10 User Experience Issues in Lightning Experience that Need Fixing

10 UX Issues in Lightning Experience That Need Fixing (1)As a user of Salesforce for seven years, I’ve grown accustomed to Salesforce Classic, but have embraced Lightning Experience as much as possible, working to be an advocate for the new user experience and overall platform. While there are so many positives and exponential potential with the platform, as an end user and Administrator, I’ve run into many frustrations while using Lightning Experience.

The majority of these frustrations have to do with the overall user experience which can make Lightning Experience unproductive. Here are my ten most frustrating user experience issues in Lightning Experience.

1. Lack of Text Wrapping

One reason that Salesforce Classic is so productive is that related lists allowed for text wrapping of fields. With up to 10 fields per related list, field truncation would have been easy, but Salesforce Classic wrapped text based on the size of the browser window so that the full text, of say, the name field, is visible. This, of course, makes selecting a record very straight forward.

Salesforce Classic Text Wrapping

But look at how Lightning Experience handles the very same related list.

Lightning Experience Text Wrapping

There is no text wrapping at all. As more fields are added to the related list, the amount of text shown in the record name field column decreases. As you can see from the hover card, there is no additional insight into the project name because it’s not wrapped. Clicking View All doesn’t always solve this problem either. In my experience, I resort to either creating a list view or report or clicking to open each record to find the one that I want.

Vote for text wrapping in related lists on the IdeaExchange: Wrap Text on Related Lists in Lightning Experience.

2. Time to Propagate Configuration Changes

As all Salesforce Admins who use Salesforce Classic know, a configuration change can be made on the fly, and the changes are applied in real time. This isn’t always so in Lightning Experience. In most cases, I’ve had to refresh a page multiple times to see the config updates.

With Spring ’17, I’ve noticed that edits to Lightning Record Pages can take several minutes before seeing the changes reflected on the actual record. For example, I updated the Projects related list hover details before taking the screenshot above, but it took nearly 10 minutes and many refreshes of the Account record to see the changes reflected. Here’s what the Project related list’s hover card looks like now.

3. Save Report Instead of Run Report

Salesforce Admins live in reports. The majority of the time, the reports we generate are never saved; they are a one-time use for a specific purpose at that very moment, never to be used again. In my use of reports, I use them to perform audits or get a total record count for an object, et cetera.

Lightning Experience doesn’t let users create these throwaway reports without saving them first. So now, as an Admin (or even end user), I need to remember to go back and delete the report. A simple workaround is to create a “Trash” folder which the report could be saved to, but this seems like an extra and unnecessary step.

Vote on this idea to bring back the Run button! Lightning Experience: Run Report Without Saving.

4. Background Record Page Loading Time

I use tabs like crazy in my Salesforce orgs. At any given moment, Chrome has at least 5 Salesforce windows open for the org I’m working in. Salesforce Classic allows me to open links in a new tab, and when I navigate to that tab, the record page has already loaded. Super!

Salesforce Classic Open In New Tab

But in Lightning Experience, while it’s getting better, records don’t open in the background that quickly, if at all! Usually, it takes several seconds for the record to load once I’ve clicked on the tab resulting in precious time wasted.

Lightning Experience Open in New Tabs

If the overall speed of Lightning Experience is frustrating, vote for this idea on the IdeaExchange: Lightning Experience LEX – lightning speed please!

5. Open in New Tab Within Setup

When working in Salesforce Setup, not all of the Setup menus have been updated to Lightning Experience. The Salesforce Classic UI doesn’t operate the same in Lightning Experience as it does in Classic. Here’s an example.

Let’s say that I am using Lightning Experience and I want to update a couple of profiles. In Salesforce Classic, I would navigate to Profiles, then open each of the profiles I want to edit in a new Chrome tab. But, in Lightning Experience, if I try to do the same thing, the tab opens but displays nothing.

So I either need to duplicate the Profiles tab for each profile to be edited and click into the profiles from the new tabs, or click into each profile in a single tab, make the updates, then navigate back to the profiles list.

6. Chart Oddities

It’s not always immediately noticeable, but some strange reporting chart oddities can be found in Lightning Experience which, once noticed, prove to be quite an annoyance. Here is an example provided by Jorrit Droogsma in his IdeaExchange post on the topic.

These charts are identical with the first being from Lightning Experience and the second from Salesforce Classic. Notice how the axis is scaled differently in Lightning Experience? It has an impact on how the chart is leveraged.

Here’s another example from my friend Matt Bertuzzie; it’s the same chart with the left side showing the chart in Lightning Experience and the right side showing the chart in Salesforce Classic.

He says, “I know a donut chart sums to 100%. How is this useful at all!” Agreed Matt, agreed.

