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Alteryx 11 formula tool UI changes

The v10 formula configuration window had two very small advantages.  First, it always had an extra 'line' for another output field (no pressing '+' required).  Second, it defaulted to letting you immediately begin typing the name of the next column (no need to press 'Select Column' then 'Add New Column').   I know these are minor, but every little thing counts when you're doing heavy development.


It has been brought up that the following comments were given during the beta.  While I appreciate the reasoning of requiring 'obvious intention,' my personal opinion is that it is overkill in this scenario.  Even for new users, the old design was quite intuitive.



"Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback! This touches a conversation topic that has been ongoing here at Alteryx. While we want workflow development to be as fast as possible, we also are  trying to address the overall usability of the tool and make sure it is very clear what we intend the user to do. We decided to have the UI ask for an explicit action (pick an existing field to edit or click to add a new field) to help make those options clear, as we have found that users don't always understand from the existing tool that this is the first decision they should make when using the tool. That being said, your feedback is definitely valuable. I will be sure to bring this up as we are making improvements to the new tool and see if there's a compromise that we can make on speed vs. obvious intention. Thanks for taking the time!"

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Thanks so much for the feedback. We'll consider this as we continue to make improvements to the Formula tool. 

5 - Atom

Great comment from sbedwell. The current implementation is clunky and NOT obvious. I literally was staring at the screen in confusion for about 30 seconds wondering how to add a formula field. This is what went through my head when I saw it...


 I create a formula tool to add a formula field to my workflow. I do this all the time. Hrmm, the UI has changed... it looks nice with the blue buttons.

1. Click "+". OK, I'd rather just start typing next to a plus, but at least it's obvious I want to add a column.

2. "Select Column", Huh? I don't want to select a column... I want to add a formula. I just clicked "+" to make it obvious I wanted to add a formula column. Hrmm, maybe one of these new blue buttons will let me name my formula field... well those are nice features, but not what I want to do.

3. Ok, I guess I'll just click select column to see what it does. I see there is "Add Column +". I thought I already added a column??? Is this going to make another one? I don't want another column I just want to name this one !! Click it anyway.

4. Ok a text box with an (x). Yay! I can finally name my new column ... but I don't want to pick a name I already had... where did that drop down go? OK, I can see the list if I click the (X) or the blue [X] ... ugh that "Select Column" came back and I have to hit "Add Column +" again...


I know how to do it with only 3 clicks now, but it is still annoying when I have to enter a lot of formulas.


Please make it so you can just start typing next the a "+" to add a column and a regular combobox so you can just type or choose from list of existing fields or type a new name in one step.





7 - Meteor
Agreed with sbedwell and jpspears. It seems that the new formula tool is a little bit of a overkill. It requires more clicks to achieve what previously was achievable with one. Please make it simple again.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

Thanks so much for writing down your thoughts on the Formula tool. Knowing what people are thinking as they work with new/revised tools is super helpful in our continual improvement. We're working on a plan to make Formula easier to use in the future. 

8 - Asteroid

Autofill and single v double quotes in equation - 


Prior versions have allowed single and double quotes use interchangeable in a formula. With the new tool, use of a double quote will show autofill -




but the use of a single quote will lose autofill function -




DK if that was intentional or not, but is another change.


Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

@sean_bolte_dup_544 That was not intentional. We've fixed it; you'll see the fix in the next version. Autocomplete will work after both single and double quote pairs. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Accepted