There are a few things that I don't like about the UI.
1) Pop Ups
They are everywhere. Pop-Ups are, as User Interface Designers can probably tell you, evil. They take away the users control of the application, making him feel helpless and explosed to the desires of the machine instead the other way around. Use them only if absolutely necessary, e.g. the user must make a decision _now_ or nothing can continue.
When my BO reports me that I just arrived in a new system, I don't need a pop-up. If another ship is entering sensor range, I don't need a pop-up.
It makes sense that my Bridge Officer immediately wants to report "new ship incoming" but he wouldn't stand up from his post, stand up before me, and wave to ensure he got my attention and then scream at me "SHip Incoming, Sir. It's..blablabla". Since we don't have voice overs, we will have to make due with visual cues, but a message appearing in my UI giving a short description and a new button to call the message would suffice.
2) Power Trays.
a) Why is there no 3 row option or at least 10 column action together with the Bridge Officer displays? There are more powers available to a captain then fit into any of the combinations, and this won't get better with new player abilities from higher ranks! Why does the 10-column long option remove so many of the other controls?
b) Powers icons do not distinguish between ranks. Some powers are too similar (e.g. RSP and EPtS)
3) Mini-Map Menu. The drop-down thingy is annoying. The symbols are too small and don't really give me a clue what they are supposed to me. Consider making the menu a full sidebar that has two display mdoes - icons only, or icons + text. Some people have large enough displays to afford all that, some don't.
4) HUD customization. I love that i tis possible to move everything. But why do you just show vague green outlines of the controls? Why not use the actual, current controls (or at least their full size). There is always an unecessary amount of guesttimating involved now when arranging the HUD.
5) Targeting. Trying to click a target out of a "populated area" is very error-prone. Often you suddenly get allies or deployables instead of enemies.
6) Why is there no UI to have at least some control over deployables (turrets, carrier fighters etc.)? Even if we could just switch between "attack X" and "retreat" the usability would be a lot higher.
Anyone else has some issues he has with the state of the UI? Any suggestions how to fix things?
I wish we'd be able to reshape the BO power bar into a more vertical layout. Each BO's powers would be a line, and I could move the BO power box over to the right to get more of a sidebar going on the right side of the screen under the minimap.
And could we turn off the xp bar? I don't care about xp when I'm capped!
1- The mini map is useful to anyone that does not play this game. It would be nice on my big three display set up if I could make a larger mini-map. Instead it is made for some one who is using a monitor built back in 1978.
2 - The interactive button - Why does the interactive button have to be so big? When your trying to talk to people at Quarks or Drozana, you have this big ugly button going halfway across the screen that says 'press F key to activate' A small button on the mini-map would suffice.
3- the annoying pop up window that tells me the mission is complete and prevents me from getting the final 5th anomaly in the wonderful new interactive game is annoying. I do not know about most folks, but I use the arrow keys n the key board to adjust the wave. Then the stupid pop-up window comes up and blocks my ability to use the arrow keys and then it blocks the entire wave form tool. This is really annoying. I agree with the first guy about pop up menu's. When you go into the enemy confrontation mission, you have to hit like 8 popup menus before you can get to the action.
Cant the guy just call you in the chat window. And the pop-up window does tell me anything that I don't already know. It is like the guy giving you suggestions about enemy contacts or shield is down after the fact. I already know that they are hostile since they are shooting at me.
4- The emotes are annoying and aggravating. Many times you're trying to carry on a conversation and a window will pop up and take the cursor off, and you end up opening 80 windows and the guy starts running.
5- I would like the chat to be able to work with my language bar on my PC. I can write in Greek and Latin. I have meet many people in the game who speak Greek. The game chat cannot for whatever reason write Greek characters. I can write in Greek in every application on my computer but the game. I see people writing in German and French.
6- Why does the mini map menu have to have 1000 windows to open. Why can't you hit one button and it opens one window and I pick the tab I want to use. Why does my decision have to be what someone i don't know has picked for me. The U/I for this game seems to be just the same U/I for Champions, which all seems identical to World of ********.
7- Not sure if this is a U/I option, but why did the limit landing parties to 5 people like in WoW? In City of Heroes, the UI could handle 8 people. This seems to be a better fit for STO. A standard landing party in Star Trek is 6 people. This is why a Standard transporter room has 6 pads on it.
8- The UI should have the ability to change out your bridge officers on the ground. Since, the pop up menu gives you useless information about the enemy forces on the ground. And for some reason with a fancy starship, you're always surprised by a enemy with inferior technology. It would be nice if I could use my communicator to change out my landing party. The 30 sec they give you to read three pop up menus is sometimes not enough time to figure out if I need 1 medic or more, or 1 engineer or more, or 1 tactical or more.
9- Instead of giving Boff's a separate set of skills for the ground we should be able to just change out their kits.
10- The should write a on screen manual for the game that explains how complicated skills, weapons, equipment and any other feature of the game works properly. It is very annoying that all the information you have on the game all comes from other players who do not really know what the real ideal of a skill of other game mechanic is suppose to work like. The is a help tool, but it is not helpful. The list of bugs is filled with form letters and responses that does not really say what is a bug. With the modern age of desktop publishing providing an manual for how the game works on the UI would be a real help.
This way I dont have to spend 9 months guessing if something works right to learn, I have been doing all wrong to begin with. I think if the people making the tools actually sat down to write an instruction manual and update it, there would be less problems with the game.
11- I wish the UI was set up so you could wear clothes. I find the tailor system here to be awful. Why can't I wear off duty items with on duty items. Why doesn't the costume slot just let you pick to make it either on duty of off-duty. If I want to walk around bare footed, I should be able to. Why do I have to go to a tailor to change out my hairstyle.
