Clean. Simple. Delightful. These are words designers like to use to describe the work they aspire to do. Unfortunately, these are not usually words you would use to describe a billing transaction spreadsheet. Or a complicated product spec comparison table. Or an analytics dashboard. So what do you do when it’s your job to design these kind of complex systems?

The majority of the products I’ve worked on lately are feature-heavy and complicated. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s kind of a bummer. I’ll sit down to design a screen, and, looking at the features I need to visualize, my face looks a little like this:

what

Turning to Dribbble for inspiration only makes matters worse. I start to question my life choices. Why can’t I be the designer making interfaces for, I don’t know, the new music sharing app? Or something else rife with possibilities for whimsical animation and whitespace? Now I’m falling into a pit of despair, aimlessly moving rectangles around in Sketch and hoping for a miracle.

The struggle is real, but I know it’s possible to create something clean, simple, and delightful that also solves the nitty-gritty problems of your user. To jump start your creative engine, I dove deep into Dribbble to find those rare gems that prove a dense user experience can look amazing.

 

Product Dashboard by Mason Yarnell

Product Dashboard, Activity Feed UI/UX 

 

Billing Details Shot by Michael Pons

Billing Details Page by Michael Pons

Check out the process shots for this on Dribbble as well.

 

History list and details by Malin Sofrone

History List and Details by Michael Sofrone

 

Easyship dashboard by Maciej Jasiński

Easyship Dashboard by Maciej Jasiński

 

Substance by Eduardo Santos

Substance by Eduardo Santos

 

product reviews - side by side by Erfan Talimi

Product reviews – side by side 

 

Investment and Financing by Grace Ge

Investment and Financing 

If managing my investments always looked this nice, I’d probably pay more attention to it!

 

Sports Page by Danny Amacher

Sports Page 

 

Apptaz - Product Design by Asif Aleem

Apptaz – Product Design 

 

File Transmission by Jim Silverman

File Transmission 

 

When a user interacts with an app that goes beyond their expectations, it’s a glorious moment for the designer who put the work into making that experience delightful. For me, that’s the most satisfying thing about designing products

Have you rocked a complicated design problem? Are you in the middle of the struggle right now? Tell us about it in the comments!

10 Inspiring Examples of Complex UI

Camri Hinkie

UI/UX Designer @ Spiceworks

Category: RoundupUI/UX
12
10641 views

12 comments

  • Amazing collection. You don’t really think about it until you need it. These are really inspirational, thanks for sharing.

  • Great reference material, thanks for sharing!

  • I design some complex UI interfaces at my job. This is the inspo curation I’ve been looking for since I started! Thanks 🙂

  • When trying to design the UI for a system that requires a density of features, functionality and complex workflows, I’ve found the worst possible thing I could do is look to other solutions, like these, for “inspiration”. First, if the problem has been solved already with a great UI, then someone else beat you to it. Move on and solve a new problem. Second, if your problem has not been solved elegantly yet, that’s because it demands a unique solution. Start, not by looking at irrelevant other solutions, but rather by understanding who are your target users, and verbalizing what will your UI do for them. It may help them find things, configure things, monitor things and help them remain calm and focused in the process – not confused and distracted by needless information cluttering the screen at inopportune moments. Because there can be dozens of elements all contributing to clutter, every tiny detail dozens of times over matters immensely. Bad UI is death by a thousand cuts. Good UI is life by a thousand breaths of fresh air.

  • I’m just commenting so a designer that found your writing uplifting and inspiring brought back down to misery by Jason’s comment.

    Camri, thank you for writing so honestly and giving a quick highlight of “boring” products that are well presented. It is encouraging to see how other designers tackle similar problems. It can sometimes be inspiring, and other times feel validating. Nothing wrong with that.

    Of course, we as designers should test against users and understand our contextual problems. Sometimes it’s also nice to add in the ability to see how someone else has tackled navigation with complex user roles, data visualization, tables, filtering, all at a glance on a massive desktop canvas that scales responsively.

    Again, thanks, Camri 🙂

  • I keep looking at our website and every week I find things that I’d like to fix for better UI/UX. However some platforms and plugins aren’t as forgiving as you’d like. Also working on a large e-commerce website is different from any of the other work I’ve done for smaller clients or even larger clients, but haven’t been tied into a major platform like for example Demandware.

  • I like it – thank you for collecting! 🙂

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