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I'm currently working on user management for a project and while thinking about how I should design this I realised that there's really no standard in how these things look as it often vary a lot from application to application.

So what makes an great user management interface great? What do the best ones have in common?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, GlenH7, jwenting, david.pfx, Dynamic Jun 16 at 18:39

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Check out Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives by Joel. He has loads more posts about UI design on joelonsoftware.com (check the Software designer section on the sidebar). –  Péter Török Apr 14 '11 at 12:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you're designing for the web, the most important thing to remember is that your web page / web site is but one of millions. In other words, your web page should look and act like all the other web pages out there.

If you're designing an application, the best design is one that fits with the domain. I've heard people refer to a design like this as "a design that gets out of the way and lets me work". In other words, how usable is the application?

Jakob Nielsen's usability website is a great source for usability information.

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IMO the best application UIs balance A) Giving the user all the tools required to do their job effectively and B) Make it intuitive how to use it. A clean design that readily presents the user with their options and almost walks them through doing things.

What I mean for B is that the application should be concise and have sort of a "natural flow" to it. The user shouldn't have to sort through complex menus and things to do a task, it should just mesh with them.

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