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I have been given the task of consolidation multiple admin sections of an app into one. Each admin area is a large page which contains form elements. To achieve this I am considering the following options :

As an initial idea of what to do here are my ideas :

  1. Just display a list of hyper links which redirect the user to each admin area

  2. A tree structure where each node on the tree is a single alphabetic character and each each child of the parent node name begins with the first character of parent node. Each child then contains a href to the admin area.

  3. Same as 2 above but instead of redirecting the user to a new admin section, when a child node is clicked a page view appears in current view to right of tree structure and user can make changes from same page (no redirection has occurred). This option will require more developer code changes.

Any other suggestions / are my suggestions worth trying ?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It seems, you need to implement Master/Detail pattern.
enter image description here enter image description here

Master/Detail screen pattern can be vertical or horizontal. Ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to stay in the same screen while navigating between items. Horizontal layout is a good choice when the user needs to see more information in the master list than just a few identifiers- or when the master view is comprised of a set of items that each have additional details.

The exerpt is from 12 Standard Screen Patterns. You can see some examples of implementation there, too.

But also keep in mind:

  • grouping items in some order which has sence to users would be great
  • master colunm takes space, so having heavy detail interface, master column will clatter the overall view. So you could change interaction by creating separate pages for master level and details.

And finally, "quick and dirty" way to improve the current interface wich could be implemented in 10 min. Group the links and set the groups' headers at master page. At the detail page provide link to return to the master page. That's all!

The example of this approach:
enter image description here
Before

.

enter image description here
After

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I do believe the 3rd option is best of three, in case you don't want to write a new admin that does everything for the 3 old ones.

With developers code - yes. It will require more of that. But user experience is going to be way better if no reload will happen.

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