Lightning, Are You Ready?’s new UI (and design paradigm) Lightning Experience (LEX for short), has been making impressions since it was announced. Admins & user’s alike have had over a year now to poke and prod at it with a stick. I even know of a few folks that claim to have LEX turned on in their production orgs for all users.

I get asked all the time, what’s it going to take for us to switch over to LEX in “our org?” And more often my response has been: “It’s not really a question of if you are ready for LEX but is LEX ready for you?”

I don’t say that to bash LEX in anyway — however I feel at times there are many that feel jaded by it. It’s not the most performant thing yet, and yes there are many items that now take more clicks than we as admins and users are used to. To those folks I say, consider this:

Regarding performance: We are asking a “page” to do so, so, so much more than a page has done in the past. I’ve been in IT for over 20 years. Its a vicious circle. There was the mainframe and dumb terminals, then it all moved to desktop apps, then over to client server (a rehash of dumb terminals, if you will), then onto more of a hybrid, then onto web applications, and now we are in the app world, and demanding more of our web experience to behave more like our apps. I daresay it will come around yet again in some evolution and we’ll be off the client and back to the dumb-terminal to server architecture at some point. For now however, we are in some sort of thick client like architecture where much of our heavy lifting happening behind our web pages is now happening in javascript, on our devices when it used to happen at the server and simply show us the results of said backend work. As consumers of technology we begin to demand more and more from what is available and while technology moves at the speed of light, our expectations seem to move even faster — and that is okay! THAT my friends is how things progress. The caveat here is, we need to be patient. It. Will. Get. Better.

Regarding more clicks: As a developer there are times when I think to myself: “How can users be any lazier? Complaining about an extra click or two? After all, data is king and having it organized and clean is worth the extra clicks.” It takes me awhile to snap out of that line of thinking and look at things from the perspective of a user. Our jobs get more and more demanding everyday. “Do more, with less, and do it faster!” so efficiency is king to a user. I get that. Here we are squaring off and being the service oriented people we are, we ease the end-user’s life even when it makes our life a bit more difficult. Eventually we come around and meet somewhere in the middle. This whole thing is a process, it will take time to get things to the point where performing tasks in LEX will be just as efficient in LEX as they are in classic. There are millions of us users, and we all have feedback and opinions, etc. It takes time to process all that collective feedback and jump the technical hurdles currently blocking the way to some of this efficiency, but it will come.

Overall, LEX is indeed not ready for most existing clients. Change is never easy and perhaps the hardest element to overcome is the human element. However, LEX WILL BE ready, perhaps not as fast as many would like, certainly not as fast as would probably like — but its a paradigm shift.

It reminds me of my last “Corporate America” job 14 years ago. I had been a linux user since 1995. I loved it, was way more productive using that than using Windows. As a server architecture, particularly for web apps it just made much more sense to me. I made the mistake of preaching its virtue’s to my Microsoft embedded colleagues who never let me hear the end of it (ultimately why I was happy to leave that job — being a pilgrim in an unholy land took its toll on me). “Your toy operating system will never go anywhere, why waste time on such things” — a few short years later, linux in that environment was a constant. It took time for that to make its way, but it certainly made its way.

Rome wasn’t built in a day — LEX will be ready.