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Reader UI of the Week: Slim here


Slim here. I warned you I'd do it.
It's an ominous way to open a column, and an ominous way to start an email with a UI submission. Slim, a regular in the comments here on WoW Insider, did indeed warn me he'd send in his UI, and you should all do the same! We're not elitist here, nobody's going to be awful to you. As I said in my first column with my own UI, there's no right or wrong answer to UI customization, no such thing as the perfect UI, only your perfect UI. I would say, though, that if you're plagued with errors, that might warrant some changes.

If you want to submit your UI, do send me an email on Let me know what addons you're using, what you like, and what you don't like so much. I've had a few UIs for the challenge I set you all a couple of weeks back to create a UI using Blizzard standard elements, but I'd love a few more!

But on to Slim. A full-size screengrab of his UI can be found here.

So, attached is a screenshot from a recent excursion into LFR.
Normally I raid 10 mans, but I set up my Raid Frame so it could go up
to a 40-man without impinging on any of my UI elements. I raid as DW
Frost DPS.

Important Addons I use:

-_Cursor: Allows you to add cursor trails on the screen. Immensely
useful in a hectic fight. (Ever had that moment of panic where you
lose your cursor? How the heck do you lose your cursor? I don't
know, but I've done it! This helps track that wily bugger down!)
- Blood Shield Tracker: Not really used here, since I raid as DPS, but
since I do a lot of questing in Blood, this tells me the estimated
healing if I use Death Strike (if I have no Blood Shield activated) or
how much damage is left to absorb in an existing Blood Shield.
- Carbonite - For the World and minimap features (instance maps are
meh), and for the Punks feature (I play on a PVP realm) and the Quest
Log interface. I know it's much maligned for it's memory footprint,
but I've never noticed problems and for me the pros outweigh the cons.
- Dominos
- IceHUD - So, what I love about Frost DK is it plays real fast.
Especially DW Frost. And say what you want, but it takes a deft touch
to really squeeze out all the DPS in there, what with Rune Tetris.
This puts my runes in the center of the screen, and my Runic Power on
the left hand side, so I don't have to constantly glance up at my Unit
Frame. On the right, is the Boss's health, with percentage below (need
to know when he hits 35%, so I can start weaving in Soul Reaper to the
rotation). Also, below his health it shows my DoTs and Debuffs on
him. This is duplicated on the nameplates, because some bosses are so
big I can't see their nameplate above them. This is my second
reference for this, with nameplates being my preferred.
- MikScrollingBattleText - Left and right of IceHUD. This is
something I've installed, and I'm honestly not sure how much I
actually use it.
- Outfitter - Upper left hand border - this where I swap outfits.
Fishing, Cooking, Combat, Blood Questing... Glancing at it now, I have
a TON of default outfit buttons showing up that I need to delete.
- QuickMark - Tucked away on the Right Hand Border, just in case I need it.
- Raven - This is tracking my Buffs in the upper Left hand corner, as
well as my Cooldowns just above and to the right of center. (Also, for
some reason, CDs are showing amongst my Buffs... no idea what is
causing that. If someone has any input, I'd love to hear it, cause I
couldn't figure out how to do away with that). It also would show any
debuffs that I had below and to the left of center, if I had any.
- Shadowed Unit Frames - My unit frames up top are Shadowed. Used to
use this for my Party and Raid frames, but then I changed over to
- VuhDo (even though I don't heal, I like the compactness of VuhDo a bit
- Skada
- Tidy Plates - Nameplate mod. Monitors threat in combat and shows me
my DoTs.
- Titan Panel - plugins top and bottom. Being able to glance up or down for info like bag space, or how much damage my gear has taken, or how many friends or guildies
are online is a must for me.
- VuhDo

Notable Points

Slim spent a great deal of time explaining his action bar setup, but in the interest of brevity, that's had to be removed. The short version is that his left-hand group of action bars is set up to precisely match his keyboard, with gaps left for his ESDF movement keys. That's where his mains spells are, and the right-hand group is set up to hold his miscellaneous spells, apart from the miscellaneous spells which are on the far left at the side! Slim admits that this could probably use some streamlining, and I agree with him. It's fun to have what he refers to as "goofing off spells" on your bars, but not really necessary for those bars to be showing in combat! Dominos, like Bartender, allows you to hide bars. Use that function!

Good Things

I like Slim's take on IceHUD setup more than I liked Vanard's, I have to admit. It's a bit bolder, a little chunkier, and therefore stands out a bit more. If I had one criticism, it's that the Runic Power bar on the far left could stand to lose a few pounds, it's rather chunky compared to the other bars. But having the runes there really works, just like Vanard's holy power bar did. Maybe I've been to hard on IceHUD.

Slim, while he has a few too many things going on around the edges of the screen, maintains a decent amount of clarity in the center of the screen. He's done a good job, intentionally or otherwise, of not falling into the trap of letting MikScrollingBattleText overwhelm the prime real estate in the middle of the screen around his character. As someone who's not a huge fan of reworking the standard positioning, I'm pleasantly surprised to say that I like what Slim's done with the minimap and Skada positioning. I'm not entirely sure what that little parchment-looking panel to the left of the minimal is, though. That can go!

Slim's UI has also reminded me that I really, really want to get Tidy Plates again. I do think that having a backup method to display debuffs on a target is also a really smart move -- the nameplate ones are fantastic for targets who are about your size or a bit bigger, but often utterly useless for raid bosses!

Not-so-Good Things

There are an awful lot of back-ups there, though. I count five boss frames, including the tooltip, and the Punks frame, all but two of which are tracking just Slim's debuffs. Ain't nobody got time for that! I would say the IceHUD information plus the Tidy Plates information is more than sufficient for any player's boss monitoring needs. The tooltip, while interesting, isn't really providing any important information that's not already shows on the screen, by SUF, for example. I doubt Slim is checking that everyone's got the boss targeted!

Slim's already dealing with the Raven issues that are showing cooldowns in with the buffs, as well as in the cooldowns list, so I'll let him off for that, this time. Other than that, there's just an excess of information and general stuff, going back to what I mentioned earlier about the action bars being hidden, the same applies for Titanpanel, that can autohide too, and I'm sure that tooltip could be persuaded to make a sharp exit. And I want to know what those four little boxes to the left of the chat pane are, young man!

Reader UI of the Week Slim hereBut I'd wager Slim isn't really bothered by these things as, despite the outer clutter, he's got a nice clear space in the middle. What's the weekly "Noooooo"? Well, it continues the theme of too much outside visible stuff. Slim, please tell the class why you have three empty action buttons visible?

It nearly went to the Outfitter, which I find a bit extraneous, but Slim already mentioned he was working on trimming that down. Thanks for the submission, Slim!

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.

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