Mvin, start us off:
This is Mvin, Fury Warrior of <Silver Blades> from Lordaeron EU writing you. I hereby submit my dearest greetings from the beautiful country of Germany ;-)
I've sent you my UI because I felt it's been a while since I saw a warrior-friendly UI on your column, if I ever saw a warrior UI there in the first place^^
So the first thing you might notice is that I sent a total of 4 screenshots, not because I think my UI should be viewed from every angle (^^), but because the first 3 screenshots display the steady evolution and change over time while the fourth is a short legend of all visual addons that I use in the newest version. You don't need to post them all of course, I just wanted to give you enough room to play with the article :D
There are a couple of things I'd to elevate:
First, I made heavy use of the Xperl Raid Frames when WOTLK started and continued to use it for most of the expansion. The one thing that bugged me was that I wasn't able to configure it properly, in a way that didn't block half of my screen. I switched to Grid and Pitbull quite smoothly when I discovered their vast adjustment options. In the second screen you can actually see me using both Xperl and Grid as Raid frames.
Secondly, the 2 bars above my standard action bars display a rage indicator (tired of always looking up to my character portrait for rage status) and a swing timer. I got rid of the swing timer in my new interface and replaced the rage bar with the whole portrait, which fit quite nicely.
And thirdly, I am very proud of whow my new UI turned out. It marks the first time I am actually confident enough to send it to you guys ;-) I finally mastered kgPanels to the point it started to look tidy and managed to limit the number of things I'd like to see on my screen to a decent point. Please note that most of my addons had the background texture and borders disabled to achieve the dark, uni-colored effect with kgPanels.
So that's basically it! Thank you so much for your column, I've adapted a quite a few ideas from there myself and please give my regards to Matthew "the cared and feeded warrior" Rossi, would you? :D
Mvin of Lordaeron
Thanks for the awesome email, Mvin. I am floored at Mvin's thorough submission to the column -- not only is it awesome to see the evolution of the user interface, but the final legend screen shot is exactly what many people have been asking for. Awesome job. Let's go screenshot to screenshot and trace the evolution of Mvin's UI.
Here is what Mvin's original user interface looks like. The menu buttons are proudly on display, as are some pretty huge party frames complete with tons of buffs, numbers and portraits. Our good friend "out of the box" Sexymap looms over the cramped buffs area. Raid groups are a mess of colors and statistics that no one really needs. The user interface is cluttered, which in and of itself isn't a problem, but there is just too much going on with unnecessary information all over the place.
Mvin's user interface begins the slow crawl to awesomeness, replacing the hefty raid frames set up with a simpler, Grid-based raid makeup. In addition, the party frames are gone, freeing up a huge amount of space on the screen to do fun things like see the game and experience the world. DPS and threat meters were moved side-by-side as opposed to stacked, but the menu bars remain. Everything is shaping up nicely, but the buffs are still a garbled mess and Sexymap still presides over the addon masses, straight out of the box.
Can I take a quick second to say that everything in World of Warcraft
sounds better in German?
Finally, we reach Mvin's final stage in his user interface. I love it. Mvin uses kgPanels to great effect, keeping the motif unobtrusive and uniform. ForteXorcist looks awesome above the action bars, and the various target and player windows sit evenly atop one another. Omen and Recount are spectacularly done, each getting their own square flanking the action bars. The dreaded menu bars remain, but I cannot fault Mvin for keeping that one aspect tried and true and still managing to make it look decent and not take up too much space.
Sexymap has been broken free of its confines in "original setup" land and now has a flush and simple border mirroring the rest of the user interface. A simple square plus a simple border can go a long way when dealing with Sexymap. Raid frames are out of the way and ButtonFacade cuts away all of the unnecessary borders from action buttons. Mvin has successfully moved his buffs and debuffs to a location easily segregated and visually soft -- a marked improvement over the crowded buff panels of yester-UI.
All in all, I love Mvin's user interface. More than that, however, I loved the journey. Over time, you can see how elements of the user interface moved to meet space demands and a cursory education in kgPanels gave the user interface the right tint to shine. Mvin included a legend of the mods and addons he used in his user interface and where they went for anyone out there who want to replicate some of the excellent placement of bars, in particular his target and player frames, in my opinion.
That's it for this edition of Reader UI of the Week. If you ever had any questions about the absolute best way to submit your UI, take Mvin's submission as the ultimate advice -- many large screenshots, an addon/mods legend and some awesome commentary.
Interested in getting the most out of your user interface? Come back once a week for more examples of reader UIs. For more details on individual addons, check out Addon Spotlight, your source for everything addon-related.