I should be able with the UI to adjust my hair and it should be free. Why do I have to pay a tailor 1,200 EC's to wear my hair long or put it up in a ponytail or bun. It is like the whole fashion system here is design by some one who is fat, bald, and never fixed their hair in a mirror. For us ladies, we should have a powder room or bathroom nearby we can go to fix our hair. you click on the mirror and I can change out my hair. It should really be a button with a hair brush on it that open a window anywhere so you can fix your hair.
Why do they have ugly shoes and boots in the game? I do not understand how City of Heroes has these awesome shoes and boots, and Champions Online and Star Trek has these awful boots and shoes. And why can't I change them out on the fly. I should have a shoe closet on my ship, where I can change out my shoes and boots. I should be able to change from slippers to sandals to boots. It seems like the boots were design by someone who wears the same sneakers everyday that they bought at Wal-mart.
Why didn't they design a skirt like they are in real life. Where it's an accessory. Again this seems to be design by someone who has no idea what an accessory is nor what they are used for. I think they should hire a real fashion designer for the clothes and not someone who thinks they are one.
I get really annoyied in the gather data missions where you scan annomalies. After scanning the last one, the Science officer pipes up in the middle of the waveform mini-game, cauing me to almost always fail to match the wave form. In a similat vein, after destroying the last ship for a mission, the Tactical officer wants me to warp out before I even have a chance to pick up the items the ship or defeated ground enemy has dropped. I would like more wait time between the kill, and the message so that I have a chance to collect the goodies.
My number one pet-peeve is that it's not LCARS or even a tacky rip-off. This is Star Trek, not Random Space Opera MMO Number 3. I consider this a massive oversight of the designers. It's such a no-brainer to incorporate LCARS design into the GUI that it doesn't speak highly of their design processes.
LCARS isn't a perfect or even particularly good GUI design, but again, this is Star Trek and I want to have a Star Trek experience when playing this game. The Pendra modification which changes the terminal displays in ESD and elsewhere, is such a massive improvement that I find myself utterly stupefied as to why they would neglect to use proper LCARS GUI's not only for the terminals in game but for the interactive GUI.
My second pet peeve about the GUI is the random alterations it makes. And the non-random ones too. Whenever I change a weapon, I find a weapon icon in the power tray. This is one of those, "here, look, we can be helpful!" things that actually translates to, "******n this is annoying, I wish it would stop," epitomised by the Microsoft Word paperclip guy. Then there are the random ones where I'll go to press a button and suddenly find it's not there or replaced with something else that doesn't even HAVE a button, like, "Champion of the Empire" accolade.
Those help tips that pop up in the orange window all through the tutorial and every single time you approach certain locations afterwards. There really, really needs to be a way to disable those, if there already is one, it needs to be easier to find. After a while it's just irritating, not to mention a little insulting to peoples intelligence to assume they need constant reminders about the most basic things.
My particular desires, cut and paste from a rant on another thread, plus a few extras
1) Please shell your interface in a Lua engine, even if it's a restricted one. The sheer popularity of the ability to mod the interface cannot be ignored... and there's a value cycle there as well, as can be noticed by Blizz slowly rolling some of the mods into the default interface. An entire community helping you design your own interfaces is something that cannot be bought
2) If you can't do that, then at least make your borders smaller, or better yet give them the ability to fade out. Huge amounts of real-estate taken up by huge borders and giant tab buttons and little coloured bits, the majority of which are rarely used.
Can I suggest taking away your QA people's top-end machines and 23" monitors, and instead making them test usability on ancient machines running with 14" CRT monitors
If it's usable on that, then we should be good with the average 17"
Jokes aside... this is a very pretty game. Stop hiding it behind buttons.
3) At least give the chat box an invisible border, and change the controls into a drop-down/pop-out/some form of menu that's hidden. And let us change the font size. And all of the button sizes.
4) Why are there ten levels of buttons, when we can only display three? Are we likely to have 100 ablities at some point in the future? Will you allow us to display all of them? I certainly hope not.
Shell the interface in a scripting tool (again, I recommend Lua), let us move each button bar around individually, and give us a bit of scripting access to the buttons... even if it's just the ability to click a button and it runs through a list of commands until it reaches one that isn't greyed out/on cooldown. That way we can hide lots of abilities behind one.
5) Sizes again. I want to be able to shrink my power levels box when I want to, and stick it in the corner. I want a toolbar with big buttons that I click a lot, and one with smaller buttons that I don't click due to keybinds, or click rarely, but still want to see on the screen.
6) Again, as an alternative... put everything behind a dropdown or pop-up or slide-out menu, and let us choose what we want to drag onto the screen and keep there permanently. Let us drag it off the menu, position somewhere on a screen, and then right-click 'lock' it in place. Rightclick could then have a little menu that let us lock, switch to autofire, set a keybinding, etc.
7) More sorting options for the 'hail starfleet' button, and more sorting options for the quest log. Please let me hide quests I don't want to do now, or at least remember drill-down menus so I can close them away without dropping them. Clutter is bad, mkay?
8) This is more a bug than a design flaw, and I think someone else mentioned it, but still... make the orange box remember to go away after it's been read. Every time I level I get told about how to mod my skills. By VA, I think I know Also, the info box in Sirius sector.
9) Can we keep the interaction buttons tucked away in the corner, or at least give us a placement option? It's so neat there during combat, and then suddenly this huge button in the middle of the screen. Make them shimmer or something if people are not seeing them?
10) Another bug... at the end of the 'scan five anomalies' mission there last loot box is covered by the 'Your mission is done' dialog. You gotta 'continue exploring', then loot, then open the dialog again, then depart the sector. Small but peeving.
11) Since everything else has been negative, I'd like to say thank you for making all weapons autofire instead of just two. It is teh awesome, and makes space combat more fun