Salesforce.org has become the leader in providing a flexible platform for mission-driven organizations to build their own data architecture to manage operations, accounting, donations, and beneficiary data. But this flexibility has its limitations when it comes to customizing it for very specific needs.
Any Nonprofit or Foundation using Salesforce knows that onboardng non tech-savvy teams to this platform can get fairly complicated. From the get-go, if the tool is percieved by the team to complicate operations rather than facilitate them, it grows increasingly difficult to improve team motivation for investing in unleashing the full potential of that too. While Salesforce is one the most robust cloud-based platforms, user experience with a native APEX page is fairly complex.
In this blog we will explore the two most recent presentation tools (Skuid and Salesforce Lightning) that will help your organization reduce the development time and will improve your staff's Salesforce user experience. While Skuid is a third party app module that has been around for several years, Salesforce Lightning is relatively new and built directly into Salesforce.
In 2014, SoPact developed a Salesforce hhs Case Management platform to track capacity building data for semi-skilled and non-skilled populations. As discussed earlier, the main challenge for a platform like this is ensuring a user friendly CRM that is capable of managing full-cycle beneficiary data. To solve for this, SoPact need a presentation tool.
We ultimatly decided to use Skuid to develop the app, hoping it would be a fairly rapid development experience. By the end of the project, we had not only reduced the development time by 1/3 of what we had estimated, but we also achieved a user experience that was no longer threatening for the Program Managers. Most non-profits are not particularly tech savvy, making user experience and learning time extreemly critical. While native Salesforce-based designs work for simple data management activities, as soon as complex data management with workflow capabilities are required, user experience interactions quickly get out of hand. The SKUID-based development process helps simplify user experience and training time for most resource-constrainted environments.
The elements of the platform that improved the most by using Skuid, were:
Your records can be presented in tables that are easy to filter by any field and can be exported to a spreadsheet for review or audit purposes.
2. Actions and Icons.
Different actions can be easily applied to your beneficiaries, like profiling or training. These actions are represented by icons that are easy to identify.
3. Reports and Charts.
Charts are visually attractive, easy to understand, and represent relevant data regarding beneficiary demographics, beneficiary progress, employment rates, etc.
Currently, SoPact is working with Grounded Solutions Network to improve the user experience of their app, HomeKeeper, to make it easier to understand for Affordable Housing organizations tracking large amounts of data.
For this task, we are using Salesforce Lighning as our primary tool. The main advantages of Lighning are:
1. Dynamic, Smart Views.
Views displays are more dynamic and visually attractive using Salesforce Lighting. Additionally, the system rememebers which views are most commonly accessed by each user, enhancing the userability.
Quick data-driven decision making requires the ability to visualize more relevant information at the same time. The new Lightning can include up to four columns.
3. Customizable Homepage.
The Homepage can be customized to display the information that is more relevant to the user.
Nowadays, it is also possible to use Salesforce Lightning in conjuction with Skuid to dramatically improve the user experience by incorporating pages built on both.
The downside if implementing either/both tools? The added cost of using the tools. However, if you consider the savings on development, adoption time, and user errors reduction it might be worthwhile.