Unlock the Secrets of Efficient Web Management: Dive into the World of Admin Panels!

Have you ever asked yourself questions like What makes an admin panel effective? How do I make sure my admin panel is both easy to use and secure? What are the latest trends in control panel design? As American businessman Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation increases efficiency”. This article aims to embody that principle in the context of control panels.

The importance of a well-structured admin panel cannot be overstated. It’s the backbone of site management, affecting everything from user experience to operational efficiency.

The insights in this article come from my journey as a seasoned web development and user interface design professional with over a decade of experience. I’ve had the privilege of contributing to the development of renowned web management tools and sharing my knowledge as a keynote speaker at several international technology conferences. This article is a distillation of my years of learning and professional growth in this field.

This article serves as an essential guide for anyone involved in business software development, offering a deep dive into the nuances of admin panel design. It equips readers with knowledge on navigation, security, and user experience, outlining best practices for crafting responsive and efficient admin templates critical for the management of modern web applications, effectively charting a path for elevating your web administration expertise.

The most important functions of the admin panel for the design

Key AspectDescription
Design & CompositionAdmin panels are web pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript libraries for backend management. A simple, clear design with responsiveness is key.
Features & TemplatesInclude powerful UI components, widgets, forms, and tables. Bootstrap templates are popular for quick integration.
Navigation & UsabilityEffective navigation with multi-column interfaces and responsive design. Simple UI with clear structure and micro-animations for a better user experience.
Permissions & SecurityRole-based access control and robust server-side security auditing are essential.
Data ManagementFeatures for data verification, editing, pagination, sorting, and filtering are crucial.
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Navigation

Numerous admin panels operate with multi-column interfaces as they are easier to understand. In the left sidebar, you can set up menus with different levels of nesting. This sidebar is fixed to the screen, while the module can be moved and changed with the content. Normally, the left navigation column organizes the content into modules and functions, while the rest of the screen displays this content in detail. It is convenient to visually divide such navigation by different colors or background shading. 

It is also important to identify which module the user is currently in. For this purpose, you can use color highlights, or simple shapes – lines, squares, etc. – can be used. It is also useful to divide the main content of the page into a grid represented by columns. Different content can occupy the entire grid or several columns. 

For responsive layouts, this approach is particularly useful. So, opt for multi-column interfaces if you want to use the same design of the admin panel on different screen devices.

Simple design

When designing the admin panel, keep in mind that regular users are more or less experienced and have some technical background knowledge. Therefore, they are used to this kind of interface. 

However, this does not mean that the interface has to be complicated and confusing. Admin panels are designed for specific tasks and include features that make it easier for users to focus on features, content, and important data. 

Use simple colors, fonts, and shapes to avoid overwhelming users with visual information. At the same time, we recommend using colors where necessary to attract attention. The focus should be on real-time data and information. Of course, don’t forget to pay attention to a clear structure and appropriate presentation of data.

The UI should be pleasant and understandable. You can use micro-animations such as cursor pointers, loaders, and animated illustrations can facilitate understanding. This improves the user experience and does not require lengthy customization.

It is best if the UI/UX design of the admin area is simple. Use a logo, brand colors, or icons for branding, but make sure it does not distract from the main content. Present the data and available options as clearly as possible.

Icons

Include explanations and instructions in the form of tooltips next to complex elements on administrative pages with many different features and options to reduce the time it takes users to find explanations, documentation, or useful material. 

Using icons in navigation is another good option for your admin panel. For example, they can convey a function and/or purpose and should be easy to read. Icons serve as signposts that provide visual cues to users as they move through an admin panel. They should not distract too much from the main topic.

Permissions

Permissions are an important aspect of an administrative system’s functionality. If you have a large number of people who need to manage the system, it can be more complicated to implement than it seems.

An admin panel is an internal tool, which means you’ll likely have a system that your staff can log into. In the best case, developers can implement authorization through an existing system. 

If it is not possible to pass authorization to an external system, consider pulling users from that system. A password-free email stream can be created for authorization, as this is the most secure option: passwords cannot be weak if they are not present.

Security and authorizations

Typically, admin panel users have different roles that bring different levels of access and permissions. The ability to check access in the UI adds convenience: users do not see content that is inaccessible to their roles. However, the only thing that guarantees security is server-side auditing. 

