This week I want to take a break from reader submitted user interfaces and profile my own. Pictured above is a compilation of what I like to call "my baby." It's a UI that's taken me over a year to perfect, and I like it quite a bit. What we'll do is take a look at the philosophy behind the interface and what addons I use.
I wear many hats in my guild. I'm the GM, the main tank, and help drive the raids. My UI serves me well in all these roles, and it allows me a plethora of options at my disposal. My multiple duties in my guild means that I not only have to be fully accountable for everything the boss does to me (and for a tank in and end game guild that's a lot), but I also have to keep an eye on everything else that is happening in the raid.
The Philosophy Behind My UI
Information and functions need to be easy to access, and be accessed quickly. In addition to the ease of use, it is vital to have a clear view of the play field when engaging in raids and groups. When getting the raid ready and driving the trash pulls, I need to be able to see everything and hear everything. It's unacceptable to have information more than a click away – if that. If someone sends me a tell, I want to know about it right away, and if someone dies I want to see it in bright colors in my chat windows.
Since my in-game responsibilities are numerous, I have to be able quickly switch between them. To do this I have to utilize both my keyboard and my mouse.
There are two screenshots that I've taken. One is of my UI as it stands at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon when I started working on this article, and the other is from a raid that happened a couple months ago. The in raid screenshot is a good demonstration of key elements in my of the UI in action. You can see targeting, active raid frames, buffs, debuffs, chats, aggro alerts, etc., all going on at once.
In my UI screenshot that I took this afternoon, you can see the elements more clearly and get a feel for where they fit into my overall design philosophy. While everything you see in the raid screenshot is still there, it's just there "less."
Nearly everything I use is an Ace based addon, and can easily be obtained through WoWAceUpdater. The full list of 55 addons in my addon folder is as follows (not everything may be displayed in the above photos):
- AltClicktoAddItem - Allow you to alt click an item to add it to the mail box, trade, or AH.
- ArkInventory - All-in-one highly configurable bag.
- AtlasLoot Enhanced - Shows the loot from all instances and raids.
- Auctioneer - Auction house scanning.
- AutoGroup - Automatically accepts group invitations, based on settings.
- BigBrother - Shows player castable raid buffs for the party / raid.
- Bongos2 – Sets up many customizable action bars.
- Buffalo - Custom buff/debuff display.
- Cartographer - Map modification.
- ClearFont2 - Changes the default font to something much more readable.
- CowTip - Enhanced tooltips.
- Damnation - Automatically cancels Blessing of Salvation, a tank's worst nightmare.
- Deadly Boss Mods - Alerts for raid bosses.
- Doodle - In game network enabled drawing program.
- DrDamage - Provides enhanced ability information and statistics.
- Eavesdrop - Real time combat information.
- FishingBuddy - Helps you fish better.
- FuBar - Information bars at the bottom and/or top of your screen.
- FuBar AlarmClockFu - Clock for FuBar.
- FuBar AmmoFu - Shows how much ammunition is left. Great for hunters.
- FuBar BagFu - Shows how much bag space you have.
- FuBar BongosFu - Allows access to Bongos configuration.
- FuBar DurabilityFu - Shows your total equipment durability.
- FuBar EmoteFu2 - Menu of emotes.
- FuBar ExperienceFu - Displays the experience you need to gain a level.
- FuBar FishingBuddyFu - Fishing Buddy FuBar menu.
- FuBar LogFu - Quickly record the combat log.
- FuBar OutfitterFu - Outfitter menu in FuBar.
- FuBar PerformanceFu - Shows performance information, like frame per second.
- FuBar QuestsFu - Quickly look at quests in your quest log.
- FuBar ReagentFu - Shows reagents in your bags.
- FuBar SpeedFu - Tells you have fast you are moving.
- FuBar uFriends - Shows who on your friends list is online.
- FuBar uGuild - Shows who in your guild is online.
- FuBar VolumeFu - Quick volume access control via FuBar.
- FuBar XPerlFu - XPerl control via FuBar.
- Grid – Raid frames.
- GrimReaper - Shows why people died.
- IceHud - Provides a heads up display in the middle of the screen.
- Incubator - Respawn timers for trash, works with Sunwell Plateau.
- LightHeaded - WoWHead comments attached to the quests in the quest log.
- MinimapButtonBag - Compresses all those buttons on the minimap into one button-menu.
- MobInfo2 - Information about various mobs (health, mana, etc..)
- Omen - Threat meter.
- OptiTaunt - Announce if a taunt was resisted.
- Ora2 - Raid management
- Outfitter - Quickly change armor outfits.
- Prat - Chat modules.
- Proximo - Unit frames for the opposing arena team.
- Recount - Live combat log parsing.
- SimpleMiniMap - Change the size, shape, and location of the mini-map.
- Skinner - Apply skins to the UI and the bottom / top of the screen.
- TradeskillInfo - Database of all tradeskill information.
- WoW Instant Messenger - AIM like windows for all /tell messages in-game.
- XPerl - Unit and raid frames.
- XRS - Raid status window.