Dynamic View Tricks for Common Painpoints

gwenjo ✭✭✭
edited 08/03/23 in Show & Tell

I've been using Smartsheet's Dynamic View to streamline and automate workflows in my organization, which has led to stakeholder onboarding that has scaled to a large group of external users.

There are common complaints that have surfaced from both new and existing users, which makes me curious about workarounds the community may have found to improve user experience for this tool. Below are a few that have popped up repeatedly along with the suggestions I've made so far (if any). I'm also interested to hear about any browser plugins they could use to improve Smartsheet's UX (must be client side as third party tools like Zapier aren't infosec approved on my end).

1) Inability to Freeze Panes: This is a big one, many users are accustomed to keeping key record data visible as they navigate through large tables and they lose their place when scrolling too far horizontally. I've had feedback of users logging in to export our data into Excel for this reason, then only coming back if any actions are required

Current Advice:

*Use "Shift+Scroll Wheel" to quickly jump back/forth horizontally while keeping the mouse fixed so they don't lose their place

*Grouping key data into a helper column, which is then displayed as a read-only field in the details pane of the DV

*Opening the same view in two separate browser windows stacked side by side. This sounds a bit clunky when/if vertical scrolling is needed, but a Chrome extension was recommended to facilitate this

2) Browser Search Not Working: users attempt to search a record through Ctrl+F or Ctrl+G but this only returns what's visible on screen and/or does not allow 'jumping' to search results. While DV contains a 'filter' feature, some users need to quickly find individual records by their unique ID which becomes time consuming when dealing with voluminous data (4k+ records depending on case)

Current Advice:

*Export to CSV and open in Excel, though this leads to users questioning the general value of the new DV solution

*Creating Dynamic Views that are pre-filtered for the needs of individual stakeholders, though this is not scalable and limited by the count of available views in our plan

3) Lack of Parent/Child Hierarchies: limiting record count is possible with reports and Smartsheet Core through collapsible hierarchies of records belonging to the same parent category or project. When viewed in DV, these relationships and their structure are lost

Current Advice:

*Including repeated but shared fields for records through helper columns in DV that users can filter by, though this leads to what users feel is a raw database rather than a project management tool

4) Loss of Coloring for Selected Rows: when a row is selected in DV, it will highlight in blue to confirm the selection. If the sheet has any existing color formatting, the visual cue to confirm its selection is no longer visible

Current Advice:

*Recommend users to temporarily disable all color formatting in their DV when selecting a record, though this degrades their experience when relying on the existing visual cues

5) Email Notifications Don't Link to Dynamic Views: stakeholders receive automated notifications from Smartsheet that link back to the source sheet of their Dynamic View, which they don't have access to

Current Advice:

*Use generic email message notifications without a link back to or mention of the records of interest

6) Linking Records Between Smartsheet Assets: if a user would like to drill down or navigate outside of their DV to a read-only Sheet or Report, they must figure out where this record can be found and if successful, must look for it again

*I'm stumped here, though I'm suspecting this is due to my lack of personal knowledge. This complaint has surfaced for our Smartsheet solutions in general and I can't imagine a publicly available project management system without it

I think this covers all of the main issues I've encountered so far! I'm looking forward to hearing from anyone in the community on advice or tricks to mitigate the aforementioned