Salesforce Lightning Design System

The Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS) allows you to create Lightning Experience-style apps without having to write anything of CSS. SLDS is indeed a CSS concept that enables you to use the symbols, color palettes, and fonts that the designers utilize to develop Lightning Experience. So we can assure you that the opportunities for what you should build with Salesforce Lightning seem to be limitless. In this article, we will discuss what the Salesforce lightning design system is, who can use the Salesforce Lightning Design System, its benefits, etc. Let us go through them in detail.

What is the Salesforce lightning design system ? 

  1. CSS framework :
    Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS) seems to be a CSS framework that gives Lightning Experience a consistent look and feel. Unlike the need to reverse-engineer its style, one may use SLDS patterns to provide your bespoke Lightning web parts a Salesforce-like Interface. The best part is that it only operates with Lightning elements in Lightning Experience as well as the Salesforce mobile app.
  2. Icons:
    Utility icons are mono-colored glyphs that designate labels and functions in a variety of forms. Document file types are depicted by doctype icons. Salesforce domains and objects are indicated by the Standard Object and Custom Object icons (like, Leads, Accounts,  Cases, etc.) In touchscreen devices, action icons should be used with swift actions.
  3. Font: 
    In version 2.15.0, the Salesforce Sans font got eliminated from the Design System. Lightning Experience currently utilizes the system or device's default sans-serif font. This modification ensures consistency and speed and gives non-Latin language customers a unique experience.
  4. Design Tokens: 
    The visual design elements of the designing network are known to design tokens, and they have been identified as entities that contain visual design properties. For retaining a flexible and coherent visual system for User interface development, we employ them instead of hard-coded variables (like hex values for color or pixels codes for spacing). Colors that could be used in a Salesforce app are generic. Brandable tokens get the prefix "BRAND" or are prone to revision whenever a client adds themes to the org.
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Who can use the Salesforce Lightning Design System?

The Salesforce Lightning Design System gives you everything you need to develop user interfaces that follow Salesforce Lightning's concepts, design style, and practice guidelines. Developers may concentrate on app logic instead of pixels, whereas developers could concentrate on customer experience, interfaces, and workflows. The website offers a variety of services for developers and designers, including:

  • Component markup that is both meaningful and accessible.
  • CSS that is cross-browser compatible.
  • Design guidelines, icons, and fonts

The three users are as follows:


  • Make sure you're familiar with the ones that follow:
  • Have a quick rundown of the Markup and Style rules, along with the CSS class naming practices.
  • Examine the Components; for each offers semantically valid and readily available markup and documentation.

Take a look at the platform-specific setup instructions beneath.

Begin with the following:

  • Learn about the Salesforce product development patterns and concepts by looking through the Guidelines.
  • Examine the Components section to become familiar with the current components that you can use in your projects.

Design Guidelines

The Lightning Design System is based on the Salesforce product's designs and components. While creating applications and solutions inside the Salesforce ecosystem, such designs and elements could provide specific language and uniform appearance and experience.

Design Concepts:

When we make design choices at Salesforce, we always keep those key points into consideration, and also inspire you to do the same.

  • Clarity: Get rid of any ambiguity. Allow individuals to confidently perceive, comprehend, and act.
  • Efficiencies: Simplify and improve workflows. Predict requirements wisely to help individuals perform better, wiser, and quicker.
  • Employing the very same approach to a certain situation creates familiarity and strengthens instinct.
  • Beauty: By deliberate and exquisite craftsmanship, show respect for a person's attention and time.


In Lightning, begin using the Lightning Design System. Kindly give particular attention to the criteria for such Lightning technology you're using:

  • Stand-alone Lightning app
  • Salesforce1 
  • Visualforce Lightning Components
  • Lightning Experience
  • Lightning Out component

What are the lightning components in Salesforce? 

There's a great deal of discussion nowadays about Salesforce Lightning Components being used in Salesforce App solutions. Salesforce administrators use such components to build mono web apps that have an end-to-end encounter for just a variety of roles on the system. It's important to keep in mind that:

  • Lightning components has end .cmp extensions.
  • Web components seem to be the foundation for Lightning components.
  • The Salesforce lightning application is installed with Apex, HTML,  JavaScript, and CSS.

