5 things I like/dislike about new GTM user interface & workspaces

Wow! It’s been a while since my last post. Seems like my crazy summer adventure turned out a proper mess (still it was well worth it :). But it’s time to GET BACK TO WORK! All the more so, there are too many exciting things going on I can’t pass by!

As you probably already know, the GTM user interface has been finally revamped. Plus, the developement team introduced a new awesome feature – workspaces. Whether you like these changes or not they mark a pivotal moment in the development of the whole service. I’m sure there’s lots work done by the team standing behind each novelty feature. Though I guess users’ wishlist has got even bigger since the release, from a personal perspective I believe that the team made an awesome job!

In the next few paragraphs I’d like to guide you through some of the new features and share my thoughts on the revamps of the new GTM user interface.

So, here’s my top 5 like list.

1. Sliding screens (overlays)

With this awesome feature you can consistently edit each item in a certain group of related tags, triggers and variables.

new gtm user interface: overlays (sliding screens)

For instance, I have a custom JS variable which used to retrieve a certain value from the DOM. After a slight site redesign the value has changed, so now the tag which has in turn a trigger that checks the value of this particular variable won’t fire.

With this new feature all I have to do is to firstly edit the variable, next click on the name of the related tag in the “References to this Variable” field and then edit the trigger (as well as the tag if necessary). All these action can now be done within single editing flow!

2. “References” field

When editing your triggers and variables, it is of the utmost importance to understand that the changes you make may have impact on several tags since, oftentimes, a certain trigger is attached to two or more tags. So when you modify it, you should keep in mind that the alterations you’ve made will affect all the tags with the modified trigger/variable attached. The “references” field serves as a perfect reminder for that.

new gtm user interface: references

3. Workspace changes table

Now you can easily see all the crucial information concerning changes that has been made in a certain workspace: which element has been changed, what type of change has been applied to an element, when the change has taken place and, finally, who has made it.

new gtm user interface: workspace changes

4. Description for workspaces

While the “changes” table answers your “which/what/when/who” questions, this simple yet very useful feature can answer your most important question – why. The description field opens up an opportunity to set up a log for additions, deletions and alterations to a workspace within the UI! No matter whether you work alone or there’s a whole marketing team managing the workspace, the description notes, if taken care of, can stand you and your team in good stead.

new gtm user interface: workspace description

5. Preview switcher

If you have multiple GTM containers installed on your site/web app, you can now easily preview each one without dropping out of the preview mode. Just use the switcher which is located in the upper right corner of the preview overlay.

new gtm user interface: preview switcher

OK, that was my like list. Probably (I’m pretty sure), some of you, GTM lovers, have other things to add to this list (why don’t you share thoughts in the comment section).

Now, let me guide you through the novelties in the revamped GTM user interface that (arguably) deserve a different approach.

1. Main info panel

Though at the moment the main info panel under the overview tab looks fairly nice and displays all the important information about the workspace, I presume some modifications could have been added to make it even better. In order to be more substantive on the subject, here is how I see it.


I believe adding the information concerning those changes that have already been published in the workspace might be a good idea because in this case any workspace editor would have a clear understanding what exactly has been changed comparing to the previous version. There can be a good many modifications displayed in the table that hopefully will get published but, in my opinion, what really matters are those changes that have already come into operation. So, adding the version change table to the main info panel might be a good idea.

new gtm user interface: version changes

Next, I can be mistaken for this but I believe there are few people who use the “add a new tag” block. If it’s true, why can’t it be replaced with something more clickable?

Finally, I guess adding links to the GTM product forum and/or to the GTM Google+ community could be of great service to those users searching for a solution to their issues.

2. New trigger icons

Seriously, I can’t understand the need for changing the style of the “firing triggers” list. As for me, the previous solution with each color matching each trigger type was brilliant.

3. Timestamps only on hover

Having actual timestamps instead of relative ones is great! Now you can see when exactly your container has been published or when your latest container version has been modified. But to get this kind of information, you will need to hover over a relative timestamp.

new gtm user interface: timestamps

I think it might be better a solution if users had the opportunity to choose which timestamp format to use.

4. User management only at the container level

Since we have workspaces, why can’t we grant access to somebody at the workspace level? Just like we manage users in UA.That would be a great option for those users who want to keep their private information enclosed in the container tags hidden from prying eyes (marketing agencies, 3rd party analysts etc).

5. No rollbacks

Variety is the spice of life, so the say. Certainly, global changes are always hard to embrace overnight. So, probably, giving users an opportunity to return to the old UI (with a notification that the old UI will be available only within 2 weeks after the new release) might be a smart move. Plus, the “rollback” rate could serve as a pass/fall criterion for the new interface.


Personally, I find almost all of the changes awesome! The development team has made a great job. I definitely can’t reckon myself in the number of GTM veterans (tag-addicted only since 2014), but from my perspective the service is getting better with each new release.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section.

Now, when we’re done with the workspace-interface revamps, maybe it’s time for an update on such a long standing feature enhancements like YouTube event listener (one of the most wanted improvements) and/or Geo-location listener?

How about that, team?

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