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Dev blog: UI Modernization - Icon Strategy

First post
Author
Dangeresque Too
Pistols for Pandas
#261 - 2015-03-03 15:06:48 UTC
Geanos wrote:
Looking into the already existing "Type" column, I can see at a glance all the extra critical information that I need. Like I said, except for shooting NPC crosses, when the "Type" column duplicates the "Name" column, the "Type " column gives us all the extra info we need. What CCP needs to do is to replace the DB entries for NPC's in that column. Please try the "Type" column outside missions or complexes and you'll see what I mean.
I have been trying to get this through to them from the start of this thread and the generalized feedback thread.

I understand they need to standardize player and NPC ship icons, but if they are going to do that they need to also standardize player and NPC "Overview" column information, like "Type".
CCP Surge
C C P
C C P Alliance
#262 - 2015-03-03 21:14:31 UTC
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. Especially with regards to redundancy in the Type column as well as decluttering the already-dense icon space as it currently stands.

While I can't promise a full overhaul, I can also sympathize with the position that the ISIS icons were an inappropriate base to start with, since the requirements for those icons when they were first created were wholly different. It's a well-reasoned argument with form follows function at its core, which prioritizes raw gameplay functionality over holistic unified look concerns. It's a valid point to keep in mind and I'll certainly bring it up at our next design meeting and see what people think!

In the meantime, here's the official thread for the mass test of these schedule for Thursday, March 5th, at 17:00 UTC
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5544670#post5544670

Please log in and give us your impressions from seeing the icons in action. The more feedback we get the more it will help inform our next steps with these.
Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#263 - 2015-03-03 21:29:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Dersen Lowery
I have a great deal of sympathy for your situation, CCP Surge: you're trying to shoehorn a large amount of functionality into a 19x18 pixel square that's a small part of a hopelessly overloaded UI widget.

The problem isn't the icons you designed, which are very well done. The problem is that icons that size went out of common use in, what, 1995? And when they did, the pixels they were made of were much larger.

I'd recommend setting aside the pretty vector work and making something that you can cram into the overview until you and your colleagues can tackle the real problem, which is the overview.

[edit: Ninja'd!]

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

epicurus ataraxia
Illusion of Solitude.
Illusion of Solitude
#264 - 2015-03-03 23:41:05 UTC
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. Especially with regards to redundancy in the Type column as well as decluttering the already-dense icon space as it currently stands.

While I can't promise a full overhaul, I can also sympathize with the position that the ISIS icons were an inappropriate base to start with, since the requirements for those icons when they were first created were wholly different. It's a well-reasoned argument with form follows function at its core, which prioritizes raw gameplay functionality over holistic unified look concerns. It's a valid point to keep in mind and I'll certainly bring it up at our next design meeting and see what people think!

In the meantime, here's the official thread for the mass test of these schedule for Thursday, March 5th, at 17:00 UTC
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5544670#post5544670

Please log in and give us your impressions from seeing the icons in action. The more feedback we get the more it will help inform our next steps with these.


It is very refreshing, that you are willing to question assumptions made earlier in the design process, and that you understand our concerns, and are considering them with an open mind. Please consider function as your primary design goal, and whilst we all enjoy interesting and artistic ideas, functionality is the overriding goal.

We all wish the same result, clear, informative information, delivered in an attractive way.

I was impressed with the links to military design earlier in the thread where they spent thousands of man hours investigating this issue.
It may be worth drawing ideas from this to save limited resources, to achieve the best for all of EVE.

Once again, Thank you.

There is one EvE. Many people. Many lifestyles. WE are EvE

Onslaughtor
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#265 - 2015-03-04 00:58:16 UTC
After taking some time to play with it, I find that frigates are too hard to differentiate from cruisers. But noobships stick out like a sore thumb. It might be worth looking into rolling the noobship icon into the frigate more. Wider sides and the likes.

The other one was that the dreadnought icon is very close to the battleship icon. one solution might be to do whats done with the carrier. Remove a section so its a diamond sitting in a cradle.