Salesforce Lightning and Lightning Components were developed in response to the growing demand for mobile devices and fully responsive website development. There are three different types of Lightning Components you should know about. They are - 

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Standard Lighting Components: 

These are pre-installed in the templates of the salesforce object pages. You could prefer to cover them or not use them, however, you can't take advantage of them. It's for this reason that they're known as Standard Lighting Components. Each edition has been added to the list of Standard Lightning Components. The types accessible in Salesforce's Lightning App Builder are determined by the Page Type and Object you choose. An App Page, for example, has the fewest Standard Lightning Components whereas a Record Page has the most. Certain Standard Components, like Tabs and linked Lists, serve as containers for many other Page Components.

Custom Developed Lighting Components: 

All of those are advanced lightning components that are created to meet the organization's specific requirements. Custom Lightning Components can be developed by somebody with development expertise. This enables us to search and format information in Salesforce in new ways, draw information from external platforms for presentation, and develop custom functions in a system. Designers test and validate Components in a Sandbox or a Developer Org. When the Component is ready, a programmer elevates it to Production so it can be used in a Lightning Page.

AppExchange Lightning Components:

Most of the elements you'll require may already be constructed and accessible on the AppExchange platform. All you have to do now is install them and then drag - and - drop them into the area where you wish to use them. Custom Managed Lightning Components can be created by Salesforce and its partners. These components are available for download and installation on Salesforce's AppExchange. There are about 200 Components accessible on the AppExchange until this type, with 160 of them being free. Catalogs, grid layouts for Related Lists, or maps are common among some of the free ones. There are indeed several that give you access to third-party systems like Box, Vidyard,  DocuSign, TaskRay, and others. Whereas the paid listing of Lightning Components remains currently limited, it will keep growing as Lightning becomes more widely adopted. Here's an example of a free component named USA Heatmap included in an account page.

 AppExchange Lightning Components

Considerations for Components

Lightning Components have diverse attributes and could be rendered conditionally displayed on the page, which are two crucial concerns. Tap on an item in the Lightning App Builder to view its Data from an existing to the right. Filters can also be applied to control the component's presentation related to data contents in the Record. As example, we could opt to reveal the Component solely to clients while hiding it from buyers and partners. To do the same, go to Set Component Visibility and select Add Filter. The Account Type element is then used to declare that the Component should only be visible to Customers.  Additional thing to keep in mind is that many Components could be placed in the same Lightning page template slot.

Considerations for Components

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Components seem to be the application's self-contained, replaceable units. These are reusable pieces of the user interface that can be as small as a single line of text or as large as a full app. A collection of prebuilt components is incorporated within the framework. Inside an application, you could combine and adjust components to create new ones. Components are displayed in the browser to create HTML DOM elements. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or other Web-enabled code could be included in a component. This allows you to create apps with advanced user interfaces. The specifics of a component are contained. This lets the component's user to concentrate on developing their application, whereas the author of the component can experiment and implement modifications without disrupting users. The named properties that components reveal in their definition are used to configure them. Responding to or broadcasting events allows components to interact with their surroundings.

Lightning Component Framework

The Lightning Component framework's functional units are called components. A component is a flexible and presumably reusable UI piece that can be as small as a single line of text or as large as an entire program. This is a Lightning Platform framework for creating single-page apps with a flexible, adaptable User Interface. 

Creating Components

  • In the Developer Console, build Lightning Components.

The Developer Console is a built-in tool that allows you to create new Lightning components and other packages as well as edit existing ones.

  • Markup for Components

Component resources include a.cmp suffix and contain markup. The markup might include text or links to certain other components, as well as provide metadata for the component.

  • Bundles of components

A component bundle is a collection of resources that includes a component or an application.

  • Component IDs 

Component IDs  In JavaScript, you can obtain a component by using its local ID. A universal ID could be beneficial for debugging or distinguishing between several instances of a component.

  • Components in HTML

The framework treats an HTML tag as a first-class component. Each HTML tag is converted into a component, giving the same liberties and facilities as other components.

  • Components with CSS

CSS is used to style the components.

