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Starting yesterday, Airtable rolled out a new sidebar in the left margin to display the views in our base.
This is fine, but please stop auto-opening this sidebar by default.
Every time we refresh our web browser or enter a base, this view sidebar auto-opens.
It takes up a significant amount of screen real estate, and it is a real pain to continually be closing this new sidebar. Every time we enter a base, we have to close the view sidebar again.
The vast majority of people aren’t continually switching views constantly throughout the day. For this to be ever-present and taking up a significant amount of screen real estate is not helpful.
This should stay closed by default.
p.s. The old view switcher was not difficult to find or use.
I hate this new thing. I have a list of items with about 100 blank lines at the bottom so I don’t have to keep adding a line whenever I need it and having blank lines at the bottom allows me to scroll the last entry higher up the screen (if that makes sense?).
Anyway, now every time I open Airtable, I get that ‘grid view’ thingy and all my blank lines move to the top of my sheet. I have to ‘sort by date’ then cancel out of ‘sort by date’ to get the spreadsheet looking like I left it last time, with all the blank lines back at the bottom again. It’s the only way to shake it out of it’s new default setting, I have to ‘sort’ then cancel the ‘sort’ to move my blank lines back to the bottom.
Talk about extra clicks!! I’m not doing this every time, they can stick it, I’ll go back to using excel or google sheets if this isn’t fixed in a hurry. If this is beta, then I want out of the beta, I’m paying too much money for this.
Another bad aspect of this from a UX perspective is the inconsistency of the presence of the views panel. Previously it only appeared when it was called on, so it was there for a specific action, then closed.
Now, it’s maybe there, maybe not there.
As I’m working, if it’s there, I stop paying attention to it. It’s eating up my screen real estate and I don’t really need it, and that sucks, but I gotta get work done. But when I do need it, I enter the keyboard shortcut to quickly search and find a view, without using the mouse. But I’ve forgotten the view panel is fixed there, so command-shift-K now closes the view list. I then continue instinctively typing the next view I want to see following the key command, but now I’m typing into a cell and overwriting my data instead of typing into the search bar. There is now no way to quickly search for a view without having to take a second to see if the view panel is there. If the view panel is there, I have to type command-shift-K twice to enter the view search (crazy). If the view panel is not there, I have to type command-shift-K once. It is a major disruption to the workflow, and frankly really terrible design principles.
It’s amazing how a year of using Airtable every day, and all of my positive feelings about the service and the brand, can be so completely undone by this boneheaded move. Even as an AB test, it’s just a terrible solution to whatever problem they are trying to solve - whether it shows better metrics for them or not. It’s bad product management run amok.
I’m glad I found this thread! I was pretty upset to have the Views UI change on me without warning last week and not have any way to change back to the old way. It doesn’t feel or behave in the way that the rest of Airtable feels for me. (It’s clunkier and requires more effort.)
I looked up the other threads that were linked to requesting sidebars, and it doesn’t seem to me that this new Views “sidebar” provides any kind of experience like what was being asked. I’ve sent a message to Airtable support and also posted here in the hopes it will help get this feature rolled back.
Over 2 years of using Airtable, this is the first time I’ve felt so frustrated by the UI, so it seemed worthwhile to post.
Wow, I think this is pretty much the #1 reason to get rid of this new sidebar. I totally get what you’re saying here, and it makes 100% perfect sense. Now you’re accidentally overwriting data in your Airtable database because of this new UI decision.
Yes, the new view-bar is really annoying.
What I think would be nice is:
This way we can have the new bar if the table have a lots of view.
Airtable product team… hello? Your silence feels like a deer in headlights. When is this going to be reversed? Every single day I’m reminded of how horrible bad product management can be. It’s almost inspiring me to work harder using something besides Airtable to build great products. Thanks!!
I think it is a great idea - to be able to see all view options at once in a sidebar…WHEN we WANT to. We should be able to set our preferences to leave it toggled off or on. I would go for off. Then occasionally open it when working on multiple view for a team or something.
So, keep the new option, just give us some control over it please.
Just adding my voice to those feeling frustrated by this change. Please please please make it possible to turn it off completely. While I realize it’s just a keystroke to get it to hide, I switch between bases a ton during the day and to have them all revert to the sidebar that I was not using is very distracting. Please give us the option to turn this off. Pretty please. With your choice of fruit on top. Thank you for your consideration.
+1 for NOT forcing the views pane to appear by default. I could go with several of the proposed solutions - eg, sliding, remembering past setting, or being able to set as off by default
Signed up just to add my +1 here.
I can well imagine that for someone going back and forth between views on a frequent basis, the sidebar is very useful. I can get behind that.
Yet, in its current incarnation, the new sidebar is quite an obtrusive design.
What bothers me especially is that the sidebar sticks around between tables in my base. There are tables where I can accept displaying such sidebar all the time, but others that I don’t, especially when I use gallery views.
That the width of the sidebar cannot be changed is also rather irksome.
An option to switch between dropdown and sidebar seems to me the best option, especially considering that right now the sidebar design is too incomplete.