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Dev blog: UI Modernization - Icon Strategy

First post
Author
Thoirdhealbhach
Liga der hessischen Gentlemen
#61 - 2015-02-27 01:00:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Thoirdhealbhach
The full size icons, i.e. ISIS use case, look very nice. Once they get shrunk to bracket/overview size not so much any more. As many others before me have pointed out, they are really hard to differentiate and as such not very useful.

I understand the desire to use icons, that are not just abstract boxes, circles, triangles, etc., because on the one hand, abstract icons require memorization of their meaning and on the other hand, EVE is still a game, and as such wants to and should convey a certain sci-fi style. No one wants newbies to memorize wether circles or boxes are the bigger ships, they should just be bigger...

Maybe the ship icons would be more readable if they were to be rotated 45 degrees? This way you could keep the initial design philosophy but you could also slightly enlarge the icons without distorting their general shape too much. As far as differentiation between players and NPCs is concerned: Just tilt one to the left and the others to the right (i.e. horizontal mirroring) and you are all set. With generally wedge shaped icons rotated 45 degrees you would have the added bonus that the rotation makes some more free space for those all important standing markers...

Another idea, why not keep closer to the original design of the NPCs icons and do something with star shapes with a different number of trails on each star? like this...

As a side remark: Many of those terrible icon scaling issues stem from the fact, that the main interaction/selection happens in a rather generic list box (aka "The Overview"). If the overview would be something more clever, more elegant, more adaptive to the massive differences in engagement scales, then maybe you could put those beautiful ISIS icons in their original size inside the overview.
Scythi Magellen
Marmite Archaeologists
#62 - 2015-02-27 01:11:46 UTC
Very nice from what I've seen so far. User friendly, clear...until I try it on a laptop.

I think the Dev's should play around with them on 17" monitors some more, and perhaps even smaller than that.

Also, will there *ever* be Salvage Drone II?

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin"

- The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21.

TheSmokingHertog
Julia's Interstellar Trade Emperium
#63 - 2015-02-27 01:17:50 UTC
Getting used to the new NEOCOM symbols still, but I think over time, everyone will adjust, nice work.

"Dogma is kind of like quantum physics, observing the dogma state will change it." ~ CCP Prism X

"Schrödinger's Missile. I dig it." ~ Makari Aeron

-= "Brain in a Box on Singularity" - April 2015 =-

Awkward Pi Duolus
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#64 - 2015-02-27 01:22:58 UTC
CCP have you gone absolutely insane?

Still getting used to the neocon and its undifferentiated icons.. and now you bring this? Scores of icons which look pretty similar across groups, let along within groups where there are minute differences?

The icons for drones and structures is just overkill.. see if the ship one makes any sense in the first place, before making a mess of the UI...
Noriko Mai
#65 - 2015-02-27 01:25:22 UTC
Or how about going a totaly different way and use different shapes?

"Meh.." - Albert Einstein

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#66 - 2015-02-27 01:52:47 UTC
Guess which icon is which size and which type within that size bracket.

Not saying it looks any good, but it just illustrates more ways of conveying the different axes of differentiation you're looking for. Oh, and by the way, that's the size they have to be and still be crystal clear.
Svarii
Acclimatization
#67 - 2015-02-27 02:13:29 UTC
Pretty cool. But, can you make the pod icon closer to the classic egg shape, please? IMO, it looks more like a ship than a pod now.

Does this mean you are working on the overview then? It would be nice to be able to drag the tabs apart, you know, multiple overviews.
Ghaustyl Kathix
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#68 - 2015-02-27 02:28:48 UTC
I love the new icons, but if you're going to keep this then PLEASE change the icon for wrecks. At a glance, it's harder to tell what's a ship on field and what's a wreck.
StabHore
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#69 - 2015-02-27 02:31:07 UTC
Just two comments after messing around on Sisi.

