Paolo Sambrano next to text that says "Design User Friendly Apps."

How I Solved It: Design User-Friendly Apps


In this episode of “How I Solved It” on Salesforce+, #AwesomeAdmin Paolo Sambrano solves an inefficient service desk experience using App Builder and Flow. Learn how he approached building his solution and his tips for developing admin skills.

The problem

A long, long time ago, someone (ahem, maybe a less-experienced me) built a service desk solution that, while its heart was in the right place, was clunky to use on the day-to-day—and clunky is being generous. If someone wanted to create a case about a broken keyboard for our IT team, they had to log in to Salesforce, use the utility bar to connect to an experiences page where they had to reauthenticate, and then they were taken to another page where they needed to fill out a form. Exhausting. That was a lot of places and a lot of clicks, so people weren’t stoked about using it, to say the least—including me, and I may have built the thing! We needed a better service desk solution for our company to log cases; there were just too many clicks and steps involved in the process for it to be a long-term solution for our case management needs.

The solution

I knew I needed to build a streamlined, unified, easy-to-use service desk experience that people didn’t have waves of dread to use. My goal was to build a solution that enabled people to log an IT case in five clicks and without having to navigate through our entire Salesforce org. Being the #AwesomeAdmin I am, I knew I could find a way to use Flow and App Builder to figure this out.

How I Solved it

You can see the full solution in action by watching my episode, but while you’re here, I’ll share how I approached the problem using a few of my favorite skills from the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit: designer’s mindset, problem solving, and business analysis.

Designer’s mindset

In another life, I designed a card game. I taught myself game design principles and that was a do-it-yourself crash course in learning how systems and mechanics interact and collide with each other. Through that, I learned that it’s super important to stay focused on the user experience instead of what you think is a clever idea. The famed game creator Sid Meier says, “Games are a series of interesting decisions.” When I’m building solutions, I keep this in mind and look for ways to get users to make interesting decisions quickly—to get them to the good stuff as fast as possible using automation to eliminate repetitive actions and reduce clicks. I got obsessed with counting clicks. How many clicks did it take to get to the interesting decision? Could I combine this action, can this field auto-populate, saving the user another click? In building this solution, I thought a lot about how to meet users where they were at without trying to push them somewhere else. The users in this case didn’t spend much time in Salesforce, so I wanted to give them one place where they’d be served up all the information they needed.

Problem solving

The number one thing I think about when solving problems is to keep it simple! Sometimes the most complex problems can be solved with a very simple solution, which is better for your users and you, as an admin. When I was building this solution, I worked really closely with my stakeholders to make sure I could troubleshoot and resolve their issues in a timely manner. That built trust with them and helped them become invested in the solution. It’s also critical that you be proactive, monitoring Salesforce to find problems before they become a big deal. By paying attention, you can catch issues early and prevent major disruptions.

Business analysis

You always have to think about building solutions within the context of the business. How does the business function? What are users trying to accomplish? Where do they do their work? In building this solution, I knew my audience didn’t do most of their work in Salesforce. That’s why with this redesign, I pulled in all the relevant, actionable items for someone who may not work in Salesforce regularly in one place so they could get in, get out, and then go about the rest of their day. Check out the status of their open cases? There’s a case list view that displays them. Log a new IT case? Look up vendor contracts? Screen flows! Have all of it! On one page! The Service Desk App homepage! Remember how I mentioned the original problem may have been built by me (spoiler: it was)? Yeah, well, that all goes to show that it’s really important to constantly review processes and make sure they’re working for the business. Make sure you’re regularly reevaluating processes and documenting everything. Also, remember to forgive your past self for building clunky solutions.

My top 3 #AwesomeAdmin designer’s mindset tips:

  1. Bring your own experience to the table.
  2. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.
  3. Use these five (count them!) magic words with your stakeholders: “Walk me through your process.”

Want more?

Make sure you check out my episode and the rest of “How I Solved It” on Salesforce+!

Check out these great resources:

Brittanee Charles in a Trailblazer hoodie next to text that says, "Automate Processes with Flow."

How I Solved It: Automate Processes with Flow

In this episode of “How I Solved It” on Salesforce+, #AwesomeAdmin Brittanee Charles solves a disconnected sales process using custom objects, Flow, and App Builder. Learn how she approached building her solution and her tips for developing admin skills. The problem We had two different sales processes in our organization: land sales and home sales. […]