As the title implies, I am looking for best practices or guidelines for designing highly configurable web applications.
We are currently redesigning our HR application completely. There is no screen without discussion about the problem of configuration options. Customers love that they can tailor our platform to their needs. In fact, it is one of our main selling points. But how can you ensure an aesthetically pleasing layout if you do not know how many buttons are displayed or how many options are available? Or how complex the search masks will be … you get the idea.
Examples of configuration options are:
- QuickActions (one button per action)
- QuickFilters (check boxes that enable a number of filters to suit your needs)
- Labels and pictures
- Visibility of certain features or content
Our current strategy is to make sure that standard configuration looks and feels good and we even validate our designs through user testing. However, since the configuration options are almost unlimited, we may not be able to test for all cases. We try to account for extremes or corner cases, but can not ensure that the layout is still fine on "bad" or overly configured pages.
Are there best practices or design guidelines on how to ensure a minimum of usability and aesthetics? How do you deal with this kind of "blur" in your layout? Any experiences or resources are highly appreciated!