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User Interface Improvement Ideas


Unch Hjar

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I have been playing the game for about 20 days now and I noticed a few things related to the interface that may help people and server traffic (if that is an issue).

1. Combat.

In the regular screen when doing combat I (and assume others also) check when the timer for reattacking a player has expired. This is done by clicking on the player name and on attack. These two clicks could be removed (and the traffic associated with them) by having a small timer next to the names of the people recently attacked. When in Marind Bell there is also the extra check to see if players are idle (one click on name for *each* player), this could be removed by having idle players names have a different colour or have a marker next to them.



2. Creature screen

I often find myself checking for upgrade statuses (needs) for various creatures. The clicking to get to the extend information could be removed by having some small bars underneath the creature to show how far they are from upgrading.


3. Rituals

When creating a ritual there are 6 dropdown boxes to select creatures from. It would be a lot easier to have a number of checkboxes next to the creature insted of the dropdown boxes. The dropdown boxes are annoying because I have to double check that I have not selected the same creature twice each time I click on a dropdown (not to mention that they cover the creatures already selected).
Also, having several steps for creating a ritual doesn't really make sense, all that information could be in one page saving all the continue clicks and the server requests.

4. Buttons sizes

Buttons are too small, making them larger should make them easier to hit (standard GUI improvement).

Add any ideas to the thread.

Unch

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1. I'm not a pro, but wouldn't having timers on all players in your current scene even add to the server-load? As in, read out and send data for players you wouldn't even want to attack? apart from that, where does a little timer go, it's pretty crowded on the scenes already...

2. Hardly possible since we have 3 different requirements, at the beginning xp is the problem, in mp4 it's wins, and on mp5 people are waiting for age to upgrade, which one should be displayed? should they be mixed into one upgrade-bar, and if so, how?
And, again, wouldn't reading out stats for a creature you know you can't upgrade add on traffic, instead of lowering?

3. Checkboxes would be easier, but not really a lot... just a change from one system to another...
Having all on one screen might be really handy for veterans, but i guess for newbies it would be too much information at once, the way it is they can think about the things they do step by step, which crits, what should they do, how much influence, def or not, chaaarge, if all was on one screen they'd probably get even more confused at the beginning... time would tell :/

4. I like the buttons, but having them a tiny bit bigger wouldn't hurt probably XD

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I'll try to keep the technical details to a minimum but I would like to clarify one thing. There's a thing called server-client architecture, in our case:

browser - client

remote computer server hosting the game webpage - server ;)


Operations done by the client (browser) load the server only when doing requests (sorta).

[quote name='Burns' date='20 January 2010 - 11:00 AM' timestamp='1263978026' post='53094']
1. I'm not a pro, but wouldn't having timers on all players in your current scene even add to the server-load? As in, read out and send data for players you wouldn't even want to attack? apart from that, where does a little timer go, it's pretty crowded on the scenes already...
[/quote]

The timers will be client-side like the timer for regeneration. I guess the timers could be done in JavaScript and will synchronize with the server only a battle is done or the page is refreshed. The rest of the time they would work like the regeneration timer, and count on the client side for display purposes. If you let the regeneration timer run for a while without refreshing the page you will see when you actually refresh that it's not accurate :)
I was thinking the timer could go next to the name something like X:XX, it's small enough not to be a problem I guess. Also you don't need to display for all the players, only those recently attacked. And to add to this, the name of the players should show the MP level, MP3 cannot attack MP4s and vice versa.

[quote name='Burns' date='20 January 2010 - 11:00 AM' timestamp='1263978026' post='53094']
2. Hardly possible since we have 3 different requirements, at the beginning xp is the problem, in mp4 it's wins, and on mp5 people are waiting for age to upgrade, which one should be displayed? should they be mixed into one upgrade-bar, and if so, how?
And, again, wouldn't reading out stats for a creature you know you can't upgrade add on traffic, instead of lowering?
[/quote]

It would lower because the constant switching between the main display for creatures and the detailed display is more demanding than loading once the stats. One picture alone(the one in the detailed statistics) probably takes more than 100 times the numbers for the stats.
I was thinking of having 5(?) bars of different colour next to the pictures (left, right, above, and below) to show how far from the need value is the creature.

Gold for VP, red for VE, gray for age, blue for xp, some other colour for AP

.....Age......
VE...........VP
.....pic.......AP
.....XP.......


