Tuesday is here, and you know what that means: We are one week away from a WoW Insider Show special live show extravaganza! You heard me right, folks: Next Tuesday, May 31, Mike Sacco, Matthew Rossi, and myself will hit the live stream for a full show dedicated to all things WoW. Plus, we're doing the show during downtime, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern/8 a.m. Pacific, so you won't be busy and can totally listen. We'll be giving away prizes, too. That rules!
Anyway, we've got other business to attend to right now. Reader UI of the Week gets a good number of submissions from both Europe and the United States, but there is a really fun factor in seeing non-English UIs. The localization process is awesome and incredibly intriguing to me, and I love seeing what different UI elements are labeled as and how UI issues are dealt with. Imagine my utter disappointment when German native Viday changed his entire interface to English so it would be more understandable.
Story of my life.
Viday's UI: healer, tank, border-less, bottom-bar UI
Dear ReaderUI of the Week,Thank you for the email and submission, Viday. Obviously, I was kidding before the jump about my ire and sadness over the English UI, but localization is a huge passion of mine. Interface creation and customization is largely impacted by the way the interface communicates with the user, and solid localization gives us better universality across the board.
At first I've to tell that I'm not a native speaker (I'm from Germany) and I hope my school-english is good enough to explain the thoughts about my UI. Well it's much more easy to read articles, listen to podcasts or watching a video then writing or speaking by myself. So be not too hard to my mistakes. Also I changed the client to english so it is more understandable.
May I tell the history of my attempts to create an interface which I can use for all chars. Mostly I have to Tank for my raid, but I love healing even more. Besides I have several Melee and Caster DDs but they are less important.
Long time i used an compilation called "realUI". It was mainly what I've searched for but there were minor issues about the used addons ( I don't like grid and pitbull for example). Later I decided to do a "remake" of that interface which looks similar but consists of alternate addons. Because of that my fist versions looked mainly like RealUI.
With 4.1 this interface crashed totally and after some failed attempts to rebuild it, I got the Idea to change the used addons again and try some more self-made. At the end I got the UI I'm now presenting to you:
Explanation of the two Screenshots:
- UI for all roles
- Center of the screen important stuff. If you go more to the right or left side they get less important
- Chat and map on the left side ( for some reason I can't play if it's different)
- Hide everything which can be opened by hotkeys (inventory or skilltree)
- Two action and one cooldown bar for all chars
- Hiding as much as I can but not leave out such many stuff like in this extreme simple UIs
- Not too much use of class colours^^
- Not too many addons (for performance reason)
(Used Computer: iMac 27" ...)
1) Out of Fight or Raid:
Here you can see my Druid standing around in Hyjal. As I tried to tell here is not many things displayed around her only the Chat window, Bars and the minimap. Prior these bars were hidden too, but I needed them too often for professions and stuff.
Me healing some random group to show how it looks in fight. If I were in some raid there would be more rows from Vuhdo (raid/group addon). As you can see there is not enough space for 25 or more people which shows how often I do such raids ^^
I wasn't in any 25 man Raid for a long time. At the end I think Raven is one of the best Buff/Debuff addons existing.
List of used addons:
Minimapbuttonframe (also hidden)
Recount (not seen only appears per Hotkey)
Stellar Unit Frames
Tidy Plates Threat Plates
Probably I forgot some Addons but this should be all.
If there are more questions about, I will answer. Hopefully this is readable and understandable^^
Thank god Apple has a correction function for English, French and some European languages too. So here aren't to many spelling mistakes.
Also, don't worry about your English -- it's pretty great for not being a native speaker, and the more you write, the better you get!
UIs without borders
To border or not to border? Some players like to have clearly defined lines separating interface elements from the game world. Other players let addons sit naturally above the game world, defined by their unique colors and movement, as opposed to having their own space. As most people know, I fall into the border category because of my red-green color blindness -- certain colors blend together when they are next to each other and that makes for some not fun tanking on Christmas.
However, done correctly, borderless UIs work incredibly well for keeping things light on the screen. Without borders, UI elements tend to look smaller and have their own brand of definition. I am a fan of borderless buffs and debuff bars, mostly because they are not on screen long enough (usually) to need the stark contrast that borders bring. By the same thought, any permanent or semi-permanent important buff or debuff is going to be static above or below the player/unit frame and noticeable in its own right. The borderless approach just looks cleaner, in my opinion.
Hide the excess
Viday works with hidden items very well and understands that there are a ton of keybinds that you can use to open most of the interface -- reputation, character pane, and all that jazz that exists on the mini-menu. If you're one of those smart fools who keybind abilities to those buttons, fear not. You can pick up an addon like MicroMenu or some such to keep the functionality of those keys while making the mini-menu less obnoxious.
The UI elements that aren't hidden during combat, like the minimap, are relegated off to the corners and sides, almost unnoticeable. I almost didn't notice the minimap at first, but when I did, I was impressed with the shapeshifting up near the corner next to the map. Keeping Vuhdo small but functional is also a treat, keeping ancillary raid and party frames hidden, letting Vuhdo do all the work.
With room to spare
One of the better aspects of UIs that are, for lack of a better word, loosely put together like Viday's is that additions and changes to the user interface are not painstakingly hard. In fact, changing Viday's user interface is an easy task. Since most of the pieces are free-floating, you could presumably go tighter or more loose, depending on your preference, using the same addons and setup.
The simple spacing between the bottom-to-middle addons, especially around the cast bar, lets each UI element shine on its own, even with a relatively small footprint. The small target's target setup works for me because of how it gives percentages and buffs/debuffs, and that's just enough. ToT (target of target) and ToTT (target of target's target) frames are often the victims of overthink.
Overall I like Viday's user interface setup. It is simple enough to be able to be rebuilt quickly in the even of a catastrophic failure (again) and sparse enough to leave tons of room for movement, improvement, and the game world itself. While I am an advocate of backgrounds on chat windows, Viday's chat box seems solid enough until a different color shows up underneath. Finally, keeping a healer UI light is as easy as choosing the right addon to combine lots of different functions into one. Vuhdo is one such addon, letting any amount of simplicity double as a capable healer UI.
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, or visit Addons 101 for help getting started.