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Help make Flow Design easier

The Power Automate Designer team would love to hear feedback from the perspective of novice Power Automate users, citizen developers and low coders on their experience with Power Automate Designer. When designing flows, what do they struggle most with? If this sounds like something you’ve heard someone mention, please forward them this pre-screening survey to complete:


@kishbuy238 and team are interested in hosting a screen-sharing session to identify opportunities to improve the experience. This survey will be open through to August.

134 REPLIES 134
Advocate II
Advocate II

Its been a while since i made my comment and loads of others have put a lot of great suggestions. As it stands right now, there is a lot of good using power automate but there are also a lot of frustrating areas that need correcting. It would help if we know we are being listened too @AnnaChu



Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

I assume there are people from the product team that are still watching this thread.  But Anna transferred to a different job and Microsoft so I don't expect that she will answer here.

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I agree that it is not very intuitive in many ways. I will touch on a few areas that I have learned through the same type of troubleshooting.

  • You can copy and paste an action click the three dots on the side of the action and copy to clipboard. Then add a new action which opens the navigation for possible actions. There is a tab called my clipboard that will have the copied action.
    • You can nest multiple actions in a scope (control action) and copy the whole scope
  • For expressions I recommend using the compose action. This is just really a blank spot that you can use for calculations. Place whatever expression you were nesting in the action into a compose action. This will allow you to see the input and output of the expression. You can then use the result multiple different places as the output of the compose action in dynamic content. This is very helpful in learning the types of expressions they have available because you can break it into smaller sections and actually see the results in the flow.
  • I really don't like that you have to save all the time manually, because if you forget it will revert back to the last save. This is compounded by the fact that everything has to be completed to save. I would be nice to even turn off (comment out) sections that you aren't finished with yet, but still need saved.
  • I share your frustrations, but if you stay persistent there is usually a work around it just isn't always apparent. 


I agree that the interface could be a lot more intuitive, and I hope that someone is monitoring this thread since they did ask for feedback...


Thanks for your help. I'll try out your suggestions.

New Member

I need the ability to get the value of the field before the change or to see which field was changed when the item change.

Advocate I
Advocate I

Flow design would be easier if some very basic usability principles were adhered to. These all happen to relate to testing flows but they are examples of very obvious usability/efficiency issues that exist everywhere in the interface.


There's no obvious way to test a flow from the main flow page. You have to go into the edit screen first. You also can't rerun the flow from the list of previous runs. You have to go to another screen first.


info arch.png


When testing a flow, you have to select Manual or Automatic - it doesn't default to the one you used last, the one you use most, or even just a random option. So you always have to choose an option. When you click on Automatic, you then have to select "recently used" even though there are no other options. Why doesn't it just show the recent options as well as "manual" all on the same level so that you only have to click once?


test flow 2.png


When trying to test a flow which is "off" you get a message saying you need to turn it "on" before I could test it. But there is no option to turn it on, you need to and find that for myself. The option to enable it should be included in this panel - in context.


test flow.png


Please do some usability testing on this interface.

Hi, I'm coming back because the functionality that the Send an HTTP request action in the Office 365 Groups connector has now been removed.


I'm now in the position where I'm working and the missing functionality has basically halted the ability for people to perform the Graph calls that their account is authorised to perform outside of the horrendously limited set of calls that are provided.


The multitude of calls that have been removed from service as a result of this have not been replaced in their relevant connectors (teams chats, for example) and this is as clear an example that I can see of you folks cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Again, I say: What's the point of an automation service that can't automate?


Sorry, @AnnaChu ... it's really poor. 😑

@eliotcole wrote:

Hi, @AnnaChu, I've thought of something that will really help make Flow Design easier:


Do Not Remove The Graph API Functionality From The Office 365 Groups Connector Action "Send an HTTP request"


You would basically be destroying HUGE swathes of usability of the system, forcing users into needlessly complex routines using Azure apps, which just need a simple HTTP call.


I've created an "Idea" to bring this to the fore, here:


If they're aware of this action's power, I'd call on my fellow Flow Ninjas, @Pstork1, @Expiscornovus, @tom_riha, @ScottShearer, @annajhaveri, @takolota, @ekarim2020, @Paulie78, @MarconettiMarco, @fchopo to join me in protesting the removal of such a tool.


(sorry for @'ing you all, folks)


If they aren't aware of it's usability, then I suggest they perform just any simple (non-groups 😉) Graph call in V1, and then try it in V2.


Here's some pictoral evidence of the change:

Send an HTTP request
Send an HTTP request V2
Current docs page (no V2 listed)


That Idea again:


Do not do this to us, Anna, what's the point of an automation service that can't automate?


