There are a few UX improvements that I could think of in the admin interface, namely:
- I prefer default actions on navigation items that also have sub items, i.e. click on my name would take me to my profile directly and click on the down arrow would show the submenu options
- the context of ny name (user details) should be focused on that type of content and I would split the Ghost related content into a different area - right now, out of the 6 items in the menu available on my name, 4 are Ghost related and only 2 related to my user (profile & logout)
- same as point #1 above, when editing posts or pages, click on Update would update the post directly withouth requiring 2 clicks, one on the arrow/link, second one on the Update button (if I need the contextual menu, I would click on the arrow for it to open up and give me more options)
- funny enough, the above described behavior (at least from a logical point of view) is employed in the case of the View site link as clicking on the View site shows you the site frontend in the admin panel, while clicking on the external link icon opens the site in a new tab
- as I’ve mentioned in another topic, I would bring the search box closer into the context in which is to be used, i.e. the right hand side panel (but that is not really possible with the default page being the website preview) - in the posts, pages, users and subscribers pages / or at least move it below the Manage menu section as it seems it only applies to that admin section
- I would add the website preview to the profile contextual menu (next to my profile and logout) rather than as a main link into the left hand side - I believe that a more useful main page would be a dashboard with basic info about the site, i.e. number of posts/pages/users/subscribers, etc.
- the design panel it seems to me it tries to promote the theme directory/marketplace too aggressively - I would place the installed themes below the menu items and below that the marketplace (i.e. a user is more likey to fiddle with already existing themes, update current one, etc. rather than browse the marketplace for a new theme - in terms of frequency of usage of design amin page areas)
- multiple select on tags, posts, pages, users, subscribers, etc. and the ability to act upon these selections (i.e. edit, delete, etc.)
- I also think that tags belong to the Manage admin section as they are taxonomies for content (i.e. posts and pages) and thus should be there (they’re also searchable - the only searchable item from the Settings section it seems) - also recommended in the OP
- I know there’s already a decision made not to show minor updates in the admin interface, but I would give the option to the users to display them or not rather than enforce a behavior (there are some people who are update frenetics and they update their websites the moment they see there is an available update - I am one of those, I actually follow the github releases and when I get the email about a new release I run the updates manually)
- there’s a small inconsistency in the general settings page: publication icon 60x60px, logo 600px x 72px (the standard notation would be 600x72px to avoid redundant info)
- not a true UX item relevant to admin panel, but I still think the top 5 social networks should be available for users to choose from (and imho, to cover journalists, devs and communicators - the most likely Ghost users - my top 5 would be facebook, twitter, linkedin, github, instagram)
All the above are expressing my subjective view on UX and how I think the Ghost admin could be made more effective.
If the team has heatmaps or usage analytics on the admin items I guess that data would provide better insights on what could be improved in terms of UX.
If not, this can probably be deployed through some tools so that user experience in the admin panel is measured through some sort of analytics and improvements are done based on that data (it’s a product improvement recommended option in most product development related literature).
Just my few eurocents