User Engagement in Salesforce


User Engagement, at its core, works to empower the Users of the platform through in-app guidance. From onboarding to Deep Learning, User engagement covers it all. Salesforce provides in-app guidance via components such as info bubbles and prompts to help Users work more efficiently. When working on Salesforce, you would have come across in-app guidance without ever knowing about it and its potential, and now, Salesforce enables us to customize those components for our Users. Let’s learn more about User Engagement.

What is the art of User Engagement in Salesforce?

User Engagement is the process of onboarding, guiding, assisting, and educating users with the help of in-app guidance.

Let’s understand what User Engagement is with the help of a fun example!

Let’s say you’re at your local museum, and as soon as you pay the entry fee, you’ll be handed a guide and map of the museum. This is analogous to the onboarding process. During this phase, you show Users from where to begin and what’s new or different.

You’ve been exploring the museum for quite some time now, and you come across a banner letting you know that the museum offers a free guided tour. This phase can be termed as feature discovery and adoption, but during the tour, you can’t keep up with the guide, and you fall behind, and that’s when you discover via a tour placard that you can join another guided tour mid-way, this is similar to the troubleshooting help phase. Well, wasn’t it nice you could help yourself instead of finding someone to solve your problem?

As the tour progresses, you come across a piece of art you love, and you want to know more! This is when you realize you have the option to go on a one-on-one art tour with an experienced tour guide, and this is analogous to the deeper learning phase.

To sum up, User Engagement consists of 4 phases:

  • Onboarding
  • Feature Discovery and Adoption
  • Troubleshooting Help
  • Deeper Learning

Four basic scenarios in user engagement


We present to our Users where to begin, what’s available and what’s new or changed. This scenario is relevant to a User who is new to a trial, product or release. This could be via setup guidance, videos, walkthroughs, tips, etc.

Feature discovery and adoption

This scenario helps beginners become experts, and experts learn new things. This is relevant when there’s an update to the latest release or when a User isn’t using the product to its full potential. We could use tips, feature demos, best practices, etc., for this phase.

Troubleshooting help

This scenario includes just-in-time prompts that help our users via reliable resources or access to support. This is perfect for a User who is, of course, and may or may not be aware that they are. For example, we can include tips, visual cues, a help menu, etc., for this phase.

Deeper learning

It is relevant for Users that wish to have a deeper understanding of a particular feature, product, or new release. We can provide deeper training and explanations of the feature, shortcuts, and tips in this scenario.

Components and Patterns

We have a good idea of why we require User Engagement. Now, let’s move on to the components we can employ to deliver our message to the User. Salesforce offers us tools to create and customize these components. Some of them require programming, while others require simple point-and-click tools(no code!) for their creation. Let’s take a quick look at the components offered by Salesforce for User Engagement.

Programmatic Components

Welcome Mat

Welcome Mat tiles may trigger models, videos, and walkthroughs or navigate Users to a specific URL. They consist of two sections – the informational left pane and the actionable right pane.

Scenario: Onboarding and Deeper Learning.

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It is best used to provide tips and best practices by pointing to a lower-level component on the page. They must always come with a triggering button and have at least one focusable element inside.

Scenario: Onboarding, Adoption, Troubleshooting, and Deeper Learning.

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Empty State

Whenever an element has no content to display to the User, then these are messages that appear. They consist of two pieces – headline and body text.

Scenario: Adoption, Troubleshooting, and Deeper Learning.

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Setup Assistant

They provide a prescriptive and detailed guide for learning or to help Users onboard organizations, clouds, or features.

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Declarative Components

Help Menu

In the header, there is a help icon that opens up a menu of help topics, trailhead modules, content & videos, and more items chosen by Salesforce.

Scenario: Onboarding, Troubleshooting, and Deeper Learning.


We can use either a floating, a targeted, or a docked Prompt. It can be used to let users know about a new feature or news or can be a helpful guide for what they’re working on.

Scenarios: Onboarding, Adoption, Troubleshooting, and Deeper Learning.

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Field-Level Help

We can use an info bubble or a tooltip to display a small piece of information on the function and purpose of a standard or custom field.

Scenario: Adoption and Troubleshooting.


It is a series of connected prompts that takes you on a step-by-step connected journey. It converts to a unique hands-on learning experience for the User.

Scenario: Onboarding, Adoption, and Deeper Learning.


Push Method Vs Pull Method

We know what Scenarios and Components are, but how do we decide which component to use for a particular scenario? → The push or the pull method can help us with that.

Sometimes we need to nudge or push our Users when they may not notice or seek out help but would benefit from some guidance. Example: Use welcome mats, prompts, popovers and walkthroughs.

Use the pull method when Users themselves seek help. Examples: Help Menu or the info bubble that opens a tooltip when you hover over an icon.

Promote Feature Adoption and Discovery

Simple Prompts and Walkthroughs go a long way in raising awareness of a new feature or an underutilized existing feature. Let’s learn how to use them to help our Users.

How to choose the Right Subject?

Why should we add a prompt or walkthrough? → They’re ideal for feature discovery and adoption scenarios, for example:

  • A new feature is added or available.
  • The User isn’t taking advantage of a useful feature.

