Get with the Flow Action

I have been an advocate of Object-Specific Quick Actions for years. In fact, I have given dozens of formal presentations on Quick Actions to hundreds of people at several Dreamforce conferences, World Tours and community events. There’s a reason I love them, with Object Specific Quick Actions an admin can use config-only to let users create or update records and send email with just two clicks without leaving the page they’re on. They are extremely easy to set up and the time-savings for users can be massive.

As much as I love the power and simplicity of the Object Specific Actions I am now all in on championing Flow Actions. I still love Object-Specific Actions but I am obsessed with Flow Actions. Why? Because Actions with flows can truly take your user experience to the next level.

Here is an example of a Create Case Object-Specific Action. It is clean and simple asking me for a few fields and even has the Status prepopulated. Nice!

And here is an example of a Create Case Flow Action. What a difference! As the end user I am walked through the process of creating a case when I click the “Next” button at the bottom instead of seeing all the fields at once. I can even see my call script, customized for my contact Ashley by name. The email address even has a sample format so I know what it is expecting. Very nice!

By creating a basic Screen Flow you can use many simple to implement flow features that will make it beneficial to switch from Object-Specific Actions to Flow Actions. Here are three of my favorite tools:

  1. Display Text: Add this component to your screen flow to provide directions and guidance on-screen to users with simple WYSIWYG rich-text editor.
  2. Placeholder Text: Instruct users what to put in individual fields without the risk that users will leave it unchanged the way they might with Predefined Values. It’s especially great for explaining acceptable field formats.
  3. Component Visibility: Steam-line the user experience by conditionally hiding and displaying fields. No more taking up valuable real-estate for fields that are not always needed or creating a different action for each record type.

Let me show you how easy it is to do these items inside of a Flow. Here is an example of how to add Display Text to a screen flow. Note how you can specify the font, color, size and even add bullets, numbers and lists:

Adding Display Text to a Screen Flow

To add Placeholder text simply type in the text you want to display in the “Placeholder Text” settings.

In this example of Component Visibility on a screen flow I am only displaying the email field on the screen if the Contact’s email is blank on their user record. You can even make it visible based on values entered by the user on an earlier screen.

Setting component visibility from the Flow Screen Builder

Just like object-specific actions you can easily use Flow to make fields read-only, required and prepopulate them with data.

And that’s just scratching the surface! Flows can do hundreds of things that Object-Based Quick Actions cannot do. So next time you are thinking of creating a quick action take some time and build it in Flow. Your users will flip for flow.

Flow is a powerful tool and it can be overwhelming at first so to get started I recommend you check out this trailhead to get started.