Mattermost, Inc.

Preview: Admin Console

One of the design principles we have for Mattermost is making our experience “Obvious”. As a test, we’re sharing some early designs for our upcoming Admin Console here in this forum post to see if anyone has feedback on labels that seem unobvious or confusing.

If there’s something here that looks unclear to you, it’s not your fault, it’s our fault, because the design isn’t obvious.

These UI have been reviewed several times by our internal team and we need help from the community to find blind spots before these designs move into code.

Here’s our early design of the Admin Console sidebar:

Notes:

  1. SITE SETUP screens will be used by a new install wizard presented when you set up Mattermost for the first time, and you’ll be able to re-run them again should you need to change the configuration.

  2. For certain settings changes requiring a system restart, we’re working on a dialog that will allow IT Admins to schedule maintenance and sent out early notifications to users to minimize disruption.

Please let us know if anything here doesn’t seem clear. Ideas, questions and suggestions also welcome.

While we know in the end we won’t be perfect, we want to find out how close we can get, with your help.

Just wondering, why SITE REPORTS first? I’m used to think that the first are the more important/global options.

I was also looking at TEAM SETTINGS (and the number which I do not get the meaning ), if I can manage only a team at time, isn’t better make more obvious that you are managing that particular team? What is the point on having TEAM SETTINGS, then below the team name (Adal ?) which looks like there would be more team and then at the very last having an option to change team?

Thanks @cifvts, the thinking was SITE REPORTS would be more like a dashboard users would see when they first log in. Hmm… maybe admins would expect something different, since it’s the admin console, not the ops dashboard…

Thanks for the feedback on TEAM SETTINGS, yeah, that number does look confusing in retrospect, how about the below?

Maybe we need a “team” icon to distinguish a team name, e.g. “SpinPunch Games” from menu options…

@it33 I’ll try to make clear my point and see if it make sense :smiley:
I’m willing to go to the Admin page from an other part of the site. At that point, I might be welcomed by a dashboard maybe as first page, but if the menu change to Admin Console then I would expect to see something related to Administration. And if I want to see reports then I go look for them.
In general, I see that the Settings link (for specific object or global options) is the last choice in the daily workflow, but once in there you are shown with all the options and eventually with statistics (if not in a specific menu out of Settings).
Of course, I’m not saying that I expect that again but seems a pretty common pattern, from other tools (Redmine, GitLab, GitHub) to my router.

Regarding TEAM SETTINGS, this looks more clear (306 teams? wow :smiley: ) for sure, I don’t know if you already have a setting to put an image for the team, that could be shown eventually but the space for it seems pretty limited.
I was just wondering, how do you get to Admin Console? Because maybe Team Setting and Admin Console could be two different menus? Since space is limited and of course you manage one team at time unless you’re doing something more global but at that point you do already know you’re making a global/multiple teams change.

I really hope I made myself clear, sometimes I just have loud thoughts :slight_smile:

Thanks @cifvts,

Excellent questions and thoughts, to speak to each individually:

  1. Admin Console setup

The thinking was once you installed Mattermost we’d:

a) present screens for an IT admin to setup database and email settings (identical UI to SITE SETUP tabs at the bottom of the Admin Console).

b) next, you’d get screens to select an admin console URL, username and email and end up in an Admin Console with the tab shown in the image at the top of this thread. In the background, we’d actually create an “Admin Console” team, but instead of the regular UI, we’d have the Admin Console UI

c) We’d have a tutorial prompt to setup your first team–from the “+” sign next to TEAM SETTINGS, and then that new team would appear where “SpinPunch Games” is shown in the above image.

d) From here the IT Admin could manage any team in the system and also change global settings, add other admins, etc.

  1. TEAM SETTINGS

IT Admins in the Admin Console will manage TEAM SETTINGS by opening a team from the “306 more teams…” link, which opens a dialog where teams can be searched and selected, then changing settings and closing the team with the “x” button. We’re thinking about scaling from small groups to enterprise with the “306” number,

For “Team Admins” who are the end users in charge of managing a team site, we’ll replace the current “Team Settings” dialog with the ability to go to a “mini Admin Console” that’s just the TEAM SETTINGS for that team.

c) Getting to Admin Console

When a user has an email address shared across multiple teams, we automatically offer the user the ability to navigate among those teams from the main menu:

With the Admin Console, IT Admins can access it either via “http://example.com/ADMIN_CONSOLE_URL_CHOSEN” (defaults to /mm-admin if not changed on setup) or navigate to it as “Admin Console” as they would from another team.

d) For SITE REPORTS at the top

Perhaps we should call it DASHBOARD and have it collapsed on first login, so it’s just one tab on which a user starts off, and all the other admin options are available below.

Highly appreciate the feedback, it really helps us think through the design.

When will these changes be available to test? I’m eager to test with my R&D team and eventually allow also Ops team to get access to it.

We’re just starting to migrate to a public issue tracker, and you’ll be able to see the Admin Console and features progress at: https://mattermost.atlassian.net/secure/RapidBoard.jspa?rapidView=1&view=planning&selectedIssue=PL-11&epics=visible&selectedEpic=PL-10

The intention is having the basics in v0.8.0 in early October.