Salesforce User Experience (UX) Designer Certification Guide & Tips

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The Salesforce User Experience Designer certification exam came out in 2021 and introduced a new Salesforce role: Salesforce Designer. The exam covers core UX concepts such as discovery, accessibility, testing, and how you can use these concepts in Salesforce.

Since I never really considered myself as a UX Designer on the Salesforce platform, I was intrigued when this exam was first announced. As the previous Admin for the Atlanta Braves, I ran into many issues with user adoption and decided to start building additional solutions instead of determining the main cause for the low adoption rates.

Upon researching more about this certification, I learned of basic Salesforce tools such as In-App Guidance and Walkthroughs. There are also many tasks that you do as a Salesforce Admin, when implementing business processes that include some type of UX design. When I created a new Flow for a request process at the Atlanta Braves, I didn’t even realize how much I was doing to ensure the new process was accessible to every user in our org.

Many Salesforce Admins who begin studying for this exam might experience the same realization – to be a Salesforce Admin you need to have some idea of common UX concepts to ensure that you are delivering the best solutions for your company’s business processes. You may also notice that a lot of the concepts in this exam are similar to the concepts you have to study in order to pass the Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder certification exams.

I recommend this exam for anyone who has experience as a Salesforce Administrator and wants to learn more about building and deploying human-centred experiences within the Salesforce Platform.

Who’s the Ideal Candidate?

This certification is recommended for anyone who has previous experience building and designing solutions on the Salesforce Platform. Whether you are new to the Salesforce Admin role or have many years of experience solving complex problems with the power of Salesforce, this certification is an ideal one to attain. The exam will have you focus on creating solutions through requirements gathering and creating human-centered user experiences.

You may not realize that the work you are already completing uses core UX concepts when delivering solutions through Salesforce. As I mentioned earlier, that was definitely the case with myself. Initially, I did not think this certification was for me as I never considered myself a UX Designer. It wasn’t until the Salesforce community blew up and I saw 5-10 new people achieving the certification every week. I thought to myself “if everyone else is going out and getting this certification I should at least give it a try, right?”

There were definitely topics that I had to study more than others, especially Salesforce Lightning Design System and some of the UX fundamentals. By following the study tips and strategy provided later in this guide, and having previous experience of taking both the Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder exams, I was able to successfully pass the exam with minimal studying. My thorough understanding of the Salesforce platform, administration on the platform, and having knowledge of nearly every product offered by Salesforce also proved to be very beneficial when taking the exam.

Key Topics​

1. Declarative Design 27%​

This is the largest section with the highest weighting on the exam. You will be tested on your basic Salesforce knowledge and on topics that are also covered on the Salesforce Administrator exam. There are plenty of questions regarding Salesforce core functions and how you can customize them to improve user efficiency through design changes. It is also important to know what features are available to you as a Salesforce Admin, to help with onboarding and increase adoption across your organization.

If you have a good understanding of object structures, reporting, and UX customization such as page layouts, paths, or dynamic forms, then you’ll be good to go with this portion of the certification. It would also be beneficial to have a basic understanding of some of the different clouds, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Marketing Cloud.

2. Salesforce Lightning Design System 21%​

Coming in at just under a quarter of the entire certification exam, this is the second-largest section on the exam. You will need a high-level understanding of what the Salesforce Lightning Design System actually is in order to answer any of these questions. This system will be beneficial to anyone who wants to build applications with the look and feel of Lightning Experience in a low-code scenario, and is provided by the Developer team at Salesforce. Understanding SLDS’s icon library and having an overall knowledge of iconography and color contrast will be very useful for these questions.

This section will contain scenario-based questions to ensure you understand these concepts and the best practices associated with them. It’s important to understand Lightning Web Components as these are the tools that developers use to build better user experiences through languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

3. UX Fundamentals 16%

Web Accessibility is the main topic for this section of the exam. Many standards of accessibility should be known when going into this exam, such as color contrast, ensuring your users understand what has been built, and providing engaging content. As shown in the image below, a few changes made to your solution can ensure that the user experience is friendly and operable, allowing your users to be more productive with their work.

