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[DE]Pablo

Why Do We UI Like We UI?

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Have you thought of maybe not wasting 50% of the screen with empty space? That would be a nice rework, if we could actually see the things we wanted instead of having to open a screen to hover over an icon to see one thing at a time.

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Well, i guess different schools of design teach different things...

Because UX where i've learned it, basically boils down to giving people information in the least clicks possible.
The abilities screen, kinda works, but, the market is bad UX. The Squad interface, with the moving Start/Cancel buttons, is so poorly built in terms of UX that i've lost count how many times me or someone in a squad i'm in accidentally left the squad because of the Cancel button moving into the "start" button's position when someone rushes the start. Great UX!

Seriously, your design, from the art standpoint is pretty good, but don't start preaching about UX. Because UX is User Experience. And when your users are reporting a bad experience, You failed at it. No further argument required.

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1 hour ago, --Q--Angitia said:

Have you thought of maybe not wasting 50% of the screen with empty space? That would be a nice rework, if we could actually see the things we wanted instead of having to open a screen to hover over an icon to see one thing at a time.

This screenshot sums up this problem pretty well:

unknown.png

Most of this page has nothing to do with Ninkondi Prime. I see more Nova Prime than the item I am intending to seek information on.

These proposed changes, especially to the end mission screen focus on appearance instead of practicality.

Showing names on items and amounts of items in a results screen is key. Imagine doing ESO and extracting and your Saryn just has the Focus symbol next to it with absolutely no information on how much Focus you gained or for which school. ESO is a great example as it drops Radiant Relics. If you saw 4 different Radiant Lith Relics without names, you would see the same image 4 times separated as they are all different. This isn't great design, and it's been a point of feedback since the very first UI changes.

It seems we are going with extra clicks to see basic information because it would look "better" when "looking better" would be defined as seeing basic information without extra clicks.

Visual appearance is important, but functionality needs to come first.

Edited by Voltage
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  • why would you think a Player only wants to know the names of the Abilities when they go to the Abilities menu? this isn't a memory match game, you use the Abilities and ofcourse the Player is going there to see the Stats of their Abilities and/or a Description of what it does.
    • having the real estate to show base/current next to each other is good but.... we traded this feature for having to spend just as much time anyways Tooltipping the Abilities and so is it even any different? you still have to go and select something, that's the same as clicking a button.
  • not having to open more stacked menus every time you do something is good, so information on right side will help combat the eons old problem of stacking sometimes close to a dozen menus on top of each other.
  • instead of hold to confirm, the prompts could just.... actually look different? they all look the same now. if you wanted people to not make mistakes, make the menus actually look different. errors or important notifications having alert icons or things of that sort, and generic low importance messages as minimal as possible or also maybe just delete them entirely.
  • will we finally get one button to recall and send out Drones to where they already were? that's the QoL that Extractors need, a one button to cycle all.
  • that End of Mission looks cute, but it's hiding even more information with longer scroll bars.
    • if you want a flashy looking Mission report, just have all of the Stats on a second tab, if you really gotta insist on hiding information as often as possible.
      • again, more information hidden. the various XP bars that are on this example of an end of Mission report - you have to scroll even more than we do now to see the stuff there.
    • this Mission report menu even shows why hiding item labels doesn't work in this game. those Prime Parts that the Player got - what even are they? we can tell they're Parts to something, but without words, there's no way to know how much.

even if every single item in the game had a unique icon, there would still be no reason to hide the name of it. all that means is that if a Player doesn't know what something is yet or forgot..... they have to waste time Tooltipping it.
you're supposed to limit the needs for a user to Tooltip things in a User Interface, and make the information they're looking for more apparent, not the opposite.
this is ironic actually, because hiding the names of items, literally increases the overwhelming nature of the User Interface to a new Player, because they see the game expects them to already know what everything is, because ofcourse you would.

 

on a brighter note, in that end of Mission report example, i think it would stand out more and be easier to spot at a glance if instead of a couple arrows pointing at it, to just put a rectangle box around it. since the idea is to make the highlighted item stand out as much as possible, with the simplest possible indication.

