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Dev blog: UI Modernization - Icon Strategy

First post
Saede Riordan
Alexylva Paradox
#141 - 2015-02-27 15:30:04 UTC
in general all of this is awesome.

But the POS module icons become too difficult to differentiate when they are all attached to that magnet symbol and the tiny corner blur is the only thing differentiating them.
Noriko Mai
#142 - 2015-02-27 15:35:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Noriko Mai
Alexis Nightwish wrote:
mad mspaint skillz (doesn't have the ships rotated 45* cause mspaint can't do it Sad)

Nice icon set!

I tried a few of tippias icons from tonight and it would look something like this.

"Meh.." - Albert Einstein

Surreal Departure
#143 - 2015-02-27 15:49:35 UTC  |  Edited by: TheLostPenguin
Ok first of all I agree ship icons have needed updating for more than the 7 years I've played, because for the whole time the frigates/destroyers and cruisers/bc issue has existed, so an attempt to fix that is welcome in principle... but oh god why must you throw out everything and start from scratch each time something needs a few small tweaks to work better?

Going by the image in the blog frigates/destroyers are still not super easy to seperate, sure at least there is a difference now but it could be better, cruisers should be much wider as they are still too close to the frigate icon for me, and if you do that then the battleship icon needs to change. Also are there any battlecruisers in that image? I looked several times to compare and couldn't see one but maybe it's just hiding. Also battleship/dreadnought/carrier are also all the same shape with very minor diferences between them.

Why not have different shapes per ship class? It would instantly fix alot of the problems, and you could have a larger distinction for the frigate/destroyer issue if you wanted to keep using the same icon for them, without treading on the toes of other classes.

Having a directional icon at all is silly and will lead to newbs asking why it isn't showing the direction of travel properly in space. I don't want them to rotate to do that, but making them so clearly directional as using triangle variations suggests it.

Why have SO many different icons, you are showing too much (useless) information, and as a result ending up making very small changes to the same base icon instead of a small number of clearly distinct versions.
A rookie ship and a mining frigate are both frigates, they do not need their own icons.
Drones oh god what are you doing, shooty drones, ewar/what you call utility drones and logistics drones are all the distinctions it's remotely usefull to make at the icon level (and mining/salvaging drones too for the sake of consistency, not that anyone cares what that icon looks like any time it matters), 5 distinct types (sure give fighters/bombers their own shape too as they are sufficently distinct from other shooty ones) and relevant sizes for them, rather than 14 types now.
Asteroids/ice really need size icons now? Does it show the visual size, how much resource is left in it, how much was originally in it?

Some of the changes seem needless/counterintuitive, why change the neut battery to a less-visually distinct icon? Ok you want to create a uniform set of icons for similar structures, but that's form over function 100%. Same with changing the sentry gun icon and ewar battery icons, firstly why change sentries at all? If you're worried about them looking too much like moons, put the dot for moon icons to a different side. Ewar batteries is making a whole bunch of things use the same icon again, with a tiny feature to distinguish them, essentially there are icons on icons which is getting into supertiny invisible details.
Sun/secondary sun, moon, customs office, corp hangar and wormhole are all being changed for seemingly no reason other than for the sake of it. Why change extra things and create additional stuff for people to relearn when there is absolutely zero reason for doing so?

Somehow I doubt much will be changed, but hey, we only post in these threads to have something to point to when people say we should give feedback rather than ***** about bad decisions, here's yet another whole thread of feedback where nearly everyone is saying the same thing, STUFF LOOKS TOO MUCH LIKE OTHER STUFF.
Nami Kumamato
Caldari State
#144 - 2015-02-27 15:52:45 UTC
Stylized designs of ships will clog the Overview (which needs to be redesigned first, before adding those elements, but wtv), plus their models are too small so most of them will resemble others.
Here's some idea of ship identification tags based on our already famous "red cross".

Just for kicks...

Fornicate The Constabulary !

Jason Dunham
Andvaranaut Conglomerate
#145 - 2015-02-27 16:18:10 UTC
I asked for this when the ship identification system first came out. I thought it was a shame that the great icons you spent time on weren't being used in game. I've always felt that npc icons should have some relation to player icons so that new players would have an easier time relating the two.

I'd like to point out that currently the "brackets" in the overview give no information at all, so if someone doesn't want to learn the new symbols, they will not be any worse off. But for those of us that will learn it, it will provide more information at a glance. Shape identification happens much faster than reading.

I'm a huge fan of the drone icons especially. In engagements with smaller ships engaging your enemies drones can be pivotal in turning the battle. These changes would make it easier to identify what kind of drones are on field and where they are being directed. For example, you engage an enemy fleet and then observe them drop sets of ecm drones that fly towards your logi. You would see this all from a glance rather than having to hover over the small, moving brackets of the drones to identify their type, or worse, load an overview with drones and sort through all the drones on field.

