Lightning Experience is a new user interface (launched in 2015) for Salesforce, and everyone will have access to it later this year. The “look and feel” will change and there are new features that can help you streamline how you do your work. Salesforce announced in their Spring' 19 release notes that they recommend users become accustomed to these changes now so that when these changes are permanent there isn't any confusion or loss of productivity.
Classic looks like this:
Lightning looks like this:
Why transition to Lightning?
Lightning still uses the same fields and looks at the same data, but it’s a more visually-driven experience designed to make it quicker and easier to read and update records.
Most significantly, all future improvements and developments Salesforce is working on are only applicable to Lightning. Salesforce is on a trajectory that will likely do away with Classic a few years down the road, but if this means having access to a ton of new features and capabilities, we welcome this change!
Some Lightning-only features that you can take advantage of include:
- Improved user interface – Cleaner look, fewer clicks, and greater efficiency.
- Customizable pages – Beyond page layouts, you can use Lightning App Builder to customize where blocks of components live on a page, which will reduce the amount of scrolling your users need to do in order to find relevant items.
- Path – Set up steps to help users move through Opportunities (and other objects) stage by stage.
- Kanban view – You can manage records such as Opportunities and Tasks in columns grouped by stage or status, for greater visibility and drag-and-drop functionality.
- Better reporting – Reports and dashboards have never looked better than they do in Lightning, where you have greater control over the size, color, and the general look of tables and charts.
Note that when Lightning is enabled, you’ll still have access to Classic. You can easily toggle back and forth between Classic and Lightning if needed, but you should also consider what it would take to keep users in Lightning as much as possible once it’s enabled. We recommend you communicate with your staff how Lightning is different than Classic and why these new features will benefit their work.
In summary: Lightning is the way of the future. The sooner you and your users adopt Lightning, the better off your organization will be.
What can I do to prepare?
To kick things off, you’ll want to:
- Try out the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant; run the Lightning Readiness report (and the Optimizer report) to get a sense of what’s going on in your database and what needs to be tested or fixed in Lightning.
- Setup a sandbox to enable Lightning and see if everything works as it should, like checking new pages, layouts, and apps, as well as seeing if third-party integrations are impacted.
- Enable My Domain, which can improve the security of your database, as well as allow you to brand it by renaming your Salesforce URL (e.g. https://na61.salesforce.com becomes https://MyNonprofit.my.salesforce.com). Check out Trailhead for how to set it up.
- Investigate Salesforce’s Transition Tools and Rollout Map.
Additionally, you’ll want to start chatting with stakeholders and laying out your plan for the next several weeks or months. You can break down the transition into these phases:
- Initial changes – Address anything broken or necessary for Salesforce to work for you and your users.
- Pilot group – Bring in a few key users in a sandbox to test things out and give feedback.
- User testing – Bring all users into a sandbox for testing and feedback.
- Trainings – Set up dedicated time to sit down with users and demonstrate how Lightning looks, show where to find things, and walk through real-world scenarios.
- Roll it out! – Enable Lightning and keep an eye on how it’s working for users.
Don’t just turn on Lightning and hope for the best. Items such as AppExchange Apps/third-party integrations, custom buttons, and Visualforce pages aren’t guaranteed to work in Lightning. The more customized the tool or feature is, the greater the chance it'll be impacted during the transition. You need to exercise due diligence and test before jumping head-first into the new and improved interface.
I’m not ready for Lightning! What do I do?
You can defer Lightning for now. That being said, you should still make plans for exploring Lightning at some point in the near future.
Until then, you could create custom profile(s) for your users and disable “Lightning Experience User” within system permissions. Note that system administrators do not have this option and will have Lightning enabled come October. Learn more in Salesforce’s “Set Up Users for Lightning Experience” article.
501 Commons' Salesforce experts are excited to work with you to transition from Classic to Lightning, help you plan, and answer your questions.
To get in touch with us, fill out our Request for Assistance form and indicate in the “What issue do you want to address?” field that you are looking for Salesforce support in transitioning from Classic to Lightning. Then we’ll set up a call to discuss your needs and decide on next steps.
For more information, details, and resources on enabling Lightning, check out these articles from Salesforce Foundation (How to Get Ready for Lightning, Salesforce Lightning is Rolling Out – Don’t Fear Being Rolled Over!, and Understand How the Lightning Experience Critical Update Affects My Users), Salesforce Help (How to Transition to Lightning Experience), the Power of Us Hub (resources, webinars, pro-bono clinics), and Trailhead (Lightning Experience Migration).