Edited by taiiat
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Maybe I'm not being thoughtful enough, but I really don't care if icons or stats are overwhelming to new players. It's something that we have all had to learn to deal with at one point or another, and over time they've become vital to how I play the game.

Quickly seeing the information that I desire at a glance is just so much more convenient than having to scroll over tabs or click on sub menus. It's tedium just for the sake of making things look pretty. At least give us a toggle or something so players that want the detailed stats front and center can use them.

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That mission results screen seems way too crowded. Maybe it would be better if it worked like the index/rathuum/sanctuary results screen, with multiple sliders. If I want to look at my mods, I want to see only mods, not blueprints or whatever else I picked; likewise for everything else.

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There are a lot of UI changes that are simple fixes that can really help players.

A very simple one is adding the option to go to the arsenal to change loadouts or your setup from the navigation screen.
I've lost count of how many times I've had to spam ESC to change something, especially when I'm doing my daily sortie.

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2 minutes ago, taiiat said:

we can tell they're Parts to something, but without words, there's no way to know how much.

This also compounds for new players, who likely don't know what the icons even are in the first place. How are people supposed to learn the icons if they don't see the names of them right on them? It's less of an issue for experienced players (and Pablo even admits that he himself goes by the icons) so I feel like this side of things isn't even being considered.

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Item labels being able to be turned off at all, is idiotic. The goal of any UI is too deliver information to the player, not hide it in the options menu where most players will miss it. If you go into a ducat station at any relay, and open it up it is impossible to tell what piece is what. I understand some people at DE want their nice clean UI, but it is starting to become a detriment to the game.

Every time Brozime goes on one of his completely justified UI rants, and mentions the Item Labels toggle, there are always dozens of people in his chat popping in with "That exists?" and "Why isn't it on by default?"

Form is good, but not at the detriment of function.

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Can you at least please put an indicator for Vaulted relics and also relics that are out from the prime vault temporarily? i would like to not have to look at the rewards of each relic just to figure out which of the hundreds we have just to see which are vaulted and which are not. 

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I know they're all a work in progress, but if you're looking for feedback then as others have already pointed out, the new End-of-mission screen cannot roll through without the item names being present. Seeing a Chassis or a Systems there doesn't help me at all if I need to hover over it to see who it belongs to. This would make Relic runs in particular quite annoying for anybody keeping track of what they obtained and what they still need

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Also, the core issue is that DE wants to keep the same UI for console / PC players, which means that their major player base has to lose out and be forced to experience simplified UI.

I get console players need easy to access options with their controller, but you are doing a major dis-service to PC players.

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36 minutes ago, [DE]Pablo said:

90% of our items have very recognizable icons...

the other 10% is not so great

Considering the sheer number of relics, prime parts, and weapon parts, I find this hard to believe. Both in terms of unique items in the game and what the average player has in their inventory, at least 40% of the inventory is going to appear as one of 4 relic icons, one of 3 prime warframe part icons, one of 3 warframe part icons, one of 6 prime weapon part icons, or one of 4(?) weapon part icons. This is even worse if one turns on 'Only Sellable'.

 

 

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@[DE]Pablo You've probably heard people say that you need to play Warframe with the wiki open on your phone (or just alt-tab to it). Part of it is the NPE (and Warframe in general) being bad at explaining things, but part of it is the UI, whose biggest problem is that it hides information.

To use some of your own examples...

