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The Role of User Experience in Salesforce Adoption

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A great User Experience (UX) is often cited as a crucial factor in achieving high user adoption. However, what does it entail precisely, and how can we determine when UX is truly good, and user adoption is high?

In this blog, we are exploring what User Experience (UX) is, how it is related to User Adoption and how companies can increase user productivity with better UX design.

What is User Experience (UX)?

User Experience includes all the effects and interactions users have when using the software. In a business environment, UX is closely tied to task success, which means that users can complete their tasks quickly and easily, or in other words – users are highly productive.

Simply put, software with good UX must meet the following criteria:

  • Great look-and-feel
  • Ease of use with minimal mental effort
  • Fast task completion time

The primary objective of UX design of business applications is to design software that is easy and quick to use.

 

What is User Adoption?

User Adoption is a set of metrics that let us measure how successful a software implementation is.

At the start, we can look at a few key signs to see if things are going well: login rates, record creation, and record updates. Login rates show how often users log into Salesforce, while record creation and updates tell us how much users interact with the data.

When User Adoption indicators are high, users are happy with the software and use it a lot. A great UX boosts productivity, and users become more interested in further exploring the use of the software.

Companies can create their own dashboards or use third-party tools to measure Salesforce adoption. Salesforce AppExchange features a number of free and paid tools, including ones developed by Salesforce, such as Salesforce Adoption Dashboards.

 

Salesforce adoption dashboards-1

Screenshot of Salesforce Adoption Dashboard in action.

 

This free tool allows organizations to track and measure User Adoption within their Salesforce ecosystem.

It includes dashboards showing key adoption metrics, such as user logins, data entry rates, and feature utilization. This helps to identify patterns, spot areas of low adoption, and take steps to enhance the User Experience.

While there is a strong rationale for improving UX and consequently increasing user adoption, companies often struggle with user adoption.

Research shows that more than half of employees are unhappy at work because of the software tools they have to use, and 62% report that work software prevents them from reaching their full potential.

 

Why do companies struggle with Salesforce adoption?

The complexity of use often results from Salesforce customization. Companies customize Salesforce because they need to accommodate different ways of working.

Why are there different ways of working?

Because enterprise companies need to handle multiple products, deal with different types of customers, and usually operate in different markets. Out-of-the-box functionality does not fully support such complexity.

Salesforce customization is often performed under time pressure to meet specific business requirements. Unfortunately, user experience (UX) is frequently neglected or postponed in the pursuit of customization.

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Consequently, software customization often leads to the increased complexity of use and degrading UX, resulting in low adoption rates and hindering business goals.

 

How can we solve the Salesforce adoption problem?

Investing time and effort in researching users and deliberately designing the UX is necessary to ensure successful User Adoption and reach implementation goals.

UX design requires specialized skills and proven processes. Companies likely do not have sufficient competency in Salesforce UX design and, therefore, need to look for a qualified Salesforce Consulting partner.

Unfortunately, Salesforce UX skills are rather rare.

There are around 170,000 Salesforce-certified individuals. However, a LinkedIn search for professionals with Salesforce UX design certifications (Salesforce User Experience (UX) Designer or Strategy Designer certifications) suggests that less than 1,000 certified people work outside of Salesforce[1].

At Ideaport Riga, we are a Salesforce Consulting partner with extensive experience in CRM products dating back to 2007. In the last decade, we have particularly focused on User Experience design and improvements. Our experience suggests that a successful UX design implementation process must consist of the following phases:

  • User research
  • Prototyping new UX
  • Testing the new prototype
  • Implementing new UX
  • User onboarding and measuring adoption

You can learn more in our blog about Salesforce UX at every stage of implementation.

Based on our experience with UX design projects, we've learned that testing the new prototype's usability with real users and seeking input from subject matter experts and IT is crucial for ensuring a successful UX design.

Testing with users gives us valuable insights into how effective the new design is and helps identify any potential issues that companies must address before moving forward. Additionally, subject matter experts (SMEs) review the design to ensure it maintains essential functionality and aligns with business objectives. Collaborating with IT is also vital to assess the proposed ideas' feasibility.

While this extra step might extend the project timeline slightly, it significantly reduces User Adoption risks. It allows us to fine-tune the UX design before proceeding with the customization work for Salesforce implementation.

 

Conclusion

User Experience (UX) is a vital factor in the success of Salesforce implementation. Great UX leads to high adoption metrics, fast task completion time, and high productivity.

On the other hand, poor UX can hinder software adoption, resulting in low user engagement and suboptimal utilization. Therefore, companies would be well advised to collaborate with Salesforce UX design experts to ensure they have strong adoption. Prioritizing the user experience and continually refining it based on user feedback enables businesses to unlock the full potential of their software investments and achieve their desired objectives.

If you want to explore possibilities of solving your Salesforce UX challenges, check out our FREE no-obligation workshop offering!

 

[1] Search conducted on LinkedIn in May 2023 by Ideaport Riga.

 

Salesforce UX User Experience Adoption

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