  • Attributes of Components

In Apex, component attributes are similar to member variables on a class. They are specified fields that are established on a particular example of a component and could be retrieved through the use of an expression syntax from inside component's HTML. You can use attributes to create elements more flexible.

  • Composition of components

You may create highly intriguing components and apps by combining perfectly alright components in a bigger component.  Every component's root-level tag is called the component body. 

  • Facets of the Component

Any Aura attribute is referred to as a facet.

  • Component[]. A facet is something like the body attribute.
  • Conditional Markup Best Practices

To conditionally show markup, use the tag. You can also use JavaScript logic to dynamically modify markup. While designing components, keep in mind the cost of functionality and also the manageability of the code. Your optimal design option is determined by your use case.

  • Versioning of Components

Component versioning allows you to express dependencies on certain revisions of a managed package that has been installed.

  • Putting Expressions to Work

Within component markup, phrases attempt to perform computations and retrieve property prices and other data. Use expressions to generate dynamic output or to send values to components via attributes.

  • Making Use of Labels

The Label is a text which displays data about the user interface in places like the headers (1), input boxes (2), and buttons (3). (3). While you can define labels using text variables in components markup, you could also use the $Label worldwide value providers in expression syntax to obtain labels maintained beyond your code.

  • Localization

In input and output components, the framework supports client-side localization.

  •  Versioning of individual components

You can indicate dependencies on individual components by using component versioning. Documentation for your components aids others in comprehending and using them.

  • Accessibility Supporting

The Lightning Component framework is depicted in the diagram below. There are three parts to this:

  • Client-side: JavaScript is in charge of this.
  • Salesforce Cloud is used to link both the server and the client.
  • Apex Controller is in charge of this on the server-side.

Lightning Component Framework

Salesforce Lightning Component is based on the Aura Component, which allows for the creation of dynamic web pages with just a scalable lifecycle to facilitate the development of growth-oriented apps. Aura Components are customizable UI parts represented by reusable components. Aura Components can be used in anything from a single statement to a full application. Aura Component is the foundation for Salesforce Lightning Component. Aura Component allows for the creation of dynamic web pages using a scalable lifetime to serve growth-oriented applications. The client and browser are linked through a multi-tier divided component in Aura Component. It features a responsive web design because it is built on the Aura framework. The lightning component in this way utilizes the very same code for all computers, mobile devices, and tablets, however, display based on the screen.

Lightning strikes quickly and will not replicate its sequence in real life; similarly, the Salesforce lightning design methodology is easy to use and isn't using a similar model with different service customers. It allows you to deliver customer service, technical expertise, and varied instances all in one place.

Lightning Component Structure

In a word, Lightning Web Components have customized HTML objects created on the front end utilizing JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, with the potential to link to Apex as a console on the backend. The best part is that you can use both Lightning Web Components & Aura Components on a very similar page. The lighting component is adaptable, dynamic, and aids in focusing on the business visualization. Both the client and server sides of the lightning component employ separate technologies: the client-side uses JavaScript and the server-side uses Apex. When you start using the lightning component framework, you'll discover that it will have a lot of benefits. 

  • The Salesforce Lightning framework makes it easier to create and develop apps. 
  • Many Salesforce users can access and use these components.
  • All browser technologies, including CSS, HTML5, and others, are enabled by the Lightning framework.
  • It allows for more engagement between users.
  • Data was exchanged between customer and server via JSON.
  • It has reusability, as well as adaptive and appealing designs.
  • It has an appealing user interface.
  • The framework aids in the development of various apps for mobile and desktop platforms.
  • It aids in the rapid performance of applications.

How to start building lighting components?

  • To make Salesforce Lightning Components, you'll need to do the following:
  • Go to Developer Console after logging into the Salesforce developer account.
  • Then select File, then New, after that choose Lightning Component from the File menu.
  • Give the lightning component a name and a description that you like. and then press the Save button.
  • Configure the new component with component configurations. Inside the Component Configuration section, you could choose quite as many parameters as you want.
  • To develop the component, click Submit.

Where can you use Lightning Components?

