Solar desalination is considered one of the most promising solutions to the interconnected challenge of water and energy crisis. Interfacial-heating solar-thermal desalination (IHSTD), which localizes solar energy at the evaporation interface for high-efficiency water production, has achieved substantial progress in recent years. Desalination is completed in an integrated process of vapour generation, salt management and water production. Rationally designing IHSTD devices from these three aspects is therefore essential to realize continuous and efficient operation and has been emerging as the most recent research focus. This review aims to present the latest theoretical and experimental advances of IHSTD device design in (i) evaporator design towards efficient vapour generation, (ii) salt management for continuous evaporation and (iii) condensing system integration to boost water production. The most urgent challenges and corresponding opportunities for IHSTD are also highlighted.