In a recent Skuid App-etizer webinar, we discussed how to extend Salesforce process automation with Skuid. Specifically, we covered how to track activity history on contacts and customize your UI to capture the data you need, all without writing code.
We care a lot about user experience. So, in this webinar series, we’re touching on pain points Salesforce admins and developers experience when they hit the limits of native declarative customization. In this webinar, we’re showing you how you can use Skuid to easily make static Lightning pages dynamic and actionable.
Sarah Hughes, senior solutions engineer at Skuid, used to be a Salesforce admin. She’s a huge fan of process automation as it allows you to work behind the scenes to enhance your users’ workflows. During this webinar, Sarah showed a workflow and a Lightning contact detail page that she built using Skuid. You’ll learn how she combined Salesforce automation and Skuid to create a better user experience.
A contact detail page that alerts users to backend activity.
Over 25 years ago, Jakob Nielsen came up with 10 general principles for interaction design. Topping the list was visibility into system status. It’s critical to let users know what’s happening because people want to feel like they’re in control and informed when using any type of technology.
As a Salesforce admin, you want to make every experience as easy as possible for your users, while keeping them in the know. One way to do that? Alert the user when something has happened in the backend that impacts them or customers.
If you’ve been using Salesforce for a while, you know the out-of-the-box experience in Lightning has come a long way, but specific customizations often require coding or another solution.
For instance, today Salesforce triggers email alerts out of the box, and when you send an email in Lightning, it tracks that in your activity feed as a task. But when you use a process automation tool like workflow rules or flow to trigger an email alert, that task won’t show up in the activity feed. You could solve that problem with complex custom Apex code, or you could do it with Skuid, no coding required.
For the purpose of the demo, Sarah kept the contact detail page layout simple, including the following:
- The account the contact belongs to and related information
- Other contacts from other accounts
- The tasks (or activity) associated with the contact
- And an Additional Contacts tab
Though this layout is basic, due to the relationship between the contact and the account, you could add any standard or custom field you want to show, and make them editable or non-editable.
A workflow that creates notifications, follow-up, and automatically updates the page when the user is done.
As mentioned above, providing notifications in Salesforce when using a process automation tool to trigger email alerts would require custom code. However, this can be handled easily with our Action Framework.
For the demo, we set up a workflow rule that says if the user changes the mobile phone number for a contact, do these things immediately:
- Create a task that shows an email was sent because of a new phone number.
- Send an email alert to the contact once their mobile number has been changed.
The email you send to the contact could include questions like, “Are you working from home now?” Or “What’s the best way to reach you—phone call or text—and at what time?”
Though this workflow provides valuable automation, if your user doesn’t know communication is being sent in the background, they could overload your customers with emails.
We’re all suffering from email fatigue. So, when the user goes to update the mobile number for a contact, Skuid will pop up a notification in the form of a modal to let the user know and ask them if they want to continue. They can either save, save and add a follow-up task, or cancel.
Scheduling follow-up tasks.
One of the keys to improving user experience is reducing the number of clicks needed to complete a task. Skuid helps you extend the magic of Salesforce so that users can focus on what they really need to be doing, instead of clicking around and updating fields one by one by one.
In the example we demonstrated, when the modal pops up notifying the user about the email that would be sent to the customer, the user has an option to schedule a follow-up task related to that action. For instance, the user may want to reach out to the contact in a week or two.
When creating this follow-up task, some of the fields will already be pre-populated—like status (not started), and owner (the user). The user can still update these fields if needed and can also assign the task to another colleague.
Update the page when the modal closes.
When the user chooses an option in the modal, that automatically closes the window. This action then re-queries the table associated with the object so the user can see the changes reflected immediately on the contact detail page. If the user elects to move forward with sending the email, that task is generated and added as an activity on the page.
Now, that’s what we call efficiency. You’re helping the user take care of a few operations at once: making a change to the phone field, creating a task record, and then re-querying and receiving updated data. And all this is achieved without having to code.
Underlying this capability is Skuid models, which provide access to many different objects—contacts, leads, accounts, opportunities, tasks—in one place and in multiple ways. This rich data layer lets you do everything you need in a single screen without having to navigate away.
Set up reusable action sequences for the UI.
Building reusable action sequences is kind of like getting your recipe ingredients ready for cooking. With Skuid, you can call these sequences from different places on the page and from different components, too.
In the case of the webinar, Sarah made “Save Contact and Account” into a reusable action sequence. As mentioned, when the user clicks the save button on the notification modal, it closes the window. And on that close action, Skuid re-queries the database and updates the page automatically for the user. This provides the user with the cue that their action worked and the system has been updated.
What if you have a complex page that’s pulling in data from a lot of different objects? Then you may only want to show a few rows or one model’s worth of data in the section the user is on. And as the user moves through the page, you can choose to load more data. This helps you create a better user experience and optimize performance, surfacing the right data, exactly when people need to see it.
Build your visual brand with Design System Studio.
Though we spent most of our time in Composer during the webinar, Sarah briefly demo-ed Design System Studio (DSS).
DSS helps you build out your visual brand. Take a button, for instance. You don’t just set the style for a button for one app. You can set a default button and use variants of it throughout all your apps based on needs.
You can use button colors to create visual cues about what the user should do based on familiarity with your design. You can also choose the button colors that are best for accessibility. Ultimately, you can clone all your designs and tweak as needed. Check out our webinar Style stunning apps to match your brand where we extensively cover DSS, to learn more.
In the meantime, if you want to experiment with Skuid, you can install it in the Salesforce AppExchange. Use it within a dev org with a free unlimited license or install it into a sandbox for a trial.
As always, if you have questions, please reach out to us in the Skuid Community. There are a lot of great conversations happening there and you can also see what people are building with Skuid.
For a complete walkthrough on how to harness the power of Salesforce automation with Skuid, check out the full webinar here.