“Good Design is Good Business”

Thomas John Watson Jr.

Salesforce Empty States
A recognizable and scalable new visual vocabulary
Salesforce Empty States
San Francisco, CA
Visual & Graphic Design
Product Design

Unify product experience across services.

Salesforce had a sprawling UI experience that felt, at best, aseptic and, at worst, incoherent, especially during onboarding and early stages before the content population. A friendly placeholder depiction of where data is missing, with hints of its nature and future insight and value, was needed to provoke user interaction and fulfillment… the product’s full potential was at stake.


Making an empty state full of meaning

We crafted a modular visual system east to replicate by multiple designers in a similar style. We looked into accessibility, color blindness, and even cultural bias. The end result was a graphic alphabet that could be combined to guide users on the next steps needed to make use of the product.


Responsive iconography

One of the most significant byproducts of our thorough process and collaboration with dev was the invention of illustrations that changed the amount of their detail according to the available real state on the screen. Complexity was reduced automatically to the point of turning a fully rendered illustration down to an abstract icon, making the visual language easily adaptable to mobile and other platforms. Because of this, the Salesforce experience was recognizable as such on all touch points.



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