) here for almost two weeks now. Nada.

The overnight, out of nowhere, that's how it is now experience is the most concerning about all of this. I can't help but feel that Airtable actually does not realize that there are real people with real businesses relying on this tool. It's hugely disrespectful to change the paradigm like that. I am intentionally choosing the word "realize" here, because if they actually did not care we should all be gone in a heartbeat. And I do believe they care at many levels. Because otherwise we wouldn't have this toolset. But the communication chaos, strategy, what ever you want to call it is the heart of the problem.

I have just pitched an idea about an Airtable Change Log as a starting point for communicating change:

https://community.airtable.com/t5/product-ideas/detailed-airtable-change-log/idi-p/159163#M16517

BillH
8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

Thank you @Tobias_LGKR .  I will check that as well.

PeymanYousefi
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thanks God I'm not the only one concerning about this huge step backwards. 

Tuxie
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Did anyone get any updates on this? I'm building a new project right now and this basically halts all progress I can do and forces me to look for new tools if there's no way to go back to old functionality.  As earlier commenters mentioned, this is a massive step backwards. I don't want to have massive google form experience since the previous experience was far superior. 

Only thing I can say is that thank god I've only wasted one workday building the whole thing so far.