This section will also include a portion of questions related to optimizing your Lightning Components for mobile use.  Salesforce has a mobile app that your users can use when they are away from the computer, and it can be very beneficial for your Sales teams that have to go out for meetings. It’s important to make sure that your solutions are not only accessible on a desktop, but also accessible and engaging via mobile.

Study Strategy

Luckily, there are quite a few resources for studying towards this exam. Of course, there is the official study guide which will be your first place to go – but you should also get started with the prebuilt Trailmix on Trailhead for this exam. Not only does it provide modules to complete within Trailhead, divided by exam section, but it also provides other resources that will help you prepare for the exam. I highly recommend that you take a look at the Salesforce Lightning Design System documentation as well, as not too many Salesforce Admins have used this tool before and it’s a larger topic on the exam.

As I mentioned earlier, this exam overlaps with the Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder exams, through a lot of questions. If you have not achieved these certifications yet, it might be best to study for all three at the same time (or get your Admin cert first and study for the other two afterwards).

Question Format

Like most certification exams, the User Experience Designer exam has a large number of scenario-based questions. Most of these questions are pretty long and will try to trick you with multiple answers that could work for the particular scenario that is outlined. Here is an example of a question you could see in this exam:

A UX Designer is creating a customer support site in Experience Builder that will be internationalized across 12 different countries. Which two design considerations should be made when planning for this site?

  • Countries may read text differently (right to left vs. left to right) and layouts will have to be adjusted.
  • Country flags used as links to adjust languages provide an ideal way to switch between locales or languages for users.
  • Colors may have different contrast ratios in some countries and need adjusted contrast for proper visibility by users.
  • Colors may have different culture meanings in different countries, changing the intent of UI elements.

There are also quite a few questions that will test your knowledge of overall User Experience terms and concepts to ensure that you have a foundational knowledge of best practices with UX designing on the Salesforce Platform.

The UX Designer at Cloud Kicks is asked to make the website size and content adapt to the screen size, platform and orientation. Which design should be chosen?

  • Responsive
  • Refactored
  • Reactive
  • Proactive

Exam Strategy

Once you have reached exam day, you should try to make one final attempt to learn any topics that you are not certain of. A popular strategy for this is to print off a brief cheat sheet of the information you want to learn and try to memorize it leading up to your exam start time. 

Make sure to read through the question multiple times before you view the answer choices that are provided. Once you move on to view the answer choices, you should start by using the process of elimination. Although it won’t be as easy to determine incorrect answers as the quizzes on Trailhead, you should be able to eliminate 1-2 options that are completely wrong or just made up. They also like to throw in curveballs – features that appear to be correct but aren’t best practice.

It is also highly recommended to utilize the “Mark for Review” feature available in each question of the exam. If you are not confident of your answer, or just not able to think of an answer right at that moment, you can use this checkbox to remind yourself to come back to these questions. Even though it is best to go through the entire exam twice, it would be beneficial to mark these questions so you can do a final review of them if you have enough time. Ultimately, you can get a good idea of how likely you are to pass the test by marking the questions that you do not have a confident answer for.

Resources

Tips

  • Make sure you download the Salesforce Certified User Experience Designer Exam Guide and prioritize items with heavier weightings or topics you are not as comfortable with.
  • Complete the Trailmix provided by Salesforce and scan through the Salesforce Lightning Design System website.
  • Review the Salesforce Lightning Design System website to ensure you learn more about design guidelines and how the resources available to you can help improve your designs.

Final Thoughts​

This certification is a great achievement for any Salesforce professional who has experience designing on the Salesforce platform. Ideally, you should have at least six months of experience working as a Salesforce UX Designer or Administrator before you attempt the exam.

The most crucial topics to understand are core Salesforce topics, Salesforce Lightning Design System, and the principles of web accessibility. It is also worth noting that a lot of people who have passed this exam already have said that it is “very easy to pass”. However, going into this exam you should not expect that it will be easy to pass just because others have said so. Everyone’s Salesforce experience and test-taking abilities are different, so if you don’t pass first time, just review the topics you received the lowest scores on, and try again until you feel comfortable and confident that you will pass. Good luck!

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