If you want flexible access, it’s worth creating it based on permissions. In this case, every step a person takes in the application requires the corresponding permission. The essence of roles is preserved, but they look like a set of permissions. Using this approach, you can create custom roles for different requirements.

Verifying data

The admin panel usually contains a large amount of data. Therefore, it is worth thinking about the pagination of lists. Also, do not underestimate the importance of finding the information you need. Sorting and filtering mechanisms should be in place to simplify this process.

Data Editing

Edit forms often consist of many fields, so administrators often spend a lot of time editing such forms before making changes. Moreover, the results of this work can be lost if another employee edits the same form and saves the changes a little later. 

This problem can be solved by using an optimistic locking technique. It consists of versioning the data. When the edit form is displayed, you get a version of the current item, and when you save it, it is sent to the server. 

By default, the changes are saved only if the database version matches the version you send. If it does not, an error is reported, which means that someone else has already changed the data. When you save the changes, the server reports the version of the new object.

Headless CMS

Using a modern headless CMS site can speed up the development of simple application components, such as editing a simple list of objects without much business logic. However, make sure the CMS provides enough points for extending and installing custom business logic. Otherwise, it will tend to get in the way.

When designing the admin panel, it is important to have a well-thought-out design. If there are many functions and elements of the admin panel in one place, it becomes even more difficult to work with. To design a system that works, you need to take an in-depth look at your users and ask them what they want from the product. 

The most important questions to ask yourself when designing your management interface are:

  • What features need to be integrated?
  • Which features are important?
  • Are you looking for third-party integrations?
  • Describe how you want the registration/log-in process to work for you.
  • Do you want the content to be posted?
  • Will everything be moderated?

All these questions are important to create the perfect admin panel for your website. So, before you start designing your admin panel, you need to answer these questions to know the business requirements of your project and perform user behavior analysis.

How to create an Admin Panel using the Flatlogic Platform

Flatlogic Platform has a ready solution for those who are not willing to invest time and money in developing a custom dashboard design for their website and are looking for a quick but effective solution. We have analyzed various administration panels and dashboards collected the best practices and developed our alternative, simple, and impressive templates.

With the Flatlogic platform, you can create your admin panel in just a few steps, combining parts and creating only those that need to be unique. It’s as easy as it sounds, and sometimes even easier.

Step 1. Selecting the Tech Stack

In this step, you set the name of your application and select the stack: Frontend, Backend, and Database.

Step 2. Selection of the Starter Template

In this step, you’ll select the design of the web application.

Step 3. Schema Editor

In this step, you can create your database schema from scratch, import an existing schema, or select one of the suggested schemas.

To import your existing database, click the Import SQL button and select your .sql file. After that, your database will be opened in the schema editor where you can further edit your data (add/edit/delete entities).

If you are not familiar with database design and have difficulties understanding what tables are, we have prepared some ready-made sample schemas of real applications that you can modify for your application:

  • E-commerce application;
  • Time tracking app;
  • Bookstore;
  • Chat (messaging) application;
  • Blog.

Next, you can connect your GitHub and transfer your application code there. You can also skip this step by clicking the Finish and Deploy button, and in a few minutes, your custom CRM will be generated.

Benefits of Choosing Flatlogic Platform

  • Configured and ready-to-use authorization and authentication;
  • Fully deployed application with front-end, back-end parts, and database;
  • Each application comes with a Docker container for rapid deployment on any hosting platform;
  • The application is fully customizable for all screen sizes;
  • For each entity created with the generator, the tool automatically creates an API documented with Swagger;
  • Pre-built components for the full-stack application. Buttons, tables, forms, and general layout are already included;
  • The application will also include some basic search, filtering, and validation functions;
  • The build/compile process is already set up and working without any issues;
  • Image storage implemented;
  • All back-end and front-end logic is automatically generated according to the previously created database schema.

Turn Your Ideas into Reality with Flatlogic’s Web App Generator


Admin panels are crucial components of business software, serving as the backbone for data visualization and feature access. Tailoring these dashboards to align with specific business requirements not only aids in development and maintenance but also enhances user productivity by providing a focused and efficient work environment, underlining the importance of a custom approach over a one-size-fits-all solution.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, it is a good idea to analyze all the business requirements that the dashboard should meet. You can limit the capabilities of the management panel and choose a simple option or invest in developing a complex solution with more features.