Knack Blog

The Knack team on web applications, online databases, and beautifully designed products.

 

Feature Highlight: Allow Users to Add New Options in Forms

11/17/2017 Posted by Ranasha

In Knack, adding a multiple choice or connection field to your object is a great way to categorize or connect your data. Users can choose from a dropdown menu of options and associate the record with a category or record in a connected object.  

For example, consider the following example.

HowDidYouHearUs-1


Multiple choice and connection fields make it possible for you to offer several options to the user.  However, in some cases, the correct response is not always available. How can users add another option without needing to access the builder?  

Well, it just so happens we have a solution for allowing users, in the live app, to add new options from within the form!

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How to allow users to add new options in forms

  • Head to the Pages tab of the Builder
  • Find the page where your form view is located
  • Click on the gear icon to open up the view’s options

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  • Find the field you want to enable the feature on and hover your cursor over it
  • Click the gear icon to open up the field settings

In the screenshot below, you can enable this feature on both multiple choice fields and connection fields.

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  • Next to Custom Options, check the box to allow users to add new options

Enabling this feature on a multiple choice field will add a new option.

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Enabling this feature on a connection field will add a new record to the connected object.

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Once enabled, app users can now add new options by clicking on the “Add new option link”.

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When a user clicks on the “Add a new option” link, a modal popup of the form will open.  The user can complete the form, click submit and see their new option populated as the selected field value.

Example: Multiple Choice Field

Adding a new multiple choice field option will open up a lightbox with a field to add a new option.

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Success the new option has been added!

GoogleSuccess

Example: Connection Field

Adding a new connected option will open up a child form to add a new record.

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Success the new campaign has been added!

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This feature is available with all plans.  If you are interested in linking related data using dynamic drop downs, check out our guide below.

New Knacksters Alert!

10/11/2017 Posted by Danielle

We’re thrilled to introduce our newest Knacksters: Gavin, Adam, and Jeremy!

Over the past couple months we have been busy making some additions to our dream team. We are so excited we wanted to shout it from the mountain tops, but we didn’t have a mountain handy so this blog post will have to do.

We also like to take sneaky interview screenshots. Along with bringing their unique skills and talents to the team, you can see that Knack is getting a nice upgrade in the beard department.

Gavin Foster

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Back in July we hired Gavin, who hails from Richmond, VA. He joined the engineering team as a Junior Engineer and is eager to expand his skills into full-stack engineering. Fortunately, we have plenty of needs in this department.

Gavin comes from an art background and during his interview he showed off his screen printing skills. Little did he know that according to Knack lore, an official Knack hoodie was promised to the team years ago. Since there is still no sign of it, we may need to enlist Gavin to help make it happen.

Adam Ward

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Adam is from Murfreesboro, TN and was hired in August as our new Support Engineer. He will be the glue between the success and engineering teams, all in the service of supporting our customers even more seamlessly, especially around pesky technical issues. Adam considers his job well done when the customers he’s helped are not contacting support anymore. Don’t worry, you can still say “hi” anytime!

In a past life Adam was a videographer, so fingers crossed, he can work his video magic and capture some of our retreat adventures (we haven’t asked yet, so we will see what happens).

Jeremy Sher

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Jeremy is from Eugene, Oregon and is our latest Senior Engineer. We’re always excited to add a Senior Engineer so this was a great addition to the Knack “building cool things with code” department.

Jeremy also plays fiddle in a Bluegrass band and will happily discuss theories comparing coding with playing music. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a live fiddle demo during our interview so we’ll have to save it for our future Knack talent show.

So a big welcome to Gavin, Adam, and Jeremy! We are so excited to see all the great things you do at Knack!

Knack Retreat: Salt Lake City 2017

09/20/2017 Posted by Danielle

A few weeks ago we had our 4th retreat in Salt Lake City, Utah. We caught up as a team, hashed out ideas in work sessions, and hosted our first “KnackCon” for our customers. Now that we have another successful retreat in the books, we wanted to share some of the highlights with you!

image_0Team Knack! We are getting better at group pictures!

 

ezgif.com-resizeWe also actually took individual pictures!

 

image_2We couldn’t get enough of the sunset views.

 

image_3Or the post sunset views, equally as beautiful.

 

image_4Oh nothing to see here, just giant mountains and rainbows.

