User experience design for Salesforce is becoming an increasingly hot topic, with a brand new Salesforce certification to cement its importance. User experience can truly make or break a system, either facilitating success or preventing user adoption.
In this article, we’ll explore seven features to implement in every Salesforce project to improve the user experience.
What are UI/UX Features?
User experience/interface features are implemented to improve the design and navigation for the user. User experience features should help you meet the needs of your users, creating an intuitive, consistent interface that reflects positively on your brand or platform. This might include creating dynamic pages that display only relevant information or including features that improve productivity.
Since the start of my journey with Salesforce, my colleagues were always talking about flowers. Whenever we went live with a project, or we were preparing for a presentation, they always had to make sure we had the little flowers.
So what are flowers, or “florezinhas”, as we say in Portuguese?
Flowers are the small details and although they are not structural, they are what make Salesforce personal. These little details can ensure that your users love Salesforce.
I’ll leave you here with some “flowers”…
1. Conditional Lightning Page Components
One of the main benefits of Lightning pages (versus traditional page layouts) is that we can significantly reduce the number of layouts required. Lightning pages support conditional components that can be configured to display (or not!) based on criteria that you define.
You could choose to filter component visibility based on:
- Field values
- Record type
- User profile or role
- Permission set
- Device (desktop or mobile)
The possibilities are seemingly endless and super powerful.
Let’s take a look at a simple example where conditional components can support multiple teams using a single Lightning page.
There are three teams working on Salesforce and they all need the same basic information on the homepage – Tasks, Events, Recent Items, and Chatter – however, each team has a specific requirement in terms of the metrics they would like to see in a report.
Marketing Team – I would like to see a report of my campaigns but I don’t want to see any finance or sales information.
Sales Team – I would like to see a report of my leads by status but I don’t want to see any marketing or finance information.
Finance Team – I want to see a pipeline report of all open opportunities but I don’t want to see any marketing or lead information.
Here’s the old solution:
- Create three homepages and assign each one to the relevant profile.
And the new awesome solution:
- Create one Lightning homepage, include all the common components, and add a unique report component for each team.
- Next, with a report component selected, click on “Set Component Visibility”.
- Select “Advanced” > “Field – Select” > “User” > “Profile” > “Name”, and enter the value of the profile (make sure the Operator is set to “Equal”), then click “Done”.
- Repeat for all of the report components.
- Now the reports will only display for the relevant teams!
2. Icons, Icons and More Icons
A user-friendly way to display information is with the use of icons; such a simple thing but it can completely change the user experience. Here are some examples where icons can be used:
- List View: Add icon while you write the List View Name.
- List View Records: Add your formula fields to the list views (check out the ‘Channel’ column!).
- Record: Have formula fields with images on your record page to represent information like lead score.
3. Keyboard Shortcuts
If you have teams working with multiple cases at the same time, then this feature is perfect for you. Salesforce supports multiple keyboard shortcuts to improve productivity and help users work more efficiently.
4. Compact vs. Comfy Navigation
Salesforce offers two display densities that can improve navigation:
- Comfy: A spacious view that takes up more space, with labels on the top of fields and increased space between page elements.
- Compact: A denser view with labels to the left of the fields and less space between page elements.
The compact view can drastically reduce the need to scroll for information… Once you go compact, you never go back!
5. Rich Text Components
Part of improving the user experience is personalizing the user journey. You can use rich text components to share a message with your team or to include links to access information easily. You might use this on your homepage or on a record page.
Use rich text components for:
- Important announcements
- Links to external folders
- Link to reports
- Picture celebrating the birthday of a user
- Salesforce user of the month
- Go to the Lightning Page
- Select the component – Rich Text
- Drag onto the Page
- Add your message
- Press ‘Save’ and ‘Activate’ and voila!
6. Let’s Celebrate!
Celebration is a key feature that demonstrates the importance of user experience and how much importance Salesforce places on creating an engaging interface.
Salesforce Celebration empowers Admins to interact with users in a fun, visual way to celebrate wins. It’s so simple to set up; when creating your Path, you choose at what point and how often to display confetti. For example, you might choose to rain confetti every time an Opportunity is closed won.
The first time I implemented this for a client, I immediately had a call asking if it was normal, because in her 15 years of experience working with CRMs she had never seen anything like it!
7. Salesforce Path and Guidance
One of my absolute favourite user experience features! Salesforce is more than a database full of fields to collect endless data. Salesforce is designed to streamline processes, automate and improve ways of working.
Path allows the admin to guide users through the steps of a business process, such as working an opportunity from a fresh lead to a successfully closed deal. At each step of a path, you can highlight key fields and include customized guidance for success.
Three years have passed since the first version of this post and Salesforce, as always, has grown with new cool features that can help us create a better user experience. That said, several of my original tips are still very much relevant.
1. Salesforce App – Adapt to Your Environment
Users want to feel as if Salesforce is adapted specifically for them, so I advise you to create an Application for each group of users. This will allow you to show a specific set of relevant tabs, as well as name the App after the group of users e.g. UC – Human Resources or UC – Financial.
2. List Views – Clean your Room
There is nothing more annoying than opening Salesforce and having a ton of list views to scroll through to find the one you want! Organize list views according to the goals of that team’s work; this can be achieved using proper naming conventions and numbers to create a logical sequence.
3. Validation Rules – Make it Funny
Validation rules are a fast and extremely effective way of ensuring that the information entered is correct so that we have a clean database. Since we have to create an error message, we might as well make it entertaining!
Tip: Sometimes, some profiles (admins) do not need to have the validation rules. See our post on Sales Cloud validation rules for more information.
4. Page Layouts and Lightning Pages – Adapt, Conquer, Overcome
Embrace the powerful Lightning App Builder to add, remove, or reorder components on a record page or homepage, creating intuitive and bespoke pages.
5. Compact Layouts – Give More with Less
A compact layout displays a record’s key fields at a glance in both the Salesforce mobile app and Lightning Experience. They also work when you hover over a master-detail or lookup field in Salesforce Lightning.
6. Image Formulas – Give the Personal Touch
This is one of my favorite flowers! Image formulas are easy to set up but provide real joy for our users. You can use image formulas to represent information that exists in the record such as:
- Lead Quality
- Origin (Email, Phone, Fax)
- Profile Strength
- Segment (Hospital, Financial)
- Classification (One star, two stars)
7. Themes and Branding – Make Them Feel Special
Themes and branding enable you to customize the look and feel of Salesforce to match the branding of your organization. You can add logos, default images, and colors.