Knack Road Map

Hi

What are your thoughts on the Knack road map. I am really liking the shared apps and the new design tab. My Main hope is for performance advances that it will bring.

Craig

I was very impressed to see so many things being actively worked on. Many things have been on lots of our lists for many years. Performance is still a priority and I believe a focus for the team.

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I think the system the new investment group inherited had needed more maintenance and updating than they probably knew. The great news is it was reasonably stable and has a preexisting customer base. That being said, it was good to see a longer-term plan that has been in process and should start bearing fruit this year. The updates they are making are a lot of catch-up with modern systems and lay the foundation for bigger improvements. System variables like ID fields, new UI, new page design functionality and webhooks are a huge start to bring things up to today’s standards. I am looking forward to what is to come and hopefully starting to reduce the amount of JavaScript and CSS that I need to develop to get to my objectives.

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@DeanBozzan62116 I completely agree with that. It would be great to not have to write as much code as we do just to get Knack to work the way we would like it to.

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New investment group? The company was sold recently?

From the “About” page…

The History of Knack

2022

Knack announced a new strategic partnership between Resurgens Technology Partners and Knack to expand our no-code software development platform and accelerate our growth

Where can we find this roadmap?

Hi @Eric4,

The About page can be found here: About Knack

The AI App creation is OUTSTANDING. I already use it in beta version. Huge gain of time. Amazing.

The preview Shared App Tables is a GAME CHANGER. Soon in beta test. It’s a win/win for everybody as it is done inteligently and does not duplicate records.

For my use-case which is not significant, the new estetics of the builder and the data map module, were not priorities to work on. But I understand the interests in those.

I do not understand why so much delay in implementing some easy little UX improvements on the App Live side, and other more important like List and Details Views Edtiting. Waiting and waiting… A mistery.

oh, and +10 more App templates! fantastics. Will come handy with the Shared Tables functionality.

ps: I was reviewing the recording of th e Roadmap, - there were many things - and I want to add to my comment the nice useful new functionalities:

  • Live App navigation menus
  • Live App Themes
  • AI chart generation

Overall, huge work from Knack Team!!

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My opinion on some 2 important design things:

- Data Table and right panel
The beauty and success of Knack is the crystal clear structure of its Builder.
There is a First Level direct access to Data, Records, Pages, and Tasks.
There are also shortcuts between them.
What I am seeing in the Roadmap preview designs is a reduction of some First Level accesses.
Please, take into account that FOR THE BUILDERS it is MORE clicks and TOO MUCH information cramed in the same screen.
An App contains HUGE amount of information (many fields each with many settings, records, many pages each with many settings, etc etc etc). My opinion is it is way better, intuitive and CLEAR (and thinking clear) for builders and new builders to have First Level direct access to info than adding clicks to get to the info.

- Design Prototype
Section and Table Settings
The preview functionalities are great and very useful.
My opinion is that those settings should stay on the left column of the page, and not on a NEW ADDED right column of the page. The opening of those settings should behave as all settings do in the Builder.
The logic is the same as my comment “Data Table and right panel”: for this kind of subject, I believe it is NOT good practice to add more visible information at the SAME time in 1 screen.
I tell you something: I never used Adobe Photoshop just because its interface is overloaded with huge many details and options. A total tsunami of info. Now look at the Canva interface and the huge difference is obvious.
So please, KEEP IT SIMPLE in each SCREEN. In the lower levels it is ok to have one more click because you already know where you are, and can focus your thinking on one specific setting at a time and not lose the focus due to other visible information.

What I am saying here is that you need to decide at a conceptual strategic design level if in general you want to crame information in one screen or keep it simple as it has always been.

This has nothing to do with the wonderful and useful functionalities that have been previews. It is just on how to access them and easily navigate the builder, and even more since you are going to add many functionalities.

Think about it.
Go Knack!!

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Hick’s Law

Too many and too complicated choices reduces the odds of the user actually making a choice.

Essentially, too many choices lead to choice or analysis paralysis, i.e., information overload preventing users from taking any action at all. So limit available options. HelpScout’s navigation bar design, for instance, only includes essential categories.

