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I am coding a blogging platform and my goal is to streamline the administration experience for the administrators and site authors as much as possible. As I already know, most web applications have a totally separate pages for managing the site such as the AdminCP/Control Panel. I want to try to remove this feature as much as possible for hopefully speeding up creation of content over everything else.

Mockup

The administration options for the page will be in red, if you are authorized to have those options. The former articles would become almost like tabs, which would extend once clicked on to see other articles. I am also thinking of a sidebar with administration options for creating a new page, post, change site options, and different settings also.

Is streamlining administration tasks going to be more user friendly than making a whole separate section for doing the same job? Or should we stick with traditional design which we know that already works?

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The idea is good, but there are two peculiarities of such approach, that you should concern:

  1. In traditional case, administration options and front-end options are naturally divided one from another. These are different interfaces and even different web-sites (in user's perception). The navigation for reading and navigation for administration are different, because tasks are different. The dashboard of admin panel and homepage are different, because tasks are different. Etc. So, when you streamline the experience, you try to mix different task-based interaction in one UI, so your next goal will be to prevent the tautology of controls. Red framing is not enough.

  2. Another peculiarity is that content visible to user -- it is not all content, necessary for administration. There are meta-tags, settings for scheduled posts, drafts, topic hierarchy, user roles etc. -- all such logic is not explicitly visible on your front-end, so editing such features can require it's own interfaces or even admin part again.

The streamlining of the administration panel can create the experience, where different functionality for administration is spread in separate red blocks mixed with popup dialogs and flyovers of your front-end in admin mode -- instead of clean and clear admin panel structure.

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