For me the important thing is that currently icons give very little information, so a change will allow more information to be received at a glance, which I think is a vast improvement. And if you don't like the added complexity, you don't have to use it. You can still look at the ship's name in the overview or mouse over the drones, etc.

My only concern was that the icons were readable, which I think the screenshot shows that they are.

Overall I believe this is a fantastically executed ui change that will allow skilled players to see more information about what's on field than they have before. It's similar to having different graphics for different turrets, a skilled player can look at their enemy and see what turrets or launchers they have fit.
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#146 - 2015-02-27 16:20:25 UTC
Bienator II wrote:
2 pixel difference between shuttle and capsule is not enough.

If you want to stay this small you will have to work with shape recognition. You can't make it all look like triangles in this size. Take a look how homeworld solved it. They had triangles, squares, prisms, etc etc. scales perfectly. page 24

after testing it in game i have to say it looks much better in game as the scaled version on the blog.

here a few screenshots (sadly not many where online at this time):

how to fix eve: 1) remove ECM 2) rename dampeners to ECM 3) add new anti-drone ewar for caldari 4) give offgrid boosters ongrid combat value

Bob Niac
Gallente Federation
#147 - 2015-02-27 16:22:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Bob Niac
Really cool but it is a lot of added complexity for little gain. You could easily trim 1/3 if those and get a better / same result. Also.. Just say no to that many drone icons.. Damn.

[u]I <3 Logistics:[/u] Pilot of all  T2 logi and my shiny Archon [deceased.] Also a Chimera which may or may not be horrid. I don't make games, I play them. I get that ppl are passionate about change. I post here to plant seeds. You see your idea as is? Holy **** you win! So let's post, and see what the DEVs and our peers use.

Joran Sothos
#148 - 2015-02-27 16:25:42 UTC
The current icons do not do enough to differentiate between various ship sizes, but the new icons... um... way too much info.

Without looking at the specific ship class, we need to know, from the icon, whether it's a destroyer, cruiser, or battle cruiser, for example. The current NPC icons don't differentiate between frigate and destroyer, or between cruiser and battle cruiser. The player ship icons are so much worse.

What we DO NOT NEED, is to differentiate between types of frigates or types of destroyers, etc. That's where player knowledge comes in in terms of knowing that a Sabre is a bubbler and a Cormorant is a DPS ship, etc. We also don't need icons to differentiate between industrials and combat ships. The same applies to structures.

Too many different icons are just as bad as having too many icons that look the same.

Perhaps we could have a balance between the current and proposed systems?

In terms of the shape of the new icons, I think we'll all have a better idea if they're working once we've had them to play with in-game for a bit. On the face of it, however, I don't see any problems with the new proposed shapes.
Mimiko Severovski
Zero Fun Allowed
#149 - 2015-02-27 17:13:20 UTC
These new icons remind me of a very good spaceship game.
It really looks like another great step into the future!
Hedion University
Amarr Empire
#150 - 2015-02-27 17:22:51 UTC
Good - but you should blunt the tips of the icons for the industrials/Mining ships...
So you want to be a Hero
#151 - 2015-02-27 17:32:39 UTC
Switching the Red Crosses for ship classes to the new icons is a great idea, since it links to ISIS.

However changing drones icons is a bad idea, it will crowd/convolute the presentation of flying icons in space.

So leave drones as Red Crosses, the size may vary according to size of drone used imho Cool

Eve online is :

A) mining simulator B) glorified chatroom C) spreadsheets online

D) CCP Games Pay to Win at skill leveling, with instant gratification

Void Geophysics
#152 - 2015-02-27 17:39:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Murashj
Would be great if the icon for wormhole had diffrent collors/icons depending on its current state. Fresh/reduced/critical
Baljos Arnjak
Dark Praetorian Order
#153 - 2015-02-27 18:31:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Baljos Arnjak
Overall, I think they look good and even on smaller screens they'll give more information than the present ones do. I do have a couple of niggles though:

1. Little plus signs aren't enough to differentiate between NPC and Player ships unless they shift the rest of the icon to the left causing the alignment to be slightly shifted (can't see it from the example given in the blog). Player ships represent a whole lot more potential danger than NPC's and it's imperative that we know the difference at a glance.

A couple of suggestions to fix this would be to make NPC's hollow like you do with looted/non-looted wrecks and have the plus sign added inside the hollow icon. You could invert the previous so that the icon is filled in but the plus sign is subtracted out. Whatever works as long as they are plainly distinguishable in a mixed NPC/Player environment.

Edit: Upon looking at the screen shots posted a little later in the thread, the pluses aren't as bad as I thought they were. I'd still like to see something a little more obvious but the way it is at present isn't tooooo bad.

