At Dreamforce ’13, I made a last minute decision to attend the “Next Generation UX for your Commercial App.” Although the topic was targeted toward ISVs, the session was attended by a mixed crowd of ISV and Force.com developers. Eric Hagen (@2verbose2tweet), an ISV Technology Evangelist, highlighted some of the key design patterns that need to be considered in order to drive adoption and stickiness within your Salesforce app. The key driver is that today’s business user has different expectations, driven by consumer application experiences.
In total, six design patterns were discussed as key considerations for building a sticky application. The pattern I found most interesting was the idea of integrating external information sources into the Salesforce experience. This approach does a couple of things that help create stickiness. The first is providing a user more information which gives them a broader view of the record (for example, the purchasing history for a customer). This helps support better decisions. The second aspect is that it creates stickiness within the app so the user doesn’t need to leave and go to another system to gather disparate information. The Canvas feature of Salesforce allows developers to integrate and embed external applications within the context of the Salesforce platform. Future releases of Canvas will allow it to be embedded directly in the Chatter feed.
The other design patterns discussed included: contextual collaboration, turn interaction into action, make it personal, think mobile first, and building a community. Eric provided great examples of how consumer applications such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter address these patterns and how a developer can adopt these applications within Salesforce. This is certainly helpful information for any developer to know when designing the user experience within Salesforce.
This entire session is available to view here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU_094VioSE
POSTED BY: Pete Graham