We are using HTTP with Azure AD, could this work for you? I didn't even know there was a send http request in the office 365 groups. @eliotcole


That's a premium connector, @spamtomas ... I'm sure that we should not try to conflate that the only way that we can now perform some actions is via a paid alternative with any alternative desires from the PA team ... right? 😉

@spamtomas wrote:

We are using HTTP with Azure AD, could this work for you? I didn't even know there was a send http request in the office 365 groups. @eliotcole



Frequent Visitor

Since the release, I have been going back and forth between the new and classic designer.



- No possibility to copy/paste actions through the clipboard

- Missing error messages, leaving me with no clue with what happened

- Reverting to classic experience has destroyed one of my flows ('error reading config'), and there was no fix to it. Given that it's not possible to restore an old version of the flows, this is a pretty serious issue!



- The interface looks nice


So far I consider the new designer a complete failure and I would not be using it if I wasn't so scared it would destroy my flows when switching back to classic.

Super User
Super User

Not to mention the fact that you *literally* cannot 'heal' parallel branches in v3 designer.


Now it is being forced on everyone without option alongside copilot, whether you are a paying user or not, and wish the AI components to be 'around' or not.


There are quite a few other issues, too.


Including (and this is so silly) ... in an Apply to each if you make an expression, it will use the item() instead of an items('NAME_OF_LOOP') for the value.


I've been trying to tell them about it on GitHub ... but they just don't care, @derouio ... which is a real shame.


Especially since they removed the sub-forum of this community, to report bugs, and there are literally no *official* public forums to show that there are issues with the system.


At the end of the day ... why would you promote an interface that has so much less functionality than the previous one?


I can only think of one answer, and it's not a nice one.


Remember how they removed the ability for us to make proper Graph calls using the Groups HTTP action?

The reasoning being "oh, don't worry, you can use the relevant action sets in the relevant connectors to perform this," but then not actually providing that ...


All the while users have to then sign up for expensive plans, and companies (who are likely already paying) are watching as dependent flows / Logic Apps just ... stop working.


I can't not see this being another tool to limit the customer UX/UI and force us into paying.


I say this all as someone that already pays ... so ... yeah, I'm angry even though I can already use the paid services.

Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

@eliotcole I agree the designer isn't really ready for use at this point. But in terms of bringing parallel branches together there is a workaround.  Go to the run after settings of the last item in one of the branches. In there you can add the other last actions from the other branches to run after. That will bring the branches back together. Its kind of kludgy, but it does work.

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Resolver I
Resolver I

The new designer should NOT be forced upon people as the default. It's an absolute disaster when you realise you have to go to the classic designed for whatever reason and things are screwed up by the transition (email formatting is a big one). 


When the interface is ready, then set it as default. It's not even close to being ready. Feel free to spam users with 'would you like to try the new experimental but broken designer' or whatever, but please do not make it the default. There's important work that needs to get done. I had to introduce Power Automate to several employees in the past 2 weeks and the new designer (and the mess it created) made me look like an idiot for hyping up Power Automate to them in advance...

Advocate II
Advocate II

The only way to identify some of the actions in the new designer is via their icon, an icon which can be shared by many similar actions. 


For example, in the classic designer when you use the trigger "When a HTTP request is received" you can click on the little info (question mark) icon to get more info about the trigger.  When you do that you will get the name/type of trigger and a small description of what it does.  You can rename any trigger or action so you don't have to keep the default name but you can always click on the info. icon and find out what it is. 


When you switch to the new designer the name of the trigger becomes "Manual".  That is misleading.  The trigger has no idea what generated the incoming request, it may be something manual (a user submitting a form) or it may be an external automated process.  The info displayed in the classic designer is just not available in the new one so the only way to know what the trigger actually is, is to switch back to the classic deisgner or maybe have a photographic memory.  

Thanks, folks, good to know that I'm not alone.

Super Users Stand Up?

Also, I wouldn't ever consider myself the big "I Am" ... but when @Pstork1 is saying that it isn't ready for use, you have to see that things aren't right.

@Pstork1 wrote:

@eliotcole I agree the designer isn't really ready for use at this point. But in terms of bringing parallel branches together there is a workaround.  Go to the run after settings of the last item in one of the branches. In there you can add the other last actions from the other branches to run after. That will bring the branches back together. Its kind of kludgy, but it does work.

I suspect that there are more super users that would support this, and we shall have to make our voices heard in the next power platform session, I think. Purely because, other than this thread (which is now being ignored) there is literally no *open* way for us to communicate these things to Microsoft without them brushing it under the carpet.


