A few weeks ago, our Interface Designer product experts hosted a live community AMA (ask me anything) where they covered everything from app-building best practices to tips for giving end-users greater interactivity. We received a ton of great questions, and we wanted to share some of the answers our team talked through.
Q: When building apps with interface designer, when should we use these new table layouts vs. the existing layouts already available?
A: Both the existing layouts and new table layouts are great options depending on what you’re trying to build. Here are a few tips that can help your decision-making thought:
- The new table layouts let teams build faster, as things like filtering, sorting, and searching are all pre-configured. Plus, they automatically look great—no additional formatting required.
- If you want to give your app users more interactivity, the new table layouts let you adjust how everything from how filter menus work to even letting people change the visual from something kanban to gallery, etc.
- If you want to incorporate data from more than one table into your interface, we still recommend using existing layouts.
Q: What visuals (gallery, kanban, etc.) are available in the new interface designer table layouts and how many can end users switch between at any given time?
A: There are five visualizations to choose from with the new table layouts: list, gallery, kanban, calendar, and timeline. Unlike the existing layouts, table layouts let app designer switch to a different layout visual at any point, not just during the initial setup.
This is a huge deal for cross-functional teams or individuals with a handful of essential workflows. Even better (as we mentioned above), you can enable your app users with the ability switch between as many as all five layout visualizations to help them tailor their own experience.
Q: Do the new table layouts change how app users can expose more details about specific records?
A: Yes! The new table layouts give you the ability as the app designer to not only control whether clicking into record details is possible (and what fields are shown), but also what the visual experience is like.
The options include a full-screen experience that takes over the entire interface, or a sidesheet option that helps keep app users in the context of where they originally clicked from. This functionality is customizable per interface designer page meaning you can craft different record detail experiences depending on what works best for the workflow you’re building.
Q: Do these new layout options change the ability to share interfaces?
A: No. The ability to invite end users just to an interface vs. giving them full base access is still available on all Pro & Enterprise plans. And that means you don’t have to adjust your strategy for collaborating inside your company.
Q: What is your most important tip for teams who build in interface designer?
A: Use the preview button! With a preview, app designers can easily see what a published interface will look like—without publishing it. You can even toggle the “view as” capability so you can fully understand what specific users will see—and experience—when you share your interface with them.
Previewing and “view as” let you ensure the experience you’re trying to build in interface designer is straightforward well before you ever hit that publish button.
Want to learn more about the new table layouts for interface designer? Watch the full recording of the community AMA.