In design, the backstage should be as important as the external part of products and services. Is your design really clean?

A few years ago I contacted a company to renovate the kitchen at home. After a couple of weeks, they finished the job. The kitchen looked great. Good materials, good design… There was only one problem: the kitchen was a mess.

It was full of things that had been used to build the kitchen, but were no longer needed: dust, water, buckets, dirty cloths and a couple of completely useless brooms. Obviously, they thought that their work was limited to renovate the kitchen and that didn’t include getting rid of the leftover material.

Something similar happens in web design and with other technologies.

In web design, the focus lies on elements such as usability, download time, images or optimization. That is, visible and external elements. However, websites have two kinds of users: visitors and web managers (our customers). And they interact with sites in different ways.

Our customers need to access their websites to create new pages, upload images and publish posts, mainly. Here, usability is as important as outside. They need a straightforward and intuitive dashboard that facilitates their daily work, the internal elements of the site should be loaded quickly and the change from one window to another must be agile.

With content management systems such as WordPress many of these challenges are solved, but even so, there are still many things that depend on the designer. For instance, customizing the dashboard, removing those elements that the customer doesn’t need or modifying the administration menu labels to make them more understandable.


Detail of WordPress dashboard

Likewise, designers should delete all those pages, images or contacts forms used during the design process that, finally, won’t be necessary. Equally important is to give descriptive names to images so that they can be easily found by the customer. Although all this may seem obvious, it’s less common than it should be.

Moving from websites to other technologies, such as CRM systems, clean design is conspicuous by its absence. With this type of software, the need to adapt the product to each customer is even more necessary, which often results in completely incomprehensible dashboards and a whole lot of useless elements still visible that hamper and hinder work, rather than assist.

Clean design means taking into account the inside as well as the outside of products and services because users might need to access their “invisible” side to manage, clean or repair them.