Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

When Lightning Comes to Town

Today's blog post was written by Troy Oliveira, Principal Developer at Sonoma Partners.

One question that we get asked quite often from our customers is “should we make the move to Lightning?” Inevitably, the answer to this question leads in various directions, from compatibility of existing customizations and installed packages to how do I sell it to my users.

The question of compatibility can be explored through the help of the Lightning Readiness Check, but that’s a different post for a different day.

I'd like to focus on the “how do I sell it” question, because at the heart of every good Salesforce implementation is a drive for adoption.

Classic, the Salesforce security blanket

For many users, the Salesforce Classic interface is comfortable, safe. While there are things that almost everyone would like to change about it, users understand it, they know it, and it keeps them warm during cold winter nights.

For the most part, all Classic pages look the same. You have the object details at the top and related lists at the bottom. Everything you need, all within scrolling distance.

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Out of the box Account Layout

 

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Out of the box Contact Layout
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Out of the box Opportunity Layout

Why completely upend a user’s world by making them learn a new user interface? Because there is a better way to view this data.

I see a couple main problems with Classic:

  • Every page layout looks the same. Sure there are different colors across the top, but it is way too easy to confuse which object you are looking at, especially if you are flipping between several open tabs in your browser.
  • If you want to view details of related records, you must jam the fields into the list view or click into the record itself. We all know that fewer clicks leads to a better experience.

Lightning, a more elegant interface of a more civilized age

While having the same basic page layout for every object might be more consistent, it can also lead to confusion. This sameness also assumes that the same content/context is the most important part of every object record. Let’s look at the out of the box pages in Lighting.

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Out of the box Account Page
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Out of the box Contact Page
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Out of the box Opportunity Page

Now, I know that the first thing that you’re going to say is “the Account and Contact pages almost identical!” and you’d be right. However, look at the Opportunity. You see, the Opportunity has the sales path across the top of the page, and some related data along the side panel for quick viewing. Lightning allows for users to have pages that make sense in the context of the object that they’re working with.

If you build it…

The Lightning App Builder interface is one of the pieces that makes Lightning so powerful. Building pages in Lightning takes customization to a whole new level. In Classic, you were limited to what order the fields appear on the page and what related lists show up, and add VisualForce. That’s it. In Lighting, you still have those options, but you also can break the page up into columns, organize data in tabs, and drag-and-drop standard and custom components that will enhance and streamline the user experience.

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For example, I’m going to drag the “Related Record” component onto my Opportunity page and configure it to display details from the Opportunity’s Account record.

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Once I’ve dropped it in place, the App Builder interface shows the component with actual record information. This way I can determine if I added what I wanted to add. I’ll save and activate my updates.

Now, if I reload my Opportunity, I can see the related Account information in the right column. I don’t have to click into the Account to see the data.

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Unfortunately, I have some redundant data. The summary at the top of the page has the Account name, but I also have it shown on the right. I know that the summary is controlled by the Opportunity Compact Layout, so I’ll change the fields in the compact layout to remove the redundancy and bring more key information “above the fold.”

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You can see that I have created a holistic view of my Opportunity. I have my key details summarized at the top of the page, I can see an Activity timeline in the middle and have Account and Contact details to the right. If I need to dig deeper into the Opportunity details, I can click the Details tab.

An administrator can create customized versions of the record page and assign them to users by profile, by record type and by application. That’s right, Lightning takes the page assignment one step further than Classic. I can have a completely different view of the Account for my Sales App than what I see when I look at it in my Service App.

The streamlining benefits don’t stop there. In Lighting, every lookup link tells a story. Unlike in Classic where a user would have to click into a record to see related details, simply hovering over a link to a related record in Lighting provides contextual data.

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Convinced Yet?

If you’re on the fence and are looking for a way to show users that their lives can be made easier, I hope that this post has proved to be helpful.

However, I know that not everyone is going to go running into the open arms of the Lighting Experience. There are valid reasons why you may not be ready to take the leap, either waiting for feature parity or needing to update your customizations to be compliant.

We are more than happy to help you figure out if Lighting is the right move. Contact Us for more information on how we can make the transition painless when Lightning comes to town.

Topics: Salesforce