[quote name='Burns' date='20 January 2010 - 11:00 AM' timestamp='1263978026' post='53094']
3. Checkboxes would be easier, but not really a lot... just a change from one system to another...
Having all on one screen might be really handy for veterans, but i guess for newbies it would be too much information at once, the way it is they can think about the things they do step by step, which crits, what should they do, how much influence, def or not, chaaarge, if all was on one screen they'd probably get even more confused at the beginning... time would tell :/
[/quote]

This one, I guess, is a matter of opinion, as a newb I was confused by the multiple layout :) Another issue that I have with the current setup is that if I make a mistake I have to redo the whole thing back from selecting the creatures which annoys me to no end. Using checkboxes you do 6 clicks maximum for selecting the creatures. Using the dropdowns you do at least 12 for selecting all the creatures plus checking that you have not selected the same creature twice. With the checkbox system this is immediately apparent (and impossible :) ).

Name field (btw, why does this appear in the defense selection screen ?)
(maximum?) 16 Checkboxes 4x4 grid, the creature abilities dropdowns are enabled when the creature is selected

1 slider for attack VE

1 checkbox for defense
1 slider for defense VE (appears if the checkbox for defense is selected)

Attack Cancel

Doesn't seem to be a lot of information....


5. The combat report makes my eyes bleed and want to murder fluffy kittens. I keep trying to read it and giving up every time... :P A little structure would go a long way....

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[quote name='Unch Hjar' date='20 January 2010 - 03:20 PM' timestamp='1264000845' post='53115']

The timers will be client-side like the timer for regeneration. I guess the timers could be done in JavaScript and will synchronize with the server only a battle is done or the page is refreshed. The rest of the time they would work like the regeneration timer, and count on the client side for display purposes. If you let the regeneration timer run for a while without refreshing the page you will see when you actually refresh that it's not accurate ;)
I was thinking the timer could go next to the name something like X:XX, it's small enough not to be a problem I guess. Also you don't need to display for all the players, only those recently attacked. And to add to this, the name of the players should show the MP level, MP3 cannot attack MP4s and vice versa.
[/quote]

Additional serverload would be increased because it may or may not need to do a sql query per person to check the time remaining depending on the table layout. Even if it didnt need another sql query the javascript would just add to the ever growing length of the page, For some players MD is already pretty slow because of all the http requests and javascript it uses.

[quote name='Unch Hjar' date='20 January 2010 - 03:20 PM' timestamp='1264000845' post='53115']
It would lower because the constant switching between the main display for creatures and the detailed display is more demanding than loading once the stats. One picture alone(the one in the detailed statistics) probably takes more than 100 times the numbers for the stats.
I was thinking of having 5(?) bars of different colour next to the pictures (left, right, above, and below) to show how far from the need value is the creature.

Gold for VP, red for VE, gray for age, blue for xp, some other colour for AP

.....Age......
VE...........VP
.....pic.......AP
.....XP.......
[/quote]

To be honest, i think this idea will just make it even more "busy". It will mean that unless you scale down the already small page the bars will add padding all around it. And clutter up the area. If you look at a criture with tokens, add in these bars. it will make it look untidy. But this is ofc my personal opinion.

[quote name='Unch Hjar' date='20 January 2010 - 03:20 PM' timestamp='1264000845' post='53115']
This one, I guess, is a matter of opinion, as a newb I was confused by the multiple layout :) Another issue that I have with the current setup is that if I make a mistake I have to redo the whole thing back from selecting the creatures which annoys me to no end. Using checkboxes you do 6 clicks maximum for selecting the creatures. Using the dropdowns you do at least 12 for selecting all the creatures plus checking that you have not selected the same creature twice. With the checkbox system this is immediately apparent (and impossible :) ).

Name field (btw, why does this appear in the defense selection screen ?)
(maximum?) 16 Checkboxes 4x4 grid, the creature abilities dropdowns are enabled when the creature is selected

1 slider for attack VE

1 checkbox for defense
1 slider for defense VE (appears if the checkbox for defense is selected)

Attack Cancel

Doesn't seem to be a lot of information....


5. The combat report makes my eyes bleed and want to murder fluffy kittens. I keep trying to read it and giving up every time... :P A little structure would go a long way....
[/quote]

Checkboxes for crits! how many creatures do you have? because i have around 60 and it would just make the page massively longer, meaning i have to scroll down to check everyhting.

Otherwise those are just a matter of preference, and btw, If you used a "good" browser (note: im just kidding) the back button will take you back one stage if you get it wrong...

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First of all take into consideration that I'm a newb so there are lots of parts I haven't seen (like tokens).

