I'm taking this blog in a different direction and am going to be generating a combination of Post and Video when appropriate. The intent is to have the video content reinforce the blog details. So, with that said, welcome to my first video/blog combo!
Over a decade or so of Salesforcing I've setup a few custom objects in my time. I've found that a well designed page layout makes adoption much easier for the end user and makes the data flow better when being consumed both in edit and read mode. They are super easy to implement so let's get into it!
Move like fields together
When you think about the design of your object and how users are going to be interacting with it you should group like fields together. In our example, the Audit fields for Account/Contact lookup can group together because they are both lookup type fields but also because they may be updated in a subsequent save. In addition, the Status and Date fields can be grouped together because the business use case necessitates that both details would be known and/or change at the same time.
Require fields at the Page Layout Level
The distinction here on whether to require a field at the page layout level or at the field level is based on use case. If the end user will always, no matter what, be required to have the data then you can put the requirement at the field level which is the most restrictive. However, in our use case here the customer will not have perfect data when they import and will update the details as more information comes available. Therefore, we want to allow them to import and edit afterwards.
Large Text Areas get their own section
This principle is fairly straight forward, large text areas in two columns are ugly and in one column is pretty.
Hide or Move to the bottom all system fields
System fields often need to be referenced visually by the user on occasion so its good to include them on the page layout. One trick I use is to teach users how to collapse sections which makes navigation much easier. Its one of the Ah-Ha moment for users.