List Views: Using data to aid adoption

It is time for another #LightningFlap! In an earlier post, I outlined how useful List Views are in Salesforce Lightning Experience. In this post, I cover:

  • What is a List View?
    • How are they helpful?
  • Lightning vs Classic
  • Deep dive: List Navigation & Usage
  • Conclusion

The theme throughout will be how List Views in Lightning can help your users be more productive. Specifically, an easy way to ‘act’ on insights from multiple records.

What is a List View?

Sometimes underutilised, list Views allow you to work with data from a specific object (e.g. Account, Opportunity, Contact, Custom Object etc). They provide a screen to sort, filter, search, view, create, edit, and delete an object’s records easily. Lightning Experience takes this to a new level.

Sample List View within Salesforce Lightning Experience.
Sample Account List View in Salesforce Lightning Experience

How are List Views helpful?

The short answer, in lots of ways! Here are some common use cases.

Diagram showing how List Views can be used in Data Cleaning, Data Prioritisation and Data Management.

However, the take-home is that they are a great productivity tool. In addition to allowing you to view multiple records at once, it provides the tools to act.

Lightning vs Classic

Here are the main differences between Lightning and Classic List Views. This post will not cover all features. If there is a feature you would like to hear more about, please reply in the comments below.

Feature Comparison: Lightning vs Classic

FeatureDescriptionLightningClassic
Add Filter logicApply filters and logic to show only desired records (e.g. Accounts in London OR Birmingham)
Chatter FeedsView Chatter Feed updates for Records shown
Create ChartsCreate Vertical/Horizontal Bar and Donut charts based on Records shown
Create/Edit List ViewsCreate and Edit List Views, depending on permissions
Fields DisplayedSelect up to 15 fields to display
Infinite ScrollNo need to select the number of records to display. Scroll down to load more records
Inline EditingEdit one (or multiple) records
Kanban ViewGraphically view records; summarise and group data (e.g. Opportunity Amount by Stage)
Pin List ViewsSelect a List View to be your default for a tab (e.g. All Accounts on the Accounts tab)
Printable ViewPrintable View of data. This must be enabled within Setup | User Interface | Enable Printable List Views
Resize ColumnsControl column width size; expand or reduce
Search List View Search record results (using eligible fields) from the List View’s inbuilt search bac
Sharing ControlsControl who has access: only you, all users, or groups of users (e.g. Roles, Public Groups etc)
Sort ColumnsClick a column heading and values will be sorted ascending (small to large) or descending (large to small)
Wrap/Clip TextControl whether you want to see all the content of a field, or just the first part
Comparing List Views in Lightning and Classic. Based on Salesforce Help and Training in Spring 20.

Deep-Dive: List View Setup

Let us look in more detail within Lightning Experience.

Navigating List Views in Lightning

To access a List View, go to a tab (e.g. Accounts) within Salesforce. The screenshot below shows the main features of the screen.

Screenshot of a sample List View within Salesforce Lightning Experience.
Annotated screenshot of a List View

If you are familiar with Classic, you may wonder where the ‘Records Per Page’ and page number are. These do not exist in Lightning, as this has been replaced with ‘infinite scroll’. This means, to load more records, just scroll!

Recently Viewed & Pinning

As a side-note, clicking on a tab within Salesforce will load the ‘Recently Viewed’ List View by default. This can cause confusion. Unlike other views, you cannot customise the view from the page itself. To add/remove fields from this page, Admins can refer to this Salesforce Help and Training guide.

However, users often have a specific view they need for their work. Consequently, ‘pinning’ is handy. With pinning, users can select the view which is most useful for them. This becomes their default for that tab. Should a user want to change their preference in future, navigate to another view and ‘pin’ that view. This will then overwrite the selection.

Screenshot showing the steps to pin a List View
Screenshot of pinning a List View and the confirmation message

Create a List View

In this example, I shall create a simple view based on the ‘Account’ object. I will only show records with ‘SFDC Penguin’ in the name. To do this:

  1. Navigate to the ‘Account’ tab
Screenshot showing how to access List Views via the Account Tab
Click on the ‘Accounts’ tab
  1. Click on ‘List View Controls’ and select ‘New’.
    1. Tip: always check if what you want already exists. There is no point re-inventing the wheel!
Screenshot showing how to access 'List View Controls' from a List View
Select ‘New’ from List View Controls
  1. Enter a List View Name and who can see it. Here I shall call my List View ‘Accounts – SFDC Penguin’. Press tab to automatically populate the ‘List API Name’. I will also limit visibility to ‘Only I can see this list view’. In the ‘real-world’ consider:
    1. Who will use this? If only yourself, limit visibility. This is particularly relevant to Admins and Managers
    2. Ensure List Views have a meaningful name, especially if shared! Consider a naming convention
Screenshot showing how to name a new List View and set its access settings
Enter in the List View Name and set access levels
  1. The List View has been created. Next, ‘filter’ the data to show only SFDC Penguin Account records. To do this, click on ‘Filter’. I shall apply the following.
    1. Filter By Owner: Update to ‘All accounts’. This will show all Accounts I have access to
    2. Filter ‘Account Name’ where the Account Name ‘contains’ SFDC Penguin. What this means is I want Salesforce to list all Accounts which have SFDC Penguin in the name
    3. Click ‘Done’ and then ‘Save’
Screenshot of how to add filters to a List View within Lightning Experience
Create a custom filter (e.g. filtering on Account Names containing SFDC Penguin)

