3 Reasons Why Salesforce Hasn't Upgraded Their UI/UX Design

People who aren’t familiar with Salesforce would probably be surprised that a company that continues to grow at such a rapid rate could have such a dated interface. No, I’m not referring to their beautiful new lightning experience:

I’m referring to this:

While Salesforce has been pushing lightning experience since it’s release in 2015, still only a small portion of companies have made the switch. 

The classic Salesforce design has earned a ton of criticism over the last 10 years or so. While most companies were keeping up with the trends and improving the look and feel of their applications, Salesforce seemingly refused to do so.

Why hasn’t Salesforce updated their UI/UX design? Let’s take look at a few reasons:

Change Would be Expensive, but Not Necessarily for Salesforce

389 billion dollars. That is the amount of money that the Salesforce ecosystem will generate in net new revenue from 2015-2020. Clearly Salesforce has a lot of people relying on their platform. Customers, implementation partners, companies on the appexchange, and independent consultants all rely on Salesforce every day.

All of these people took the time to learn how to navigate and maneuver the Salesforce classic experience. Yes, there is so much that you can do with Sales Cloud, that Salesforce has created an entire trailhead trail to teach it to you:

Not sure if you noticed, but this trail is estimated to take you 7 and a half hours to complete, and that’s just for the essentials!

If Salesforce was constantly changing their UI this could cost their customers a ton of money in constant training and lost productivity. The last thing you want your sales team doing is asking ‘I’ve got someone who wants to buy, but what happened to my contract generator?’

Salesforce is meant to be customized

You can think of Salesforce as a blank canvas that is loaded with a ton of really powerful features and functionalities. This means that out of the box you’re not really going to get much from Salesforce, but with the right customizations it can be the most powerful business tool available.

This leads to a couple reasons why Salesforce holds back from changing their UI. First, is that companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building a custom Salesforce org with the current UI toolset. If Salesforce started to make changes (as they did with lightning experience) companies would have to alter, or completely recreate their org to match the new interface.

Second, it is just plain difficult to redesign Salesforce without sacrificing the flexibility that makes them great. Essentially the UI of a platform like Salesforce sets the boundaries and constraints in which people can operate within. This is why if you look at the lightning experience most of the design is just a change of colors, element styles, etc.. rather than a complete overhaul.

A Focus on the Decision Makers

we can all agree the core UI/UX of the Salesforce platform does not look great, but who cares? Well, the people using Salesforce every day certainly do, but those are not the same people that are paying for Salesforce.

The people who are ultimately paying for, and implementing Salesforce are the company executives whose main focus is on the quality of reports they receive. Salesforce has long been known to have some extremely powerful reporting features along with the ability to display them in intuitive dashboards.

These dashboards give executives all the information they need at a glance and with the ability to dig deeper into the individual reports if they need to. You’re probably saying to yourself “If users don’t enjoy the experience, they’re not going to use the system” which is a valid point.

But once the money has been spent to implement Salesforce, users will probably be incentivized to put up with it – no matter how much they dislike it.  And in the end the Salesforce experience isn’t so terrible that you can’t just deal with it.

Once you have a basic understanding of the platform, you can access anything and everything you need and easily record data.   So the main question you have to ask yourself as to why Salesforce hasn’t updated it’s UI is: Does making it pretty really matter?


If you’re sick of dealing with Salesforce classic and what to give your Salesforce org a makeover that comes with some really powerful features; we can help you make the switch to lightning. Just schedule a 15-minute consultation with one of our Salesforce experts to get an estimate on the level of effort needed to make the switch.

About Shane Rostad

Shane Rostad is a marketing manager for TriFin Labs that loves to share his knowledge and learnings about tech through writing. When he's not reading you can find him exploring Florida's parks or loitering in a local coffee shop.

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