Wow, this has garnered a lot of interest very quickly. First of all, thanks a lot for all the constructive feedback so far, it's extremely useful and very much appreciated. A few pointers I forgot to put in the original peace which I'll add now:
Original news post:
- That "spacey" background behind NMM is the desktop background and not a part of NMM itself
- We will still be supporting "category view" and "all view", I just haven't had a mock-up done for the non-category view yet
- Search functionality is actually the next thing going in to NMM, and will be in way before this redesign is complete. Same with mod profiles.
- The ability to skin NMM to better suit your own personal favourite colour schemes has been requested a lot. I'll pass this on to the development team but I do think it's likely that we'll just have this one dark-colour theme to begin with and then look to provide more skins further on down the line (and hopefully open it up to you to make your own)
- We cannot and will not be providing an optional switch between the old and the new UI. It's just not feasibly possible for us to support both the old, defunct UI and the new UI. Upon moving to the new UI we'll jump the versioning up to 0.90.0 of NMM, go through a final round of BETA testing and then, fingers crossed, release 1.0 once we're confident the transition is bug free. Older versions of NMM should still work but will be no longer supported by us directly.
I thought I’d share with you some preliminary, non-final mock-ups that we’ve been working on with some professional web/graphic/software/UI designers over the past few weeks for the Nexus Mod Manager in the hopes of not only preparing you for the shock of the change but also to get some feedback.
As I’ve said all the way through the life-span of NMM how NMM looks is most definitely not final. Before I will stick that coveted 1.0 version number on to the software that indicates it’s out of beta it will most definitely be going through a face-lift, and it’s going to be a face-lift that completely changes the look of the software from a “my first .NET coding project” look to a “yeah, this might be going somewhere” look.
At the moment NMM isn’t the prettiest of software but it does pay homage to the grassroots of the software and that cliched “made by modders, for modders” look to it that suggests functionality and simplicity was more important to the author than snazzy superfluous graphics. However, going hand in hand with our current focus on shifting the Nexus from supporting a handful of games to supporting all games I’d like to work closer with some developers to integrate their games better into NMM right from the get-go. Fact is, it’s actually very easy for us to add support for most games in to NMM but (a) we don’t have Nexus sites for the game and (b) if you show a developer NMM, on first sight, it doesn’t give off the best impression. We’re in the process of sorting out (a) already, and now we’re in the process of sorting out (b) as well. Ergo what we really want to do is give NMM a face-lift that makes me happy, makes you happy and makes game developers happy to endorse it while, hopefully, improving the experience for everyone.
It’s my hope that you’ll look at these mock-ups and think “Wow, it’s changed, but actually, a lot of the stuff is in the same place, it just looks different”. I want you to be able to open it up and not spend minutes trying to find features you used to be able to find easily out of habit. In all honesty the current NMM design is horrible in this regard for new-comers and has heavy “mystery meat” UI elements that mean you don’t have a clue what a button does until you press it and find out. Of course, you’re used to where everything is in NMM now, and hopefully with this new UI you won’t be doing too much (or any searching) to find the functions you use in the current UI.
I’m sharing these mock-ups with you to not only show you what we’ve come up with so far but also to get your opinion. Unfortunately opinions on massive changes like this can sometimes be extremely dividing and it can be very tough for me to sift through the honest, proper critiques, criticisms and feedback that I really want to pay attention to and the “haters gonna hate, being bitter about change for the sake of being bitter” category of person who’s just going to dote on hate just because they’re that kind of person. So if or when you provide feedback on the mock-ups please try to take that into consideration, for my sake. Are you providing valuable, useful feedback that I can use or are you just a hater with nothing worthwhile to say? Show enough hate and I will just hide your comment as it’ll be unhelpful to the process and clutter up the feedback I actually want to be looking at. You can dislike it, but you’ve got to give good reasons why. How would you change it? What would you do when “don’t change a thing” isn’t an option?
We also want to try and maintain as much roll-back functionality as possible with NMM. We provide users with a large number of our previous versions that you can roll-back to at any time if you don’t like what we’ve done. We don’t stop you from doing that like most others out there, but if you stick to older versions and avoid getting used to new versions then you are going to miss out on new functionality, bug fixes and the like. That’s completely your choice.
So without further ado here are the mock-ups. Remember these are preliminary, unfinished, and things like wording (and spelling mistakes) are most definitely not final.Loading splash screenGame detection screenInstalled mods screenDownload managerPlugin managerSettings window