How to Create a Good Admin Panel Design: Our Rich Experience

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
November 11, 2021

How to Create a Good Admin Panel Design: Our Rich Experience

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
November 11, 2021

How to Create a Good Admin Panel Design: Our Rich Experience

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
November 11, 2021
Ratibor Sekirov
CEO at Aspirity
Written by
This article was written
in collaboration with
Maria D.
UI/UX Designer at Aspirity
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When it comes to designing websites, web services, or applications, we pay a lot of attention to how they will look to the users. That works for both the external "cover" visible to many and for the "underside" hidden from the general audience called the admin panel. We tend to rely on best practices and admin panel projects we've already built and those that our clients deemed as user-friendly.

For the admin panel, functionality and performance become key factors that you shouldn't neglect. Their design should be as intuitive as possible. Having a high-performance admin panel tailored to specific business and user needs is highly important. But how to design an admin panel that works for your project and suffices all of your team's needs?

What Is A Good Admin Panel Design?

When you create an admin panel, your goal is not to lure the user into a long exploration using wow effects and complex design. Your goal is to quickly and easily let him interact with the data and content. Your admin panel should help you optimize your team's work and make it more efficient, achieving tasks as fast as possible.

The easier, more intuitive, and understandable the interface is for the users, the faster they will perform their tasks and analyze the data presented on the dashboard.

We offer you a look at some of the criteria that we try to adhere to when developing the admin panel design.

Easy Navigation

Many admin panels use multi-column interfaces because they are easier for perception. You can set a menu with different levels of nesting on the left in the sidebar. This sidebar is fixed on the screen while the module with the content can move around and change.

Typically the left-hand-sided navigation column divides content into modules and/or features, while the rest of the screen shows that content in detail. It is convenient to visually separate such navigation by using different background colors and/or shades. It is also important to label the module the users are currently on. This can be done using color highlighting or simple shapes like lines, squares, etc.

In addition, it is helpful to divide the page's main content into a grid, which is also represented by columns. Different content can occupy both the entire grid and several columns.

This design is especially useful for responsive layouts. So go with the multi-column interfaces if you want to use the same admin panel design across multiple screen devices.
Arctic project managment software

Simple and Clean Design

When creating a design for an admin panel, keep in mind that admin panels are usually used by more or less experienced users with at least minimal user or technical background. That is why they are used to such interfaces. However, this does not mean that the interface has to be complicated and confusing. Admin panels are created with specific tasks in mind and contain functions that help users properly focus their attention on the functionality, content, and important data.

Think about working with simple colors, fonts, and shapes to not overload the user with visual information. At the same time, we recommend using color where it is necessary to attract the user's attention. The main focus should be on the data and real-time changing information. And of course, do not forget about the clear structure and correctness of data display.

Don't forget that user interaction with the interface should be pleasant, understandable and should not annoy them. In this case, you can use micro-animations for a better understanding as well, e.g. hovers, loaders, neatly animated illustrations. All of that will improve the user experience and won't call for long hours of onboarding time during the first interaction.

Your best bet is to keep the admin panel UI/UX design simple. If you need to brand it, then you can use a logo, brand colors or an icon, but in a way where it does not distract from the main content. Present the data and available options in the cleanest way possible. Your users will thank you for it.
Concept art for subscription management app

Tooltips and Icons

For admin panels with many different functions and options, we recommend using explanations and instructions in tooltips directly next to the complex elements. This will reduce the user's time searching for explanations, documentation, or useful materials.

Another good option is to use icons in navigation. They can convey a function or meaning and have to be easy to read. Do not forget about minimalism. The icons will be guide marks and give users a visual cue on how to navigate the admin panel. They shouldn't draw too much attention from the main content.
EasyDev Admin Template

So You Want To Create An Admin Panel For Website

Note that you should pay special attention to the simplicity of the design and the clarity of the functions that will be used in your admin panel. Users don't like wasting time managing something. Hence, your task will be to do something complex but in a simple shell.

"Complex" admin panel in terms of functionality does not mean it has to be "inconvenient". It should be easy to use if the design is done correctly, despite its many functions and elements.

