The user interface we are about to discuss is the second in a quick little series of DPS user interfaces that have very slimmed down components and an aesthetic appeal that grants the user a detailed look at their respective class information while keeping plenty of real estate free on the screen to see all the action. Nirayá's user interface is clean and compact, with a huge viewable area. If you haven't already noticed from my columns, I really love user interfaces that combine substance with brevity.
Explain yourself, Nirayá!
Greetings fellow WoWers and UIers (Yes that is now officially a word),
My name is Nirayá of the guild Serenity and I play a Draenei mage on the US server Proudmoore and this my UI, which I call Kussie's UI. It is my first UI that I have put together from the ground up and it draws inspiration from several of my favorite UI i have used in the past, especially those I used during TBC. It's a labor of love for me and recently I have pent more time working on my UI then doing other things in the game.
I have included a few different screenshots of my UI that highlights some key aspects of it. The aim of this UI is to be as minimalistic as possible whilst still being able to provide as much information as possible when needed. Different parts of my UI will hide themselves out of combat or when not required., it also makes heavy use of macros and keybinds which i will discuss shortly.
Currently I'm still working on the party and raid frames whilst they serve their current job i'm not too happy with their placement and style (at least in terms of the party frames) so i've been messing around with a couple of different things here and there as i go along.
As you can see there is only two bars of buttons ever visible on the UI. The bottom right panel has all of my teleport spells on them for quick easy access, these are all macroed so if i left click on them it will teleport me, however if i right click on them they will open a portal to that location.
The center row of buttons is for quick access to things such as potions, quest items or buffs and such. Some of these are also macroed, my armor button handles all three of mage armors depending on whether i left or right click or press alt and click, if I right click on my AI button it will buff the raid/party with arcane brilliance, if i left click it will buff the target with single AI or if no target it selected it will put it on me, the food button if left clicked will cause me to drink, if I right click it will summon some food and if i alt right click it will drop a table, and a similar process is also used for my mana gem button.
All of my spells and other functions are located on three hidden button bars with keybinds for all of them. This helps me keep my UI clean and provides as much game space as possible.
Some of the key mods I use:
Pitbull4 - What more do i need to say other then i <3 Pitbull.
KG Panels - Used rather sparsely in my UI but it is extremely great addon, I have used it to display the top and bottom bars on the UI.
Mik's Scrolling Battle Text - Handles the display of the scrolling damage and healing and also handle certain notifications and events combined with boss mods.
Chatter - Used to modify my chat frames, another low memory footprint addon and also allows the moving of the chatbox from the bottom to the top of the chat frame.
Chinchilla - It has a small memory footprint then most of the other map addons and thus it is my preferred choice.
Dominos - This is my addon of choice for handling buttons, they are then prettied up a little more through the use of button facade.
Chocolate Bar - Used to display the small information block across the top of the screen uses very little memory and is extremely customizable through the use of the many broker addons.
Forte - The sliding bar used to show the amount of time left until i can use certain spells or cool downs again.
Dotimer - Used to manage the display how long i have left on my weapon or trinket procs, cooldown effects and other buffs such as Heroism.
Quartz - Used to manage my cast bars, being an aussie player Quartz in my experience is one of the best cast bar replacement with it's lag bar and such and is extremely customizable.
Skada - I used it to replace both Recount and Omen. It will display as a threat meter during combat and switch back to a Damage meter once you leave combat.
<Serenity> of Proudmoore-US
Thanks for the e-mail, Nirayá! It never ceases to amaze me that there are DPS classes with so little to worry about, bar wise. Not a knock against DPS, believe me. I only envy from a design and clutter standpoint. Let's go into some things I like about this user interface, and hopefully you at home can get some neat tips on tricking out your own bare minimum UI.
Heavy use of macros and keybindings is an excellent way to de-clutter your user interface. A lot of functionality exists under the hood, so to speak, that doesn't need to be present on screen at all times, combined with a clever use of macros. For instance, the portals/teleportation buttons on the bottom right are inspired -- a regular click teleports the mage to the desired location, but a right click summons a portal to that location. Simple, easy to create macros allow for more functionality in a smaller space. In the future, I will do a nice big special column on how to do some of these neat macros. For now, here is, what I believe to be, a simple macro for the teleports/portals as used above:
Create a new macro:
/cast [button:2] Spell1; Spell 2
Move that macro onto your action bar. Spell 1 will be cast when you right click the button, and Spell 2 will be cast when you left click the button.
A very effective strategy for designing your minimalist user interface is to do what Nirayá has done -- section off the amount of area on your scree with a kgPanels window and design around the space you want to use, not the space you have. This will limit the amount of space you have and force you to fit everything you need into that area, cutting out some of the cruft you might have thought you needed, but could have macroed, hotkeyed, or added to a different bar.
As a DPS, you have less to worry about Raid Frames wise, so anywhere on the screen that you are comfortable with is fine. Again, heavy kgPanels usage pulls everything together to look neat and clean. This user interface is for a mage, but uses Forte, an addon commonly used for warlock spell timers. Forte, however, works plenty fine for other classes as well.
So there you have it -- a really simple user interface with clever macro usage and plenty of space to see the screen. Again, this is a widescreen user interface, but I'll get to that shortly.
Addons Used or Discussed:
Next week, I want to try something a little different. I would love to get in some suggestions dealing with user interfaces for 15"-20" non-widescreen monitors. Hopefully, contingent on the submissions I receive, I would like to do all of my articles next week following the common theme of dealing with smaller, non-widescreen user interface setups. People are clamoring
for it. I receive more e-mail about non-widescreen user interfaces than any other subject. So let's make this happen -- send in your non-widescreen Reader UIs and look forward to Non-Widescreen Resolution Week!
And one last thing. I also want to begin spotlighting Reader Macros of the Week alongside the UI of the Week. Do you have any interesting macros like the portal/teleportation idea from Nirayá uses? Send them to email@example.com
with MACRO somewhere in the title.
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.