Lightning is a CRM solution that responds to customer requests for a quicker, easier application development method and more efficient cycles in between business, IT, and client. Lightning components can be used to personalize your Salesforce organization in a variety of ways. It could be used to develop self-contained applications that are shared on Salesforce. You'll gain a better understanding of Salesforce once you learn how to use Lightning Components. 

Why we should be using the Lightning Component Framework?

An out-of-the-box set of characteristics, event-driven design, and a performance-optimized framework are among the advantages.

The following are some reasons to use the Lightning component.

Comes with a pre-installed collection of components to get you started designing apps right away. You won't have to waste time customizing your applications for various devices because the components will do it for you.

  • The ecology in use is made up of several different elements. Develop business-ready components for Lightning Experience, Salesforce1, and Communities and give them access. The navigation menu allows Salesforce1 consumers to connect your components. Drag-and-drop components on such a Lightning Page inside the Lightning App Builder or even use Community Builder to personalize the Lightning Experiences or Communities. The AppExchange has more elements for your organization. You could also share and distribute your components with certain other users.
  • Faster and more effective performance. Provides a domain-specific consumer and stateless server architecture to handle Ui metadata and app data on the consumer side, relying on JavaScript. The user only communicates with the server when it becomes absolutely essential, such as to obtain additional metadata or information. To enhance productivity and effectiveness, the server simply provides data that the user requires. The framework communicates information between both the client and the server using JSON. It uses the server, browsers, gadgets, and networking smartly so you can concentrate just on the structure and interactivity of your apps.
  • Architecture that is based on events. For improved dissociation between components, it employs an event-driven architecture. Every component that really can observe an application event or a component event could subscribe to it.
  • Design that is both responsive and reusable. Allows members to work more quickly with out-of-the-box parts working on both desktop and mobile platforms. Using components to build an app allows for parallel design, which enhances overall production efficiency. Components are wrapped, and its internal components are kept private, but its public form is available to component users. Such tight separation allows component authors to modify core details of the implementation while shielding component users from them.
  • Cross-benefits browsability's, Apps are designed to be responsive and give a pleasant user experience. The Lightning Component framework is compatible with the most up-to-date browser technology, including  CSS3, HTML5, and tap events.
  • The user interface is stunning.
  • Visualization is compelled.
  • More user-interactive features.

Benefits of SLDS :

SLDS offers a variety of tools to construct applications that follow Lightning Experience's concepts, design language, & methodologies. The following are some of the advantages that could create SLDS so beneficial:

  • By enhancing existing functionality or combining it with peripheral devices, it gives a seamless experience and simplified workflows.
  • Padding and margins are not over-enforced by default.
  • It is updated frequently. Till you're utilizing the most recent edition of SLDS, the pages will be Lightning Experience compliant.
  • The CSS foundation contains accessibility.
  • It is compatible with various CSS frameworks, such as Bootstrap.

Using SLDS to Create Visualforce Pages

Visualforce pages which could mimic the appearance of the Salesforce application can be created with the Lightning Design System (SLDS). For using SLDS, you'll need to make a few changes to the code and memorize a few points. Visualforce programming which employs SLDS, in the most portion, functions without a hitch.

In Visualforce, utilize SLDS Icons.

The actions, customized, doctype, basic, and utility logos are available in PNG and SVG (individual and sprite map) formats in the Lightning Design System (SLDS).

Using SLDS, construct a Visualforce page for the Salesforce Mobile App.

Now let us add a Visualforce page to the mobile navigation bar which shows your frequently accessed profiles and is designed using the Lightning Design System (SLDS).

SLDS for Responsive Page Design

Responsive design is indeed a website design technique that aims to create digital user interfaces that deliver the best visual experience possible, incorporating simple reading and navigation, on such a variety of devices.

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Lightning Components are simple to generate, divide, and combine with some other parts, allowing you to make extremely customizable pages. Designers can expand lightning web components, encouraging different components to be created on top of existing ones, rather than constructing distinct components all across the app.  Salesforce's lightning component architecture benefits from the usage of HTML, CSS, Java, and other internet techniques to provide a complex user experience. This article would be helpful in making you familiar with the Lightning components and their benefits to some extent. 

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.