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Darkfyre 04-04-2013 06:28 AM

Completely Overhaul the UI
from basic design choices like color of text and color(s) of backgrounds - to where to place things and how to display different information - to how the user actually interacts with it -

the UI is terrible. it honestly looks like a 2nd year student's half-assed UI project

i assume there must be some good reasons why there seems to be such a lack of thought, planning and experience with it, but i can't figure out what those reasons might be.

at any rate, the current UI needs to be completely gutted. i'm talking back to the drawing board here.

i can suggest some principles/ideas to follow when redesigning your UI:

keep it simple - visually and functionally
  • find ways to consolidate information or eliminate redundancy
  • you don't have to display everything at once
  • the fewer UI elements on the screen - the better
  • don't crowd information/elements together
don't overwhelm the user with information

keep the most common tasks the most visible/accessible
  • give the user shortcut key combo's to the most used functions of units, like attack-move, or stop
group all functionally related elements/information together
  • if you're going to have multiple ways to do the same thing, don't put those controls on different parts of the screen
any text/textual information displayed on the screen needs to have excellent contrast with its background

never display "walls of text" to the user (this includes dialogue)
  • be very concise about the text you put on the screen
  • use pictures or graphical representations to replace text whenever/wherever appropriate/possible
make sure any graphics you have representing the function of a certain element are perfectly clear in communicating to the user what that element does

never be distracting with what you have on the screen when you are trying to communicate something important to the user
  • don't have a bunch of other stuff going on, on the screen while you are trying to tell the user what something is, or how to do something
also, at a bare minimum - make sure ui elements NEVER overlap or cover up other ui elements, or important things in the "action" portion of the screen
  • an example of this is: currently, graphic effects can completely cover up your city or armies on the world map
  • also, objects like armies and cities on the world map need to stand out more from the world terrain and be more readily visible
another specific suggestion is to make the city/fort/castle "name banners" on the world map clickable to select them
and the minimap/compass needs to better display where your units currently are
  • basic color blocks only for regular units
  • an icon for hero unit
  • different icons for different resources
  • icons for structures
have a click/expandable menu button on the minimap/compass with filter options to customize which icons/what information is displayed in the minimap/compass

another specific issue i currently have is with the "chat" ui ALWAYS FLASHING. right away any ui designer should know that anything that is going to be updated as frequently as chat should NOT flash every time it is updated - this goes for tabs as well as the big "CHAT" expand/collapse button on the left of the screen. this is annoying as heck having it flashing all the time.

and i'm pretty sure that the chat updates are causing some sort of sound effect to be played constantly as well - a "ding", i think - is playing very often and it is also VERY annoying. this is not the first time i've seen ui designers do **** like this and every time i see/hear this kind of thing in a game, it makes me want to just sit in a room with that designer with me saying "DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGD INGDINGDINGDING" and constantly waving my hands in their face. if it ****es you off then it's a good bet it will **** your users off too. please stop doing this kind of thing in games!

ZvonimirG 04-04-2013 08:29 AM

I think you should post that in this thread -

DEVs are looking there for feedback about UI :D

Darkfyre 04-04-2013 08:36 AM

done. thanks

Bowinkle 04-04-2013 11:59 AM

The UI is playable, yeah it could use some improving but I think if this were to happen they would first want to hammer out all the bugs as of right now. Nice suggestion though. I agree to an extent, but I still admire there work.

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