I really do feel like the Copilot thing is a HUGE thing in all of this. The choice of whether an AI assistant is there, just ... y'know ... "hanging" ... is something that *EVERYONE* should have a personal choice about. Plus if you are at a Company, then the company should be able to turn it off full stop, and then if it is turned on individual users can still opt out.


Why focus on the designer, when the general UX / UI could have been improved greatly elsewhere. Take the flow list ... it is CRYING out for attention. We need more metadata for flows, so that we can organise them.


If you have that, then you can:

  • Shared - Get rid of the tabs and just identify a flow as 'Shared' with an icon, or a column
  • Tags - You can organise your flows with a self-governed tag cloud column
  • Sort - Sort flows by enabled/disabled/errorring/etc

There's so much more than the above, I'm sure ... and even just the above was more important than this.


John Liu's web system makes using vast amounts of flows so much easier and they couldn't consult with him? Or just implement tags, more columns?


Honestly, I do think that putting it all together, this all looks very bleak, and like they are just trying to push more and more folks in to paid subscriptions for very little reason. All whilst breaking functionality and potentially crippling small business that depend on contractor implemented solutions which they can't update in the new state of being.

Business Recommendations

I will strongly be urging the companies that I work with to go with Logic App based systems going forward, but even then I wonder if it isn't better to move off system entirely.


The recent SharePoint advances (SharePoint Premium and the new API layer) are showing that they're looking to potentially do a Musk on the API access and charge for access to the API.


If that comes about, then I'll be advising clients to skip Microsoft infrastructure entirely, and start to build their own cloud services and servers. Especially for small businesses.


There are numerous open source alternatives that (for a small business) are more than adequate for the job of getting everything done, which include easy mobile access.


I do think that the super user group needs to get on this.

Solution Sage
Solution Sage



The new designer's interface has several functional flaws, many of which have already been discussed here and elsewhere. However, another concern is that the updated user interface complicates the process of supporting users in my company and in this community.

My typical approach involved creating the requested workflows myself, then capturing them in a single, comprehensive screenshot. This screenshot would display all actions with their properties, along with the dynamic content window, enabling me to visually demonstrate the entire workflow in one image. This method allowed others to easily understand and replicate the workflows.

An example:


This way of providing simple solutions has become impossible. If I wanted to give the same information, I'd have to take 4 to 5 separat screenshots now and point out so many more things...


Unfortunately, the new UI limits visibility to the properties of only one action at a time. As a result, I now find myself having to either extensively explain the steps, which is less effective than showing, or create multiple screenshots, where previously one was sufficient. This change is frustrating and counterintuitive, both for me and for those I aim to help.


In addition to the limitation of only being able to open one action at a time, the new interface has a frustrating feature where many options are concealed behind "Show more" buttons. This setup is particularly challenging for beginners. It's perplexing why users must frequently click on "Show all" in almost every action to access necessary features. From a user experience perspective, this design choice is highly inconvenient and detracts from the usability of the interface. It creates unnecessary hurdles, complicating what should be a straightforward process.


An example:



It's reached a point where I'm discouraged from posting on this forum, as the new interface significantly hampers the effectiveness of my support and supporting users in my company has become way more annoying and time consuming.


Even if all the bugs are addressed and fixed, the current user interface is and will continue to be bad for new and inexperienced users.

Super User
Super User

I think it is important to say that we *all* want this to work and this is not just a "WAH, I DON'T LIKE CHANGE, WAH!" statement from grumbling devs.


I really like that they have made more of an effort with the Javascript to work better in all browsers, and suchlike. However, the non-ability to paste clipboard content is almost laughable at this stage of things. But, yes, it *feels* like the background code is more elegant, and not as cobbled together and prone to break, which is amazing. But none of that is useful if things like what @Caspar_Rubin just said aren't in the mind of the makers of it all.


The point is, that it just is *not* ready for prime time and should (as @leemager said) be a solid spam attack to get us to help you develop this amazing tool that we all rely upon for our literal jobs. 😉

Super User
Super User

Apparently someone has spotted a new feature in the new UI to heal branches. You have to edit the run after settings in the flyout on the left.


Honestly, I don't understand the rabid desire to fill the sides of our screens that Microsoft seems to have. 😅

Hi @spamtomas ! Would love to know more about the areas you'd like us to improve on. We are always listening. 🙂 Feel free to reach out to me directly kisubedi @ as well. 🙂

Yes @Pstork1 we are monitoring this thread as well. You know my email address if you want to communicate directly as well.

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