Lightning Experience Navigation Updates Coming Soon

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Soon, the Winter ’17 release will be upon us! Salesforce is making a dramatic change to the Lightning Experience navigation interface. (For the better, in my opinion). With this change, there are a few items that need to be addressed:

  • Most importantly, from my standpoint, names are coming back–instead of the icons currently used. So Opportunities will appear as “Opportunities” in Lightning; not a crown
  • Easier access to recent items vs. related lists by using the “down chevron” on each menu
  • More consistency across all apps
  • Help text is back!

Whether you like it or not, these changes to Lightning Experience navigation are coming. That means it’s time to educate yourself on the changes and prepare yourself appropriately. So far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive for this update, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing it for myself.


Lightning Experience Navigation - Change from horizontal toolbar to vertical


Lightning Experience Navigation Updates: Steps You Need to Take

Importantly, Salesforce has opted not to support two user interfaces. This does make just a little bit of work for you, so here are some tips on how to prepare for this change:


  • Update the description field of each Lightning app. Get the instructions on how to do that on this detailed FAQ page from Salesforce.  
  • Each Lightning app will be renamed to “Lightning” during the transition. Once that is complete, you will need to change all of them back to their appropriate names. This name change occurs on 9/5/16 for NA44 and NA45 and 9/19/16 for all other instances. Mark your calendar!


Lightning Experience Navigation - Dates when name changes take effect


  • You can then apply branding and custom color themes to each application (optional).
  • Classic apps can also be configured to use the new Lightning Experience navigation. This might help save your users a few clicks and also ease the transition into the full experience later on.
  • Optional – You can also audit your field level help text. Since it will be available after Winter ’17, why not have good help text to boot?


To get more info on what’s coming in the Lightning Experience navigation updates included in Winter ‘17, read this detailed article (also linked above) from Salesforce.

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