Evolving the Fitting Window

Fitting UI Concept Revised
REVISED: I spent more than twenty minutes on this idea

Fitting UI Concept Eve
The original attempt

Yesterday CCP Karkur asked us for our opinions regarding the state of the Fitting Window in-game and what changes, updates and features we'd like to see added, subtracted, or otherwise revised on the existing pop-up window feature. You can read the thread for yourself or add your opinions.

And yes, I'm making a conscious effort to be slightly more involved in the forums. I've always been pretty much zero involved in the forums, so any posts by me are going to be a slight improvement. But I'm trying.

After I started seeing all the posts it became obvious that most people, naturally, were focusing on features that bear a striking resemblance to EFT, or Pyfa, or other 3rd party fitting tools that are available. This is normal. The mere idea of more features inside of Eve is an exciting one. But the repetition of ideas started to make me worry, so I decided to make a bold suggestion.

Then I will make the following suggestion. Before implementing any "tweaks" to the current fitting window, perhaps a better next step would be to step back and take a fresh look at the entire concept of a "fitting window".
As others have noted, the current window design is essentially a revised and revised version of the original pop-up window that has been made to look better and better over the last decade. Perhaps we should be asking, do we even need a pop-up window anymore? Do we need a window whose largest section is a 3d version of the ship most likely already behind it? Perhaps the same functionality (and more) could be obtained by UI elements that hover over the ship already in our hangar? Instead of a pop-up window, perhaps we can design something more elegant and incorporated into the design of the hangar, around the ship already floating there.
I for one would much rather see a more integrated solution, more tastefully designed, than just more features loaded into another revision of the fitting window.
I then decided it would be a good idea to do a quick mock-up of what I was talking about, which is the image at the top of this post. I'm not trying to give myself any extra kudos here, I spent a total of twenty minutes on that image, only trying to make the case for approaching the idea from a different angle.

I will say, in all fairness, that the thread is clearly a blue-sky conceptual white-board thread, and that CCP is in the very early stages of even considering changes to the Fitting Window. Which is great.

Eve's UI has improved significantly in only the past two years. But it can continue to evolve and change and become a much more fully integrated UI in the next two years. Personally I'd like to see it become less and less reliant on "pop-up" windows and more and more integrated. Let's be honest, back when Eve first started the technological whiz-bang of UI design was certainly pop-up navigation. But the world has moved on, when Eve started the Mobile/Tablet/Smart Phone revolution wasn't even imagined yet. UI navigation and design is much different now, the audience more sophisticated, and the design expectations more evolved. Everything is about clean, simple, fully integrated solutions.

And within the context of a science-fiction universe, even more so.

My thought is a simple one. The 3d space of our hangar is used for nothing other than spinning ships. This should not be the case. CCP has an opportunity to see that space as a resource that can lead to the integration of ALL "windows" into a more dynamic fully realized UI experience. Imagine with me that all the current windows you can have open when docked are integrated into your hangar. That dynamic roll-overs activate features in holographic over-layed displays that present features, modules, activities, and choices in an intelligent and dynamic manner. I hate using old tired metaphors, but think "Minority Report".

I have no idea where Eve is headed. But, as always, I'm hopeful that it continues to thrive, grow and evolve. And I won't stop trying to help it get there. Even from this tiny little corner of mine.




6 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

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  2. So between the art and these concepts you should be hired for marketing & design dept at CCP any time now.

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  3. I think it's a very strong concept. I'd be very happy if CCP just implemented this. In any case, it throws a great idea into the discussion. 07.

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  4. This concept is hot hot hot. In practice it has some big downsides, mainly that it only works in the station environment. Fitting also needs to be usable in space and I can't see anything other than a real window working with that.

    Also walking in stations lol.

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  5. How would this work for pulling up saved fits for other ships?

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  6. The idea of integrating the tool is good, worth exploring, but I don't like any of your attempts so far. :-)

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