  1. If I actually go to the Abilities screen (instead of the wiki) I do that because I can see how various abilities are affected by mods without busting out a calculator. It's its only advantage over the wiki, because it doesn't give you complete numerical information about the abilities - for example, Nova's screen doesn't tell you that Molecular Prime is capped at 145% Power Strength for the speed debuff; it tells you that Whipclaw is affected by melee weapon mods (in a tip, hidden behind ten Tab presses), but not which. Et cetera. What's worse, it hides all of the relevant information behind either mouse hovers or Tabs.
    Bottom line: screen is not informative at a glance and not informative enough.
  2. The tooltips in the Arsenal are nice, because they remove the need to open another screen. The tooltips being e.g. in the Market Screen are a massive pain in the arse. If I open a weapon's (or a frame's) Market page, I want to know three things: its stats; where can I get it; and its Plat price (if I want to waste Plat). As it is right now I have to waste time playing "where's Waldo" with that information, and there's a whole lot of empty space just being wasted in that screen, all because of this tooltip "it's too overwhelming" idea.
  3. Keeping labels off (and having the setting hidden in a menu) is a 100% stupid idea. I want to be able to tell what things are in a glance. I don't want to have to go looking for that info in the settings menu's armpit.
  4. The new EoM screen looks nice, but believe me when I say that without item labels it'll be useless. And don't even think about removing item numbers from there. That's absolute idiocy. I need to know how far I am from the 15 Argon that that Railjack part needs.
  5. Why does the Codex default to the Quests section? I never go there. The most-used screen is the Universe one, where you actually get relevant information (mods, weapons, enemies, etc).

TL;DR UI is here to give me information, so don't hide it behind tooltips or tabs or a million key presses. Function is more important than form.

Edited by [DE]Helen
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One big issue that hasn't really been touched on yet, regarding all of the reworks, is that the majority of these new screens completely fail on consoles where we have to use a simulated mouse.  Trying to move the cursor halfway across the screen to click something just to be forced to move it once again halfway the other direction is a complete pain.  Not to mention that the trigger shortcuts for incrementing and decrementing quantities have been removed, forcing us to try and move that cursor to an extremely small button to accomplish the exact same thing.

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It is good that the UI is regularly reviewed to balance information overload (which is a genuine concern) with wise use of screen real estate. As is already apparent, streamlining content behind hover is only really productive when UI space is at a premium, but this is generally not the case.

There is in fact a massive amount of space wasted. This is magnified to an extreme degree on very high resolution or ultrawide monitors. The UI constraint is basically an irrelevance as precious little is actually constrained, due to the layers used. Yes some items will reposition to remain inside the constraint, most do not due to the age of some elements and the layering of.

I think the combination of waste space versus UI placement and use of generic iconography is one of the crazier aspects of Warframe. Pablo, its clear yourself and DE in general are putting a lot of thought into this, but it is undone to a degree by burying just about everything below hover elements, duplicating iconography and having a number of older UI elements ignore any hud boundary creating this sense of waste space.

I am of the certainty that none of this is simple, or academic in nature to determine. Good UI design is almost an oxymoron by defition. But more considered use of space (rather than what does or doesn't fill it) and placement of elements within defined boundaries can go a huge way. Implicetly knowing an element will always be in a given location on the screen, surfacing relevant information to reduce iconography confusion, respecting HUD boundaries (which makes ultrawide and other aspect ratios work) is well worth pursuing if you can.

I would echo commentary regards what is shown versus what is buried. But I do sense that wiser use of available space, predictability of placement and looking into what people are actually generally looking at from a navigation function are pretty vital. I would not mind having a box I can check that enables deeper monitoring of UI use (for a period of time at least) if it helped DE gauge more broadly what people actually interact with in the game, if it leads to smarter use of elements, iconography and flow.

Sorry about the length of this post, Warframe has a long history with a UI history to match, and UI design is the work of the debil, so you are a brave individual to take it on! But the payoff for players is immense. So for that I thank you.

Edited by kofeyh
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Removing clutter is one thing, but archiving this desired outcome by hiding information behind more and more inputs (mouse clicks, cursor hovers, key press) is not good UX. The worst offender in hiding behind additional inputs are the Railjack weapons. Not only do you have to hover the respective weapon, you have to press Tab to get to the information that you need to make a educated decision. Instead you get flavour text and you have to repeat the same input each time you look at another weapon, making the whole deal very tiresome if you have to compare many weapons against each other.

You guys are talking about a dialog between the player and the game. At the moment that dialog is more like the player being a detective, having to pry vital information out of the game by asking more and more questions instead of getting the wanted information the first time he or she asks the game. To put it other words, at this point the game is constantly dodging the question by showing irrelevant information, like a kid that got caught stealing candy by the mother figure.

