Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eve Vegas: CCP Arrow and the UI Design

CCP Arrow is one of the developers who caused the rage over the new unified inventory. I wound up feeling bad for this guy in the end as the forum wars went on. He was humble enough to admit that they thought they were ready and 100% go as the players raged and raged and raged.

The UI presentation covered the developmental changes for the winter as well as mockups up changes and thoughts for the future.

UI Development for Winter Crime Watch UI - Timer Displays Inventory UI - Usability and Improvements, feature iterations Eve-Dust Link UI - Eve Chat Update, Corp Management for capsuleers and infantry, Planet Districts UI

They rewrote the entire Inventory UI because the old one was to unwedly to allow future changes. The first UI he worked with was the character creation UI and it was large but it was nothing like the inventory UI.

After collecting a lot of feedback over the last three months. He feels that they have what they can do to tackle it and make it what it should have been all along.

First: Crime Watch UI

When they are doing a UI design they start off basic on a white board and working on what makes sense. They want to add sounds in to let people know what is happening. More audio clues. They get questions about color blindness and they want to fix that by making separate sounds for each indicator.

We got some graphs over how they are trying different ideas to create visual clues. They have run out of bracket rules. So the indicators are outside of the brackets. He says they try different things out and that our end versions are often way down the list and not the first thing they have done. Since they worry about color blind people they do make mockups for colorblind people to try to make the shades they will see different. But sounds seem to be the best way to create the uniqueness.

One of the first things that is going to happen and it is on the internal test server is to bring a menu into the NEOCOM that shows the directories. So that you can access your inventory from the NEOCOM. But people want to browse their stuff through the NEOCOM even if they can't access it.

When they first did the new inventory they didn't have any settings because they didn't want to over do it. They have since added one setting to allow you to make everything separate windows. A new setting being introduced is a way to isolate the subtrees of each inventory into their own windows. That way if you just want to see that one POSs stuff you can do so without the ship and such.

The quick filter will save if you want it to now, as a new setting. It will be an option.

They are adding some industry filters as well to make it easier to find it. They are adding permissions into the filters so that you can see if you don't have hanger access. They also have a compact view of the inventory now. And it will remember the state that you set if you decide to hide the tree views which he calls a compact view mode.

They are exploring ways for hanger separation and module separation. It will all be optional. They have a new option for ship management that he thinks will make managing ships in the inventory obsolete that he will show later.

They want to improve how things are seen in space. Instead of seeing it as a wreck but you will see it as what it is and its range and if its out of range it will grey out. They want to change the corp hanger in ships to fleet hanger so that it is more obvious and better separated from the corp hanger in the station. Also improve the UI for the fleet access of the orcas hanger.

The Eve Chat Interface with Dust you will be able to see the Dust players talking. But local is tricky. So you will be able to filter the Dust players out if you want. They are thinking of adding a distinction of the players own message so that your own chat lines are highlighted for an easier visual connection. in general the dust chat will look different from the eve chat font wise (I think).

Future UI Designs:

System info tabs revamped. Collapsed mode, unify style of tabs, customize views and sorting, direct access to settings.

Station Services revamped. Full customization of tabs, quick access to ships and fittings, multi-fit ships. There is a need to add more options there. Once dust players are in stations there is no way to filter the guest list. No way to see your enemies by themselves. So he wants to do this type of thing.

Managing ships has become a problem after they changed the inventory. They want to make the interaction faster and easier without fiddling. So maybe that should be in a station service tab. Then multifit ships in one motion.

Revamp notifications so that they look like notifications. The entire side menu where the tings like your travel directions and incursion and faction warfare system will have even more crap in it. They will be collapsible tabs but god space will be terribly busy. But he says they want to give people a choice on how they want to see it. This is still idea phase right now. They know it is too cluttered and they have been trying to compact it into information icons. If you hover over the icon it will show what you want without filling your entire screen. You can change the order or have some open and some closed. A lot of customization to the noise on the screen. (My first reaction was TOO BUSY but they realized that and he has shown that you can be as busy or not as you want).

They want to unify the look and feel of the tabs. The visuals he is giving creates more of a sci fi menu based information flow feel to me. I like it now that I understand what he is saying. He is discussing making things cleaner. Such as setting your autopilot through a tiny icon on your screen instead of digging it out of the map world panel. He is not removing what is currently there but creating easier and faster access if someone wants it. I'm guessing the pitchforks and screaming have sunk in and hes being more careful and not wiping out old usability.

Next is station services UI changes planned:

It's been there for a long time. They have not touched it for a while. They are revamping it all together. They want to make it so its more customizable for people. They want a way to manage the ships in a better way without the inventory. You can view how to view the ships. Icons or text. Active ships showing their insurance status. If you hover over a ship you can access the fittings without the fitting window. Then an undock button by ships and it will auto switch you to a ship and undock in one motion from the list.

