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Lightning Strikes Twice - Reinventing Salesforce1

4 min read

Dreamforce is a source of excitement across the industry and throughout the year - as ostensibly the largest conference in the space, this event serves as a focal point for breaking news and thought leadership. If you operate in this industry in any capacity, this is the week to keep your finger on the pulse, and watch the wire in awe as the press releases come pouring in. And given what Salesforce is cooking up for this year's presentations, Dreamforce '15 is set to exceed these expectations. That's because by all accounts, it looks like lightning is about to strike twice. More accurately, Salesforce is about to strike twice, with the promotion of Lightning, the foundational overhaul and next generation of the Salesforce1 Platform. From the limited demos we've seen so far, this is the kind of reinvention that makes it hard to remember a time before the update - an elegant, accessible system that makes it easy to build powerful and engaging applications that drive business results. It was already a powerful too to begin with, but this visual and technical overhaul seems to prime the platform for bigger and better things. Based solely on screenshots and press releases, I'm already excited to get my hands on a demo, and I know I'm not alone in that. But I think it is important, in the time before our excitement becomes a reality at Dreamforce, to explore the lessons and thought leadership potential that this product overhaul contains. The most apparent change is obviously a visual one, with the switch between the old and new versions standing as a breathtaking reminder of the power of aesthetic design. There is a level of care and consideration in the beautiful new graphical elements and UI design, that seems to speak to a philosophy of usability - this product is meant to be accessible and enjoyable for the customers who live in the system every day. Touting a modern design, it shows a forward thinking eye - with a lot of products, the underlying architecture is updated constantly, but the visual design is touched less often; it's important in that regard to design for the future, leveraging user data and insights to understand your customer's usage patterns and anticipate their needs and desires. The takeaway here is that when you design a fundamental ecosystem that changes the industry, you no longer have the luxury of working for the now; instead, you have the privilege of working for the future. The Lightning update is as much a showing of customer love as the Xactly Kickback, or Dreamforce itself. It's a clear sign of priorities, and a good indication of things to come.