It’s All About The Salesforce User Interface
The user interface also referred to as the system front end, is what Salesforce users get to see and work with on a daily basis. You want to give users an intuitive user interface they enjoy working with and that helps them get their work done as quickly as possible. Nothing is more frustrating than looong loading times, too many manual clicks, and too many manual data entry points in general. 🤬
Here’s your toolset you can use to provide a super effective user interface:
Enable relevant User Interface Settings
This is a list of checkboxes to enable or disable features such as Collapsible Sections, Hover Details, Salesforce Notification Banner, and many more. These settings apply across the entire database, hence impact all users.
Beware: Many of these are only relevant to the Salesforce Classic User Interface. In Lightning, many of these are enabled by default and can’t be turned off, like the Inline Editing of List Views. You can only turn off Mass Edit through the Profile or Permission Set settings. Therefore, I’d recommend to test these out in a Trailhead Playground/Developer Org or Sandbox first.
Design smart Lightning Apps and Record Pages with the Lightning App Builder
This is where you can get truly creative and design a tailored experience for your Salesforce org by business function. You can create entire Apps, Home pages, or Record pages. You further tailor the experience by desktop, or mobile use, or both. Plus, you can assign these to either the entire org, or differentiate by App and/or Profiles. And that’s not all. You can even add filter settings and display buttons or fields based on predefined criteria. The Lightning App Builder is getting more powerful with each release and has been replacing a lot of what used to require coding.
Here’s an example of a Lightning Record Page for the Account Object:
Provide List Views and Kanban Views by Business Unit
Users don’t necessarily need you here, they can create List Views and Kanban Views by themselves. BUT! Similar to Reports, leaving this completely up to users can lead to proliferation and inconsistency.
This means, you can already specify the most common list views users are going to work with, and pre-create them. You can restrict access to selected List Views.
You can even restrict editing capabilities to selected Users/Profiles if required. You’ll need to enable the permission “Manage Public List Views”.
TIP: Did you know that Kanban Views are merely a display variation of a list view? Kanban Views are just another way to look at a list of specified records. Instead of a list (a.k.a. Table view), they are displayed as a Kanban.
Other Tools Relevant For The User Interface:
- Tab Settings by Object & App Manager to arrange tabs visible in the Navigation Bar
- Console views primarily used in Service Cloud
- Quick Actions to display buttons, links
- Reports and Dashboards to summarize critical business data
- And more…
Let’s take a look at the user interface options together and then create a new Lightning Home Page. You can follow along from your own Trailhead Playground or Developer Org. Simply click the gear icon ⚙️ in the upper right corner to jump into the Setup.
VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT
- Go to the Setup. In the Quick Find type in User Interface.
- You will notice that you get two results. One is the User Interface section which contains all your tools you can use to manage very specific user interface settings.
- And then within this section at the very bottom you’ll find the general user interface settings. And that’s what we want to take a look at.
- This contains a long list of features you can enable or disable for your users. A lot of these are more relevant for the Classic Interface like the ones at the top here and others are more relevant for the Lightning Experience interface like the Navigation Bar personalization or the transition assistant reminder.
- Most of them are quite self-explanatory, others maybe not so much. You’ll find a handy link to the Help pages on the top right here, which explains them all.
- When you take a look at these you’ll notice that some of them reference Classic or Lightning. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been done for all of them, hopefully, Salesforce will fix that at some point.
- We won’t go through each of them, you can play around with these in your own time. However, let’s take one as an example so you can see how they work and how you can test them out. Let’s take this one here “Disable Navigation Bar Personalisation”. Before we tick this, hang on for a moment and don’t do anything. Let me quickly show you what this relates to. You may remember earlier when we walked through the navigation unit you learned about customizing the navigation bar using the pencil at the end of the navigation bar? That’s what this is about. So back to the user interface settings. Tick the checkbox and click save. Go to the Sales app and refresh your browser and the pencil is gone. If not, refresh again. If it’s still there, check your user interface settings again. Maybe it didn’t save. Let’s go back anyways and deselect again and save as we want to be able to use this later on.
- Now let’s take a look at the Lightning App Builder. Before jumping in though, let’s have a look at what we want to use it for. Let’s go to the Sales app and select the Home page. The components you see here can actually be rearranged or removed or new ones can be added. Let’s go to the Account tab and select from your recently viewed or another list view. It doesn’t matter which one. Record pages like the Account page contain of a number of components like the highlights bar, the Activity tab, the Details tab and the other ones. These can also be re-arranged or removed or new ones can be added.
