Part of my ongoing role at printed.com was to build a vast collection of admin screens, including product configuration, production/dispatch tools, and financial reporting.

It’s difficult to summarise just how much work went into these. Having seen many admin screens that offer little more than a simplified table with very little thought as to how staff will actually interact with it, I went out of my way to make the screens both comprehensive and easy to use, as well as being linked from logical places in the admin nav.

Things like being able to enter a reference number and hit Enter to search from any screen in admin (rather than having to open up the relevant screen first, type the number, click Search with the mouse, sort the results etc) made order lookups a breeze. Standardised reports that were relatively easy for the tech team to build, but also had standard features such as date pickers and CSV exports on every single report, paid dividends as the reporting suite grew to around 70 unique reports.

I had regular conversations with the Customer Service team, the product team and staff around the company to find pain points and identify new reports that might be needed. The growth of the site and the team to support it meant that constantly getting requests for a bespoke SQL report (often over and over again) was just not scalable. So I came up with ways for staff to “self-serve” as much as possible.

Project details

Project: Admin screens

Launch: N/A – there were many changes needed on an ongoing basis

Role: Lead Developer / Web Product Manager (unofficially)