# Frustration with Coda : Not enough User Friendly / Rows References are Tricky

I’m very frustrated I nearly resolved this month puzzle but abandoned at the end

There are some fields in Coda that are absolutely not User Friendly. Especially the cross tables referencing and filter.
I thought that I understood the system but finally not. I’m always trying different ways to filter results to make them match to other columns values. Sometimes I succeed and other times I don’t. And this makes Coda sometimes very hard to use.

Like :

`If(ThereIsAWinner=true,If(thisRow.Nominee=[Score Card Data].[Oscar Winner].Filter(Category=thisRow.Category),SwitchIf([Number of votes]=0,"",[Number of votes]=1,Rectangle(20,10,"#11a509"),[Number of votes]=2,Rectangle(40,10,"#11a509"),[Number of votes]=3,Rectangle(60,10,"#11a509")) ,SwitchIf([Number of votes]=0,"",[Number of votes]=1,Rectangle(20,10,"#d81515"),[Number of votes]=2,Rectangle(40,10,"#d81515"),[Number of votes]=3,Rectangle(60,10,"#d81515")) ),SwitchIf([Number of votes]=0,"",[Number of votes]=1,Rectangle(20,10,"#cccccc"),[Number of votes]=2,Rectangle(40,10,"#cccccc"),[Number of votes]=3,Rectangle(60,10,"#cccccc")) )`

This is ugly And it doesn’t work

Or :

Why are things like this ? Why can’t I simply retrieve my other table values corresponding to the Category ? I tried many formula like =[Table].filter(Category=thisrow.Category).OscarWinner
None of them worked. Lookup is fine and it worked here but displayed weird results (the brackets and the empty rows).
You’ll probably give me the solution, but will not answer the problem : it is not intuitive.
I wonder if you’ll try to tweak Coda to make it more intuitive.

Concerning user friendliness : I talked with a friend at work, and he told me that he wouldn’t use Coda if I wasn’t there to help and organise our documents, because it is too much work to make something usable. Also there are many simple improvements that would take Coda on the next level on the User Friendly side e.g click under a card in the card view to add a new card instead of having to click on the + button (just one exemple of many others).

I’m sorry, I’m disappointed because of those puzzles (which I really like!), and I realised that Coda needs too much involvement to be used.
I’ll keep working with Coda because it is awesome and because the team is great, but please, find a way to simplify things!

I still love you

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@tomavatars I feel your pain! I thought the hardest part about the puzzle was going to be creating the bars and conditional formatting, but I spent 90% of my time on structuring the tables and getting filters and lookups to work. It didn’t feel that different from getting a complicated formula in Excel to work but understanding the nuances about the Coda syntax and objects was (and still is) challenging.

Regarding your `=[Table].filter(Category=thisrow.Category).OscarWinner` formula, I found that the column type of your current table matters. For instance, it looks like in the screenshot the “Category” column is a Text format, not a Select List or Lookup From Table. I experimented by changing the column type and found that Lookup From Table was the only option that allowed the filter formula to work correctly. This doesn’t make sense to me either since I believe as long as the text matches the lookup value, then it should work.

To add on to the complexity of knowing the column type to ensure your filter formula works correctly, I ran into the issue of using `thisRow` versus the column name as the reference (see this thread and related thread). Knowing `thisRow` refers to a tuple complicates things because there are instances where I think using `thisRow` by itself should not work (but works), and then instances where I think it should work (but doesn’t) depending on how you structure your tables.

As you said, much and to the team and community for attacking difficult problems.

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