Friday, April 11, 2014

Provide Mobile Users with a Rich Experience Using Flexipages and Salesforce1

How do you make the most useful data available to users on a mobile device?  You may want to limit text and reduce the need for swiping and scrolling.  Think about the types of activities you are most likely to perform using your phone – texting, calling, photographing, listening to and watching or just looking.  We love the multimedia capabilities and the rich data we experience at a glance with mobile devices.  Salesforce1 provides an important new feature to help you create a more engaging and mobile-efficient interface for your Salesforce data.
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Make use of Flexible Pages, or Flexipages, to create a more engaging and mobile-efficient interface for your users by providing useful graphics and text in record lists directly off a tab.  Mobile users should be able to get as much data as possible in a glance and images can help make that possible.  For example, you can use image formulas to display graphical representations of a record’s status.  For an Opportunity, you might add an image formula to represent where in the pipeline each record happens to be.  This way, salespeople who are on the road can glance at a list of records to determine which need the most immediate attention rather than swiping and reading through a list of text.

Unfortunately, early Salesforce1 releases don’t support image formulas in the tab view.  Tab fields are determined through the Search Layout options, these are the fields users see when they select an object tab on desktop Salesforce, and image formulas have historically been useful here.  Yet the first time a user selects an object tab in Salesforce1, it won’t display images.  While this may change with later releases, there is another option available to early adopters as well.

For the most rich data experience, you can bypass the object tab using Flexipages and make data with images available with a single tap on the Flexipage tab.  Flexipage tabs access the first few fields of either a specific list view or recent items, both of which can use image formula fields.  Note that for recent items on a Flexipage, the fields come from your defined compact layout for that object rather than the familiar fields your users see in their desktop experience.

Flexipages also give you the ability to combine multiple data objects in a single list to even further reduce the tapping and swiping required for accessing the most critical data with a mobile device.  If you use the recent items list in the desktop Salesforce sidebar, you are already accustomed to seeing multiple objects in a single list, all highlighted with an informative graphic.  Replicate this type of user experience for mobile users with Flexipages.

For an example of how to create Flexipages, check out the documentation here:

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