TL;DR: The current new UI is a shore rather than a tool that is willing to give players the information that they actually need to make meaningful and educated  decisions.

Edited by BrainInBlack
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I could write a whole dissertation on how astronomically bad the Warframe UX is, but basically

1. Upgrade the Mods UI already and make it consistent. 

2. Upgrade the Forge UI already and make it consistent

3. Who the hell approved those completely awful horizontal inventories!?

4. Fix the SC SCAPI

5. Make scrollbars bigger for mouse users

Edited by notNSANE
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37 minutes ago, Arkennstar said:

While overwhelming UI is a bit of a problem, its far less of a problem than inconvenience and wasted time needed to sift through unnecessary stages of a UI.

You ever try to play EVE Online? I noped out of that game because of the deluge of information. "Paralysis from analysis." The more familiar we get, the more it's nice to have the information there.. but until then, early on we couldn't make use of it all anyways, and it can give players the impression that they are either stupid and unwelcome.

So I had a thought: What if our UI could develop as we level our mastery rank? Always have the option for More information through the options, but only inundate a new player with as much as we find they're able to process comfortably. A truncated UI early on that develops with our understanding of the game. Much in the same way we introduce players to their ship segments.. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Though, we do have players that are More confused with their ship, because they can't access features they've heard of or expect, early on. ..Thus, an option for more details any time the player is ready for it will always be welcome.

tl;dr Level up the complexity our UI with our profile, unless we choose it to be more or less complex at any time.
 

Edited by kapn655321
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The new UI is a great example of form over function. It hides the information that used to be available immediately behind mouseovers. Minor information such as abilities tips is fine, but when you enter the store or ability screen it gets worse. What I expect from a UI is to show me useful information in an accessible way, currently you focus more on presenting dioramas rather than the information.

I would understand if dioramas were useful, but I can't even rotate them manually. Not to mention item preview is inconsistent in itself. If you want to present art then you can at least make it interactive so I can look what the weapon looks like, rather than have the camera rotate around it automatically.

As for item labels, having a choice to turn them off is fine. However, having them off by default is not fine. I doubt players would like to memorize icons when they can just read the label. As mentioned  above, the UI is not a guessing game. There is really no point in innovating or finding weird solutions for this, just have them on and if someone decides they don't need labels, they can turn them off. Basic functionalities like this shouldn't be off.

49 minutes ago, [DE]Pablo said:

b25e3cfd2b562d17ab311ec8cba22780.png

See? This screen here not only doesn't show what parts dropped, it also hides how many credits and resources we have.

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I appreciate the explanation of how you approach things. I confess, however, that I think the approach needs to be re-approached.

The default approach to current Warframe UI design - hiding information and then grudgingly giving it back to us one letter at a time - is completely backwards for a game this number- and detail-based. Numbers, amounts, and names-of-things are utterly essential to have right in front of you at all times. It's bad UX, no matter how pretty the UI becomes (and as far as the diorama thing - scrap it. I know what all the warframes look like. Use that space for information). 

People who are overwhelmed, frankly, will learn to cope. You did. I did. My fifteen friends who are betting on it did. 

Edited by Ham_Grenabe
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51 minutes ago, [DE]Pablo said:

These two are generally the forces that pull us in opposite directions. On rare occasions, you can find some solutions that make a screen less overwhelming, without having to lower the amount of information displayed at once, but for the most part, these are two conflicting objectives.

The compromise we arrived at to try and circle this square, was to use a variant of progressive disclosure, which in practice means we add more information, but put it behind rollovers or clicks.

Why compromise, and insist on trying to partially accommodate everyone with a reduced-information single screen and mouseovers?

Please give us the option to avoid mouseovers and mousehold.
Whether it be a checkbox on each screen, or settings buried in Options, or even a theme that costs platinum and displays more data.

I like information immediately available for comparison, and much prefer not needing to chase invisible mouseover boxes, or keep a hand braced to maintain mouse button hold for actions that do not have keyboard shortcuts. Simple and Fresh get old very, very quickly where they make extra work.

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