Who is Airtable Interfaces for?
Interfaces create a clear distinction between base creators and base consumers. That distinction has always existed (👋 hello editor role) but it’s now much crisper. Creators are responsible for base building. They decide on a base’s structure: the tables, fields, and often relevant views for different stakeholders. You know that person on your team you turn to answer Airtable questions or build new ones? Yeah, they’re your creator. If you’re reading this newsletter, you’re probably a creator.
Base consumers on the other hand are those adding in records, keeping information up to date or overseeing the workflow. With interfaces, I expect creators to be responsible for building relevant interfaces. Furthermore, I expect most base consumers to update & extract information through Interfaces in lieu of views! No more explaining what a record is or which views to look at. Simply point them to a relevant interface where they can get or update the information they need!
Yes, it’s going to take time to build and fine tune those interfaces. That said, imagine how freeing it will be though to no longer have folks fiddle with your base? Every type of stakeholder will have an interface that fits their needs perfectly. They’ll be happier, you’ll be happier, your workflow will run smoother…
What Airtable Interfaces isn’t (today)
Airtable Interface is not the minimum viable product for your business. It’s also not a user portal. Today, permissions in interfaces are the same as your base: anyone who has access to an interface also has access to the underlying information of your base. So no it will not replace your (or my) Webflow-Memberstack-Zapier website (unless you’re building internal websites which I know folks do!). You can filter elements based on who is looking at the page (e.g. update the dashboard numbers based on the user) but that user cannot be external to your base. To interact or view an interface, a user has to be a collaborator on your base.
I repeat: you cannot build your company’s MVP on Interfaces today.
That said, I couldn’t be more excited about this step. It’s taking Airtable one step closer to providing enough primitives to truly create an app!
I’d love to see the interface everyone builds! Reply with screenshots!