- We will take the Home page as an example to see how you can achieve this. Let’s go back to the Setup, in the quick find type in app builder, in the search result click on Lightning App builder. You will see existing ones listed here that you can edit or create new ones. We will now create a new one.
- Click New in the middle of the screen. You can now choose from three options, App, Home or Record Page. We have just looked at the Home and a record page. The App Page option is for entirely new tabs where you can add selected components like a report or dashboard which makes it something like a summary page and you can give the tab your own label. For the purpose of the example we want to go through, we will select Home page and click next. Let’s call it “Curious Home page” or give it any name you like and click Next.
- You can create a page from scratch or clone an existing one. We will create one from scratch and use the Standard Home page which is preselected and click Finish. Though you’re not actually finished. But the page is created and now we need to add the components we wish to see.
- This will now open a blank canvas. On the left, you’ll find a menu with the components you can choose from. At the top, you’ll have the standard ones and at the bottom, you would see custom ones.
- For example, when you create custom pages or install an app from the app exchange, these options will become available in this section. At the moment we don’t have any custom components available.
- On the right, you will be able to specify each component you selected. We will add four items for this example, we will use the List Views, Chatter Feed, Tasks and Events, some of the others are not set up in the Playground org.
- So let’s start with the List View component. You click on it, keep the mouse clicked and drag it over into the top section. It highlights in green, which means you can drop it.
- On the right-hand side, we want to select which records we want to see in the list. Account is selected by default. From the drop-down, you can select from any of your other record types. We will keep Account selected, click on it to close the drop down. Below it says All Accounts. From the drop-down, you can choose from the existing list views. Let’s change this one to My Accounts. Then you can choose the number of records to display. Let’s change this to 5.
- We will leave everything else as in. Now let’s go back to the left and grab the next item, Chatter Feed, that we will drag and drop to the right of the list view. On the right we will select the Feed option that should display. Let’s change this to “To Me”. Then we’ll go back to the left, grab Today’s Tasks and add this below the list view on the left. That’s it for this one, nothing to do on the right. Now it might appear as if you couldn’t add anything else below Today’s Tasks however you can. It just represents a column to which you can add on. Let’s add Today’s Events below Today’s Task to see how this works. On the left grab Today’s Events, and hover over Today’s Task. It highlights in green and depending on where you are, further towards the top you will see a green bar or further towards the bottom which will then show the green bar there. And that’s where we want to add the Events. Hover over Today’s Tasks, green bar at the bottom and drop. And that’s it. Let’s leave it there for now. We will now Save this new page and select where and who we want to make this available to.
- On the top right hand side you click Save. Give it a moment, a pop-up will appear. You can tick this box to hide this moving forward, however I like to have this as a reminder, especially when you get started with the Lightning App Builder.
- Let’s click Activate. Again, wait a second or two, the pop-up changes. You will now choose where this new Home page should be available. You have three options. The Org Default means it will be available to anyone and anywhere. The App Default means you can choose specific apps that should use this new Home page by default. This will then change for all users using these apps.
- The App and Profile options let’s you choose specific apps as well as specific groups of users. We will use the last one, App and Profiles, and click Assign to Apps and Profiles. You can now select Apps that are available in the Lightning Interface. Other apps may need to be converted to a Lighting App in order to become available. That’s why you may not see all of those you would find in the app launcher. Let’s go with the Sales app for this example. Tick and click next. Now you choose your groups of users by their profiles. We will talk about profiles soon. Let’s scroll down and select System Administrator which should be the profile selected on your user record if you are using your Playground org. And then click next. Review your selection and click Save. If you’re quick enough you might notice this brief “Activation successful” message. Would be good if it was there a bit longer. Let’s click the back space to return to the Setup.
- Now let’s go to the Sales app, select the Home tab. Refresh your browser window and you should now be able to see your new Home page. Congratulations, you have build your first Lightning app page!
And now, go ahead and create another one. Maybe try out a Record Page instead and see how it works out. The more you practice hands-on using your own imagination (a.k.a. potential business use case), the better you’ll learn how to get the best out of the Lightning App Builder. 🤓
Do let me know in the comments what types of apps or pages you’ve been creating. Have you come across any challenges? I’d love to know!
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