Opinion on Interfaces — is it only me? :D

A general question for you all: Do you like to work with Interfaces? Since AT launched them, I’m having a hard time working with them yet customers are increasingly requesting them… Especially building dynamic Interfaces is hard / seems impossible (example: tried to display records where the date lies within this ongoing week and failed to do that…). Stuff that was easy to do with Airtable’s native interface, is now not available. I love Airtable for its flexibility, which Interfaces don’t provide at all.

What’s your opinion Interfaces?

I think having interfaces is a lot better than having to use a third party tool for the same result.

On the other hand, I find making an interface can be frustrating.


Hmmm… this should be possible with interfaces, but you might have to create a formula field to work with your interface’s filter.

Interfaces can be very frustrating & limiting, but the good news is that it gives us more flexibility than we’ve had in the past. But yeah, it’s very easy to hit the ceiling of what you can do with interfaces pretty quickly.

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OK, yes having it is better than not having it. However, given how much of Airtable’s focus went into it, I’m not so sure about it. But that’s hypothetical of course :slight_smile:

Yes, true. With a formula in a background, which checks for the current week, this is possible! I’m getting frustrated too easily, aka I’m just too accustomed to write some code to handle logic…

There are things that I both love and don’t love about interfaces. All in all I feel that it’s a decent middle-ground between the default table views and a fully customized UI built with code, but I feel that more could have been done to polish some features. Perhaps that polish is still to come?

One of my biggest frustrations is with element placement. The other day I made a clear two-column setup in a wide configuration by putting a text element to the left of a list element. The on-screen cues drew a clear vertical dashed line between the two—which to me indicated columns—so I thought that I should be able to place something else below that text element in the left column. It refused to let me do so no matter where I dragged the new element. Sometimes the “rules” for what can go where are clear, and sometimes not, and this is one of those “rules” that I just don’t understand.


I feel the same dude.

if i chose Airtable, it’s because i am a data guy.

The biggest revolution for a small company is changing the way they manage data.

Interfaces add real value but only in some specific situations.

The tool is more and more complicated.
New features, changes every week.
It takes more time to learn.
the “Democratization of data management” spirit fades away slowly.

the move from excel on steroid to app builder is for me a wrong move.

Generally, I’m a big fan of Airtable interfaces. I first used them on a real project at the end of 2021 and benchmarked it against Softr and Slacker at the time, figuring that the tighter integration was going to be a positive, which it was. Clearly a lot of development effort going into Interfaces too - more new features this week, for example. I’m encouraging clients to move off the data grid and onto Interfaces as I find the up/down of Interfaces to be preferable to the left/right of the data grid.

My only gripe is that the new features mean there are better ways to lay things out today than there were even just a month ago. I shouldn’t complain :slight_smile:


I feel like I would almost always prefer to work in the native Airtable base personally BUT, overall, it makes Airtable so much more friendly to folks who aren’t the data people who understand the ins and outs of the base and linked records, etc.

I am also somewhat annoyed that they keep releasing I wish were there when I designed interfaces months ago - or even just last month!!

This is so true! I literally just now finished putting together an interface for a client showing their Social post performance and almost lost it trying to position the Numeric Value blocks.

In general I think the interfaces are fantastic addition to Airtable, much better than charts in the Extensions bar. Probably like most voices here - I feel the experience of setting it up could be a bit more polished.

I feel the same as the dude who said he feels the same about Interfaces as another dude. :wink:

In more [but not all] seriousness. I think Interfaces (from a design perspective) is a cluster-**** and not the good kind. For essential stuff it’s fine, but it quickly hits ceilings if the complaints I see are to be considered fact. I’m sure some Airtable experts are able to create amazing solutions, but it seems to be a real slog to build great interfaces.

The trouble with inferior internal features is that they don’t actually need to be better than aftermarket solutions, Softr being a good example. Once the internal mess is slightly useful, the economic factors kick in and users adopt a far less capable approach. They tolerate weak features.

Dear me, I’m not sure who I’m disagreeing with anymore.

I agree with both of these points. But I don’t agree with the implication that the concept of interfaces is deeply flawed. Or maybe I’m reading into things.

I believe that interfaces are more than fine for many use cases. Interfaces, even simple ones, can be transformative for people who don’t care about the nuts and bolts of how things work and want to see info in a way that fits their workflows.

I thought Airtable called it the “democratization of software creation” not data management.

And I think interfaces helps with the democratization of software creation. Sure, it takes more time to learn more features, but people can still choose an incremental approach and learn only as much as they want and still have a great tool.

Can we agree to disagree on this?

You’re overreaching here - the concept is ideal, actually. The underlying implementation (and likely the architecture) is where the shit show is happening. I think it’s constraining users and Airtable’s ability to advance the feature quickly to meet real-world requirements. This is my opinion based on the forum data.


Fair assessment. In a cone of acceptability, I also see Interfaces as “helpful” overall and in the most general sense. It’s like many of the other Airtable features that rise to a general level of acceptance but never hit a grand slam. Singles and doubles. An occasional bunt to score some runs. [yawn]

This quote may stand the test of time…

The Interfaces feature is the equivalent of Forms and Charts; a low ceiling of operational goodness and lacking the pervasive ability for customization and integration. Like Forms, Charts, and a few others, a swing and a miss.

Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like we are in agreement about the concept being good. As far as the actual implementation method–I agree that the current implementation is far from ideal.

What is a realistic occurrence rate for singles, doubles, grand slams, etc.? Singles and doubles may not be exciting, but they still move the game forward. And a grand slam is not that common, and takes a lot of co-ordination.

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Probably a poor metaphor choice by me, but let’s be clear. If you were going to add one very big feature about Airtable that would launch the product into a different realm – where UIs and UXs would be designed by users, without code – would you be complacent with anything but a comprehensive outcome that convinced everyone they really hit the target?

Truthfully? Yes. I would do the best I could in the time allotted with the resources available. But I would always know that it could have been better.

Well, everything ever made in the history of making stuff, could be better. :wink:

This is one of the biggest features ever built by Airtable. Given the central aspects of this feature, it should have been the absolute best work they could have produced, and it clearly wasn’t.

All the talk about this for the near-two-years leading up to its release demonstrates they had plenty of time to do it well. There were many early signals that indicated they were going to do it with an extensible approach too. We heard many times that it was going to be HTML/CSS accessible as well, which, combined with their scripting platform, would have made this incredibly powerful and without many limitations. The limitations have seriously crushed this feature.