I’ve just recently completed a Trailhead Superbadge entitled Lightning Experience Rollout Specialist. It was my first Superbadge and to ease myself into the numerous marathon challenges available to me, I thought I would start with one that I felt was relatively easy.

I’m a fan of the Lightning Experience (LEX). I’ve been using it 99% exclusively for just over a year now and really believe that it offers a vastly better way of working over Classic. I’m not sure if I’m just susceptible to the advertising, but I find myself really surprised when I see organisations still working in the old UI. Some of the reasons I’m met with include:

“It’s Slow To Load.”

Yes. That’s correct. If you just flick LEX on and hope for the best, you’re going to be met with a painful experience. That’s not always the case, for example if you have a fast computer with a decent internet connection, the page may load quite quickly. However, that’s in spite of zero reconfiguration of the org. To make LEX work in your favour, you need to pull apart and put back together every single page. In many cases, you’ll also need create brand new “Lightning” apps, pages and dashboards. The other trick is to integrate tabs into your record detail pages. Your browser will only download the contents of a visible tab, so it’s best to present the user with the right information in the right place.

“I’ll just wait until Salesforce stop supporting Classic.”

Nope. Nope nope nope. As I’ve learned today during the Superbadge, the effort required to properly migrate to Lightning goes beyond running the Migration tool. If Salesforce decide to remove Classic in the future, you’ll need time to refactor your pages, rebuild Javascript buttons, rebuild/reskin Visualforce pages and so on. Thankfully you can run a report in the Migration tool that will highlight all of the incompatible parts of your org and estimate the number of hours to get Lighting ready. Depending on the complexity of your system however, this could easily run into several weeks of effort, just to get ready for testing and without any page redesigns.

“It looks too different.”

This is a big one. If you believe users will need time and extra training to get used to the new functions and features of Salesforce in LEX (and they most likely will), you need to properly plan ahead. Which means designing a training program around the new layouts, new features, retired functions and so on.

Before you know it, this UI switch over has become a transformation project, almost as big as implementing Salesforce for the first time. It’s the kind of transformation that requires input from the users to understand their pain points in Classic, with the hope that they can be addressed in Lightning. It’s a chance to start again with a blank slate. The only part that doesn’t change is the data model, everything relating the user interface however, is on the table.

Because I’ve primarily been dealing with fresh Salesforce orgs at work, I’ve not really been exposed to the effort needed to migrate Classic over. That was until I took the Superbadge. I’m now far more respectful of all the pieces required to get a system over to LEX. It really should not be underestimated or put off. Even if you just start to think about when you will migrate, at least you have a plan. And with a plan, you can work back from that date, slotting in all of the required tasks appropriately.

Because if you’re going to migrate, you might as well do it on your own terms.