I’ve spent a lot of time designing API driven KPI style dashboards for my industrial operations and given the industry changes coming as detailed in the Summer 2012 CSM7 minutes, I want to share my designs to (hopefully) inspire people for upcoming Winter expansion (I wonder if CCP’ers read this blog).
My mission statement with these was to use a clean, elegant format to give a high level display into my industry operations while using Eve icons and market prices. I should be able to tell the materials and price/profit for items at a glance without referring to other menus, applications, or looking up historical prices.
The below shot is active industry jobs. I want to know what is being used, who is using it, current and future ME/PE/Copy numbers, and a pretty display for the job progress.
Another dashboard that I created was capital jobs only. Since these jobs were so long, I wanted to be able to see them progress on a calendar. This has allowed me to keep idle blueprints busy and schedule large-scale builds since capital jobs require large amounts of minerals.
Though the current Eve client does display industry jobs, I find it to be inelegant.
The information displayed is all text, almost like I was reading a database table. Also, I am constantly switching between filter options as the window does not remember my past settings.
When I experimented with supplementing my POS network with PI items, I wanted to be able to display my PI network. I needed to know who owned the item, what is was producing, the output quantity, and how much ISK/day that operation was making.
Additionally, I did some work with the database table for PI items (wonderful self-referencing table) to show me what items up the PI T0 to T3 tree I can currently make given what I am extracting. The page ends up being quite long as it displays all tiers so I cropped this shot after T2. The red marks next to the T1 items mean that I don’t have the T1 items in stock so I can’t make the resultant T2 item.
This is a great example of my ‘high level’ approach. I can now easily answer the question of “can I make Robotics?”. No, I need to be making this at T1 and this at T2. I don’t have to spend time looking at blueprints and their requirements — no additional pages or reference material.
Tech 2 Production
Tech 2 manufacturing can get quite complicated. I was spending a lot of time checking what I had in stock, the build requirements, and final costs. This page gives me the ability to simply move a blueprint from the left column (stock) to the right (build queue) and it queries the database to display everything that I need to make that item.
Multiple blueprints can be added to the queue and materials are aggregated together. This allowed me to place all my blueprints in a queue and create a shopping list of things I need to create the run.
The same story continues for capital ships. I can select my BPO/BPC, the ME level, the character producing it, and the production station. When the location is picked the bottom panes pull from the assets and tell me what I have in stock and what I need in order to complete the job.
I want to see a reduction in the amount of clicks and an increase in the amount of user feedback and intelligence given to the user. The displays should not just be a simple static display. They should be more dynamic — pull from your inventory when you select a production system and tell me what I need, display a build quote that doesn’t require me to have all the items or know their build requirements, and use the new Inferno universal market price for items.
The following items are some basic guidelines that I use when setting up the Eve client for my trading operation. Everyone is different, so take my suggestions into consideration when setting up your layout. There are a few ways to be productive with the current UI.
- Market on the top section. I merge Mail, Contracts, and Corporation windows into this section.
- Wallet with Orders tab open on the bottom merged with Inventory.
- Local isolated on the lower left and any special or intel channels above it.
- Station services left alone on the right.
This area of the Market interface is the lifeblood of my operation. Take the time to properly setup your lists with folders as it will allow you to quickly scan and locate items.
I’m only interested in around 400 or so items out of the thousands of items on the market — don’t spend time typing in the Search, have everything in your QuickBar!
I take one client and make it the master and when I have finalized a number of edits to the QuickBar, I copy it to other character’s setups. There is a unique .dat file for each character.
C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\CCP\EVE\[eve instance name]\settings (Windows 7)
core_user_[eve user id].dat
Example of my organized QuickBar:
Enable this with the Market > Settings > Mark my orders option. I use this to visually show how I am controlling a market. It can also give you insight into how competitive the item is by how many orders have been updated since your last check.
An update operation involves me going down the Wallet > Oders list, double-clicking on each row. If an order needs updating, I right-click on it and selecting Modify Order.
Did you know that you can move prices from the Modify window up or down by 0.01 ISK by using the scroll-wheel? I discovered this by accident. Happy 0.01’ing!
- Kerning and Tracking! Take a look at how the ‘La’ for Large merge into one character.
- Increase visibility of commas and periods
- Further differentiate ‘Q’ and ‘O’ characters
- Reduce overall height
- (Personal preference) Use a horizontal bar in the the zero character and not a diagonal one. I’m finding that looking at 100,000 to be very distracting when you have multiple rows of zeros.