1) This is a bit of an over design for the use case. Lets not kid ourselves, no matter how awesome you make the icons, people will still have Distance, Name, and Type in their overview. Make the icons a bit more general. One icon for each class of drone (combat, sentry, ewar, fighter) Combine rookie ship, shuttle and the small frigates into just a single icon, Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, BC, then BS is all fine. Don't change the pod icon to something less descriptive, please. We all know and like the old one

2) Why does a wormhole now look like a compression array/reactor? WTF is the pos turret icon? Seriously, some icons actually worked
Firnas
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#70 - 2015-02-27 02:54:20 UTC
I don't need flipping new icons on my flipping overview because I know what all the flipping ships are.

Oh wait, an Archon is a capital? Thank you icon! Without you I'd be totally lost!
Rain6637
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#71 - 2015-02-27 03:02:31 UTC
The unique ship class icons is a huge misstep, and a missed opportunity for conveying tactical information.

The current / old cross system was nearly ideal, if the crosses were dynamic according to signature radius. Relative signature radius, even.

The new icons are also redundant, since ship name is another overview column in itself.

While redundant, they also fall short of the ship name column (and are no improvement over current crosses) because you can't distinguish between cruisers as Heavy Interdictors, Heavy Assault, Logistics, T3, Recons.

This is a jumble.

If you make the icons bloat in size according to signature radius bloom (due to target painters or MWD use), that would be a step in the right direction.

The other icons are fine enough, but the ship icons being made different... while it's technically correct, you've just made things more confusing.

My assessment of this update is you have once again taken a step backwards in the name of form over function.
PAPULA
Some Assembly Required.
#72 - 2015-02-27 03:25:23 UTC
I think these new icons are totally not necessary. Current icons are ok, very good readable and understandable.
New stuff is just too much of it, it is very confusing, and my eyes hurt from looking at those.
Roll
Rain6637
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#73 - 2015-02-27 03:43:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Rain6637
If ship icons were dynamic in showing things like siege, triage, bastion, or industrial core active, as well as bubble generator (hictors), thennn the new icons are worth having. EVE can be more than a pretty version of Excel, but you consistently fail to interpret information in list form.

You get as far as arranging data as a list or some other shape (hexagons of Opportunities Map), but then you stop short of assimilating that data...

EVE's UI design is stuck in the lowest level of Bloom's Taxonomy (Knowledge / Regurgitation / LISTS). You need to get to Synthesis somehow.
Shuckstar
Blue Dreams Plus
#74 - 2015-02-27 03:49:50 UTC
Please add colour to the Icons and make them more distinguishable especially the sidebar one's there still doing my head in since they was changed. Even now I still click the wrong sidebar icons as some are too similar to others in the same bar.

Or allow us to add our own shape's and colour to the icons ourselves just like we do corp logo's.

CCP Greyscale wrote:"OK, I've read every post up to page 200, and we're getting to a point in this thread where there's not a lot of new concerns or suggestions being brought up. There will be future threads (and future blogs) as we tune details, but for now I want to thank you for all of your constructive input, and wish you a good weekend :)"

Rain6637
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#75 - 2015-02-27 03:57:09 UTC
^allowing us to customize our icons with player made vectorizations would be kind of awesome.
Jenshae Chiroptera
#76 - 2015-02-27 04:01:36 UTC
Please fix the icons you broke CCP.

CCP - Building ant hills and magnifying glasses for fat kids

Not even once

EVE is becoming shallow and puerile; it will satisfy neither the veteran nor the "WoW" type crowd in the transition.

Rain6637
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#77 - 2015-02-27 04:03:37 UTC
Hey there CSM hopeful, a quick image link would save time for everyone interested in your post.
Jenshae Chiroptera
#78 - 2015-02-27 04:05:48 UTC
Rain6637 wrote:
Hey there CSM hopeful, a quick image link would save time for everyone interested in your post.
It has an image in it and I made these requests on the first page of the feedback thread.

The general response is, "Takes time, you will get used to it." Months later, they are still annoying me constantly.

CCP - Building ant hills and magnifying glasses for fat kids

Not even once

EVE is becoming shallow and puerile; it will satisfy neither the veteran nor the "WoW" type crowd in the transition.