Keep your design clutter-free so there are fewer design elements vying for users’ attention

Occam’s Razor

Select a design with the lowest possible complication.

Occam’s Razor comes in handy when you’re choosing between design prototypes. The goal is to select the design that’s simplest among all the options.

Don’t have a simple version? Work on removing elements as long as they don’t compromise with the overall design function. This resonates with what German designer, Dieter Rams, says: “Good design is as little design as possible.”

In short: aim to keep it simple, stupid, which is, interestingly, a rule in itself too. Apple is a good example of Occam’s Razor principle in action.

Tesler’s Law

Tesler’s Law or the Law of Conservation of Complexity states that there’s a certain amount of complication that’s intrinsic to every system.

Admittedly, each design has a certain level of complexity to it. Your responsibility is to reduce the complexity as much as possible. By doing so, you can help users focus on the task at hand instead of figuring out how to navigate the design.

Todoist, a to-do list maker, is a good case in point. It’s very simple to use as it focuses on encouraging users to take one step at a time without overwhelming them with tons of features as they visit the app.

Perhaps you’re jumping the gun a little?

There’s nothing I see in those screen shots that is too complex, confusing or requiring too many clicks. The last thing we want (IMO) is to discourage creativity and a lack of features and options. As Knack knows, the key is to provide basic defaults and then allow the user to customize as needed. Currently there are too many restrictions and a lack of flexibility. Two simple examples: rigid limitations on session timeout and records per page in a grid view. In both cases the builder should be able to set whatever values they want. But there are a million features that Knack could add and that would be a good thing. And if Knack does add a million new features, I’m quite sure they will do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the builder - or the user.

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“And if Knack does add a million new features, I’m quite sure they will do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the builder - or the user.”

Some extract text confuses my message. Yes, I am also all for more new features, and have logged many in Feature Requests.

Here my point is that some builder previews shown in the Roadmap generated me some doubts on the “quite sure” will not overwhelm the builder.

It is not easy for a software to keep it simple while adding many more features. A classic trap.
Knack did it wonderfuly until now.
The builder designs previewed are significant.

Doing prevention. :wink:

Just my opinion and sensation.

Yes, understood.

Hi Craig,

We’re a long time end user, running an order portal and production management for our catering business.

I think the ‘sum-up word’ for what we’ve heard in the last couple of weeks is ‘encouraging’. There is an encouraging amount of development, and at an encouraging level and pace. There are some hopeful statements in the roadmap, and its all about delivery, but around 2020, I had given up on product updates and useful communication from the company. As others have said the product team deserve a great deal of credit for overcoming that inertia of glacial timelines.

As an end user we’re in a different situation to those of you who build for others. We don’t have programming skills (nothing up to date anyway. I don’t think I’d count my Fortran on PDP-11 :grinning:), so no-code really does mean ‘no-code’ in our eyes. I think the interconnectivity via Zapier and Make are interesting, but we dont want to end up with a stack of two or six or ten products just to do the simple stuff we need. Regardless, its going to be this kind of integration for the future, I guess.

So yes, we’ll see what comes out the pipe as the year progresses. Encouraging…

Neil

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Hi Neil

I don’t think your in a different situation. We both use the same product and it is a a lot better if we don’t have code to do the simple things. I think already we need Make to do far too much just get data from Knack and put it back into Knack. We should be able to manipulate the data in Knack.

I do agree that the “New Knack” is very encouraging and I hope they keep concentrating on improving Knack rather than further integrations which are not essential.

I am looking forward to the shared data among apps.

Craig

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Agreed Craig. I guess what I’m hoping for are more page components. One function that is badly served by all the lo/No-code is output printing. I know it’s 2024 but there isn’t a service or manufacturing business that can function without label printing, ditto with A4 pdf documents with templates.I’m less hopeful about seeing something like that.!

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Yes, please Knack sort your printing out.

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I’ve just had half an hour playing with the Artificial Intelligence module, and I have realised that I don’t have enough real intelligence to frame a question that it understands. Ironic, eh…?

As my colleague shared once, you can always utilize AI to help you formulate a prompt for Knack’s AI App Builder. I’ve tried this and the responses I received from ChatGPT, Claude, and Gemini were not bad at all. :smile:

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