[quote name='Chewett' date='20 January 2010 - 06:11 PM' timestamp='1264003880' post='53117']
Additional serverload would be increased because it may or may not need to do a sql query per person to check the time remaining depending on the table layout. Even if it didnt need another sql query the javascript would just add to the ever growing length of the page, For some players MD is already pretty slow because of all the http requests and javascript it uses.
[/quote]

The extra request for the time is a lot less than the request done when you click on a player name, click on fight, and get presented with a message that you have to wait X:XX time to fight that player again. MP level different presentation would be really useful, I have to click through all the list to find the people I'm allowed to attack (more server requests).

[quote]
To be honest, i think this idea will just make it even more "busy". It will mean that unless you scale down the already small page the bars will add padding all around it. And clutter up the area. If you look at a criture with tokens, add in these bars. it will make it look untidy. But this is ofc my personal opinion.
[/quote]

I agree that it may be more cluttered however I attached a file with a (ugly coloured) mockup. I remove the IDs of the creatures on the mockup.Are those used for something except for identifying creatures when creating rituals ?

[quote]
Checkboxes for crits! how many creatures do you have? because i have around 60 and it would just make the page massively longer, meaning i have to scroll down to check everyhting.
[/quote]
As I said I'm a newb, I have 16 creatures :P

Also attached a mockup for that also :)

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mps are easily seen, the black dots on the left side of the playername indicate them, no dot is mp3, a tiny dot in the middle is mp4, a big dot on the bottom mp5... :P

And... the scrolling would be horrible, as well as waiting for all my crits to load their icons evertime i set a rit -.-

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all of the changes you have suggested are not actually that benificial in the end, because it gets annoying, and have you actually paid attention to how much space we have in the frames? there isn't actually that much space to work with, the bars on the creatures would just get incredibly annoying, the counters would freeze my computer, because i only have 256 mb of ram to run any aplications while still working at a fast speed (i can have 400 mb to work with if i put most of my computer to sleep, and use my browser in fullscreen mode) and my firefox takes 80mb of ram with a blank tab, with md as it is it takes 115 mb of ram, with that many counters it would basicly freeze my computer.... so i must say no to all of that, although the check boxes as an optional feature i might agree with.

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What you suggest are scripts..that many people do not need /want.

It means 10x (or higher) increased serverload for each person who uses it. That multiplied by 200 (low count of people) would just help to increase lags and bandwith.

And..you mention it would be faster for you. True, but how many more requests would the server have to handle?

So why implement it?

I'm against this from a technical point of view.

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to see that here, what WOULD be a good idea is that all the places of md and creatures can get stored on your computer, and run it trough a sort of 'game, so it will even have to load less images(only players and clickable will have to be loaded) and everyone could even make their own scenes when entering somewhere..,

make a christmas tree at the GoE for example(woulden't know who would want to do that, it's silly:P)

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[quote name='Orlando Gardiner' date='23 January 2010 - 07:51 PM' timestamp='1264276307' post='53301']
to see that here, what WOULD be a good idea is that all the places of md and creatures can get stored on your computer, and run it trough a sort of 'game, so it will even have to load less images(only players and clickable will have to be loaded) and everyone could even make their own scenes when entering somewhere.., make a christmas tree at the GoE for example(woulden't know who would want to do that, it's silly:P)
[/quote]

Hideous idea Orlando. Were you ever thinking what you wrote this?

You know how much spoilers are hated by mur. Giving everyone all images of all the places AND creature images... The biggest spoiler of all.

This will never work. Nor would mur ever implement this monstrosity

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[quote name='Chewett' date='23 January 2010 - 11:21 PM' timestamp='1264288919' post='53309']
Hideous idea Orlando. Were you ever thinking what you wrote this?

You know how much spoilers are hated by mur. Giving everyone all images of all the places AND creature images... The biggest spoiler of all.

This will never work. Nor would mur ever implement this monstrosity
[/quote]

Well, easily undone. only save images from places you ever visited, and images of creatures you ever developed. see it like unlocking a place from where you run it, will have to load it the first time, but won't have to do it twice again:) Game should easily regonize it since it already keeps track of howmany times you visit a place:)

but seriously Chewett, that the 'grand lines, are supposed to be spoilers doesen't mean that it will still be like that when worked out.. sometimes you need to work it out before complaining about the side - effects.

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A new file format is impractical, It would have to be readable by the html since it wouldnt be stored on the server and the php couldnt "decode" it. Unless you have a program that will decrypt them from the file as and when you need them and communicate with the server so it knows when to decrypt it.

A lot of work all in all.

