Dark Sidebar Menus with White Icons and Text

Dark Sidebar Menus with White Icons and Text

This week a friend commented to me that too many user interfaces look like WordPress.

That’s crazy talk, I thought, until I started Googling around. Almost every open source project I looked at seemed to use a dark sidebar menu with white icons and text. WordPress didn’t start this design pattern, but they certainly popularized it.

Here are some of the admin area design for about 20 non-WordPress open source projects.

Magento

magento2

OpenCart

opencart"

Prestashop

prestashop

October CMS

prestashop

Sylius

sylius

Tuleap

Tuleap

Subrion

subrion

AdminLTE

AdminLTE

Grav

grav

Lara

lara

Dungeon

dungeon

Mura

muracms

CouchCMS

CouchCMS

Perfecto

Perfecto

Orchard

Orchard

UI CMS

UI CMS

Mezzanine

Mezzanine

Over to you

I’m not doing this to pick on any of the platforms listed here, so much as to say that open source UI seems to be stuck in a rut.

If you know of any examples of fresh or creative admin interfaces, please let me know in the comments.

Instructor

  • Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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pepperstreet

Drupal 8 is different 😉

Seriously, I think the color style is not that much important, and a menubar alone does not represent the entire UI. It’s more about functionality and behavior. Drupal 8 might not win any “design-awards”, but I like the feature to switch between vertical and horizontal orientation. Pretty unique.

In general, I think a dark UI is more eye-friendly. Personally I would prefer a good dark-colored scheme in any CMS… unfortunately there aren’t (m)any.

steve

Maybe Grav? That does have a dark UI as default

pepperstreet

Yes, I tried it… but I won’t use it. Grav UI colors are not bad. Especially the “cooler” and “blue-ish” dark-grey. Other products tend to use a very warm grey, which does not fit with the rest! Even a 100% black would be better 😉 An exception is Magento, which used beige and light brown colors from the beginning.

pepperstreet

BTW, [url=http://Creative-Tim.com]Creative-Tim.com[/url] has some interesting admin dashboards and UI Kit designs. Lite and even with colors. Fresh and friendly.

mihha

Thank you for sharing the link with us

sjohnson

I know I am way late to the party on this post, but I see (and usually like) the left side bar in non cms websites I use. I know Garmin (GPS and tracking watches) has a left sidebar and it works very well.

Stuck in a rut? Or using what works well (I vote the latter).

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