Anyway thats my 2 cents. Hope it helps some
.
RavenNyx
Tax 'n Death
#266 - 2015-03-04 01:56:59 UTC
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. [...]

Awesome. :)

Now that you're here, could you please comment on the consistency of the icons? Why do mining frigates have one icon, while haulers (T1+T2) and mining barges share one? Why are there two separate icons for fighters and fighter bombers, when there's no separate icons for the launch-platform - why are drones suddenly all that important on the overview? etc. (see more here - previous post in this thread)

Also, anything more solid on when POS-modules are re-worked? And, how about player deployables?
Rain6637
NulzSec
#267 - 2015-03-04 02:49:39 UTC
Pretty big missed opportunity in not making icons reflect module states such as Siege, Triage, Bastion, Industrial Core, Warfare Links, and now Entosis.
Dangeresque Too
Pistols for Pandas
#268 - 2015-03-04 04:09:56 UTC
RavenNyx wrote:
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. [...]

Awesome. :)

Now that you're here, could you please comment on the consistency of the icons? Why do mining frigates have one icon, while haulers (T1+T2) and mining barges share one? Why are there two separate icons for fighters and fighter bombers, when there's no separate icons for the launch-platform - why are drones suddenly all that important on the overview? etc. (see more here - previous post in this thread)

Also, anything more solid on when POS-modules are re-worked? And, how about player deployables?
The question shouldn't be why are certain things not getting their own icon, it should be why does something specific need its own icon?

If you feel you need to be concerned with more information about something you can simply hover over it or look at its "Type" clearly listed in the Overview. ALL frigates and other small ships should be a single group, medium class ships should be a group, and large class ships should be grouped... if we keep wanting each ship to be unique we will end up with the proposed 'drone situation'...

At most we need no more than half a dozen icons to distinguish the core ship classes. Limiting this number helps make sure the icons remain simple and clear. The more exceptions you want the more complicated it becomes, hence part of the problem the proposed new set of icons has.

Small (frigates, shuttles, destroyers)
Medium (cruisers, battlecruisers)
Large (battleships)
XL (capitals)
Industrial (haulers, mining barges)
Industrial Large (rorq, orca, freighters)
Capsule

Am I missing any ship types? (counting T2 and T3 variants with the base hulls as ship size and weapons system class as bases for grouping)

Most of the time those are the only real distinctions you need to see on your overview to make a decision if you need to care. And if you need to care the rest of the information is already present by numerous methods and places, listed by mousing over the ship or by glancing at the "Type" column as two very simple and currently available methods.
Crash Lander
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#269 - 2015-03-04 04:28:11 UTC
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. Especially with regards to redundancy in the Type column as well as decluttering the already-dense icon space as it currently stands.

While I can't promise a full overhaul, I can also sympathize with the position that the ISIS icons were an inappropriate base to start with, since the requirements for those icons when they were first created were wholly different. It's a well-reasoned argument with form follows function at its core, which prioritizes raw gameplay functionality over holistic unified look concerns. It's a valid point to keep in mind and I'll certainly bring it up at our next design meeting and see what people think!

In the meantime, here's the official thread for the mass test of these schedule for Thursday, March 5th, at 17:00 UTC
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5544670#post5544670

Please log in and give us your impressions from seeing the icons in action. The more feedback we get the more it will help inform our next steps with these.


This is the first time in a long time that I've seen a CCP employee give an intelligent and honest answer to feedback while pointing out the constraints. Well done sir, and good luck!
Rain6637
NulzSec
#270 - 2015-03-04 12:08:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Rain6637
By making all player ship icons red, you're foregoing an opportunity to display a variable with color.

If you make the icons different colors based on race or pirate faction, then filtering overview by roles (such as recons and heavy interdictors) will produce more readily identifiable information with simple icons. This part is kind of important for another suggestion I haven't made yet, for moving away from overview and toward functional ship icons in space.

I don't want to say too much because I want to see what you have in store for UI Modernization Part II.