 

image_5Retreats are always perfect for big picture strategy sessions. Some of us are paying more attention than others.

 

image_6Success team making things successful on the front lawn.

 

image_7We had such a great time visiting customers in Miami we decided to host our first “KnackCon” at our house with customers from the area. It was invaluable to hear more about how they use Knack and talk through what future updates might bring!

 

image_8Retreats are perfect for the engineering team to go deep on challenging issues. This year’s focus was on database performance. Steve decided to join because we were being loud outside of his bedroom.

 

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image_10Exploring downtown SLC.

 

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image_12It wouldn’t be a Knack retreat without game night! It may have taken us longer to agree on what rules to play by than actually play the game. What does it say when the founders are picked last in playground-style team selections?

 

ezgif.com-video-to-gifThe front lawn was the perfect setting for a somersault race.

 

image_13Somehow Lime-a-rita cheers have now become an official retreat thing.

 

image_14Leaving our mark on Salt Lake City!

Knack + Zapier = A Match Made in Data Heaven

08/17/2017 Posted by Carson

Better Together

Hunched over a laptop painstakingly entering records line by line into a database—we've all been there. When the data you need to run to your business is scattered across a number of different apps—email marketing platforms, CRMs, invoicing tools—getting that info into your database can feel like an uphill battle.

Zapier is an app automation tool that connects Knack to the other apps you use throughout your day. With Zapier, you build “Zaps”—simple automations that don't require any code—that move your data from one app to another automatically. Need to attach a paid invoice to an existing record? No sweat, there's a Zap for that. You can even move data out of your Knack database and share it elsewhere. For example, get a heads up via a Twilio SMS whenever a record is updated.

Need some inspiration to get started? Here's how three companies are automating their database workflows using Knack and Zapier.

Maintain accurate records

Rows and rows of detailed records are only helpful if they're easy to access. Business consulting company Intrabellus, Inc. deals with multiple Knack databases across many different clients. Their clients need to be able to dive into the details without disrupting the layout of the data.

Their simple solution? An automation between Knack and Google Drive.

“I use Zapier to create an extra copy of all Knack records,” says CEO Nichole Carpenter. “This gives my clients reassurance about accessing or moving their files with no extra work needed on my part.”

Grow client relationships

You can have the most powerful tools at your disposal, but they’re useless if your team isn't using them. The data in your CRM is only as helpful as it is current. And without up-to-date information on your prospects and customers, clients can fall through the cracks and relationships suffer.

Startup fundraising advisory Capital Pilot knows this frustration all too well and started looking for new ways to ease this pain.

“I’ve never worked in a place where people actually used the CRM properly,” explains co-founder and COO Matt Johnson. “Automating certain tasks through Zapier and adding reminders and triggers make it so people actually use the CRM.”

Before setting up this automation, Capital Pilot wasn't confident in the funding status of companies logged in their CRM. Was the data current or wildly out of date? A few missing zeros here and there could negatively impact a budding relationship.

Matt fixed this issue by setting up a Zap that updates their CRM of choice, Pipedrive, every time a new form is submitted in Knack. Updating a startup's information in the CRM automatically, rather than relying on the team to remember to log in themselves, improves efficiency and allows them to grow relationships effectively.

“I spend way less time doing data entry, or copying something from one app into another,” adds Matt. “Plus, with simple automations, we avoided spending time and money on software development at a time when we couldn't afford it.”

Make customers happier

It's easy to get tunnel vision on your most important tasks of the day. But letting little things slide can disappoint customers and impact repeat business. Before setting up a few handy automations, repair company PhoneAxiom Express Device Repair found it difficult to keep up with customer notifications.

“In the rush of business, you sometimes forget the basics,” says owner Mark Pauley. “We haven't always been so great at calling customers to notify them that their device is ready for pickup.”

Now, Mark relies on Knack and Zapier to automatically send alerts to customers and has since seen a boost in the quality of his company's customer service. He uses a Knack database to track service requests, including details like the type of phone needing repair, the cost of repair, and payment info. Whenever a device's status changes to “ready for pick up” in Knack, a Zap automatically texts the customer via the messaging app, DialMyCalls. The result? Happier customers and no more forgotten messages.

Setting up your Zapier integration

To use Knack with Zapier, you’ll first need to connect your Knack account. You’ll get a pop-up prompting you to sign in to your Knack account. This lets Zapier link your Knack account to the other apps you choose.

