Smart Defaults for UX Views

What are Smart Defaults?

Smart Defaults is the capability of the Appsheet Editor to intelligently set defaults to different entities (UX Views, Data Actions etc.) in the Editor to minimize the number of changes an author has to make to reach their goals.

Why the Relaunch?

Soon after release in early 2021, we had to roll back the Smart Defaults feature since it caused performance issues in the Editor in more advanced apps. We also got feedback from some authors that the feature hampered their app editing experience by making too many dynamic changes.

Based on the feedback we rewrote the underlying architecture so that smart defaults: do not cause Editor performance issues for any author, do not come in the middle of an author editing their app, and features can be added and iterated over more quickly based on the feedback.

What is included in today’s relaunch?

In today’s initial release, we are adding smart defaults for UX Views. You can expect the following changes:

  1. When you change the view type for an existing view, the Editor will intelligently choose the View Options based on the columns in your table. For eg. If you change the view type to Calendar View, then we will try to set Calendar Start and End fields automatically based on the columns in your table.

  1. When you change the table source for an existing view, the Editor will intelligently update the View Options based on the columns in the newly chosen table.

  1. When you click on the “New View” button, the Editor will generate a new view by intelligently choosing the Table, View Type and corresponding View Options.

Who will see this change?

Today we are rolling this feature to 20% of the free tier users. Based on the feedback, we will roll it out to more users over the next few days.

What do we expect?

Like with all our feature releases, we appreciate your feedback. Please tell us if this feature helps you and what smart default features you would like to see next.

1 Like

Same question I had the first time: how do I turn it off?

5 Likes

When I create a new view I prefer to start with a blank slate.

7 Likes

Hi Jonathon,

Whenever views are created they are never blank set. They have built-in hardcoded defaults which makes sure that the app does not break. This feature just sets the defaults more intelligently. We are very cautious that these defaults do not hamper the editing experience.

Please let us know about a specific use case which became worse with this feature.

I understand there were some things that this feature did in previous launch that caused users to request turning off smart defaults.

However, in this release we have removed those features.

Can you please provide a specific use case that needs smart defaults to be turned off? We’ll work on fixing those use cases.

Can you give me a specific use case for me where smart defaults should be turned on?

All of the suggestions I’ve seen so far assume a trivial app that adheres to some arbitrary and unpublished conventions that do not apply to me. When you add “smart defaults”, you’ve created work or me, as I have to remove your bad assumptions before I can do what I need to do. And your “smart” defaults probably change the inherent defaults, so I have to now review every setting to make sure they’re all as I want. I wouldn’t have to do that if there are just consistent, set defaults that I could expect and rely on.

The whole premise behind suggestions is that you can possibly intuit I am going to need. Would you write a graduate thesis solely using Google Docs’ auto-suggest?

8 Likes

Hi,
We’d really appreciate your feedback on this when you’ve had the chance to test it. And not just based on the announcement.

A number of people raised some questions and issues when these changes were first rolled out at the beginning of the year. As Aneesh said, we made changes based on that feedback.

Our goal is not to make it more complicated for you to set up your Views or whatever else you’re setting up in your app. We could leave all fields empty, but when they are required (e.g. a Map View will require a Column that is mappable) we make a best guess. To specify that mappable column in the Map View, the “smart defaults” do not add a single click compared to a blank slate. Before, it was a blank field and you needed to select the right column (2 clicks). After, it’s pre-populated with a mappable column and if it’s not the right one, changing it to the relevant one is still 2 clicks.

If you do find cases where we are indeed impeding or adding friction to your work, share that with us. However, we ask you to look what is currently there and not on what was rolled out last time. That will better help us all move forward.

Thank you

3 Likes