Twisted


Anyway. There is CSS customization that makes it possible to have the ship type display next to the icon in space, but that's a text field that takes up some width on screen, made worse when you have a handful of icons to display.

The icons in the blog make the mistake of trying to look too cool for their size. Let the ships look cool, and let the utility assets (icons) have some utility (and look utilitarian).

I think ship icons should have the same general silhouette, for instant recognition as being a ship.

I think squares are the best shape due to the aspect ratio of pixels. When you overuse diagonals and curves, you begin to lose clarity and sharp edges. The size constraints of icons are small already, and aliasing makes this worse.

Square silhouettes are also least likely to blend in with other items in space, and not many things in space are square (as opposed to cool little ship-like icons). The assortment of tiny icons for ships will have mixed recognizability in any given setting.

I think ship icons should have first priority in icon hierarchy. Save squares for ship icons, and use complicated, cool-looking shapes for entities that are not ships.

The current dimensions of ship icons are 18x18 pixels. The 2-pixel border can be used to convey things like lock, aggression, signature radius bloat, and module activation.

Using icon borders to convey information [edited at 12:34 for typo and adding C+E combo]
note: the black outline is just a placeholder for this graphic.

The borders aren't perfectly clear (due to size), but it's better than leaving the space unused.

Displaying module status to all ships on grid is a bit more information than is available right now. For example, you can't tell if a Dread has siege activated if you're outside of looking distance (100 km). So there's a decision to be made here, for whether you want more data broadcast to all ships on grid.

There's a second part to this suggestion about the center of the square field, but this graphic so far took me three hours to make, and that's all the mockup time and energy I have time for tonight. See you tomorrow or this weekend.
Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#271 - 2015-03-04 13:19:49 UTC  |  Edited by: Tippia
Rain6637 wrote:
By making all player ship icons red, you're foregoing an opportunity to display a variable with color.

If you make the icons different colors based on race or pirate faction, then filtering overview by roles (such as recons and heavy interdictors) will produce more readily identifiable information with simple icons. This part is kind of important for another suggestion I haven't made yet, for moving away from overview and toward functional ship icons in space.
Again, colour isn't available because it already represents the variable of affiliation, criminal flagging, standings, security level, and bounty.
Rain6637
NulzSec
#272 - 2015-03-04 13:25:51 UTC
So far, yes. Hold that thought for the second part of my suggestion Blink
CCP Surge
C C P
C C P Alliance
#273 - 2015-03-04 16:46:43 UTC
Dersen Lowery wrote:
I have a great deal of sympathy for your situation, CCP Surge: you're trying to shoehorn a large amount of functionality into a 19x18 pixel square that's a small part of a hopelessly overloaded UI widget.


You'd be surprised at how much is possible to communicate with a 16x16 canvas :) That said good design is often about clarity and choosing what to communicate, as opposed to trying to fit in as much as possible.
CCP Surge
C C P
C C P Alliance
#274 - 2015-03-04 16:59:56 UTC
Crash Lander wrote:

This is the first time in a long time that I've seen a CCP employee give an intelligent and honest answer to feedback while pointing out the constraints. Well done sir, and good luck!


Thank, appreciate the good feels! And I want to stress that communication is definitely a two-way street, especially with the new release cadence which allows us a shorter cycle for trying things, getting your feedback and iterating from it. Hopefully leading to more such positive feedback loops where you guys can help us develop a better game, be happier as a result, and making us devs happier in the process.
CCP Surge
C C P
C C P Alliance
#275 - 2015-03-04 17:00:45 UTC
Rain6637 wrote:
Pretty big missed opportunity in not making icons reflect module states such as Siege, Triage, Bastion, Industrial Core, Warfare Links, and now Entosis.


I'll look into it :)
CCP Surge
C C P
C C P Alliance
#276 - 2015-03-04 17:01:54 UTC
RavenNyx wrote:
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. [...]

