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If you have a site with two separate content sections, and then a third section for Admin tasks, would you find it confusing if the one of the content sections had its own Admin section apart from the main Admin section?

I can't think of any precedent for this, yet one of the developers on the project really wanted to do this. He didn't offer a precedent for this, either.

My thought is it would be counter-intuitive to have two different Admin sections. An example of what I mean: suppose you were doing Admin tasks for this UX site. In the very top menu, you would see an Admin tab. Then, as second level navigation, say you're in the Badges section, and then suppose the Badges section had its own Badges Admin second level navigation link...

Thoughts or examples of best practice in this regard would be appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

At first glance it does strike me as potentially confusing.

The only reason I can think of in it's favour is if the separate content sections are totally separate in either the type of content they display or the audience. Each has it's own UI and user base so having separate admin areas might make sense. However, if the content sections are that separate it raises the question of why they are on the same site.

What other reasons does the developer give for wanting a separate admin section?

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no reasons, really, except an implied "this is the admin for this section of the site". So he's taken extreme ownership of the part he's working on, and seems to have encouraged, whether unconsciously or not, a type of black box mentality to the design. –  mg1075 May 28 '11 at 15:03

If you were to rename is to "Badges Settings", then I think it'd be perfectly placed within the badges section. All Badges pages will be logically linked through the same navigation.

Also consider a site with user permissions that restrict access to each page/section of the site. A full admin will be able to see and access all pages, while a Badge admin will probably only be shown a link to the badges section and the badge admin section inside it.

The alternative is to always show the Admin section and dynamically change the contents depending on the user permissions. This would certainly require more work and I'm not sure would carry any extra benefit.

I recently created an internal app that hosts several completely independent sections and each would hold it's own admin area if it needed one. The general admin is purely for things that affect the whole system. User access is done by section, so most users can only see, and interact with, the section they use.

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