When I was first introduced to flow, I found it a bit daunting. Why? Firstly you might not be sure where to start, you have a blank canvas with no formal structure to what you are building, and some of the terminology was a bit confusing. But I have been able to create some very complex business processes with it that previously I would have had to write Apex classes & triggers with Visualforce pages. So if I have used it successfully why do, I feel flow needs an update?
Firstly, flow is built on flash, I am not a fan of flash and try and keep it switched off as much as possible. Along with the fact, the Adobe have announced that they will Stop updating and distributing Flash at the end of 2020.
What could flow look like?
The look and feel is dated, this has been exacerbated by the launch of the lightning design system, showing how much flow could do with a lick of lighting paint. If you take a look at marketing cloud’s journey builder it’s clean, seems simple to use and uses colours and shapes to indicate different action types. If flow took a page out of journey builders book, this would have many advantages including making it easier to tell the difference between action types, along with making you feel more at home making it look & feel like an advanced process builder. This would also bring a level of familiarity to other products across the Salesforce ecosystem. This helps with ease of use as you could jump from sales to service to marketing and quickly figure out what you need to do.
Some may also find the terminology a little confusing when doing a fast lookup many may not realise at first that this means looking up multiple records at the same time. By simplifying the language, to something like ‘Bulk Update would make the action clearer to non-technical users like many admins.
One of the significant downsides to using flow screens over custom Visualforce pages is the lack of parity between field types available in Salesforce and flow. The biggest is not having the ability to create lookup fields. Lookup fields are commonly used across Salesforce, are an easy way to search for and link records together and are well known by users, and could easily be identified just by looking at it. Currently, you have to build a complicated process to try and replicate this process. This not only makes your process more complex, but it will also make users feel less comfortable as it will not look & feel the way they are used to.
Other productivity features I would love to see come to flow.
Along with the larger changes above, there are also a few other smaller changes I would love to see come with flow, these would help increase productivity and make it simpler to build.
- When clicking save and a new version is required, automatically do a save as instead of giving an error
- Have a check syntax button when creating a formula
- Have the ability to clone a step
- Make it simpler for a flow to finish on a newly created record
So what do you think? Do you love flow how it is, do you feel things are missing?
Also published on Medium.