I admit that I have a soft spot for admin panel user-interfaces. With my most recent Admin UI project, I took inspiration from a variety of plugins and services in the WordPress space.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. These Admin UIs are gorgeous and I hope you can receive some inspiration from them.
In no particular order, here are some gorgeous and useful user interfaces, some in the WordPress admin. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
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I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t include WP Rocket. While the UI is a bit salesy, it’s still very intuitive and feature packed. They put in a LOT of work to achieve this UI. Extra bonus points for them not creating a top-level menu and still packing a nice user experience.
Their side tab layout makes switching options easy. While the tab switching is instantaneous, their save option refreshes the page. It still remembers which tab you are on, which is a nice touch. It also looks great on mobile.
This is the only host admin UI on this list. I included them because their solutions are very well designed.
Flywheel is well known for their designs and easy-to-use user interfaces.
I’d be doing a disservice without at least mentioning their development tool: Local.
While not technically a WordPress admin UI, I just wanted to point out their amazing UI for their local development tool that helps you set up WordPress sites/environments.
Flywheel also has a wonderfully designed account area on their site.
If you’re hosted on WP Engine, you probably live within this UI.
It is a gorgeous UI that stretches out across the admin and has some very beautiful components. My only gripe is that you have to click to another screen to clear cache (a common task).
SliceWP’s admin UI is simply a work of art. If you’ve ever set up an affiliate plugin, you know how cumbersome it is.
SliceWP has an intuitive startup wizard that makes things super simple.
Gravity Forms did an awesome job with their admin overhaul for their 2.5 release. They’ve been iterating on it since.
The focus seems to be on lots of whitespace and they recently put a significant effort on improving accessibility.
GenerateBlocks deserves kudos for their minimalist admin UI.
There admin UI is unique in that it shows the available blocks with handy documentation links.
Regardless if your opinion of Jetpack, it does a great job at upselling and displaying a myriad of options in an easy-to-digest interface.
The settings also has a search feature (I wish more plugins did this).
WP Mail SMTP
WP Mail SMTP, despite it’s top-level menu and upsells, is a highly usable and beautiful plugin.
Their docs are done very well and they have an awesome admin UI to boot.
Companion Auto Update
Companion Auto Update is a WordPress plugin that integrates with the WordPress automatic update mechanism.
It makes automatic updates (a complex topic) really, really simple.
Designing admin UIs is tough. Like, really tough. So kudos to all you plugin authors out there who take pride in having a beautiful and usable admin.
If you have a favorite admin UI (or even host UI), please leave a mention in the comments. I’d love to check it out.