I am working on automating a user creation and management process that is currently done manually by a back office team.

The idea is to allow an admin user the ability to add and edit users associated with the admin via the UI.

An Add User form will capture various things such as username, email, preferences etc.

The problem I'm having from a UX perspective is whether it's better to have:

  1. Separate 'Add User' and 'Edit User' options in the admin menu, where Add User will open the Add User form directly; and edit user will open a list of active users with an 'edit' button beside their name. Clicking this will open the same Add User form with certain fields prepopulated and some disabled.


  1. To have one 'manage users' option in the Admin menu which opens a dialog showing all of the existing users with an edit button beside their name and a very visible 'Add New User' button at the top of the screen. Form functionality the same as per the first option.

I know this may seem trivial but just trying to make sure I get it right the first time!

Many thanks.

  • How does your back office team decide to edit a user? Dec 5, 2017 at 13:46
  • How many users are in the system (current and expected)? Are there performance challenges with getting that list of users? Dec 5, 2017 at 13:49
  • @JoshuaLowry there are some customer parameters that can change regularly enough. They would usually notify the back office team about these changes and then they update the customer manually. We are trying to give control of this entirely to the user and take the back office team out of the interation unless needed. In terms of numbers, there are about 5,000 users currently on the platform and it's growing at about 150 per week now. Loading the full list on the back office system can take about 20-30 seconds
    – adohertyd
    Dec 5, 2017 at 14:07
  • How often do false requests come in for new user resulting in a duplicate? Dec 5, 2017 at 14:45
  • @JoshuaLowry It's very rare but does happen. No hard stats on it other than the anecdotal evidence of the back office team though
    – adohertyd
    Dec 5, 2017 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


Drupal's user admin is a lot like #2, except the tab is labeled "People". Click it, and users appear in a sortable list, in order of recency of access. Each user has an "edit" link, which pulls up all fields available for editing, and a way to quickly deactivate accounts. There is an "Add user" button at the top to create new accounts.

Each user name is clickable and pulls up the user's profile, and users can be edited from this view, too, via an Edit button. I find this system to be pretty user-friendly because you never have to remember where anything is.

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  • Thanks so much that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Perfect example for our system
    – adohertyd
    Dec 6, 2017 at 11:22

Based on your answers about workflow it sounds like option 2 is better.

Putting creation with the list enables back office to search first. You should talk to your development team about how to speed up the user query, because query time sounds long.

  • Thanks Joshua for digging a bit for info and for your suggestion. Option 2 is the way we're going to go, with some guidance from the Drupal interface as per Stacy's answer
    – adohertyd
    Dec 6, 2017 at 11:23

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