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Jason Chan 2023-03-21 00:19:43

Working on connectors for our our table blocks! But question for you all…do you think we should auto-generate the connectors as soon as blocks reference one another? Or should we let the user decide which blocks should have connectors? Here’s an example:

Mattia Fregola 2023-03-21 03:42:34

not sure what your product is but it looks very clean! a couple of qualifying questions :D

  • is there a functional difference between a block that only references a another, and a block that both references another but is also connected?

  • when a connection is created, what happens next

Jason Chan 2023-03-21 04:32:18

Thank you appreciate it!

  • there would be no functional difference
  • Nothing happens when a connection is created--currently it’s just a visual cue because folks have said they wanted to see the relationship between blocks and how they’re connected
Mattia Fregola 2023-03-21 21:55:19

cool! then i'd probably test the following with the same users:

  • automatically add the connection when a relation is created
  • remove the ability to add connections manually

i also imagine there being some more explorations about the behaviour of connectors (and relationships) with tables with formulas with multiple inputs, e.g.

  • from multiple columns
  • from different tables
  • from multiple columns from the same table

i see a high spaghetti-clutter risk there 😄

(if it's a difficult build and you are able to mock it up, you could even test just the final state screens and ask users what they think each variations means)

Arvind Thyagarajan 2023-03-22 23:21:05

though the risk of a noodl-y mess is very very real, I'd say that the node/wire handshake is direct perception of data & action flow

the connectors remove the cognitive load of keeping track of what effects what in 2D space -- so my inclination would be to draw them always

also, if a user draws some but not others, that inconsistency is even more cognitive load, where the legibility of the graph now depends on a previous builder (or even yourself 2 months ago!) making the right choices in terms of which connector to manifest

Jason Chan 2023-03-22 23:52:10

ohhhhh the point that some blocks have connector and others not adding cognitive load is a good point that I didn’t even consider…