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Create a Lightning App

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Create a Lightning app.
  • Add custom branding and navigation to your Lightning app.
  • Make a plan to roll out Lightning apps to your users.

Step into the World of Lightning Apps

Creating and editing a Lightning app is a cinch. As in Salesforce Classic, you can create apps in Lightning Experience, but with even more bells and whistles. You can brand and customize Lightning apps to help your users work more efficiently.

For example, you can create a Lightning app for your finance department that includes all important items (including tabs) that users need to complete common tasks. You can customize the navigation bar color, brand it with a logo, and make the app available in the App Launcher for the user profiles associated with the finance department.



If your org includes utilities like Lightning Voice or Open CTI Softphone, you can add them to your app’s utility bar.

Create a Lightning App

You’ve got the Warehouse app installed in your org. Let’s create a mini app for the warehouse delivery managers, who want to know what inventory is getting delivered where, whether it got there on time, and what cases related to deliveries are open.
  1. From the Home tab in Setup, enter App in the Quick Find box, then select App Manager.
  2. Click New Lightning App.
  3. In the Lightning App Wizard, create an app with these parameters.
    App name Delivery Tracker
    Description Track warehouse deliveries.
    Image Your choice!

    Use a JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF image that’s smaller than 5 MB. For best results, upload an image that’s 128 by 128 pixels. Images larger than the maximum display of 128 by 128 pixels are automatically resized.

    Primary hex color value #09D4EA
    App navigation Standard
    Navigation bar items (in this order) Warehouses, Deliveries, Merchandise, Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Reports
    Assigned to user profile System Administrator
  4. Click Save and Finish to exit the wizard.
  5. Click App Launcher icon to open the App Launcher, and select the Delivery Tracker app.
  6. Check out the new app!
    It’s got all the custom branding we gave it: a custom icon in the upper left and the custom color we assigned to it. Because Warehouses is first in the navigation bar, it becomes the landing page for the app. And even though App Launcher was an item available for the navigation bar, we didn’t have to add it. It’s there, accessible by clicking App Launcher icon.

    Delivery Tracker app

Nice work! Now you’re ready to create your own custom Lightning apps.

Beyond the Basics

Did you know that app images for Lightning apps can be animated GIFs? Oh yes, they can. You're welcome.

Create Apps for Different Audiences

When you create a Lightning app, you get to decide which navigation style is best for your users and what important items belong in the app. App options

So which navigation style is best—standard or console? As with most things, it depends. Service users often work best using console navigation because it shows more information in a single view. Console navigation also provides quick access to standard and custom Lightning components, like integrated telephony, in an optional utility bar. And while console navigation is geared toward service users, other teams like marketing, development, and sales teams can also find it helpful. For example, sales teams can work from phone lead queues or get incoming leads through Omni-Channel, which are utility bar features available only in console navigation.

Utility bar options

After deciding on the navigation style, your next step is to decide what belongs in the app.

Talk to your users. Ask them what their priorities are. Customizing tabs in apps gives you a unique opportunity to engage with your users. Each group of users has its own priorities. Find out which objects and items represent their highest priorities.
  • Ask users to post feedback to a Chatter group.
  • Publish polls.
  • Schedule lunch sessions. Everyone likes a free lunch, and nearly everybody is happy to express their opinion.

Create a master list of objects that everyone in your org wants. Then trim down the list for each group—sales reps, sales managers, execs, and so on. The menus for every user group share some common objects, like Home, Tasks, and Feed. Keep the high-priority items for each group at the top. Put low-priority items at the bottom, or remove them altogether. Users can always go to the App Launcher to get the items they use less often.