Lightning Fast Success with Usability Testing

So, let’s just say (safe harbor) that you’re preparing to release a completely new Salesforce User Interface to your users.multiple-choice-1316055 Let’s name it Lightning. What can you do to make sure that new UI is loved and embraced by all of your users? Make sure it gets used, of course! And how can you do that? By asking your users questions and making changes before your release with the deceptively simple process of Usability Testing.

See you at Dreamforce!

See you at Dreamforce!

New to user testing? Don’t worry, here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s easy to learn. Sign up now for my session at Dreamforce, “Test for Success: 5 Steps to Usability Testing Success” on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 11:30am in Moscone West’s Innovation Theater*. Also be sure to check out the Usability Ninjas sessions.
  2. Plan time to do usability testing before you begin using Salesforce at your organization, before you launch a new feature like a custom app, and before a significant release. You’ll want to test 5 users each time. I spend 30 minutes per test. While there are certainly things I need to do outside of this time, isn’t it worth it to spend just 2.5 hours having your users directly show and tell you what they think about what you’ve worked so hard to customize, build, and create in Salesforce?
  3. Make changes based on user feedback! This is a great way to build user adoption and reassure your staff that you strive for continuous improvement and will keep iterating until your Salesforce instance is the best it can be. Pro tip: use what you learn in usability testing to plan your agenda for your all staff training!
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate. At your next staff meeting, thank your participants and publicly distribute lightning-in-the-country-1520424your road map for when users can expect to see changes in Salesforce, how those changes will impact their jobs, and provide a list of support resources to address any questions staff have (e.g., a Chatter group, Help & Training, role-based training, handouts, informal Q&A sessions, etc.).
  5. Listen! If you can listen, you can do user testing.

*If this isn’t enough to convince you, this year at Dreamforce I have a special guest co-presenting with me: Steve Fadden, Ph.D., Lead User Researcher, Analytics UX, Salesforce! I can’t wait.



  1. There’s much one can do to enhance a poorly designed UI to make it more user-friendly. However, when the required feature sets don’t exist to begin with in a new platform/UI, there’s little an Admin or page layout designer can do to work around such shortcomings. Lightning will provide beautiful interfaces for users to interact with that they won’t be able to export out of Salesforce without PDF support for Lightning pages. That’s going to leave a huge hole to fill in what many organizations will consider a requirement before they’ll want to adopt.

    1. Thanks for this! Can you say more about what PDF support means? Also, do you mean we won’t be able to export details on reports? That would be scary indeed!

      1. @missylongshore. If you read the release notes, the following features won’t be available for Lightning: “Printing a page” or “Generating a PDF file”. That also means you won’t be able to use “getContentAsPDF” to take a LightningPage to export it as an attachment to send it with an email. The Salesforce PDF render engine is often difficult to get VisualForce pages to render with as it is because of the features it doesn’t support. Without a new render engine that supports HTML5, CSS3 and active content, you’re not going to be able to render Lightning pages as PDFs and may have difficulty printing many of them at all to your local print machine attached to your computer unless you first take a screen capture.

        Reports will still work as expected. There’s no change there. That’s existing functionality and not part of the “Lightning Experience”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: