A 90 Degree Tilt: Introducing Vertical Pipes

April 11, 2017 by Ken Kaczmarek

As folks in our beta community may have noticed this weekend, we made a bit of a UI pivot. Literally. We’re delighted to introduce vertical pipes.

At the conception of Flex.io, when the design was geared to a more dialog-centric, non-technical audience, it made sense to have a horizontal pipe builder, which offered space to provide a range of dialog controls, such as list boxes and drop-down selectors.


However, as we moved away from dialogs toward commands and refocused the product on the developer community, we found that the horizontal pipe interface was bursting at the seams. Some of the more pressing issues included difficulty setting up inputs and outputs, a single-command focus and an inability to easily annotate the pipe.

Out with the Old

Taking our cue from, well, the standard top-down approach to writing code in a text editor, we took a few days to hack together a concept for vertical pipes that also factored away the difficult parts of setting up inputs and outputs. It turned out this minor tweak was a major step forward.

Vertical pipe

So, we’ve been scurrying around getting it battle-tested and are pleased to announce that the new pipe builder is now live!

We’re still in the process of updating documentation and our website with new graphics, but here is a short onboarding video that show the top-down pipes in action.

For all of you in the beta program, we believe this should be a fairly natural, seamless transition. However, we’ll be reaching out via email in the coming days to see if we can help. For those of you on the beta list, we’ll be sending out a new slew of invites shortly.

Happy (vertical) piping!