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Reader UI of the Week: Busy busy busy

Reader UI of the Week Busy busy busy!
This week I'm taking a different approach with the UI sent in to me by Vanard, you can see it in the header image if you squint really hard, but for those of us with normal vision, here's a link to the full size image.

Vanard sent me his UI with a detailed email telling me exactly what he's using, and you should do the same! We're getting a lot of healer UIs, we had Synchrony's priest UI last week, and my own UI the week before. We need some tank and DPS UIs! If you do email me on olivia@wowinsider.com, tell me what addons you're using, why you're using them, what you like and what you'd change. And don't think you have to use a ton of addons, I'd love to feature a customized version of the standard UI.

I challenge you!

Actually, let's call that a challenge! Send me your best UI customization that only uses standard Blizzard UI elements. You can use addons to move them around, reposition, re-size, but it has to be exclusively Blizzard frames visible. Points awarded for using fewer addons, and for innovation, or doing things that most of us don't realize the Blizzard UI can do! Do still send me your normal UIs, as well.

Anyhow, let's press on with Vanard's UI. The email he sent me was functional, listing out his addons, and a couple of changes:
I thought I'd throw my Holy paladin's raiding UI in the ring.

Raiding
  • Bartender: nuff said
  • Healbot: I've tried VuhDo, but I'm a Healbot guy
  • ForteXorcist: I like the bar that shows my ability CD timers
  • Decursive: Redundant with Healbot I know, but the way I have it set up debuffs only pop on Healbot if I can dispell. So when Cleanse is on CD Decursive still shows if people have a debuff....and for those pesky MC's its a quick CC
  • DBM: as with bartender...nuff said
  • Recount: Personally I hate meters but as Raid Lead I do need to see if something is majorly off
  • Carbonite: So glad this was updated. I love their Maps
  • IceHUD: Everything you need (with the use of custom bars) right in the center of your screen. Good for tracking procs.
  • GTFO: Not that I ever do this lol, but for when you tunnel vision in on your healing mod.
  • MikScrollingBattleText: Really like how this handles my battle text.
  • Omen: I really don't use it that much but I keep it around for the rare times I have to go Ret.
  • Tidy Plates
Other
  • MoveAnything: I actually just got this one and haven't played with it yet. I had to move Healbot lower on the screen because of the petrify bar. I hate that so I hope this will take care of that.
  • Titan Panel
  • Prat
I'm not sure which addon does the timers on the left side of the screen just above chat, but I could do with out them. It can fill up my screen and cover the default raid frames in a hurry. Eventually I will look into shutting that off, along with the stuff that is just below Xorcist (I don't really need that either).

Notable Points

This is quite a different UI to last week's showing from Synchrony, as the email suggests it's a case of function over form. Vanard is a raid leader, and a healer, and his UI reflects the jobs he's doing. The function over form element is clearer still when one notes that the linked image is the only one he sent me, no messing around with pretty solo versus combat screenshots for Vanard!

And again, his changes where noted above are mostly practical in nature. He wants to get the petrification bar out of the way so that he can move his healbot up a bit to where it was. Vanard's a practical guy, and that bar's messing with his healbot! SimplePowerBar could be another one to consider for this simple task, that also grabs the monkey counter in Stormstout Brewery, for example.

Good things

I think that's a really, really neat solution to all the minimap buttons. If you hadn't spied them they're hanging out over on the right-hand side, in a neat line down the side of the screen. Being slightly obsessive myself, I'd probably have put the clock at the top or the bottom, and generally shuffled them around so they were in an order of some kind that I felt was acceptable. But I really like it! Far better than having them mooching around your minimap.

I enjoy the balance in the lower half of the screen, the DBM bars opposite ForteXorcist, with the impending ones sitting above healbot and that pesky petrification bar, and the chat pane balancing out Omen, the map and Recount over to the other side. I also like how those three are neatly stepped down towards the center of the screen. Maybe I've been unfair in saying that Vanard is all about function over form! There's also a pleasing symmetry to the bars, with bartender's micromenu sitting in the middle, and two lines of bars either side of it.

All this draws the eye up to one addon I've always been very undecided on -- IceHUD. I wrote about it a while back in Addon Spotlight, saying that I found the HUD too unclear and hard to follow, but in all fairness I didn't try it for long. I really like how, on Vanard's UI, it draws the eye toward the center of the screen, where all the action's taking place, and how it keeps his key information about his own character directly in his line of sight, particularly the holy power information across the bottom of the HUD that's so important for paladins.

Not-so-good things

I'm going to go straight back into talking about IceHUD here! I think that, perhaps, Stone Guard is a particularly bad fight for this, but I just feel like there's too many things happening on the floor for the IceHUD elements to really stand out. They don't have Amethyst up, but if they did I'm guessing that would be even worse. Of course, it could just be that I'm not used to IceHUD.

I definitely agree with Vanard that the two trackers above the chat and below ForteXorcist need to go. As far as I can tell, they're watching raid buffs and perhaps battle rezzes, as well as some cooldowns? I think Vanard's doing well to see that he's got unused UI elements, and should get rid of them. Look at your UI! What aren't you using? And that one under ForteXorcist has horrendous text-to-bar-height ratio issues.

I'm really not a fan of that chat font. It's too big and shouty for me, but perhaps Vanard likes to be able to see it at a glance as a backup for DBM's raid warnings. Especially with MikScrollingBattleText, there's a lot going on in the middle of the screen. Lastly, I don't think it's really necessary to have hearthstones and professions on your bars when you're in a raid. Of course, it's nice for the symmetry, but Bartender bars can be hidden! Just saying...

Reader UI of the Week Busy busy busy!What about the weekly "Noooo"? That goes to the text overlap in Healbot. See how it spills over the side of the panes allocated to Boar and Characid? That would drive me crackers. In fairness, other than that, I actually like how Vanard has his healbot set up, so that the names and health levels of the other raiders are greyed out when they don't need his attention, but if he could just fiddle around with it so that the text fit inside the bars that would make me a very happy bunny. Also, it's blocking the buff icons! Maybe I'm a bad raid healer, but I don't feel I need the health value and the percentage on healbot. The health numbers could be moved to the raid frames, leaving percentages on healbot, and it'd be fixed, unless anyone had a really long character name. And they can just change it!

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.

Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

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