The list of features for a complex solution that should be included in a custom admin panel is always selected according to the project's requirements. However, we listed some of the categories that might be helpful for you to start planning your ideal admin panel:

User Profile Management

Everyone who uses the admin panel has a personal account, so you should always keep user profiles in mind while designing such panels.

Usually, the user profile includes a username, password, photo, and email address. These areas need to be edited and modified for greater customization and data protection. Also, you can add additional configurations in a user's profile, e.g. agreement to get notifications about the latest actions and events. Including a link to the user's profile at the top right corner of the screen (the most popular option) or at the bottom of a sidebar are the most obvious and standard solutions users get used to.
Arctic project managment software

Content Management

Do your users create, manage or upload something through the admin panel? Think about giving them the option to do that. Give them special rights to create, manage, view, modify, and delete content without writing the code.

Also, you can add version control to keep the old versions of the content.

To make it easier for users to work with the content, you can provide visual templates for different data display tasks (graphs, tables, articles, image galleries, etc.).
EasyDev Admin Template in dark mode

Integrations with Other Systems

Sometimes you need to connect your admin panel with something else. Email tools, notes, task tracking apps, and more should be easily integrated into any panel. Or at least it's better to have that option.

One of the important integrations is a payment system. Users can configure payments, track all the incoming finance data and statistics through admin panels.

How To Make An Admin Panel Design (that actually works)

Admin panel is the territory where well-thought-out design becomes a must. A lot of functions, features, and elements in one place make the job even harder. To create a system that works, you'll need to devote some time to research and ask users what they expect from a good admin panel.

What needs to be integrated? What functions do you want? Do you need third-party systems integration? How will the sign-up/log-in process function? Will they post content, and what kind of content? Will everything be moderated?

All of those questions matter when making a perfectly fitting admin panel for your website, web service, or application. So before kick-starting any development or design processes, you should answer them to find out your project's business needs and make a user story analysis.
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Should You Invest In Designing An Admin Panel Or Just Buy An Existing One?

In short, if you are looking for a simple solution that can perform basic functions and won't be used by many users, you can use existing solutions. Opting for a solution that is highly customized is not needed in this case. And there will be no complex tasks to solve, then you don't need to build a new well-designed admin panel.

It's very easy to lose track of time developing and designing an admin panel that could already exist. Sure, it's fun to build something from scratch, but that might not be a good business move from an economic point of view. All that time and resources spent working on admin panel functions could be better spent developing something new or working on important projects.

So if you are a small company looking for a simple solution, try looking the other way and find a variant that will work for you. There are a bunch of ready-made admin panel templates based on different frameworks to fit your needs. Take a look at EasyDev. It provides a variety of different data visualization solutions that you can bundle into one functional admin panel.

However, if you are developing a unique product with a myriad of features and elements that many people will use or if you want to combine a large number of applications in one place, you need a custom admin panel layout design. Or if you specialize in admin panels and have come up with a killer feature that will noticeably distinguish you from your existing competitors, then build your own admin panel too.
EasyDev Admin Template

Our Experience

As mentioned above, we have a ready-made solution for those who are not ready to spend time and money on developing a personalized admin control panel design for their website and are looking for a quick yet efficient fix. We've analyzed various admin panels and dashboards, collected all-in-one best practices and called our product EasyDev.
EasyDev Admin Template
EasyDev is a modern admin panel and dashboard template based on React Components and Bootstrap 4 Framework. We have already made many pre-built pages for any purpose projects. So developers can pick and choose what suits them.

Final Thoughts

Admin panels aren't always seen by a lot of people. They used to work behind the scenes. Some of them are well-known and widespread, while some cater to small groups of certain companies. They aren't there to grab attention, but they are essential to attract people to the most important data and functions. If an admin panel is specifically tailored to business needs, then it can help with growth and maintenance.

Admin panels need to have a clear design that won't pull the user's attention away from the main thing. They are there to keep users focused and help them work faster and efficiently.

You may limit admin panel functions and opt for a simple option or invest in developing something complex with many features in mind. There is no unified solution that fits all. That's why you should analyze all of the needs that the admin panel will solve.
This article was written in collaboration with Maria D. UI/UX Designer at Aspirity
Ratibor Sekirov
For more than 2,5 years, I've been working as CEO at Aspirity. I help professionals launch digital products by providing dedicated development teams.
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