Part I – The History of Lightning Experience
The modern update to Salesforce, Lightning Experience (LEX), delivers a web component-driven set of capabilities that can truly transform every user, administrator, and developer’s ability to present that most relevant data and behavior in Salesforce in a way not possible with the legacy Classic experience. While today I can say that Lightning Experience is 1000x better than Classic, it has been a long and arduous road to get to this point and the history here matters quite a bit as it pertains to user adoption.
This history has technical aspects but the implementation tips to follow will focus on Clicks, not Code.
Have you ever heard anyone say to you that they don’t like Lightning Experience? There are reasons…..and likely good ones.
2013: Salesforce Releases a Brand New look and feel and component-based architecture, starting with Salesforce1 mobile.
Wait, that’s not the way LEX looks like today!
Here’s where the early mistakes were made and a decade of trust was threatened. For 13 years, users had powered their sales lives with Salesforce Classic. Unless you had a wayward implementation partner, your app was performant and your data was in front of your face, in a very obvious way, FAST. In 2014 Salesforce flipped the entire app concept 90 degrees and while they did not force users to switch, those that did regretted it immediately. Truthfully, the navigation didn’t make a lot of sense. Thankfully, it didn’t last long.
2015 to 2018 a.k.a. the heady promise of the Aura: The UI was fixed and we had a jump into Aura web component based implementations. As app designers, we had all sorts of new goodies to play with, intra-component messaging frameworks, Drag and Drop interfaces to marry standard and custom features. Really promising things.
Need to re-render 4 components based on filter selections of another? Aura can do that.
Need a single custom data table component to render special column and row behavior underpinned by custom metadata configuration? Aura loves dynamic patterns.
“I’ll stop using Classic when Salesforce pries it from my cold dead hands.”
It is now our job, as implementers, to prove to them that Lightning Experience deserves another look. And this, my friends, is the moral of the story. The culmination of 5 years of growing pains to truly get to that modern look and feel has left a bad taste in a lot of longtime end users’ mouths. This is why so much adoption remains to be realized with Lighting Experience.
I’m here to give you hope. The platform is ready.
And it’s truly awesome.
At present, and for quite a while before today, we can honestly say that not using Lighting Experience is now putting your users at a disadvantage. Starting in late 2016/early 2017, Salesforce embarked on an aggressive 6 release roadmap to address User Experience with:
Apps and Lightning page enhancements, especially Lightning page activation granularity
A brand new Lightning Console and navigation API
Lighting Web Components to replace Aura.
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