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Comforts of the familiar

November 26, 2008

I was glancing over my fledgling flickr album just a second ago and looked at the screenshot of my “new” Wrath UI. And it really dawned on me how important it is to like your UI.

And I not only like this UI, it feels comfortable and friendly to me. Which is odd to think of a UI that way to most people, I believe. But really – you spend how many hours a day/week/month looking at this UI? All your game time is spent looking at it, minus the few seconds it’s gone for a UI-free screenshot. This sees you through leveling, instances and raiding – even just standing around town chatting before you log out, there it is. It’s an intrinsic part of your WoW experience.

In the beginning (and indeed, even into the first part of BC) I used the default UI. Up until BC, I didn’t even know that you could have a UI that differed in any way from the default. It was what I was given, and I was happy with it. In all the hype about BC though, I saw what other people had done with their UIs and thought (with awe, nonetheless!) that I wanted to do that too.

My first few forays into UIs were clunky ones, that took up massive amounts of screen real estate the the bottom with the “trendy” black bar/box for your buttons to go in, plus whatever other stuff. I learned how to configure slowly.

After trying out several “types” that I had seen (I’m a notorious switcher) I started to gravitate towards the minimalist styles. Why should my screen be taken up by this huge box? I can see more with less! Then I stumbled across Discern, which was the most minimal UI I had ever used. That was my introduction to button paging and heavy key-binding. But it made sense! I’ve been pushing these buttons for how many game days? I know what they are, I don’t need to see them!

I used this UI I don’t know how long, but months. I used this UI when I was in Socius Fedelis (Dara, if you’re reading this, write me! I miss chatting with you) and on through my introduction to “hard core” raiding (or what I thought was HCR, anyway) then falling back into not-HC raiding, through guild drama, and server transfers. All of my adult/70 life.

So, it’s really not just that the UI is pretty, non-cluttered and functional, it’s really part of my character’s experience. I know where everything is, I know it all works, it’s my “old same”.

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