Admin Panel

An admin panel enables administrators of an application, website, or IT system to manage its configurations, settings, content, and features and carry out oversight functions critical to the business. It allows them to view the state of the platform and take any action in the performance of their duties. In addition to technical and administrative tasks, admin panels also allow their users to handle business-related functions such as monitoring customer accounts, solving user problems, and processing their transactions.

Firstly, admin panel and dashboards display all the data and information that the system was programmed to collect and organize. This might include the technical status of the platform, details about customer and user profiles , the status of business operations, and many other informational aspects of the system.

These may be presented and aggregated in the form of an admin dashboard and analytics or through various levels of granularity in the form of reports. Some admin panels may offer admin dashboard templates to make life a bit easier for admins.

A good admin panel design also empowers administrators in taking business-critical actions, not merely in consuming information. One of its most critical functions relates to managing the users of the platform and providing them with a positive and high quality experience.

Here are some of the most common capabilities of an admin panel when it comes to user management:

  • Approve (or reject) new users and manage their profiles
  • Process their activities or transactions (e.g. applications, purchases, queries) if manual action is required from administrators
  • Take interventions when users aren’t complying with the platform’s policies (e.g. suspending privileges, blocking accounts)
  • Engage and communicate with users such as pushing out notifications and messages, promoting products and deals, sending out customer surveys, etc.

Aside from information and user management, here are the other key features commonly found in admin panels:

  • Management of products, workflows, forms, and other core processes that deal with the very purpose of the app (e.g. order management for eCommerce platforms; form-builder for data collection apps)
  • Content management (e.g. edit website pages, post articles, links and navigation between pages)
  • Integration with other systems and third-party services
  • Audit log, security, and permissions

The presence of all these capabilities depends on the nature and complexity of the system and dashboard design and the very tools and technologies that power them.

For example, organizations or individuals that only present text-based and simple media on their website are likely to be familiar with content management systems (CMS) such as Wordpress, Wix, and other similar alternatives, wherein their admin or control panels are already ready-made and don't require additional web development.

This also applies to small and medium-sized retailers that use Shopify, WooCommerce, and other online retailing platforms, wherein these merchants manage their products and users from default, off-the-shelf admin panels. However, the admin panels for eCommerce giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay likely look different and offer its functionalities and many features tailored to their respective requirements.

For instance, user management for shoppers and merchant-sellers for these retail giants have been separated from their control panels due to the sheer volume of users and unique business processes they’ve built over time.

This is why an admin panel design for highly specialized apps, platforms, and systems, regardless of the company’s size or nature, requires careful attention. Even if your customers won’t be directly using them, they benefit by having an empowered team of admins, working behind the scenes, with dashboard panels, templates, plugins and all sorts of features that streamline customer experience as the result.