I just preordered the game yesterday, and I must say, it’s goood fun so far! Now here are a few things I’ve noticed that will make the UI easier and less bothersome to use:
- Minimize mouse clicks: Right now, for example if I want to issue an Escort order, I have to click 1. Add Order, 2. click Escort, 3. click Ok, 4. click Set Target, 5. click on the target ship, and 6. click Ok. That’s a lot of clicks, 6 if I can still count, for a very simple process. On top of that, it’s not even possible to confirm “Ok” in all those dialog boxes by just hitting Enter. What about this instead?
How it could work: All possible orders are listed in the (currently mostly empty) list on the left side. By default, all except the “Attack…” orders are inactive (=greyed out). If you want to add an order, you 1. select a ship and 2. click on the greyed out order, activating it. If there are additional options, as in case of the Escort or Protect orders, a window opens (for example on the side, as it does now), or a simple prompt with the words “Select ship to escort/protect”, and with just one more click, you select the target. That would reduce the six clicks needed above to just two, an immense improvement if you ask me.
- Enable keyboard users: As mentioned above, most dialog boxes cannot be operated without the mouse. By nature, keyboard input is faster than locating a click target and clicking it with the mouse. It would help the UI a lot if obvious choices as in [Yes]/[No]-prompts could be selected by pressing Enter/Esc, for example. Also, keyboard navigation for the lists in the ship designer would be helpful… having to hover over a module to see which type it is, then click the individual module to see its stats is pretty clumsy. If the game worked with (not sure if this is the right terminology) focus areas, as in, click in a field and then be able to navigate it with the keyboard (or as an analogue, hover over an area and be able to scroll it via mousewheel, which e.g. doesn’t work for the ship design list in the deployment screen). There should be some more thought put into this stuff
That’s all the UI stuff I can think of off the top of my head, hope the feedback is appreciated!