Since its initial release by Salesforce in 2015, the Lightning Experience has reshaped the way Salesforce users interact with their data and systems. If your organization hasn't made the switch from Classic to Lightning, I'd like to convince you that it's well worth overcoming the fear or inertia or whatever is holding you back from adopting Lightning. There has never been a better time to move to Lightning, which now includes over 700 features that are not available in Classic.
These are a few of my favorites...
Interface and Visuals
My absolute number one feature in Lightning is the visual interface and design (what you see when you access Salesforce with Lightning Experience). The great thing about Lightning is that regardless of the device you use (phone, tablet, or desktop) you have the same design language to see the same icons, colors, and have access to the same features. Lightning is a modern user experience, the flexibility of Lightning allows you to customize your experience and work the way you want for your users. You can fully customize the layout of a record page to highlight a contact who is a high-level donor or add a custom widget to generate an organization's volunteering history. With customizations, staff can quickly find and prioritize important information.
In Lightning, search got a whole lot better. Under the hood, Salesforce implemented a new key grouping matching algorithm to find records and group relevant information together. To users, this means faster and more relevant search results. The new global search has an auto-suggestion feature. Type the name of a key donor or student and you'll instantly see results without ever changing the screen. Also, the results are custom-ranked based on your activity within the system. Objects and records you regularly interact with are ranked higher than those you don't, so it's easier to find what you're looking for. If you need it, the left panel of search results shows all objects containing your search term.
Want to quickly capture the reason why a gift didn't close or update the mailing preferences of a constituent? Quick Actions to the rescue! In Lightning Experience, admins can create a dedicated Quick Action to display only the fields needed for a specific business requirement. Even better, you can pre-populate values into fields allowing users to do more in fewer clicks. Quick Actions are very useful at the record level for quickly creating or modifying records, they are supercharged when added to Listviews in Lightning, allowing you to apply the same Quick Action on up to 200 records at once.
Reports and Dashboards
Reports and dashboards have gotten a boost in Lightning Experience too. The Lightning Report Builder lets you build, filter and group records easier than before. Graphical charts are much more impressive in Lightning, and when you export the results, you are able to see the same formatted version of your data in the export. If you want to be informed on a regular basis of your report's results, you can subscribe to the report and receive the latest to your chatter feed or inbox. Dashboards let you drill down using filtered components to quickly filter key metrics to update your dashboard. The canvas for building dashboards is denser allowing for more information to exist on a single dashboard. In the Lightning App Builder, you can embed a dashboard on the home page or create a dedicated tab for a specific dashboard.
Record, Listview, Report, and Dashboard Favorites
You can now "favorite" any record, report, listview, or dashboard in Lightning Experience. This lets users create a further customized experience when working in Lightning. To favorite a record, simply click the star in the upper right of the record screen. Favorites are remembered across your apps and devices. To access a favorite, click the dropdown next to the star.
If you want to know where Lightning is going in future releases, the Lightning team maintains the roadmap for released and upcoming features at this link:
If you want to get started with planning your move to Lightning, check out our blog post - Lightning Upgrade: DIY or Get Help. If you know you're going to need help with your Lightning upgrade, check out our Upgrade Services or contact us today.