17 Ways to Improve Salesforce Usability Now

January 12, 2016 John Gorup


  1. Get a real logo.

We all love Salesforce’s logo, but for your custom apps, use your own. Also consider creating app-specific logos.

  1. Separate out apps.

The temptation is to use what I call the “Lord of the Rings” approach — that is, one app to rule them all. However, this approach is really not doing your users any favors. Create separate apps for different goals the users want to accomplish. For example, sales activities and entering time cards are different activities, so don’t group them into the same app just because a user will do both activities.

  1. Show users only the apps they need to see.

It can be confusing for users to see a bunch of apps which have no relevance to them. Set up profiles so users can only see apps that are relevant to them.

  1. Pay attention to tab order.

Before I say more, let me say that when I mention tabs, I am not talking about diet soda. That said, tabs should be in a logical progression based on how the user works.

  1. Make tab names meaningful.

If your company thinks of “opportunities” as “deals” — there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s easier to change the words on a tab than the vocabulary of the team.

  1. Get a good landing tab.

Configure a meaningful tab as the default landing tab for each application. Select one of the following: the most commonly used tab or a “getting started” tab (if you’re building one), or the Home tab (as a last resort).

  1. Kill the “Show Quick Create” — it is evil.

Unless you really like bad data, disable “Show Quick Create.” Do this immediately, if not sooner. Show Quick Create just doesn’t care about any of your required fields or validation rules. It just doesn’t care.

  1. Use Sections on pages.

Sections should be used to group related fields on the page. Make sure they’re named appropriately based on their content.

  1. Enable Collapsible Sections.

Because sometimes sections should be collapsed. And coolest of all, Salesforce remembers what you collapsed, and keeps it that way.

  1. Hide unused fields from users.

Field Level Security is your friend. Nobody needs to see a bunch of fields they don’t use.

  1. Write help text for all custom fields.

I know it’s a hassle. But it really can make a difference, especially for new users.

  1. Configure the search layout, as well as search filters, for all

Don’t be lazy — this is just being respectful to your users.

  1. Give some sanity to your page layouts.

All page layouts should be optimized for data entry from top to bottom. The most important, most used fields should be toward the top of the page. This also applies to related lists. Organize them with the most important/frequently used at the top. Review them in both View and Edit mode.

  1. Watch those multi-select picklists!

Be cautious when using multi-select picklists. The Salesforce reporting engine cannot do frequency reporting on multi-select picklists, which can make users frustrated. If there are only a few options in the MSP, consider using several independent checkboxes instead.

If you are using multi-select picklists, pick a consistent number of visible lines and use it for all. Four or 5 is generally a good balance between visibility and space taken up on the page in Edit mode.

  1. Show the Mini Page Layouts some love.

Configure Mini Page Layouts for all page layouts.

  1. Use naming conventions for reports.

Follow a consistent naming structure and use appropriate folders to group reports. Consider appending “DB – ” to reports used in Dashboards, and collecting all Dashboard reports into one or more folders (i.e., the Sales Dashboard Reports folder).

  1. Enable these settings…

Make sure the following settings are enabled: Collapsible Sections, Hover Details, Related List Hover Links, Inline Editing, Enhanced Lists, Enhanced Page Layout Editor, and all Calendar options.


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