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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kolodner

Simple, Readable, Fun 🥳 - 💦 Sprinkle Emoji in your Salesforce ☁️

Salesforce is serious. 😒 It’s where we do our work. 📤

But, I don’t think there is an actual requirement that work be boring. Why not take the opportunity to make the system we work in a little more fun? Add joy (😊), affirmations (👍) and celebrations (🎉) anywhere you can!

Adding emoji is nearly as easy as typing a character. On a Mac you bring up the emoji keyboard (⌨️) with Ctrl-Command-Space. On PCs it's Windows-Period. And emoji are text as far as computers are concerned--they're part of the unicode standard--so they work just about anywhere you can use text.

Maybe it’s just decoration, but sometimes you get those proverbial "thousand words" by using a picture. That can mean pages that are more functional. Studies have shown that readers process visual information much more quickly than plain text.

Besides, many emoji bring color as well as shape, so they brighten up your screen instantly! 🌈

Let’s look at some of the great places you can use emoji:

🗣 In Chatter (Of course.)

We’re hardly breaking any new ground here, since it’s similar to putting them in your texts.

📇 Record names

Now we’re having some fun!

Could you put a stack of bills (💵) into your opportunity naming convention? [OK, that might not be serious enough.]

Are you an animal shelter with records for cats (🐈), dogs 🐕, and rabbits 🐇? Put the type right into the record name and your users will instantly know something about Muffin!

📘 Description fields

Any free text field is fair game!

⎶ As picklist values

Setting a record’s progress to a Red🔴/Yellow⚠️/✅Green status field? Why not include the color in your picklist?

Or perhaps you have radio buttons on a quick form–particularly useful on mobile. Instead of a Yes/No or a Good/Poor binary, why not 👍/👎? Instantly recognizable!

🎛 Dashboard or report names

I hadn’t really thought of this before I started this blog post. But I’m definitely going to start renaming some more dashboards. No more “Organizational Goals Dashboards.” They’re all going to be “🎯 Goals Dashboard” from now on!

⍯ In formula fields

On Related Lists

I’ve written elsewhere about making a custom formula to combine fields for display on a related list. Emoji here can make your list pop, allowing users to instantly distinguish different types of records in the list.

Visual Flags on Records

We often want image badges on records and even the NPSP docs from years ago recommended a way to use static resources and formula fields. But for several years now I’ve preferred to make my image flags with emoji. Instantly readable on a record page and truly a lifesaver when you’re looking at a large report!

🏳️‍🌈 In banners

I already posted about banners on Lightning record pages and you can see that I use emoji there. There are all sorts of possibilities when it comes to banners on your pages!

🖥 Flow screen instruction headers and sections

Screen flows are a versatile tool (though sometimes quite time-consuming to build!) for building a custom interface in various parts of Salesforce. Whether the flow is a survey or call script, a custom New button in a specialized area, or just a way to display dynamically generated information in one place, I love to dress those screens up with emoji. When you put instructions on the page, start them off with a nice emoji to draw the eye. Differentiate sections with other emoji.

🛑 Error messages and validation rules

Nothing says, “Stop!” better than a ⚠️ or a ⛔️, does it? Dress up your validation rules with a visual warning. (Or soften the blow with a smile. 😉)

⚡️ Lightning pages (like Home page rich text elements)

Emoji can be welcoming additions to an instruction section or draw the eye to actions you can take on the page.

I know that lots of people just zip right past the home page as soon as they log into Salesforce. But if you put some effort into it you can make Lightning App Pages functional and save your users time by allowing them to work right from the instant they log in.

🔘 Action buttons

This is probably my favorite! Why settle for boring buttons like New and Edit? If you’re going to the trouble of making an action or a button, add some pizazz!

I’m hardly the first to think of using emoji in Salesforce. Marc Baizman wrote a blog post back in early 2018. But I still l don’t think it’s as common as it should be. 🙁

One final note: Emoji and screen readers don’t always play nicely together. Generally the screen reader is going to read out the emoji's alt text, which you can see by hovering your mouse over one on the emoji keyboard. Keep your user base in mind and make sure the meaning of the icon is clear in context so that even when rendered as voice it doesn't get in the way. I've also seen advice to lead with text, putting the emoji at the end. (Good advice, though I didn't quite follow it to the letter for this post.) And don't forget to keep contrast in mind for the visually impaired.

Now get to work, friends, and make those Salesforce pages colorful and fun!


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