Lelira Cirim
Doomheim
#79 - 2015-02-27 04:32:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Lelira Cirim
You can "convey" information but I don't think "transporting" it is an acceptable synonym in this case. /grammarpolice
The battleship icon is exactly the shape that CrazyRussianHacker says to cut watermelon slices. /omnomnom
R.I.P. Shooting Red Crosses? /ihasasad
I think the use of military stripes is pretty clever. /notkidding
Moar NPC Titans pls. /alsonotkidding
I also can't wait for the first animations of EVE fights resembling classic arcade Asteroids. /pewpew.
This new UI scheme has roots, baby. Only vector-based video games survived the Gate collapse. /magnavox

Do not actively tank my patience.

Trinkets friend
Sudden Buggery
Sending Thots And Players
#80 - 2015-02-27 04:45:46 UTC
I think this change is necessary, but you've ignored Robert Downey Junior's advice on winning Oscars here.

I have been expecting this move from CCP for the last couple of years, and it's good you are getting around to distinguishing, eg, destroyers, cruisers and battlecruisers, and battleships, dreads and carriers within those groups.

The problem you have is that you are using SIZE to distinguish the ships, not iconography. Remember - an ICON is a representative shape which the user recognises as having a particular meaning or function. In, for example, the toolbar above the text box for posting upon this here forum, the icon for BOLD is a bold B, italics is an Italic I, and Underline is a capital U with said underline.

You are NOT distinguishing these icons by sizing. No one would accept as a sensible foray into iconography that Bold is b, Italics is a B and italics is B.

Therefore what is the value of creating icons for frigates which are so small that eyesight problems, screen resolution choices, hardware choices (some monitors and screens don't go the whole way, or GPU's are incapable of max horsepower 1980++ resolution) will render the distinction between frigates and destroyers basically meaningless.

Admit it, you just googled up 'iconography for dummies' on the interwebs, spent 20 minutes skimming the book, and made a hash job of designing icons, and ended up with as said above, Space invaders.

Sadly, I believe you'll just go right ahead and make life terrible for everyone just like with Neocom icons have. It's been months and I still get confused between the bloody ship fitting icon, the contacts icon because they are too bloody similar from the corner of my eye (and for the record, twin 27" monitors and max res).

I cannot fathom how you think that the frigate, rookie ship and capsule icons could possibly be distingishable at either small-screen resolution on laptops, or at the other end of the scale as a tiny red/white dot in a list of other tiny red/white dots.

You need to divorce yourself from the ego and pride invested in your work with ISIS, and begin moving to icons for ships that are completely distinguishable from one another by shape, versus size.

e; frigate = triangle
destroyer = square
cruiser = open diamond
battlecruiser = solid diamond
battleship = hexagon (blops or marauder = solid)
capital = star (filled = carrier, empty = dread)
supercarrier = open circle
titan = filled circle

HOW SIMPLE IS THAT?

Further, your drone icons are going to be basically useless. For a start, no one uses anything except DPS or ECM drones 99% of the time. It's irrelevant from a gameplay perspective to know whether someone is using hull bots, armour bots, or shield bots. No one, ever, says "Shoot his armour bots but leave those hull bots alone!"

ECM drones and utility drones are too rarely seen for me to lose sleep or pay attention to what the crap they are. medium SD drones? hahahaha. Who cares, you may as well make trollface.jpg the icon because if anyone uses them they are a fool and are dying to your rifter.

You risk putting too many arcane icons into a game and causing intense confusion and attention-sapping annoyance.

Right now, if drones are launched i mouseover them to see what they are (DPS usually hobgoblin II, hammerhead II, Warrior II or Valkyrie II and heavies are almost always Geckos; ECM is always either Hornet EC-300 or Vespa EC-600) and that's that. I don't need to have visual information in my eyes which my brain struggles to comprehend because it's a tiny drone with an inward-facing wiggle and a round or is it square or is it triangular thingy, and then it's got a red plus or an orange plus.

Blergh. Sorry - too convoluted and unneccessary and hence this undermines the whole purpose which is to convey information in a visual format that is easy to understand at a glance. Drones are drones are drones.

The part of the whole iconography for dummies book you apparently didn't read was the part where it said "If there are too many icons, in this case, over 200 before you even get to structures, then the system breaks down."

Finally - pods are eggs. Leave it alone.