Welcome to Reader UI of the Week, WoW Insider's weekly sojourn into other people's lives by looking through their eyes. I am always looking for more submissions from players, so keep sending those screenshots and emails and you could see your setup on the site. Plus, you get to bask in the wonderful advice of our awesome community in the comments, which is what this is all really about, isn't it? Send those user interfaces to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
This week, we've got a nice, solid hunter UI from Elleyna, who admits to a cluttered bottom screen but keeps the pieces working cleanly. I think that the community can learn a lot from this UI, mostly because I want to promote that lived-in look that is so popular these days with user interfaces and jeans. There is no shame in not being perfect, because the beauty of customizable user interfaces is that they are customizable to our liking. Settling into a UI is uniquely you.
Elleyna's UI: DPS, hunter, raiding-UI
Let's hear what Elleyna has to say:
Howdy WoWInsider,Thank you for the email, Elleyna. Taking a page from TukUI (and its wonderful alteration ElvUI) is a good step in organization if you don't exactly know where to start. That's really the aim of these articles, as well. Some people just don't know here to start when configuring their user interface, and we can give some starting and focal points for the new UI explorer.
I've always been into organized yet stylish UIs and I think I've got the right balance in mine (at least for my tastes). I took a lot of inspiration from tukUI but I feel like I've done enough to make it my own (note: it's all from scratch, not a copy+edit). There are certainly things in my UI that I feel like I could improve on (my backpack icon feels out of place and I honestly don't feel the need to look at Omen all that much) but I'm still happy with where it is. Here's a rundown of what I have:
Shadowed Unit Frames Very customizable unit frames while still being fairly simple to work with. I love the amount of information I can put in my target's frame (health amount, health %, level, mana amount, mana %, threat %). Raid frames are pretty standard, I could probably even fade these to cut back on some of the clutter.
Bartender4 Action bar addon, I have a lot of hidden/faded bars. I have my pet bar appear on the top left above my my main action bars, and another pet bar with other pet spells like Call Pet, Revive Pet, etc. I also have faded traps below my main bars which come 100% when mouseovered. The bar on the right side of the screen is a little out of place, I haven't quite figured out what to do with it, it's mainly just utility items/spells or used for when I make use of a macro for certain bosses).
kgPanels All those gray boxes with light gray borders around just about everything. Definitely a complicated addon to get everything working just right but I really like the payoff.
Power Auras Very useful for keeping track of uptime of certain things (Serpent Sting, Improved Steady Shot, Rapid Fire, etc).
MiksScrollingBattleText Pretty standard scrolling combat text addon. I really like this one because it allows you to throttle spells (will show hots and certain dots grouped together as to not flood my screen with fairly arbitrary info).
Recount Keeps the competition up with my fellow hunters more than anything :D
Omen Keeps track of threat, but I could probably get rid of it since I show threat % on my target frame.
RaidCheckList With the vast amount of pet buffs hunters can bring, this allows me to choose the proper pet buff that might be missing (or lets me use my pink tallstrider if all buffs are covered).
TidyPlates I primarily started using these with a tank alt to help see threat and it kind of carried over to my hunter. I just like them being a little more customizable and easy to see if I have threat on an add.
Sexy Map It's sexy looking. It's also nice hiding all the unneeded icons on the map.
PhanxChat Pretty standard chat addon. Main thing I like about it is being able to have the input box on top of my chat frame as opposed to under it.
Taking a closer look at my UI after writing this, I see that it does seem pretty cluttered on the bottom 1/3 of the screen, but I still feel it serves me well. I really like the way it looks and the functionality is pretty much all there as well. Hope everyone likes it.
Raid frames: The DPS version
As a tank, primarily, I like to keep my raid frames around as a small Grid window for Intervenes, aggro notifications, and other assorted uses. My previous raid group was exclusively 10-man, but now that I am a regular in a 25-man group, the dynamic of Grid has changed to a larger display. It hasn't been an issue because the Grid blocks are square and small.
I am not sure why the Grid raid frames for Elleyna are as large as they are. Misdirect seems like it would be better used via macro (which it appears you already have done) on the tanks or by sorting Grid based on tanks and doing some fancy clicking. Other than that, I wouldn't imagine the raid frames needing to be so large for a DPS class unless you were also the raid leader.
Slimming down the raid frames could save a good amount of space and even allow for the player frame block setup (which I very much like) to move out of the center, reducing even more clutter. Also, expand on the faded bars concept with the traps -- I love the faded trap bar and think the rest of the UI would benefit from some fading. A 20% scaling down of UI elements would get rid of more of the space being used up at the bottom of the UI than you could imagine, and it would still look just as great as it does now.
A good Omen
Omen is one of those addons that you sort of just ... have. I've incorporated Omen into everything I've done just because it is such a staple in terms of threat, threat management, and the raid game. However, Omen isn't an addon that needs to be around all the time. Here's my suggestion for in-combat Omen use in raiding environments.
Layer Omen on top of another addon that does not have a great use during combat. Many people layer Omen on top of their DPS meters since, really, long-form DPS analysis happens after the fight is over. During the fight, you can keep either a smaller, more personal Skada window showing just your DPS to make sure you're pulling your weight, or just scale down Recount to the point that you see a bare minumum of your own stats and do the long-form analysis within the addon itself, rather than the list of raiders.
Also, there's a bunch of space on the right side of the screen where you might think about stacking these addons. Keeping them out of the way isn't even an issue, since they are pretty much "secondary" raid addons that don't really come up much in terms of raiding and boss fights, especially with hunters and Misdirect.
Keybind to victory
Get rid of that little bag icon! Why do you need it? For bags, I've always found that the B keybind is the best for opening all bags, not just the primary bag. B will also open bag windows on bag addons like AdiBags and ArkInventory. These addons also have displays for quickly showing free bag space, and the icon really isn't all that necessary. So get rid of it! You say you want to. Now, just take that scary step into the options and rid yourself of the looming, dastardly icon. I have faith in you, Elleyna.
In fact, if you ever feel that a piece of your UI is just sort of hanging out there, see what life is like by removing it and leaving it gone for a week. If you're floundering and flailing about during that week over the horrible life you've committed yourself to, maybe it's time to bring that UI element back. Chances are, though, that you'll just grow into the UI without that addon. Don't be afraid to turn options on and off -- they aren't going anywhere and can easily be toggled back.
A good foundation
Elleyna's UI is a competent build on a good concept that meets all of her DPS and hunter needs. Some more fading and scaling would do her well to fix some of the cluttered addons on the bottom of the screen, since I feel like the clutter is the result of size, not position. Also, I'd swap the traps and action bar positions for a "large to small" pyramid-like structure for more room to work with in the center. The structure of the target/ToT/ToTT works nicely but probably doesn't need to be as big as it is, especially since a DPSer's focus probably isn't over there most of the time anyway.
Even the menu bar, my dreaded arch-nemesis, looks nice with a little bit of polish on it from kgPanels. Wow, kgPanels, you can really make everything look better!
See you guys next week, and keep sending in those interfaces!
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.