7. White Space Galore

I’m a fan of white space in design, but there are areas of Lightning Experience where there’s just too much of it and in strange places. For example, here’s a contact record in Salesforce Classic.

And now the same contact in Lightning Experience.

Notice those huge gaps before and after the email field? Salesforce appears to be maintaining the data structure of the page (Email appears to the right of the Account Name field when viewing the record) but, because of the three fields that make up the Contact’s name, there is a lot more white space with no easy solution to alter this.

Here’s an idea to vote up: Too much white space in Lightning UI.

8. Limited Color Contrast

One thing that I think Lightning Experience has is a good overall design. It’s clean and feels modern. But, I almost fee like there isn’t enough color contrast. After using Lightning for an extended period, my eyes find it refreshing to click into Classic to view records.

I’m not a UX designer, but I feel like the fields could be a bit more called out, and the contrast between field labels and field values could be better clarified. For me, the text can start to blur together after a full day of use.

If you want more contracts in the colors of the UI, here’s another idea to vote up: Lightning – Increase Contrast between Text and Background.

9. Sorry to Interrupt

We’re all use to systems producing some error messaging, and I understand that Salesforce wants to collect more accurate user feedback for errors which is why this screen is so important. But, it is intrusive in that it’s a full-screen overlay and, in some cases, the error has presented itself multiple times for a single error. I end up clicking the “x” or “OK” button multiple times for the same error as a result.

Sorry to interrupt

There’s got to be a less obtrusive way to ask for feedback.

10. Stay on the Same Page When Switching to Classic

Lightning Experience has closed the feature gap (in Sales Cloud at least) quite a bit. But every so often, users need to navigate back to Salesforce Classic. For example, in my usage of Lightning, there are records in my production org that require manual sharing. But, manual sharing isn’t a supported feature in Lightning Experience right now.

If I’m on a Salesforce record, and I realize that I need or want to switch back to Salesforce Classic, the current page I’m on in Lightning should be the page that loads when navigating back to Classic. The fact that switching between Lighting and Classic requires retracing navigational steps to access the record is a productivity killer.

Here’s an idea on the IdeaExchange for this very thing: Switch between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic – stay on the same record.

Have you found other frustrating or odd user experience issues in Lightning Experience? Share them with me by posting a comment below!

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29 Comments


  1. erik nelke

    February 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Great post Brent!

    I think the list is long for LEX improvements. I post these two to a thread in the ButtonClick Admin group. Updated it a bit here.

    Users are really scratching heads about creating a contact from the account – no more address auto-fill. Users have to re-type the address OR the admin has to write a flow or process to do it. It’s one of those common sense things I think the missed and it needs to be addressed soon.

    ….then create Opportunity from Contact – the account doesn’t carry over… Users have to re-select the Account!

    AND lastly a dose of insult to injury. The Account selection window on the new Opportunity only give the account name and no other identifiers like location or country which we need! We have one account a 20 locations with no way to find the right one.

    As you mentioned, it’s also slow, painfully slow even with the newest Chrome browser. I’ve learned the F5 is my new best friend to get page changes to appear. I had a user on the phone and luckily was able to tell them to do that to see an on the fly change I made.

    Finally, Reports and dashboard management – nightmare. It’s a shame because the dashboards are so much nicer in LEX but the Classic “explorer” like layout mad it easier. I think a hybrid that brings that back in would be a big win.

    You’re spot on about white space and contrast. I had to change my screen settings to make it readable. My retinas were getting fried daily.

    Feel free to bump the list to 15 lol.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 20, 2017 at 9:33 am

      These are great additions to the list Erik, thanks for sharing! As you mention, the list of improvements is long!

      Reply

  2. Jolene White

    February 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Great post!

    Reply

  3. Bryan Barajas

    February 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

    These reasons (as well as a handful of others, I’m sure) are why I refuse to move to Lightning Experience. I will stick with Salesforce Classic for a while.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 20, 2017 at 9:34 am

      I do find myself switching back and forth for various tasks, but I try to stick in LEX as much as possible. But, I do enjoy giving my eyes a rest with Classic after an extended period of time!

      Reply

  4. Rebecca Glasser

    February 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Great to see you back Brent! Thanks for this post. We have yet to move to Lightning because we’re on the Service Cloud, and Salesforce is just starting to move Lightning to the Service Cloud. That being said, I keep hearing things that make me glad we’re on Salesforce Classic. This post just confirms my decision.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

      It gets better with every release, so keep evaluating the release notes! Hopefully, it will get to a place that you can leverage the awesome things about lightning (perhaps the topic for an upcoming blog post) which outweigh the negatives.

