The value of an intuitive interface is something that is often overlooked. Just because an interface works, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved and is honestly something you should continue to improve over time as needs change and tools (addons) improve.
The Purpose / Intent
When it comes to excelling in a raid environment, there are two main goals: being efficient at your role and adhering to the encounter mechanics. Sometimes, a poor UI can get in the way of that by removing your eyes from where they should be – your character’s feet. Every second you’re removing your eyes from the center of your screen, you’re increasing the risk of failing at mechanics. With an updated, clean UI, you can reduce that risk while still being able to optimize your rotation and effectiveness with greater potential than a default interface.
You’ll notice in my interface, the important items are all centered on my screen. Any additional information that is still useful, but not necessary to be in sight at all times during an encounter are pushed off to the side. This allows me to keep me eyes on my character and everything vital to my rotation and the encounter is within immediate sight. Below, you will see the addons I use to accomplish this and how I’ve laid them out!
Overall Unit Frames / Layout. I switched over to ElvUI at the beginning of WoD to consolidate a lot of the UI addons I had. I highly recommend – lots of features, highly customizable, looks great.
Encounter Timers. A huge part of being a good raider is understanding how to react to mechanics before they happen. Timers allow you know when an ability is going to take place, so you can react accordingly. This includes things like cooldown alignment, positioning, etc.
You’re doing it wrong. If you’re standing in bad, GTFO will beep at you. The goal is to not get beeped at, but if it does yell at you – move it!
Exorsus Raid Tools
Raider toolset. ERT is a compilation of a lot of tools useful for raiders and raid leaders. It includes global notes to share for things like cooldown assignments, boss mods to make specific encounters more manageable and quite a few more.
SliceCommander / NeedToKnow
Spell timers: durations and cooldowns. Knowing when to refresh buffs/debuffs is a huge deal. This will provide you the ability to easily see buff/debuff durations, so you know exactly when to clip to maximize on the pandemic mechanic. There are also various WeakAura packages the community has created which are comparable. (NeedToKnow alternative).
Customizable modules. While BigWigs and SliceCommander/NeedToKnow will cover the majority of timers; however, sometimes you need something more custom. I only use WA to track one-off buffs like trinket procs. However, WA is extremely strong and can do pretty much anything.
Encounter statistics recap. I’m sure everyone knows this by now. Useful for keeping an eye on dps/heal performance, as well as discovering death causes/interrupts/priority damage.
Inventory management. Categorizes your bags, so no more sifting or manually adjusting. Overrides available, so it can function like you want it to.
Improved Premade Finder. For those who find themselves pugging often, this adds the ability to sort by difficulty and a number of other filters to find the exact groups you want.
Hopefully this exemplifies the potential of how a custom UI can yield some great results. I definitely encourage you to tweak and make changes based on your playstyle and tendencies. The UI is your personalized gateway into being a better raider. It will allow you to focus on the encounter and keep your eyes where they need to be – your character’s feet. Thanks for reading and good luck raiding!
If you have any feedback or recommendations, please share in the comments section below or reach out to me on Twitter!