Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Question

I haven't made many major design changes to my UI in quite a while now. When I first started putting different addons together, I made fairly major, sweeping changes quite often. I would discover that a certain addon would interfere with my playing space too much, or it took too much computing time and robbed me of game performance, or it simply wasn't what I was looking for. After a lot of trial and error I finally ended up with the UI that's currently available.

I find that it meets my needs very well. However, I'm sure there are some improvements that could be made. So I'm wondering if any of you have downloaded my UI and made significant changes to make it more useful for you. If you have, I'd love to see a screenshot of what you've done and an explanation of why you decided to do it -- what need my UI didn't fill that your addition does.

The thing that has been bothering me the most about my UI recently is the hoops you have to jump through to configure the addons when you create a new character. Many of the addons handle configuration well by initializing with the default profile you've optimized on your other toons. But a few of them don't do this, and create a new profile for each new toon from their own defaults. The result? When you make a new toon, your stuff is all over the place. You have to configure the addons to use the default profiles. Is it a hassle? You bet.

So I'm looking into how to make this change. It would also considerably shorten the installation instructions for the UI. When writing them, I was fully aware that many people would read the first sentences and say "Well, forget this. I'll find a UI that's easier to install." I'd like to improve this, and I think fixing the profiles issue would be a good first step.

There is a problem though. In my original UI, I had modified a couple of addons myself, and this obviously causes issues for maintenance. It delayed the next release of the UI too, since I had to either modify the addons again in order to get any updates the authors had made or find another addon that restored the functionality but didn't require any modification by me.

So if I decide to fix the addons to do the defaults in an intelligent way, I will also have the added task of backporting the changes I make to any new releases of the addons when future patches hit. I'm not certain this is the way to go.

So again, please let me know what you think could be improved on the UI. And I hope some people are enjoying it.

7 comments:

Brent said...

I still use it and love it! I added some addons, but I don't think it really changed the makeup all that much. By far the coolest part is the custom Pitbull graphics, they look great.

Trunks2560 said...

I swear by this UI. It is a great mix of style and substance. The amount of information you get for as clean a look is amazing. As far as improving the UI, I think you made a huge step in the right direction when you tried to keep things as simple as possiable. I think there is a lot to say for a UI that is stable and easy to update from patch to patch. Easy is a good quality to have for both you and your followers:-).

If I had any suggestions it would be to include some sort of item comparison in your base package. Blizzard seems to be incorporating a lot of addons into it's base design, but there is still no good way to check how gear stacks up. I know your previous versions had something like this and I never found something that worked quite the same for me.

D.R. Eisenbarth said...

Well after initially going through your setup I was very happy with the look.. but I quickly found that specific addons were not to my liking... I prefer DBM to BigWigs, Carbonite to Cartographer, Healbot to Grid, Titan Panel to Fubar, Outfitter to ItemRack, Lightheaded to TomTom. As I made these changes I started experiencing issues with placement of cast bars etc.
Eventually I wound up redoing my ui. In addition to that - the very subject of your post became a major issue - I regularly play like 9 alts. Setting up each character was more than I could bare.
I very much like the clean look, but I have temporarily gone back to NUI which allows for a much easier transition between toons.

D.R. Eisenbarth said...

Oh and I quickly ran into a problem with only 36 buttons... I'm not sure how that is enough for people? Maybe if you were only ever raiding, but dailies and all the rest... I needed more buttons.

Michael said...

I installed it and followed all the instructions it looks great except for one problem with my player frame is there any help you can give me here is what im looking at http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a261/Franchisegarnett/WoWScrnShot_080409_163437.jpg if can see my player frame is at the top left and i have just a black box in the left middle of my screen if you can help me out with that and get back to me at Franchisegarnett@gmail.com thatd be great thanks love the UI

Daedhir said...

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

Maybe I should configure it to have more action bars, but I don't find that I need that many displayed at once. I have the bottom-most bar set up so that you can scroll it like the regular Blizzard action bar, with Shift-UpArrow or Shift-DownArrow. I put spells that I don't often need in combat, like my resurrect spell and buffs, on the second bar which shows on the main one when I go up one bar.

Putting more buttons would require some major layout changes, although they probably wouldn't be too tough.

I'm still trying to work out what to do about the problem when loading the UI fresh on a new toon. Maybe I'll pester the addon developers to make "default" the default...

Zack said...

Hello,

Thanks for letting me know RTD updated the schedules for May.

Regarding your comment left for my RTD iPhone app, would like to speak with you more about it and possibly figure out a solution.

please email me, zashapiro@colorado.edu

Thank you very much.