Interface Designer: When to use it and other Airtable collaboration features

Collaboration: it’s essential to your team’s success, which is why it’s essential to us.

Airtable is designed to bring people together—in fact, one of the first ways we get new users up to speed is by encouraging them to invite someone to their base. Your collaboration needs are ever-evolving—and so is our featureset. Our newest collaboration feature is called Interface Designer and it will help you display—and take action on—complex information.

Our guide will walk you through some of the different collaborative features in Airtable—Interface Designer, Page Designer, shared views, and forms—as well as the best practices for leveraging each. 

Let’s dive in now (so you and your team can dive in together).

Interface Designer

With Interface Designer, you can create interfaces on top of your existing base that simplify information for collaborators, whether it’s a stakeholder who needs to approve assets or an executive looking for a campaign update. No need to sift through the base—collaborators can take action directly in the interface.

Some of Interface Designer’s unique capabilities include:

  • Easy onboarding process for collaborators (easy-to-parse visualization means you’ll never experience information overload.)

  • Highly flexible layouts that highlight what’s important for collaborators

  • Editable features, from comment feeds to adding or updating records  

  • Ability to share data from multiple tables within a base, side-by-side

  • Record filtering based on the collaborator viewing the interface

Collaborators and stakeholders get a streamlined view of the information most important to them, and an easy way to take action. And on top of all that, you get to save the complexity of your base for the folks who need all that detail.

Check out our other guides on Interface Designer to add them to your workflow.

Page Designer

While Interface Designer lets you create interactive interfaces using information from connected tables, Page Designer is an app that can be used to design layouts at a record level. These pages can then be printed or exported to a PDF.

Page Designer is ideal for instances where you need to provide a non-editable view of specific information. One example is if you need to deliver a presentation on user research findings or want to create a PDF of a custom invoice. You can customize a page by selecting its size and orientation and adding fields from your records. 

And while your Page Designer app is always up to date, you’ll need to consistently export your pages to PDFs if you want the files to reflect your workflow.

Did you know that you can automatically create meeting decks with Page Designer? Learn more by watching our video.

Shared views

Need to share information externally or with anyone who doesn’t have an Airtable license? You may want to turn to shared views rather than Interface Designer if you need to provide a quick snapshot to someone without base access, like a contractor or agency. 

Shared views are a quick way to provide one-off information because you can create a shared view link in a matter of seconds. Clicking “share view” toward the top of your desired view gives you a dropdown, where you toggle additional conditions like whether you want to restrict access to the view with a password. Note that people with a link to a shared view will only be able to see the view, not the rest of the information in the base.

Want to create a shared view in your table? Watch this video.

⚡ Pro tip: Shared views can only display one table at a time. If you want to show several tables at a time from the same base, we recommend using Interface Designer.

Forms

A form is a type of Airtable view that collects information from a large group of people and inputs that information into a table.

The use cases are endless—forms can be used to gather customer feedback, mark RSVPs, collect invoices, and more—but the end result is the same: all form submissions automatically appear as records in a table.

Forms have the power of conditional logic, meaning that if a user answers one question a certain way in a form, like choosing “yes,” this can trigger a second question. 

Forms are also great for situations where individuals don’t need access to information beyond their answers—they’ll only be able to see what they submit and nothing else. For example, as the base owner, you can see every submission that comes in and use colors, apps, and filtering to draw insights, but those you surveyed only see the questions the form asks (unless they have access to the base).

Check out our video to learn how to create a form in Airtable, then create one in your base.

Airtable offers a vast array of ways for creators to work collaboratively and meet their team members, stakeholders, contractors, volunteers, and consultants where they are. Whether you need to collect food preferences from dinner guests or create a super customized dashboard for key stakeholders, Airtable has your back.

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