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Author Topic: UI Redesign  (Read 889 times)
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vossiewulf
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« on: June 15, 2018, 02:35:42 AM »

A couple months ago I was criticizing an aspect of the latest UI changes, and Andrey said it would be more helpful if I made suggestions. Honestly I haven't found suggestions to be heard either, but he was correct in that simple criticism isn't ever terribly useful.

So I said fine, I'll just redesign the whole thing to demonstrate, designing UIs is something I've done a few times shall we say. But I've gotten away from that in my current job, so I haven't had a chance to do UI work in a while and I have been looking for something to give me an excuse to do some UI design.

To that end, this effort is already 100% successful, I've enjoyed doing it and am pleased with the results. It would work as I thought it would. However, in the unlikely chance that Graviteam would like to do something with this, I could fully finalize it including a British UI, and a German early war gray and late war ambush color scheme UIs, all the heavy lifting has all been done. Well except for the order wheel and the artillery and events UI - I took this easily far enough to demonstrate feasibility, I didn't redesign every last piece of it. Say maybe three or four weeks.

I used Adobe Spark to put the demo together, it has one sad limitation in that I see no way to render the screenshots at 100%. So although they're running some sharpening filter that helps keeps the images from being too blurry, they're still slightly blurry compared the originals and some of the smaller text might be hard to read. I'm attaching some basic screenshots at 100% below so people can see the main images as they were intended.

Graviteam UI Redesign Demo on Spark

Screenshots at full size:

DAK


US Tunisia


Soviet 1943
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chaudard
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Posts: 279


« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 04:26:35 PM »

Interesting. Maybe you should use more edges of the screen for the UI? (Not left only?)
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vossiewulf
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 04:55:41 AM »

Interesting. Maybe you should use more edges of the screen for the UI? (Not left only?)

If it were actually implemented, button layout is negotiable. I could use all the exact same pieces but move them to screen bottom, where we'd get greater width at the price of obscuring the bottom edge of the screen, which I always find blocks what I want to see more often than side UIs, but I'm willing to accept that change if it was really desired. Some pretty easy coding could make it possible to display on the left or right side, or the bottom depending on player preference.

But I wouldn't hold my breath. Sergey already told me on the Steam forum that the design was terrible and offered absolutely nothing of value to them, without even reading the PoC documentation, just leaping to multiple wrong conclusions by only looking at the three attached screenshots, just as I expected him to. This company is less interested in the contribution of the player community than any company I've ever seen, with the disinterest regularly bordering on outright hostility. It's a sad thing that achieves nothing other than making the game neither as popular nor as good as it could be.

As I said in the PoC documentation, I fully expected that response and in the end for me it doesn't matter, as I did it simply to get some UI design time in that I rarely get a chance to do anymore, and just to see if it could be done the way I envisioned it. I'm fully pleased with both the aesthetic and functional outcome of the design.

As a note for anyone else reading this: I know it's colorful, it was intentional although there is also one entire slide dedicated to noting that it's a trivial task to scale the color saturation to whatever the player base preferred.

However the reason it was intentional was not arbitrary, but based on information presentation research, it's actually an academic subject now. What was found long ago was that the human brain recognizes colors much faster than numbers. Therefore, with a design that uses this method, how it works is that it rapidly becomes easy to glance at a unit's parameter display and if I see green, I know that I don't need to look long enough to see the numbers. And if one of those parameters changes to yellow/orange/red, they stand out like a sore thumb in your color scan and your eye immediately zooms in on the problematic value and sees what the actual number is.

This is why basically every network/system/industrial plant/etc. monitoring applications use this exact method. I know this as one of my job responsibilities is establishing a mistake-proof monitoring/alerting system for a complex critical path system, and we use a plethora of COTS products, all of which use this method to one degree or another. In all of those non-game cases, 1) there are many, many things to watch, and 2) it's absolutely critical that the people monitoring recognize there is a problem and exactly where it is as quickly as possible. It's long been proven that strong color cueing is the best way to achieve those goals.

Players monitoring units in combat where you have lots of unit data, any of which can be good/bad/ugly and can also change quickly, have the exact same problem and I decided to apply the very well-proven methodology of using color cueing to make it much easier for players to be able to quickly scan forces and units and know exactly which ones they need to look at, and where to look on those units that need looking at it.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:02:08 AM by vossiewulf » Logged
chaudard
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Posts: 279


« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 05:48:20 AM »

I read the Steam forum too. I think you and Andrey are right. Maybe the 2 UIs could be in the game, users choosing the UI they want in options. Unfortunately, GraviTeam doesn't have the time/resources to add non essential stuff.
Is it impossible to modify the UI through MOD?
Personally, I don't know if your UI is better than the existing one. Almost all the aspects of the existing UI are OK to me. But, I am OK to test something else Smiley
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vossiewulf
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 07:47:26 PM »

I read the Steam forum too. I think you and Andrey are right. Maybe the 2 UIs could be in the game, users choosing the UI they want in options. Unfortunately, GraviTeam doesn't have the time/resources to add non essential stuff.
Is it impossible to modify the UI through MOD?
Personally, I don't know if your UI is better than the existing one. Almost all the aspects of the existing UI are OK to me. But, I am OK to test something else Smiley

Fully understand people's preferences. I only react negatively to Andrey because he doesn't even read what is said and states things about the design that aren't true.

But to give anyone who isn't using the Steam forums a chance to see explicitly, this is what the game would look like under general gameplay. When you double-click unit squares, none of the additional info expands out, the square simply changes to the selected state and all sub-units are selected.



Ctrl-click additional unit squares to select more units, each will change to the selected state. This was one case I was never entirely happy with since if you select multiple units, not all selected ones may be visible in the list. If this were to be implemented, I'd probably add a feature that each unit square selected gets moved to the top of the screen to join the first one selected. Down side there is that is solving one problem by shuffling unit order, and then shuffling back on deselect and I think that can be a little confusing. At the same time, I could argue for filter buttons where you could toggle on/off the display of armor, infantry, and support platoons as there are times you only want to see certain unit types to find the one you want.

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wodin
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Posts: 495


« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »

I do really like, and it seems all relevant info is in there.
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