Use lightning quick actions to create powerful page layouts your users will love!

cropped-thumbnail_img_6348-2I’ve got a real passion for creating the best user interface possible using declarative methods. I’m also a big fan of highlighting little know functionality, so I combined these two topics to create a session titled “Use lightning quick actions to create powerful page layouts your users will love”. I was lucky enough to be selected to run this session at both InspireEast and French Touch Dreamin’ and now I want to share it with the rest of the community!

Read on to learn how Lightning Quick Actions + Lightning Record Pages = responsive and intuitive page layouts.


So what’s the problem?

Fields! Fields everywhere! It’s a dilemma – you want your Salesforce org to be simple enough for your users to enter data without any difficulty, but you also want to collect TONS of data…

Me when I’m asked to create additional fields on an object that’s already fit to burst:

Sighs.gif

My users looking for the field they need:

Long page.gif


Common page layout issues

How many of these issues have you personally experienced? My bet is all of them!

❌ The page is too long – users have to scroll and scroll and scroll…

❌ There are too many fields

❌ Key fields lack visibility

❌ Have you ever wished you could split the details page into multiple tabs?

❌ Perhaps you manage multiple page layouts because certain fields aren’t relevant to all profiles…


You are not alone…

If you’ve experienced any of these issues then rest assured, you are not alone. If you take a look on the Answers Community there are lot’s of questions around this topic.


Ideas on the Trailblazer Community

You’ll also find there are many Ideas on the Trailblazer Community! Here are a couple you can vote on:

Dependent page layouts – data rules to show, hide, or make fields/sections req’d

Lightning – Tabs on Record Detail for Page Layout Sections


Do page layouts really matter?

In a word: yes.

We live in a time where users expect technology to be simple and intuitive. If your Salesforce page layouts are long or complex, you’ll lose user buy-in and in turn, this will affect your user adoption.  Poor adoption leads to a whole host of issues, including unreliable data and users trying to revert back to spreadsheets.

Confused


The importance of usability

I’m just going to leave this quote here…

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What’s in it for you?

There are heaps of benefits associated with improving your page layouts. If you need a good reason to take the time to enhance your user interface then look no further:

👍 Speedy data entry

👍 Better quality data

👍 Intuitive & responsive layouts

👍 Increased user adoption

👍 Fewer complaints & support requests

So now you know why it’s important and what you’ll get out of it, let’s move on to what Salesforce functionality is available to support you.


What are actions?

Actions have so many uses in Salesforce but a lot of us don’t explore all this functionality, instead we make do with the native actions available to us.

There are two types of actions in Lightning (some might argue there are three types if we include activity actions as a separate action type).

Global Actions: 

  • Create new records
  • Set predefined field values

Object Specific Actions:

  • Create AND update records
  • Set predefined field values AND create relationships between records
  • Split detail fields into separate tabs and components

Action Types


You got this!

If any of this sounds a bit scary and unfamiliar then you really have nothing to worry about. Salesforce comes packed with native quick actions that you use all the time!

The image below highlights a bunch of quick actions already available to you. A good example of an object specific quick action is the ‘New’ contact button on the account page: this action pre-fills the account name for you.

Quick Action Examples


Why Lightning?

Think back to Classic: a Classic page layout had all the related lists under the detail fields. The overall effect was long pages that required a lot of scrolling. If you wanted to make any substantial layout changes, you needed to know how to use Visualforce.

The joy of Lightning is our increased declarative abilities, especially Lightning pages. In this article, we’ll combine object specific quick actions with Lightning record pages to create a user interface that displays the right information at the right time.


Lightning record pages

Not on Lightning yet? Fear not, it’s easy once you get going!

In a nutshell you now have Page Layouts (the same as in Classic) + Lightning Pages (see image below).

These work together to give you more control over what you users see. Your Classic page layout can be seen in the ‘Details’ tab.

To the left, are standard Lightning components. These can be dragged and dropped onto the central component canvas. These components are things like Chatter or a report chart. When you select a component on the canvas you will get the option to set component attributes on the right. Component attributes will allow you to make a section appear and disappear based on field values or a users role/profile/permission set.

This is super powerful stuff.

Components


Tutorials

Now that we’ve explored the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, it’s time to move on to the ‘how’. Check out my four tutorials on ways you could use Lighting quick actions to create page layouts your users will love!

👉  Split the account details page into tabs

👉  Flag VIP customers based on SLA and display for service profiles only

👉  Display communication preferences on a contact

👉 Highlight case information on opportunities


Outcome

As a solo Admin, I’m always looking for simple ways I can enhance my org that bring immediate, visible benefits. These page layout enhancements are incredibly easy to set up and take literally minutes! During my 25 minute session, I discussed all the points above AND created four examples in a live demo. I hope you’ve found these examples useful and maybe found ways you want to incorporate them into your own org!

Simple Change + Big Impact = Rockstar Admin**

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**Just don’t tell anyone how easy it was!


Gotchas & hints

*Separate tabs and components are great for formula fields, images, and fields that aren’t enforced by validation rules. If your field is part of a validation rule, keep it in the ‘Details’ section, otherwise your user may not be able to save the record!

*Lightning Layouts’ is now on the road-map: ‘Lightning Layouts’ will enable you to create extremely dynamic page layouts that don’t have limitations like validation rules (see point above). You can find more info here.


Useful links

Salesforce Help – Global Quick Actions

Trailhead: Create Global Quick Actions

Salesforce Help – Object Specific Actions

Trailhead: Create Object-Specific Quick Actions

Salesforce Help: Page Layouts in Lightning Experience

Salesforce Help: Create and Configure Lightning Experience Record Pages

Trailhead: Build a Custom Record Page for Lightning Experience


 

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