Interface Designer is a game changer for teams who want to move fast without sacrificing alignment. Teams create interfaces as elegant, interactive windows into apps that power their team’s workflow. And best of all, anyone can build them; no coding required.
> See how our users are taking advantage of Interface Designer
We recently released Interface Designer to all users, complete with powerful new features, like a redesigned editor and navigation bar. But one feature has the potential to transform your entire workflow: dynamic and granular permissions.
Our robust permissions settings allow organizations to share interfaces broadly and securely. Teams on Pro and Enterprise plans can now share an interface without giving full access to the data within its Airtable base—and with user-based filtering, teams can customize what data each user will see in an interface.
The result? Enterprise-ready interfaces that can quickly and competently replace dozens (and, for some teams, hundreds!) of Airtable views.
Permission to share freely
Interfaces have already become a popular way to share glanceable, interactive information. And with the ability to only share the interface to your app—and not the underlying base, your apps can be used in new ways—and by new people—without sacrificing security.
Let’s say your marketing department is running a product launch. You have a comprehensive go-to-market base in Airtable—filled with essential information like deadlines, launch material, directly responsible individuals, and more. You’d like to keep cross-functional executives apprised of progress without sending them a base loaded with the information they don’t need.
Now you can send them an interface, choosing which fields to display and which to hide. It’s easier for you and the execs. Plus, it ensures the underlying data will stay unaltered.
And if you need exec approval or feedback? Add a button for a quick sign-off or enable comments on specific areas for detailed feedback.
Automatically personalized experiences
Choosing who can interact with your app is essential, but it’s equally important to ensure your app is useful to those who access it. With new interface filtering options, you can choose exactly what information specific users see when they use your app.
For example, let’s say your HR department wants to create an app for performance reviews and calibrations. Only managers should be able to access their team’s reviews, while individual employees will still need access to their own review. Instead of creating multiple bases, share views, or interfaces, you can create a single interface with a few filters.
And, if you’re on our Enterprise plan, you can use user groups to provide access to a particular group of users without needing to pick each person manually.
That means everyone in the company can use a single interface—and it will dynamically (and automatically) show users the information that’s relevant to them. This capability makes interfaces infinitely more scalable and will help large teams cut down on unnecessary individual views.
Insights for your interfaces
Understanding how teams use Airtable is integral to improving the experience for everyone. That’s why we rolled out the insights tool, which shows users which views are getting used, which aren’t, and who relies on the bases you’ve built. Now, we’re bringing insights to interfaces.
With interface insights, users can see the number of active users, record activities, and who’s using your interfaces. This is a fantastic way to understand how adoption is going and find the specific active users who can help you determine how to make your interfaces even more useful.
Tips for moving from views to interfaces
Ready to start using interfaces? Try these tips to get started fast.
You don’t need multiple bases with hundreds of views just to have a "personalized" look at your data—and you don’t need to create numerous bases to provide users with different permissions levels.
Instead, try creating one interface and use user filtering to show specific information to a particular user or group of users. You can just use one central base, create an interface, and give the proper access to users with sharing permissions.
This will drastically reduce your need for dozens of user-specific views. And, best of all, you don’t have to grant anyone access to your base to give base access—instead, invite people in as interface-only users.
And if you’ve been using Airtable for a while, identify which bases would be good candidates to transition to interfaces. We recommend starting with bases with many personal or team views (think in the hundreds!).
Build an interface and think carefully about how the layout and elements will help tell your story with data. And, where needed and applicable across elements, apply a filter to only show information relevant/tied to the viewer.
When you’re ready to share your interface with others, click “Preview” from the top-left-hand corner. Here, you can select a user to see how your interface will appear to them. Do they have access to all the data in the elements you’ve created? Does it show unnecessary information?
And finally, when your interface has been in use for a while, it’s time to check out Interface Insights. This is a great way to see how your interface is being used—and by whom. We recommend asking your power users how they’d improve it!
These updates are just a small part of our big plans for Interface Designer. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see how you start using interfaces in your workflows.
Join us for two events tomorrow, 10/27. Join us for a community AMA (9 AM PDT), where you can ask us anything about permissions. Then sign up for our webinar (10 AM PDT) to explore how you can customize your workflow with interfaces.