I am strongly in favor of this sort of “mode switch”. It is different than but still I think quite similar in concept to this idea I had some time ago for how to make writing in block-based editors smoother:
Quite simply stated, the reality is that in most tools we spend far more of our time creating “content”/data than creating “structure” or administrating. However it is a very nice thing to have editing capabilities easily and quickly accessible. A great example of this is the drag handles on Entity views. Sometimes I am using an Entity view, have no intention of editing it, but suddenly realize I’ve had some friction using a particular field for a while now, and I want it to be in a different position, or have a different name, etc. In these times, the ability to edit the Field config immediately, on the Entity layout is fantastic. But 99% of the time I don’t need that, so the drag handles are distracting, and even occasionally result in an accidental (though usually easily correctable) repositioning of a field. As I have discussed elsewhere, they also mess up the tab order (still not fixed ).
This seems like a small problem, and in many respects it is. But it’s also one of those things that contributes to the Fibery interface being more “heavy” and perhaps intimidating for some new users. And, as I mentioned, it subtly but very definitely gets in the way/distracts/etc. for me as a well-versed admin user too.
Long story short, I agree there should be admin vs. non-admin mode for a given user (if they have appropriate permissions of course). This could be a simple toggle on the workspace dropdown in the left-hand menu, to make it global, or on individual Views perhaps, though I think the global toggle is probably best. And I think it should remove e.g. Configure App and Create New View buttons, as well as remove Entity rearrangement controls. That said I would also like a simple modifier key to bring at least some of that back very quickly. See above the linked post about the usability enhancement for block-based editors (there I propose holding down the Alt key to temporarily enable admin-type, e.g. layout, modifications).
I think the ongoing blocks work may help with improving the entity view, but perhaps not explicitly allowing multiple alternative layouts.
Beyond that, individual layouts is certainly on the timeline, but hard to know when it will become WIP.
Fibery feels different for “normal” users vs “admin” users.
By “normal”, I mean a user who cannot adjust how Fibery works (e.g. adjust schema, create databases, etc). The cognitive load on normal users is lowered, as they don’t see lots of option that allow them to adjust how Fibery works.
Currently I have a separate test user within Fibery, so I can understand how thing will look and feel for our normal users.
Ability for an admin to impersonate a USER, so I can understand how Fibery LOOKS for them
Ability to toggle these super powers on or off. For example, once we have created and fine tuned our Fibery workspace, I want to use Fibery as our normal users do, so I fully understand how the system works for them and I’m not distracted with options I do not need. This also means when I am working with Employee’s / sharing my screen, we see the same interface.
This has become an issue for me for adding new relationship options. Certain databases are read only for everyone. But as an admin, if I’m moving too quickly, I’ll mistype and accidentally add another entry into that database. Now there’s a redundant item that is the same as an existing entity but slightly different. This is a hygiene issue. If I don’t catch that I did that immediately, I have to go and manually merge these two entities together.
A partial fix for this problem could be the ability for admins to “lock” a database. It can still be updated and used in relationships, but no one (including them) can add new entries or modify non-relationship aspects. Then if an admin needs to add anything new, they could unlock. Just a simple check similar to how Fibery makes you write “delete” when you want to delete a database with information.
This might need a different idea submission since it’s slightly different from a2say’s original idea.
I am also highly in favor of well-chosen, easily accessible “modes” that can help reduce cognitive load. Admin (edit config) vs. User (actually using the setup, entering and changing data, etc.) is a great example.
One place where I’m most-often distracted by this is in Entity Views, where the drag handles and ellipses menus keep appearing for every Field on-hover. It’s a little thing, but I do think it contributes to a feeling of “cognitive load”. I’d love a simple toggle in the User Profile dropdown just like the Dark Mode toggle. “Admin ← → User”, simple as that. Because I do believe it needs to be very fast and easy to switch between modes! One of the great things about using Fibery is how accessible modification is when I need it. While moving fields around is distracting 90% of the time, the ease with which I can move things in that 10% of time (probably less, really) is brilliant. I don’t want to lose that by having to go into a Settings Area or something.
Perhaps an alternative “quick toggle” for e.g. moving fields while in “User Mode” could be a hotkey, e.g. hold down Ctrl and all the drag handles show up.
I am probably naive here, but shouldn’t it be fairly easy to allow admins to change their own user role from “Admin” to a new user mode like “Admin - user mode” which has the same rights as a user except the additional right to change the user mode back to Admin?
Just found out about this topic because a mention of Chris.
This would be really helpful since we will build the whole workspace for our clients. They don’t have knowledge of Fibery at all. But they are admin since they are the license holder and owner of the company.
We’ve built quite a lot of workarounds in Fibery to:
provide functionality that is not native available in Fibery
make it as easy and dummy proof as possible for the user
Sometimes we’ve created multiple formulas and a shitload automations. For example for our build in planning system and CRM.
It would be really helpful that our clients can’t accidentally delete or change stuff
Maybe we could have a selector for each User, allowing them to choose a lower User level than their actual level, and Fibery would then “pretend” they are only that level of User…
but they can always change it when needed.
Sorry, I’m late to the party, but I also want this.
Kinda in line with my FRQ for Admins’ abilities to view Fibery as a different role, I would love as an Admin to be default in a non-config mode and only enable “Edit Mode” when necessary.
Single-selects automatically add options for Admins, I’d want that to be a conscious choice
Spaces automatically get me into the database list
Hiding/rearranging views happens easier
In the end, some of my team members will be Admins or Editors in spaces and will inadvertently “re-arrange” things that should not be re-arranged. Sure, we can argue that they need to be careful, but to me it’d be easier to be generally in an “User” mode and have a toggle somewhere on the top to switch into a “Config Mode”. Over time, that config mode will be less and less used anyway as things solidify.
What I would like in non-admin mode, is that all links/relations that now require Alt-click in order to become a clickable link, to just be a clickable link. This is for my users the most workflow hindering feature, which assumes that you always want to edit a link instead of merely using it. Examples are the pinned fields at the top of entities, and the relation fields in lists and boards.
Yes, not having to use alt-click to navigate to a relation would be my preference for admins and non-admins.
But I see that my answer did not directly relate to the ‘non-admin’ switching feature requested. I was more pointing to an improvement of the user interface that better suits content creators and users than the structure creators/admins.
I think that whether a field is a clickable link or en editable fields, needs to be a field setting.
For example if a relationship to a parent item has more the purpose of navigation 99% of the time, it needs to be a direct link. If it is a tag field, then still I’d prefer it to be clickable links, since they are mostly used one time during creation of the entity, after that they are used to navigate by users (to list the tagged entities).