Awesome. :)

Now that you're here, could you please comment on the consistency of the icons? Why do mining frigates have one icon, while haulers (T1+T2) and mining barges share one? Why are there two separate icons for fighters and fighter bombers, when there's no separate icons for the launch-platform - why are drones suddenly all that important on the overview? etc. (see more here - previous post in this thread)

Also, anything more solid on when POS-modules are re-worked? And, how about player deployables?


Also good to know. Plus a super-carrier class icon shouldn't be a big problem :)
Yuri Pyrrhus
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#277 - 2015-03-04 18:31:04 UTC  |  Edited by: Yuri Pyrrhus
CCP Surge wrote:

Thank, appreciate the good feels! And I want to stress that communication is definitely a two-way street, especially with the new release cadence which allows us a shorter cycle for trying things, getting your feedback and iterating from it. Hopefully leading to more such positive feedback loops where you guys can help us develop a better game, be happier as a result, and making us devs happier in the process.

I don't want to be annoying, but please take a look at my suggestions about icons here:
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5537121#post5537121
And it will be very nice to hear your thougts=)
Thanks.
Castelo Selva
Forcas armadas
#278 - 2015-03-04 20:16:47 UTC
Sgt Ocker
What Corp is it
#279 - 2015-03-04 22:56:57 UTC
CCP Surge wrote:
RavenNyx wrote:
CCP Surge wrote:
Thanks again guys, your feedback isn't lost on us. [...]

Awesome. :)

Now that you're here, could you please comment on the consistency of the icons? Why do mining frigates have one icon, while haulers (T1+T2) and mining barges share one? Why are there two separate icons for fighters and fighter bombers, when there's no separate icons for the launch-platform - why are drones suddenly all that important on the overview? etc. (see more here - previous post in this thread)

Also, anything more solid on when POS-modules are re-worked? And, how about player deployables?


Also good to know. Plus a super-carrier class icon shouldn't be a big problem :)

Why do we need a super-carrier icon?
1 icon for frigates, 1 for destroyers, 1 for cruisers, 1 for battle cruisers, 1 for battleships and 1 for capitals. All other information is already available in the overview and because there are only a few icons needed they can be made to look good and stand out as individual representations of ship classes.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Are you going to be online for the test? If so I have 1 request, when there are 100 to 1000 players on grid - Use an icon to find the target you want., while your doing that get a friend to find that same target as we find them now (name, ship type).

Can you ever see an FC calling targets by - primary 3rd triangle from the left.

- - - - - - - - -
Make the new icons at least look good and stand out; drab red = drab boring and is also the hardest color to pick out in most of the systems i fly in.

Want to try it on TQ - Find a red cursor, re-size it to that of the new icons and go fly around your local area. Place your mouse at different positions and see how well it stands out against different backgrounds.
A Red object is surprisingly hard to pick out on TQ - Even had to use cursor locator when a bunch of white crosses (which stood out quite clearly) warped in on me.

My opinions are mine.

  If you don't like them or disagree with me that's OK.- - - - - - Just don't bother Hating - I don't care

It really is getting harder and harder to justify $23 a month for each sub.

tiberiusric
Comply Or Die
Lord of Worlds Alliance
#280 - 2015-03-05 00:12:18 UTC
CCP Surge wrote:
Emilia Istis wrote:
Because it will be harder to distinguish neutral NPC from another player, the result may be that instead of icons as now most of the players set in the first column name or type of ship in the overview rather than icons, and probably will fall out of the picture entirely.
Already on the infographic it is harder to find "+".
This is really nice, but the NPC should be in a much greater way to distinguish.
Unless you add something to the overview that will show another player in the superior manner, always first or something extra that will tell you "This is the player" (or NPC)


We're aware that the [+] for NPCs is a rather tiny sub-indicator that might be hard to pick out at a glance, but a rather important one at that. We're looking at ways of making it more prominent or change NPC indication to something else entirely.



Just put a circle around the icon rather than that + sign to denote a npc

All my views are my own - never be afraid to post with your main, unless you're going to post some dumb shit