2. I'd like to see the icons that are in space fade or move to the top left corner of the bounding box as the ship gets closer to the camera. For me, at a certain distance, the icons are no longer necessary because I can identify the ship class by the ship itself. At that point, the icon is only serving as a visual distraction and/or obstruction.
Surreal Departure
#154 - 2015-02-27 18:32:42 UTC
Freelancer117 wrote:
Switching the Red Crosses for ship classes to the new icons is a great idea, since it links to ISIS.

I actually meant to mention that, is there any use or reason for anyone other than maybe complete newbs to use the ISIS thing? It seems like it's needlessly driving half the design decisions here and I don't get why a piece of fluff (as it seems to me) is deciding so much other game design, instead of making something that works and changing whatever needs to be changed in ISIS.
New Eden Tank Testing Services
#155 - 2015-02-27 19:52:51 UTC
I am waiting for a CCP post which tells us that the reason we think the icons are indistinguishable is that we haven't used them for long enough.

Zappity's Adventures for a taste of lowsec and nullsec.

Lando Cenvax
The Nose Picker Clown Group
#156 - 2015-02-27 20:19:43 UTC
This will be great on those supersharp 4K 24"-Screenson which you will scale up the HUD to 150% (given CCP uses vector images). On small screens it might really be better to allow a "fallback" to the old icons.

I also agree on the missing supercarrier-icon. Although, under the bottom line this icon-makeover may be a bit overkill...

There should also be second option for the Titan-Icon: a phallus shape. Lol ;P
Tau Cabalander
Retirement Retreat
Working Stiffs
#157 - 2015-02-27 20:24:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Tau Cabalander
Though I'm not crazy about the current overview "border" icons, I can at-a-glance distinguish them.

The proposed ISIS-style icons actually require me to look carefully, as they have fairly similar weight. Only in comparison or upon close examination can I differentiate them.

Truly, a single letter would be more useful for rapid recognition.

1. Create a random overview and view it for at most 2 seconds, and report on all ships in it.
2. Change one ship, and note if it is detected.

EDIT: I currently play on a 15 inch wide-screen laptop in window mode, so less real-estate than full-screen.
Pak Narhoo
Splinter Foundation
#158 - 2015-02-27 20:30:13 UTC
Tippia wrote:
Indahmawar Fazmarai wrote:
Well, I just read the devblog and I can't tell the smaller icons from each other, woo-hoo! Lol

I'm waiting to see them at Sisi, but so far I fear the worst.


Currently I can tell the thickness of the crosses, even if the crosses themselves are fuzzy. But shape recognition is not exactly my strong point.

Just doing some testing of ideas, but, with your bad eyes, how distinguishable are these different icons? Are the gaps distinct enough? Can the difference in shape be seen? Are the tiny protrusions too tiny?

Yeah that looks like a lot into the right direction. Just don't get your hopes up you/me/we will be listened too a this dev was in large part responsible for the reworked unified inventory debacle (in its 1st iteration). And we all know how much extra work it took them to get that slightly on par to what there was before.

To be honest I think this is set in stone like the unified inventory, no matter how much data we bring up, its a done deal.

Wish I was wrong.
Indahmawar Fazmarai
#159 - 2015-02-27 20:50:26 UTC
Tippia wrote:
Indahmawar Fazmarai wrote:
Well, I just read the devblog and I can't tell the smaller icons from each other, woo-hoo! Lol

I'm waiting to see them at Sisi, but so far I fear the worst.


Currently I can tell the thickness of the crosses, even if the crosses themselves are fuzzy. But shape recognition is not exactly my strong point.

Just doing some testing of ideas, but, with your bad eyes, how distinguishable are these different icons? Are the gaps distinct enough? Can the difference in shape be seen? Are the tiny protrusions too tiny?

Interesting concept... I can tell them apart from their size and outline: the left ones have an angle on the top, the middle ones are double-angled and the right ones are rectangular, and they have different lengths. Can't see well the inner lines and barely can't see the tiny features of the middle ones (drones?) without focusing a lot on them.

The only potential source of confusion would be between 1st and 2nd in the left column, maybe one pixel more of length for the second or a pixel less for the first would help giving them more different weight.

BTW, left ones would be military ships and right ones be civilian ships? Would make sense that military ships had a general arrowhead shape...

Nice work. Smile
Comply Or Die
Northern Coalition.
#160 - 2015-02-27 20:51:13 UTC  |  Edited by: tiberiusric
i think you did yourself and injustice showing a screenshot with loads of ships because it looks very messy. God what will jita look like. Great to see some new icons although quite a lot of the designs are questionable meaning I'm not sure why you chose some of those for that item.

I agree the capsule should be an egg shape.
I hate the plus/crosses for NPC it reminds me of the copy symbol in windows, i think i circle around the icon would look cool instead.
rather than a +
it would be nice later of we can set our own colours for these icons so we could say highlight all the jamming ships etc.

Ships just need more distinction

Structures just don't make sense at all, sorry. You should be able to look at an icon and know what it means.
Whats with the sentry gun icons for example?

But good to see something different.

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