Redesigning the Admin interface

Hey people!

I am using Ghost since a year for my own blog and couldn’t be happier. Recently I was polishing the admin interface, since I think there’s still potential for better UX :wink:

What do you think? Leave your comments! :slight_smile:

Interactive Mock-up:

Some screenshots:

Before creating the mock-ups, a lot of thought went into reviewing the status quo and creating the information architecture and interaction design for the redesign. I am thinking about writing a blog post about it, but I’d like to hear your opinion first :wink:


I don’t see the Point why it would be necessary or useful to add an extra Layer of Navigation, when it’s already clean and sleek!?

Of course, in WordPress it would feel nice because it would match the overall Look&Feel of the Software… :wink:


We may already have something cooking in the admin interface area :speak_no_evil: :hear_no_evil:

Keep an eye on the release notes in the coming weeks :wink:

@fabiankeitel in the way of constructive feedback I think the main thing that stands out with your posts/tags list designs is that they are moving too much towards a “front-end” style rendering. Many Ghost sites have a lot of content so these screens need to be fairly compact and information dense to be useful for editorial workflows.


hey @fabiankeitel - there is definitely room for improvement :slight_smile: I’m really curious what you think are the most outstanding UX issues with the current admin interface

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Great design Fabian! I’ve been meaning to give XD a shot and this is a good use case for me as well. :+1:

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 :slight_smile:

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One more quick note here:
I feel an admin dashboard is missing, a page to graph a few items such as:

  • latest published (5) articles
  • number of articles/pages (maybe split by tags)
  • number of members/subscriptions (I assume revenue info is kept in Stripe so this is probably unavailable)
  • other relevant info for site owners (unsure what other people feel important, but can add here)


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I am with you here, the design proposed here is really beautiful however I like having all my posts in a compact list. It makes it easier and quicker to navigate to the post or page I want.

One more usability issue I ran into recently, trying to clean up spam subscribers:

  • could use a checkbox based multiple item check and action on them (i.e. select all spam subscribers and delete them)
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Now with the members functionality, I believe there’s an even stronger need for a proper admin dashboard that would show number of subscribers, maybe revenue from subscriptions and other relevant publishing data. :slight_smile:

I agree with @dsecareanu what he mentioned in his first post. Also I want to mention a small thing.
There should be a filter option for post list based on public, member only and paid member only. Same as tag, author etc.

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