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The All-New Appian Designer: A Makeover Worth Waiting For

Prashanth Shankara, Senior Manager, Product Marketing
May 27, 2022
"What I like about Appian is that they keep evolving with every release" - Jaishanker Vijayakumar, PMP

Extreme makeover: Low-code edition

Instagram did it in 2016, and again, in 2020. LinkedIn did it in 2018. 

And in 2022, it’s Appian’s turn to do it. 

Do what, you ask? Get a product makeover in time for the summer. 

A makeover is a pivotal moment in a product’s lifecycle, a sign of evolution to take the product experience to the next level. 

When iOS switched to its now-popular flat design from the older one, favored by Steve Jobs himself, it was a monumental shift in look and feel. When Instagram redesigned its home to put Reels and Shop on the front page, it was a functional redesign to enable easier access to features that will enhance their user experience. 

The iOS design shift 1 (left) and Instagram redesign2 (right) 

And with Appian 22.2, we have our own makeover moment. In 22.2, we are introducing an all-new Appian Designer, bringing a new look & a new approach to our low-code design environment. 

Our goal with this new release is simple: Offer a guided, intuitive experience for developers, both new and experienced. 

“The moment you log in, you can see more details. It's a complete revamp. I really like it. Someone new will see how beautiful it is right from the beginning.” – Aviroop Dasgupta, Appian SME & customer

Introducing the all-new Appian Designer

Appian Designer in Appian 22.2

The new Designer leads with Appian’s foundational concepts (like data, UI, workflow, integrations) and lowers the barrier of entry for new developers and improves the experience of current Appian developers. 

What exactly do we mean by this?

  1. New developers onboard and learn faster with an easy understanding of an app’s architecture, design, structure & deployment. 
  2. Developers will be faster at everything: making new apps, jumping in to enhance existing apps, or just connecting to helpful resources.
  3. Teams ramp up faster on unfamiliar apps and spend less time on handoffs to customers.

On the cosmetic side, the new Designer reflects the new Appian brand introduced in 2021 with a sleek, fresh look. But this isn’t just a cosmetic makeover. 

On the functional side, the new Designer provides prompts, immediate insights, and resources as you design your app. 

This short 3-minute demo should give you a good sense of the new Appian Designer. 

Rebranded experience

The Designer is the default home from where a developer creates or imports their application. The new Designer has updated branding, styling, and accent colors in line with the modern Appian brand. With top level views (Objects, Monitors, etc.) in the left pane and updated icons for all object types, the new Designer has a warm, inviting look that makes development a joy

Appian Designer before (left) and after 22.2 (right)

The Explore View

Once inside an application, the Explore view provides immediate insights into the structure of your app, its packages, high-level design objects and supporting documentation, improving the day-to-day developer experience. 

When working with existing apps, you can see a preview of all site pages through thumbnails. When starting with a new app, the Explore view will suggest objects developers commonly use as starting points. 

Developers get a better understanding of the app through handy icons signaling:

  • The source of your record types and connected systems
  • Whether data sync is enabled for a record type
  • Whether a process model includes a human task or uses RPA or IDP
  • The method a web API uses and whether the API creates a document
"It's so good. The explorer view is awesome. It gives everything in a nutshell. I can't wait to get started with the new Designer. - Sthuthi Devadas, Associate Director, VURAM

The Explore View in Appian 22.2 

Enhanced Applications List

We have also enhanced the look and feel of the Applications list where you create and access apps. As you access your apps, the right pane allows you to quickly connect to resources like Community discussions, tutorials, support, release notes, and documentation. Navigation is easier with the new left pane showing objects, app health, deployments, and users. New call-to-action cards for creating/importing apps and a strategic location for search and filters make getting started a seamless experience

Making low-code a joy.

“I was literally amazed to see it. Having all the components there, the explorer view, build and deploy - It's amazing. I am eagerly waiting to use it.” - Ravichandran Thiruganasambandham, Director of Services, Vuram

The all-new Appian Designer is an aesthetic and functional makeover to improve the development experience within Appian. We haven’t changed anything fundamental in how you build your apps though. These new changes just help make development a more seamless, easy, and joyous experience within Appian. 

Try the new Appian Designer with the free Appian Community Edition here