      Reply

  5. Greg Glaser

    February 20, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Amen on number 5, Brent! Considering how much SF is enforcing JavaScript prohibition on the front end, I find it a little baffling that there’s JS all over the setup tree.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 20, 2017 at 9:36 am

      I suppose it’s a resource allocation issue within the Salesforce teams. I can’t imagine that these pages will remain as they are, but it makes for a frustrating experience in the interim!

      Reply

  6. Robert Boyd

    February 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Great post, Brent! You nailed it on all 10 items, but not being able to simply ‘Run Reports’ and the inability to open certain things in new browser tabs are the ones that have bugged me the most. I sometimes get a little nervous for the future of Lightning, but this kind of constructive feedback is what will help things improve.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 20, 2017 at 9:37 am

      These are perhaps my two largest frustrations. Being unable to open in new tabs with the typical keystrokes or mouse clicks on al pages, and saving before running reports has a huge impact in productivity.

      Reply

  7. Tara Ogle

    February 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Number 10 is soooo annoying! Especially because not all admin features are available in Lighting so you have to switch between the two.

    Reply

  8. chris

    February 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    LEX definitely has challenges – but to every customer that flat out “refuses” to consider moving to LEX, Salesforce isn’t changing Classic anymore – and given the price of licenses, you are probably doing your organization a disservice by continuing to pay license fees on a product that gets no discernable updates for your user base.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Completely agree, Chris. Lightning has its merits and really is a great new experience overall. I use it on a regular basis myself and think that it will continue to improve as it grows and matures. My not considering LEX, as you suggest, you’re missing out on a lot of new functionality, and soon, you’ll be behind the 8 ball.

      Reply

  9. Mike Rosenbaum

    February 20, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Brent thanks for the feedback keep it coming. Please make sure you are on the latest version of chrome. This should fix #4.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 21, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Thanks for the comment, Mike! I did notice a significant improvement in load times when capturing the GIF for the blog post!

      Reply

  10. Stefanie Causey

    February 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Great post and a strong summary of some of the most annoying issues with LEX. We are an early adopter of LEX and I can say though that our sales team LOVES the new interface and feels that the gains far outweigh the unsupported or quirks in the UI. I’ve been in the Salesforce ecosystem for right at 10 years now and believe me this is normal operating procedure for Salesforce when they push major changes. They will put what works out there on their committed dates, then follow shortly thereafter with the missing functionality. If previous experience weighs out, Sales Cloud will be fully functional this year and we’ll then have to deal with the next cloud to get the LEX updates. At least they keep it interesting!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 21, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Thanks for the comment Stefanie! I hope that this post doesn’t make it seem like I don’t like Lightning because I do. I use it in my own production org about 95% of the time. But, there are downsides as well. This is partly because of the age and maturity of the product (which will improve over time). Hopefully, this post is a way to call attention to some of these issues so we can get them fixed and close that 5% gap!

      Reply

  11. Jorrit Droogsma

    February 21, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Hi Brent,

    Great post with some strong examples where improvements are needed within LEX.

    Also thanks for linking to my Idea, i’m seeing new upvotes since this post!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 21, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Thanks for the comment Jorrit! Glad to be able to share your idea with the community!

      Reply

  12. Kirsten Jury

    February 22, 2017 at 11:44 am

    100% agree with the post, I find it frustrating that from Setup in LEX I cannot return to home without having to open up a new tab or go back to the previous tab. I want to start moving our org to LEX, alas until some of the basic things are fixed as you have shown, we cannot advocate to users. You certainly have highlighted my key bug bears, the reports and not connecting contacts/opportunities/accounts. This should be basic functionality.

    Reply

  13. Darrell

    February 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    G’Day Brent,

    Great article but were you trying to be ironic by having your links to the Success pages NOT open in a new tab?

    Cheers, Darrell

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

      G’Day Darrell!

      Ha! No, that was not intentional! I’ve updated the links. I prefer the always open in a new tab.

      Reply

  14. Nic Mitcham

    February 26, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Hi Brett

    Great Post! Is there a link to Vote Up issue 2 at all? TIME TO PROPAGATE CONFIGURATION CHANGES

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      I didn’t find one and haven’t created one yet, but I should! If you find one or create one before I do, feel free to post it back here and I’ll update the blog post!

