Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Lightning Interface: Hipster Design for the Enterprise

I don't like the "flat" interface used by Apple since iOS 7. Don't like actually understates it. I hate it. It's even more frustrating that it's becoming ubiquitous, the pervasive language of the design world.

Add to that the frustrating trend (going back to Windows 8) of making the desktop more "mobile experience" like, and you now have, in a nutshell, the Lightning experience.

In short, has taken their perfectly workable desktop user interface and transformed it into something that resembles software you might use on your iPad, but it's the desktop interface. And, just as the iPad is sort of a lesser-than-desktop computer, the UI is a lesser than desktop experience as well.

Before we devolve into endless rant, let's touch on a few salient points:
  • The Lighting Interface is only being rolled out on the Sales Cloud in the Winter'16 release. That means a selected number of objects, Home, Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Dashboards will be available initially. 
  • If you use custom objects or you need to escape the Sales Cloud objects, you will be returned to the "Classic" interface. However, escaping isn't as easy as it used to be. The default switcher will no longer bring up access to Tabs, now the App Switcher is needed to get to those other objects. Got custom objects you normally access in the Sales Cloud. Bummer. You won't see them.
  • Lot's of stuff that you've gotten used to -- inline editing of records, drilling down into reports -- it's not available.
  • It's probably a helpful interface if you're business and sales model fits a select category and process, but if you're using Salesforce in a different way, it's sort of like "who moved my cheese" but worse.
But hey, "cool graphics" and dashboards that can go more than three columns.

In short, despite the hype, I don't see deploying this for quite some time. Perhaps you see it differently.

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