How do we choose the right feature for a prompt or walkthrough?

  • Favorable Features: Features that are easy to digest and can be used right away. Features that do not require complex setup operations or personalization.
  • Features to Avoid: Features that are highly complex and hard to learn with hard-to-remember workflows. Features that can be heavily personalized by the Users.

Keep these points in mind before introducing a new feature to the Users. At the end of the interaction, we want the Users to be left with a positive user engagement experience.

  • Users generally know the fundamentals and don’t want their workflow interrupted unreasonably.
  • They want applicable, relevant information on new features, updates, and elements they don’t use.
  • Unless a suggestion is personally tailored for them, Users don’t want to be sold to.

How to Choose the Right Type of In-App Guidance

Prompt or Walkthroughs? You decide.

  • Prompt –> This is a small pop-up displaying information on a new feature, update, or call-to-action. For feature adoption and discovery, a single prompt with a short message would be ideal.
  • Walkthrough –> This is a series of prompts, one after the other, that provides a step-by-step guided learning experience. They take up more of the User’s time but provide a more hands-on learning experience. They’re ideal not just for feature adoption and discovery, but you can use them to onboard new hires to their workspace, highlight a series of related features, provide a feature overview or guide users through a multi-step process.

How to Choose the Right Type of Prompt

Prompts come in 3 flavors: floating, targeted, or docked.

Floating Prompts

It is a non-intrusive way to direct the users’ attention to a new feature or opportunity. It includes a short message, an optional image, and a call to action in the form of a button. Floating prompts are perfect for a walkthrough. They can be placed in any of these nine positions on the page.

  • Top-right
  • Top-left
  • Top-centre
  • Middle-right
  • Middle-left
  • Middle-centre
  • Bottom-right
  • Bottom-left
  • Bottom-centre

Targeted Prompts

These prompts need not be confined to those nine positions on the page, and we can use them to bring the user’s attention to a specific page element that we’re referring to.

Docked Prompts

They stay on the screen while users navigate through the app. They’re ideal for content that you want to remain on the screen, such as a short video, a step-by-step instruction, or an image that the users can refer to while they explore a feature.

How to Enable Users to Learn in the Flow of Work

Even if you have shared folders, an internal wiki, and quick links inside the app as training and learning resources, it would require your User to dig deep to find them, which results in an interruption to their flow of work. We want our Users to learn without too many distractions. How do we help them do that? – Learning Paths and Help Menu!

Learning Paths

Salesforce Learning Paths are perfect for employees of all experience levels and offer just-in-time, personalized learning in the flow of work, which means your employees get to enhance their skills and increase their productivity at the same time.

The learning path icon ( Icon Description automatically generated with medium confidence ) in the global header is visible to all users, and it opens a panel where Users can read Trailhead and myTrailhead content and earn badges inside the app.

Admins can customize the panel by making including a customized learning path for specific audiences. To customize a learning path or to view your progress, simply click Go To Learning Home at the very bottom of the panel.

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Help Menu

It is available by clicking the question mark icon( ) in the header menu. The icon opens a menu of contextual help topics, content & videos, Trailhead modules, and more items selected by Salesforce.

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You can customize the menu by adding a list of your content. You can add a section of your own with links to up to 30 resources of your own. To customize the list, from Setup, search for Help Menu in the Quick Find Box and select Help Menu.

How to Design a User Engagement Journey

Throughout the Salesforce landscape, we use engagement patterns in onboarding, guiding, assisting, and educating Users. Before embarking on creating a User Engagement Journey, let’s keep a couple of guidelines in mind to make the experience as relevant as possible.

Planning the Scope of Your Project

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  • Identify the “aha moment.
    The ultimate objective of the user engagement process is to deliver an aha moment, and this is when the user first realizes the value of your product or solution. This usually takes place first during onboarding. Also, it can and actually should reoccur as the user grows and becomes more proficient. To get to that eureka moment, create actionable, relevant content.
  • Address needs at all stages in the user journey
    Who are you designing for – a beginner, an advanced user, or someone in between? The needs of an existing user and an inactive user is going to be wildly different.
  • Fit the experience based on the persona
    Different users require different information – consider familiarity with the product and industry, product complexity, and motivation level. Then create a tailored experience that suits your user’s goals or role.
  • Experiment and improve
    Choose a metric that drives your users to the aha moment ( due dates, 7 days to learn 7 skills, etc.). Identify what works for your users and what doesn’t.


Best Practices

  • M.A.P
    Map it out → It means identifying the Message, Audience, and Purpose of your content.
    Message → Bookmark your most used records with Favourites.
    Audience → All users.
    Purpose → Encourage the use of favorites and increase productivity.
  • Support, don’t disrupt the workflow
    Is the pop-up disrupting the user’s flow of work, or is it adding value? Is it necessary?
  • Is it too complex?
    How steep is the learning curve? How long before the user gets proficient at it? Which persona is this relevant for?

Image Source


  • Barry Allen

    A Full Stack Developer with 10+ years of experience in different domain including SAP, Blockchain, AI and Web Development.


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