I'm working on a web-based app that's similar to a control panel, with lots of different settings and features to configure. The challenge is making it easy for users to find what they want without making the interface too cluttered.
Could anyone recommend layouts, UI elements or design patterns that work well for this situation? Examples of good control panel interfaces would also be helpful.
By "control panel" I'm talking about an interface that presents a potentially large number of widgets that allow for things to be configured. There's usually a metaphor of drilling down into a particular area to find the settings you want to manage, and then pulling back out to a top level view.
Some well know examples would be the Windows Control Panel (Vista or later aren't bad), web hosting account management interfaces like Plesk, or the admin interface of WordPress.