      Reply

  15. Gita Kulkarni

    February 26, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I’m so glad you had the courage to verbalize this and I hope it falls on productive ears. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been implementing the Salesforce product since 2006. The admin setup is clearly a frame within a frame and my poor nearsightedness cannot even admin in the new interface. I know they were developing this for like 2 years before they released it, but I don’t even think 2 years after it’s release it’s ready for prime time. I literally need to go back to classic for swift buildouts and even to have users process a new form page efficiently to understand it’s layout. I really compare this experience to a Mac. It looks pretty but there the heck are all the functional buttons to do stuff? My clients also don’t like the pictures versus action descriptive buttons like ‘graph’ and ‘filter’ and they were born in the 90s, so I know it’s not my old self complaining. I know Salesforce is so in love with their product, but customers aren’t. Frankly F100 companies are not going to lightening ; I’ve had to downvert new clients as the UI wasn’t as intuitive as Classic. (yet) They either wanted to go to another CRM or get this interface a little more obvious. I sense they finally see this too, because with each new release the new UI is adopting back into some attributes of the old. I love the product, no doubt, but like Coca-Cola. Don’t mess too hard with the recipe.

    Also reports and dashboards – it’s such a delicate design. Where did I originate the dashboard in mixed-UI environments? If I don’t remember, it’s the kiss of death.

    Also, if you used service console or communities you really are just forced down and up into some places.

    Also, while I like the component-concept. I don’t like how Salesforce has made choices on which pages can be declaratively componentized. Do you know how hard versus easy it is to see a product and pricing / price books in the new vs. old world? And I get to write visualforce to “make it easier” because the basic tenet of what the new UI was intended to do is even harder. Not cool.

    The Sales Path while cool in theory is pretty limited when you look under the hood.

    Lastly, why has no one addressed features like mass email, mail merge and the fact that these things will never get presented natively by Salesforce in the new UI? I get the Appexchange, but c’mon.

    I love the product. I don’t like the new UI. It’s not Lightning, it’s thunder right now to me until things stabilize. Sorry.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Gita. While there is a lot of work to do in Lightning (you’ve touched on a few additional items that were not in the post), I would caution being ‘against’ Lightning. Working with Salesforce for nearly a decade, I too find myself suggesting Classic to clients because it’s what *I’m* comfortable with. Obviously, Classic needs to be used in some deployments because of the requirements, but honestly, Lightning is where it’s at! A ton of development resources are being allocated to Lightning and it’s getting better with each release and we’re seeing fewer enhancements in Classic. Don’t confuse Lightning as just a new UI. It’s a fully new experience (no pun intended) and requires a bit of a mind shift to configure. The more I use it (and I use it every day), the more I like it and the less I find myself switching to Classic. In fact, just today I had to switch to Classic to manually share a record in my production org (that’s not supported in LEX yet) and I couldn’t wait to get back to LEX! Challenge yourself to embrace Lightning; we’ll work through the drawbacks together!

      Reply

  16. Shawna Wolverton

    February 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Brent,

    THis is a great list. Like all of the feedback we get on Lightning, this definitely got the attention of the Lightning core team here at salesforce. I see that Mike responded to one of your points – I wanted to tackle the others.

    1. Text wrapping – We are in the process of looking at text wrapping across the Lightning application with our awesome UX team. Expect to see this addressed in a future release.

    2. Time to propagate changes – Have you ever heard the one about the hardest thing in computer science beng cache invalidation? We’re trying to make a lot of things faster in Lightning so we’re doing a lot more caching. We are optimizing the end user experience. We hear you, but this isn’t something that is likely to change much in the next few releases.

    3. Save Report to Run Report – We have a new report builder in development. As soon as that is out, this will be fixed.

    4. Multi-tab loading – Mike mention the Chrome update. This makes a huge difference. I’ll also use this opportunity to encourage you to try out the console navigation available in the Spring release if you are a person who likes to have a lot of tabs open. I’m loving it.

    5. Open in new tab in Setup – Fixed in the summer release!

    6. Chart oddities – I’m going to have the report team post their own update here with details of their roadmap.

    7. White Space – This is a fun one. Believe or not, some customers tell us there isn’t enough white space. Since we can’t win, we have a feature on the roadmap to allow you to choose your white space level like Gmail Compact vs. Cozy modes.

    8. Limited Color contrast – Contrast is a thing we are also evaluating but will likely be unable to please all of the people all of the time. We intend to extend our branding capabilities to make this much more configurable but it is more than a release or two away.

    9. Sorry to Interupt – You’re right. We are looking at our error messages. We are also working very hard on making sure we just don’t show them to you.

    10. Stay on the same page on switch – I’ll be honest with you, we aren’t going to do this. We want folks in Lighting. We aren’t going to de-support classic, but we have no plans to make the switching experience easier or better in any way. We’d rather use those developers to make Lighting so awesome you don’t want to leave.

    Hope this is helpful. Thanks as always for the feedback.

    Shawna Wolverton
    SVP, Lightning Experience

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      March 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Shawna, this is AMAZING! Thank you for the quick and detailed reply!

      Reply

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