Reader UI of the Week: Acacià's UI

Mathew McCurley
M. McCurley|05.18.10

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Reader UI of the Week: Acacià's UI
Each week, brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using and some background information, to

Happy Tuesday, Reader UI of the Week fans. Aren't Tuesdays wonderful? Tuesdays are now all about finding something in your user interface that you want to improve upon or could stand to make changes in. This week, we are going to look at the improvements made by reader Acacià and her new, simpler user interface. This UI definitely has some great ideas for managing space using bar grouping and some compacted frames. Let's see if we can get some tips for ourselves by rifling through Acacià's proverbial user interface drawer.

Let's hear from Acacià:

As you can well see, my UI has changed a lot over the course of the last couple years. The first major change was going from a Paladin to a Priest where I found out I might need more than one action bar for all my new abilities!

After spending a month or so making a custom UI for my Priest, I found my second passion for WoW. Leveling characters. Just as I had finished my Priest UI, it was abandoned for something that could streamline across any class and spec but still stay quite minimal.

My UI has taken me through levels 1 to 80 a total of 10 times and still counting.

My favourite addon would have to be Power Auras for showing when Penance, Arcane Torrent, Prayer of Mending, etc are off cooldown and when Inner Fire has been used up (Pesky Rogues). VuhDo comes in tied for first just for the ability to show the Weakened Soul debuff so clearly.

Any tips and suggestions on what I can do to improve are extremely welcome.

List of Addons: AtlasLoot, Bartender4, ButtonFacade(Aion), Chatter, DBM, ForteXorcist, Gladius, InterruptBar, MSBT, NugComboBar(Rogue/Druid combo points), Omen, OneBag3, PallyPower, Pitbull4, Power Auras, Quartz, Recount, SatrinaBuffFrame, SexyMap, Skinner, SnowfallKeyPress, TipTac, TrickOrTreat, VuhDo, XLoot.

P.S: Omen test bars are showing just so you can see where it fits in ^.-

Thaurissan - Oceanic

Thanks for the email, Acacià. I am growing ever fonder of the old UI/new UI screenshot submissions coming in. Sometimes the "before" pictures hit a little too close to home from my old user interface days. Anyway, there is nothing sexier to a user interface aficionado than seeing how things have changed for the better, so let's dive in.

Here's the old user interface. Let me jot down a quick list of the things that I find wrong here:
  • everything
Acacià's old UI is riddled with the mistakes that you will always make on your first go-round when you first discover addons. Don't make these mistakes, as they are easily avoidable.

Thin threat

The new user interface, however, is much cleaner and nicer, not to mention functional to boot. I particularly like the stacking middle of the interface, with the addons and user interface elements kept to a modest, thin size. Acacià's threat meters, for instance, are as big as they need to be -- not larger, no smaller. She doesn't need all of the information that Omen provides, and you most likely do not, either. Trimming down your damage and threat meters will free up some valuable space. I like the idea of using the action bars as a height gauge. Notice how the two rows of action bars dictate the height of the rest of the bottom panel HUD. As I have discussed before, keeping within your own set of user interface rules will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to your design.

Thin bars

Let's take a look at Acacià's player/unit frames and the ForteXorcist/Quartz bars above them. All of this information is at the ready, right in Acacià's face. I like the idea of grouping like-styled addons together, especially if those addons can fit together nicely in purpose. I think Acacià got it right here.

Actually, now that I've got this image and set-up in front of me, I really like it. I have always been a fan of the double player/unit frames being off-center, and placing the cast bar, Forte/Sexycooldown, above or below seems like the most logical place. In addition, the space in between the unit frames can serve as a guide for how large to make the other addons as well as act as a guide in the same way the action bars control the height of other addons at the bottom of the screen. Two thumbs up.

The worst menu bar

Here it is: the comprehensive list of default hotkeys, so everyone can just get rid of their menu bars and save me the sad fortune of dying a little more on the inside every time I see them.
  • Character info C
  • Spellbook and abilities P
  • Talents N
  • Achievements Y
  • Quest log L
  • Social (guild, friends, raid) O
  • Player versus player H
  • Dungeon finder I
  • Game menu Esc
  • Help request /gm into chat
Now you have no excuses. It is a waste of space. Here's the big caveat -- and before you trounce me with pitchforks and torches and pitchforks that are on fire somehow, let me make myself clear. The menu bar is completely useless as long as you do not use any of these default keybindings for anything else other than their defaults. If like many people, you bind these keys to abilities, mounts and other things, then by all means leave up the menu bar. Or better yet, hide the menu bar when it is not in use, so that it only appears on mouse-over.

In conclusion, I very much like most of Acacià's setup. I don't really think too much needs to be changed. If people tell you to move your raid frames, don't listen to them. I just recently got back into healing on my shaman, and my raid frames move around the screen constantly from boss encounter to boss encounter, as I am always finding somewhere new and comfortable to leave them. Floating those frames are fine, especially if you are healing or debuffing. I also like the segmented whispers chat box and the rest of the less important chat residing above. Personally, I'd stick a background on that chat box, making it a little opaque (because I am blind), but that's less of a suggestion and more of a necessity on my end. If any commenters have any suggestions, let's hear them! All in all, I like.


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.

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