And Orlando, in time you might relise that Mur cares very very deeply about spoilers, And your proposal to track where you have visited and what you have trained and then allow you to download those images? Firstly thats another load of data that needs to be accessed and saved and secondarily Mur doesnt want you to be able to save the images, Hence the image protection.

Im sure Mur knows how to improve serverload, And im sure the community could give some really good ideas. But the downloading of the images pales in comparision to the queries, calculations and general php processing that is done.

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Another idea, and hate me if I start to get annoying:P

but Isen't there a possibility to play without the Imgs? That way I could play this game on my mobile without having to whait for all the scenes to load. Or another way of mobile playing.., that way I could check my creatures and mails more often and walk around a bit.. and that certainly would make it easier for people to play with bad broadband

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as has been brought up and said, MANY times, there is a basic mobile version, you can use chat in it, and i think that's about it, everthing else requires flash i believe


[url="http://www.magicduel.com/ipt"]http://www.magicduel.com/ipt[/url]

(i think)


LE: yup was right....and wrong
http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/4386-md-on-mobile-phone/page__view__findpost__p__34178

but Mur seems to have removed the file....

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Just want to say that I like the interface as it is and at least for me its easy to navigate. If I have to do few aditional klicks, well, what the heck, it doesnt bother me at all. As for seting rituals all that I miss is being able to set them without klicking on somebody and thats all. At for choosing wich crits you want, well, thats why you have crits ID there, so you know if its the same or not and since you can put only 6 crits in one rit there is realy no problem seeing if you inserted same crit twice, just see the last two noumbers. Not to mention you can name your crits diferently when they get lvled up.

[u][b]As for mobile version[/b][/u]... well, you can easily use chat in there, I know, I tryed it when I was without net acces but you will not see the "stage" or be able to move around it or vote for credits and that is good.
[u]The problem that I see[/u], if a real mobile version of it would be done is possibility of absuing it. How? Easy, you would create and alt over your mobile, fight and train you crits and gain days on them and so on and then easily transfer them to your main char that you play over computer since it would not be recognized as an alt. Not to mention transfer the silvers that you might aquire from shop and so on and on. All you would have to keep in mind is never log that char in your PC. Saying that, I am [b]completly against[/b] having this option as mobile would be "same as having second computer with its own IP".

Thank you.

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As to the Mobile MD suggestion. I dont see this being Practical.

Just think of all the time it took to Make MD, Now imagine converting large chunks of the battle sytem, movement system and such over to a non flash mobile version. It would take a lot of time, and i cant answer for anyone else but me in this, But i dont want mur poncing around to make it easy to alt using a phone. I would like things being fixed.

And Lady Dawn brings up a point i had not considered last time this was brought up. It would be much too easy to abuse this.

I dont like this idea, nor want it. I want the current features fixed.

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i got a idea might be a shot in the dark but it seems i am making lots of mistakes if iam talking to a female ore a male could there be a mark infront of the name for male and female ?(due to that not everybody fills in their papers)

Got no idea if this is a lot of work coding wise but like i said shot in the dark

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  • 6 months later...

To me the right menu of the interface is very cluttered becomes more clutter when you have inner magic spell docs, dream contorol (and others I don't yet know about) and will become more cluttered with future developments.

To reduce this:

[list=1][*]"[Wishpoints Top] [Same country] [Most Popular] [Active Veterans] [Item Owners]" could be created into a sub-menu under a heading [Highscores] or Player Lists: [attachment=1933:right menu.PNG][*]"[Personal Page]" and possibly "[Spell Pages]" could be moved into the "~ papers ~" list: [attachment=1934:papers.PNG][*]Alternatively, "[Spell Pages]" could be moved onto the Magic page under "Inner Circle": [attachment=1936:magic.PNG][*]"[Options]" could be moved into the footer as the links "Anti Spam Policy | Privacy Policy | Copyright Rights | Terms of Use" don't go anywhere: [attachment=1935:footer.PNG][*]"[Citizenship]" could be moved onto the options page: [attachment=1937:options.PNG], [attachment=1938:citizenship.PNG][*]"[Adventure Log]" and "[Public Logs]" could be made into a sub-menu under a heading [Logs] or similar.[*]"[Notepad]" could be shortened to [Notes].[/list]Finally if the remaining links could be organised into a bulleted list or visually appealing menu, I thing it would become much more easier navigatable.

e.g.

[list][*]Highscores/Player lists[*]Logs[*]Inventory[*]Wishpoints[*]Notes[*]Webcam[*]Moodpanel[/list]

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