Our Salesforce User Experience Designer Cert blog (by Luke Menzfeld) is one of our most read blogs of 2021. So when Mark Jones passed his exam, we thought it’d be good to get his thoughts on this exam too…
What made you decide to take the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification?
I’ve been interested in design for a long time. I first started doing design when I was 15 when I designed my first website (yes, this was back in the days of scrolling marquees). From there I started building my design skills in a variety of ways, including doing video editing and graphic design. I still do these as hobbies to this day.
When Lightning came out a few years ago I immediately fell in love with the updated interface. To me it was much more customisable and design-friendly than Classic. Since I’ve been using Lightning I’ve tried to work on implementing good design principles into the orgs I’ve worked on and built up, including the dev orgs I use to try out new things or build concepts I work on. So when the UX Designer exam was announced, it was a no-brainer to me to take it. In fact, I would say that out of the exams that I’ve sat and passed so far, this was the exam I wanted to take.
How did you approach the prep for your exam?
Honestly, this exam was a little different for me than the other exams I’ve sat. Normally I go through the cert prep Trailmixes on Trailhead for the exam, dive into FocusonForce and use their practice exams to study up. If there’s one available, I’ll attend a Cert Webinar Day.
However, for this exam there isn’t anything available yet on FocusonForce, nor were there any webinar days being held when I took the exam. So after I completed the Trailhead study modules for the exam, I turned to reading the Salesforce Design Blog and scouring for any resources I could find to help prepare for the exam.
Was it a difficult exam? You have any tips for people thinking of doing this exam?
Actually, this was the hardest exam I’ve taken so far. Like Luke, the first time I took the exam I failed it. In fact, I’ve yet to pass a Salesforce exam on the first attempt.
Failing an exam the first time around is absolutely fine. It actually might be a good thing as it allows you to review where we went wrong and to dive further into those areas. For me, the first-time around, the area I struggled with the most was the section around the Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS). To me, SLDS feels like a developer-centric area, so as someone with a background in Salesforce Admin, it took a bit more work to study up in that area.
The biggest tip I would encourage you to follow is to read up on that if you’re taking the exam. Make sure you’re familiar with the code-snippets included in the guide, chances are that you will get some code-based questions (I did on both attempts). Also, whether you pass or fail, use a score-checker to check your overall performance in the exam.
When you complete a Salesforce exam you receive an automatic email with a breakdown of how you did in each section, you can take that into a score checker and see how you performed as a whole. I tend to use the FocusonForce Score Checker, but there are other options out there that you can use. I also have an app that I built in one of my dev orgs where I can log my exam attempt and calculate the result, so you could potentially log your scores in Salesforce itself.
What does passing the Salesforce User Experience Designer certification mean to you in terms of your daily work?
I think when we pass any exam it’s a validation of our knowledge on the subject. It’s also an encouragement to continue learning more in that area. Luke covered it in his answers, but I think I would add to that by saying one of the most important things we can do when it comes to designing solutions is to make sure it works for those who will be using it on a day-to-day basis. Any solution we build and design should be designed with the user in mind.
Like Luke said, let’s not sacrifice good design in order to offer a quick-fix solution. You’ll find that quick-fix solutions rarely end up being quick-fixes anyway, they often tend to create more work and headaches at later points in time. Building well-designed solutions from the get-go will ultimately result in there being less clean-up work to do later on.
Do you have any other Salesforce certs you plan to take in the future?
I’m always looking to grow in my overall knowledge. Currently I have two cert exams booked in to take in the first quarter of the calendar year. I will be aiming to pass both the Nonprofit Cloud Consultant and Advanced Administrator exams by the end of April. I’m also interested in studying for and passing the Slack Administrator certification sometime this year as well if I can.
There are other exams that are of interest to me. Though they depend on what I’m working on and how much time I can allocate to studying and revision.
Anything else you want to add?
Similar to Luke, I also want to acknowledge the work of Angela Conway in helping to put this exam together. Angela is a regular attendee of the User Group that I co-lead. She’s also located in the North East of England. I think it’s a real highlight to the North East contingent of the Trailblazer Community that we can say that someone in our region was part of putting together this incredibly important exam. As a fellow North Easterner, this makes me very proud and grateful.
I’d also like to shout out the Salesforce Design blog, there are regularly interesting blogs being published there, so do go and check it out.
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