Zapier

Now you'll see your Knack account connected to Zapier.

Zapier

That’s it! You’re connected and ready to create some Zaps! Get started with one of the pre-built Zap templates for our most popular automations, or build your own workflow from scratch using the “Make a Zap” button.

Your Turn

Want to try out a few automations for yourself? Here are a few ideas to get started, or let us know your own favorite Zaps!

-Kim at Zapier

Click here for a full list of what's possible when you combine Knack and Zapier!

Feature Highlight: Track Changes to Your Data

08/10/2017 Posted by Odalis

There are times when there may be some confusion or misunderstanding as to why something changed in your data. For example:

  • Who updated that customer’s order to “Complete” when the item they purchased is still in your warehouse?
  • What new information was added to that recently updated project?
  • When did that member sign up for an account?

For Knack users with a Pro plan or above, the record history can answer those questions.

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Add Clarity to Forms Using Instructions

08/03/2017 Posted by Odalis

Sometimes users misunderstand what information we want and we need to add in a little more direction to avoid hours of confirming the accuracy of information.

For example, we have a multi-step application where we keep getting responses to a few questions that aren’t exactly what we’re looking for. Like our Licenses questions. We’re only looking for licenses that were given at the state or national level. But right now, we have applicants that are including other types of licenses:

So we want to add in some additional instructions to ensure we’re capturing the right information—the first time around.

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Reveal Data Faster using Value Links

07/27/2017 Posted by Odalis

Users can get frustrated and use your app less if getting the information they need requires too much jumping around. They want it to be as easy as possible to get what they need and then continue with their day.

For example, we have a Donations page that includes the name of the donor that made the donation:

Our users would love if they could click on the Donor name on the table to find out more about a specific donor. Otherwise, they need to first navigate to the Donors page and then search for the Donor to see their details. It may not seem like a lot of extra steps, but when you have to do that daily, it can be irritating.

So we’re going to use Value Links to make the donor names clickable and send users directly to the donor’s details page.

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Add Clarity to Forms Using Layouts and Groups

07/20/2017 Posted by Odalis

Sometimes you need to collect a lot of information on a form. Which means being clear about the information you need and making it easy to input that information. Otherwise, you could get stuck with incomplete information or users can take much longer to fill out your forms.

That’s where layouts and groups can help! For example, we have a multi-step application with a Licenses & Education section. We could make users scroll through all the questions like this:

Or we could use different layouts and groups to better organize the form and require less scrolling, like this:

Which would your users prefer?

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Add Clarity to Forms by Customizing Your Submit Button Text

07/13/2017 Posted by Odalis

Sometimes all it takes is a little text to help your users know exactly what to do in your apps. When it comes to forms, changing the submit button text can be the difference between rarely and often getting incomplete information from your users.

For example, we have a multi-step application where we want applicants to fill out multiple parts of a form. Once they complete a step, they’re automatically sent to the next step. But that’s not obvious to all applicants when we use “Submit” at the end of each form part.

So we want to switch out the current “Submit” text on the submit button to something that shows them they’ll be moving on to a new part of the form.

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Limit File Size

07/06/2017 Posted by Odalis

You’ve got a form where users can upload files from their computers or smartphones. But you’ve noticed that many of the uploaded files are huge and taking up a lot of storage space. It would be great if you could limit the size of the files users can upload.

For example, we have a job portal where applicants can apply for jobs and upload their resumes. However, we want to prevent them from uploading resume files that take up too much space. So we want to limit them to files that are no bigger than 20MB:

Jenny Martin tried to upload a file that was larger than 20MB. Instead of the form submitting, the user received a message letting them know they need to upload a smaller file.

How to Limit a File’s Size

Here’s how you can prevent users from uploading large files using a Validation Rule:

1. In the Data section of the builder, select the object that contains the file field whose size you want to limit. If the file field doesn’t already exist, create a new one.

2. Click on the gear icon of the file field to open the editor.

3. Go to the Validation Rules section and check the “Add field validation rules” box:

4. For the When part of the rule, select the file field and then the “size is greater than” option. Once that’s selected, you’ll be able to choose the size limit.

For the Message part of the rule, you can enter the custom message you want the user to see.

Your validation rule is now ready and your users will automatically be prompted if they try to upload those larger files.