Direct access to ship fittings. You can just change the fit and undock in two clicks. You will be able to change the fit of ships you are not sitting in. That you'd be able to take 10 ships that you want fit identically you can drag the stack to the fit icon and poof assembled and fit all at once and ready to go.

They don't know how people will use their station services and since they don't know they want to make that customization. How you set it will always persist. You can expand and condense these information sets as you want.

Guests: Filters. Sorting by types of people. So this way you can always see without scrolling.

Some of the ideas might be too large. But these station ideas are ideas right now and what they want to do. But this is still at the mockup point. Hopefully fitting will be a case of dragging modules to ships if you want or the cargo hold if you default to it.

Q&A (long line)

Q---Will there be a Dev Blog about this? A---Yes

Q---When does it enter the game? A---Most in the winter but the Station stuff

Q---What happened to the new fancy icons? A---The team that is working on the inventory had that planned and they had to reprioritize it. They want to get to it and have it in place. They haven't forgotten about it

Q---The interface is where Eve needs the most help. Are we going to get to turn off the UI and go back to how things were? A--- Depends on what is meant by that. The entire system was rewritten and its gone. Most of the problems were related to the back end and not the front. Some issues with the front didn't go well and they plan to address them with the December. (so there is no going back) There is going back to being happy and bringing the things from the old system but the old system itself is gone.

Q---The filtering for local chat for dust people. Consider other local filters? Like see if someone is docked or an AFK indicator or something? A---A lot has been discussed about it. He said it is a shit storm that hes not ready to go near. Hes still recovering from the inventory backlash. They will have to see.

Q---The undock thing is very cool. Can be a safety on ships so that we can't undock things accidently? A---The safety will be on but he isn't sure what it will entail. Its not going to be a safety lock but a visual indicator perhaps.

Q---When will we have the chance to change the font? A---When he started working for CCP they worked on a new font. CCP had to create its own and this is the official Eve Font because they have to pay if they use someone elses. He doesn't see the resources being devoted to having more types of fonts.

Q---On the UI there was an option of dealing with drones like a module. Will we see that with capitals? A---It is a good point and he will pitch it to his guys.

Q---For the unified inventory system: Ca we disable auto expand and auto collapse? A---Yes they revisited a lot of things like that and took it out. He forgot to mention that they have fixed that problem. You won't change the focus of the inventory you are coming from. If you drag to a tree it will navigate for you. And it will now scroll. (but can we have a button to turn all that off?) The expand thing is for you to navigate and won't change the focus and it will only take a moment. It won't accidently collapse as you scroll down anymore.

Q---A local filter would be great! Make that top priority! Now the question, science and industry: Whenever something is released it seems that they just add more clicks to the situation. What are they doing? A---They have been discussing batches and starting without everything needed so that you could maybe play catch up. Maybe a new UI for easier to manage things and more visual indicators are more goals. But the reason they have not done this so far is that they are still playing catch up and learning from mistakes.

Q---Capital ships: We have the configure button. Can that be broken into a few more options so that people can't access the ships in the capital when they want to refit? A---This will probably tie into the new fleet hanger mode and how it will change who you can give access to so it may happen.

Q---New Drone UI looks awesome. One worry is that the drone health can be easier to see and maybe seen in the drone bay. But if it's just out on the image it will become very difficult to keep track of. Maybe the drone module will split into the various drones themselves? A---That was an idea with drone groups and weapons.

Q---Drone question: Right click menu for assigning the drones to people to assist. Is there a way to do that faster when the fleet is large? A---He'd love to revisit that along with drone management and all those settings. They'd like to do it and he likes the point.

Q---There are ea lot of major UI changes. If major usability issues show up. Will they consider delaying the issues or will it get pushed? A---In the future after seeing what happened last time when things change they want to listen to the players more. And for the new revamps they will be putting it out on one team who can listen to the feedback and followup with a more focused attention.

Q---Corporate bookmarks: Thank you! Follow up problem: Alliance bookmarks! What the fuck? A---It is already on the backlogs.

Q---Did he ever track down who made the original corporation interface and harmed them? A---They keep those things secret for some reason.

4 comments:

  1. Extremely difficult to read for a native English speaker. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling are all fail in this article. Came looking for info about eve vegas. Left with a headache.

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    Replies
    1. English is not my native language and I could read it OK, maybe you could to if you tried harder, but i guess you must be one of those grammar Nazis I hear about.

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    2. Hey douchenozzle, if you think you could do better literally sitting there and pretty much transcribing the whole presentation, WHILE looking at the graphs/charts/videos, and trying to get the Q&A almost verbatim (look at REAL transcripts, see how "bad Engrish" they are), why don't you come on out next year and do it moar-better?

      Til then, shut the fuck up and show some appreciation for the hard work she put into this shit so you fuckers would actually get the "straight scoop" on what's going on.

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