NOTE: If creating a ‘real’ List View, please refer to ‘Operators‘ and ‘Filter Logic‘ for more information

  1. This will refresh the view and the results will be updated. It is also recommended to use the ‘Refresh’ button to get up to date data. The results have been sorted in ‘ascending’ order (smallest to largest, by Account Name). This has been achieved by clicking on the ‘Account Name’ column.
Screenshot of the sample 'SFDC - Penguin' list view, after applying the filters
Results updated reflecting the updated filter. Results sorted by Account Name
  1. I will then remove ‘Account Site’ and ‘Phone’ from the List View, and replace them with ‘Annual Revenue’ and ‘Billing Country’. To do this, go into: ‘List View Controls’ | Select Fields to Display and then use the add/remove fields component:
Screenshot of how to access 'Select Fields to Display' via 'List View Controls' within a Lightning List View
To add/remove fields, go to ‘Select Fields to Display’ from ‘List View Controls’
Screenshot of how to remove fields from a Lightning List View
Select fields to remove. Multiple fields can be selected by holding the control key whilst left clicking. Click remove
  1. From the same screen, we shall add ‘Annual Revenue’, ‘Billing Country’ and ‘Description’. Select these fields from the left-hand ‘Available Fields’ column and click ‘Add’ then Save
    1. This screen also allows us to re-order fields. To do so, click on a field from the ‘Visible field’ column and then the up or down arrows to change their position. Fields at the top of the list will be on the ‘left-hand’ side of the view
Screenshot of how to add fields to display within a Lightning List View
Select fields to add (to display). Re-order as required and save
  1. We can now check the List View we have created. This List View is working fine, although the Description is currently being ‘clipped’. If this is not desired, simply click on the arrow next to ‘Description’ and select ‘Wrap Text’.
Screenshot of how to wrap text/clip text within a Lightning Experience List View
Illustrating how to toggle between ‘wrap’ and ‘crop’ text within a List View

In-line Editing

For Data Cleansing, in-line editing is extremely powerful. Let us assume the SFDC Penguin Accounts found in the List View above should all have the ‘Type’ ‘Customer – Direct’. With the View created, I can easily see they are not, but also update all three simultaneously.

To mass-edit, follow these steps:

  1. Select the records you wish to update
Screenshot of how to select records for editing within a List View
Tick the checkboxes next to the records to be edited via in-line editing
  1. Hover over a field within the records you want to update. This will only work where a ‘pencil’ icon is shown. If a padlock is shown, you will not be able to edit the field within in-line editing. For more information on this, please refer to this article
Screenshot showing the pencil icon of an editable field
Hover over the field to be edited
  1. Click on the ‘Pencil’ icon and select the value you want to enter. In this example, ‘Type’ is a picklist field, so I will choose ‘Customer – Direct’ from the list of options. However, if this were a text field, you would be able to enter your desired value into the field. Select ‘Update X’ selected items and then ‘Apply’
Screenshot of how to update data and apply to multiple records
Select your new value to apply to the record(s)
  1. A preview of the update is displayed. To save the changes, click ‘Save’. If you wish to reverse the change, click ‘Cancel’. Once you have clicked ‘Save’, you cannot automatically reverse the change.
Screenshot showing how to save changes to data within a list view
Once ‘applied’ (above) either ‘Cancel’ (to reverse) or ‘Save’ (to keep) the change

NOTE: Up to 200 records can be selected from a List View at any one time

Kanban

Last, but far from least, Kanban views are a relatively new feature and only available in Lightning. They provide a more visual way of interacting and viewing records. In a Kanban view, you can summarise certain fields (e.g. amounts/numbers) by a specified grouping. This is often particularly helpful in Opportunity records.

For example, you can ‘Summarise’ amounts to get totals, whilst Grouping by ‘Stage’. The output would be a Kanban view of a pipeline. To set this up:

  1. In this example, go to the Opportunities tab
  2. Select the ‘All Opportunities’ List View
  3. Select ‘Display As’ and choose ‘Kanban’
Display as: Kanban
  1. By default, your List View will summarise by Amount and Group by Stage. Note that, in Opportunities, the Kanban view also highlights Opportunities without Open activities. This is to ensure Sales Teams remain focused and keep prospective customers engaged.
Screenshot showing a sample Kanban view within Lightning Experience
Example of a Kanban view on the Opportunity object within Lightning Experience
  1. Should you wish to customise or apply a different grouping or summary, click on ‘List View Controls’ and ‘Kanban Settings’.
Screenshot showing how to access Kanban Settings (via List View Controls)
To amend a Kanban, go to List View Controls and Kanban Settings
  1. You will then be able to amend the Kanban view as required.
Screenshot of the 'Kanban Settings' screen
Options to amend ‘Summarise By’ and ‘Group By’ within Kanban settings

Conclusion

List Views in Lightning Experience can empower users and aid adoption. Tools such as pinning List Views, Charts, Kanban and In-line editing allow easy access to multiple records. They also aid data cleansing, prioritisation, and management. In short, they help users be proactive and focus their efforts.

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