The Psychology behind your UI

First off, this is going to sound absolutely insane; I discovered this from my studies & personal experiences with performance in dungeons/raids. I play a holy paladin, and use the standard Blizzard grid - I moved server and changed my race. I assumed that was what affected my healing - I was wrong. It was my UI entirely, and I discovered some psychology behind it.

What was wrong?
I was using the wrong side of my brain to play. Seriously.

What does UI have to do with this?
The positioning of my grid was changed - so that my right eye was dominantly seeing the grid I was using. This was a mistake. I'll go into more depth in a moment; the jist of it is, the very positioning of your UI in association with your hands & eyes is INCREDIBLY important. More so than people would give credit for!

Each side of your brain has trained functions, and you too can train them with proper knowledge and layout to make you a better gamer.

What the **** are you talking about?
A psychologist named Sperry proposed that people have 'two half brains'. This is because, and I'm sure you've seen it before, there's a divide down the middle of the brain.

These two sides are connected together, but act fairly independently. But we know from this and a few other experiments, that certain functions are in certain parts of the brain.
Think of it as two computers connected by an ethernet cable - it's not as fast when you're loading information, but it still works nonetheless!

The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, while the right side of your brain controls the left. This may seem unimportant, but it is.
Please note that the follow may be reversed for left handed people, I'm not sure on that one.

An example of this is writing - while of course your motor skills are different in each hand, the ability to write will be stored in the left hand side of your brain (provided you're right handed).

A few things the left side controls:

  • Complicated words
  • Advanced mathematics
  • Systemization

A few things the right side controls:

  • Emotion
  • Simple language

It is now important to take a few small tests to improve your UI.

Clench your hands together, interlocking your fingers. One thumb placed over the other.
The thumb on top means the OPPOSITE side is your dominant side. If your right thumb is on top, you're a left brained thinker!

Now put one hand out at arms length in front of you, roughly central to your face. Cover up each eye and notice which keeps the image the most steady. This is your dominant eye.
You've filled my head with these pointless facts, but what does this mean?
If you're dominantly right eyed, and left brained, then you want to put the vast majority of your UI where your right eye will focus on them. This will relay the information to the left hand side of your brain, where the advanced computing is done and then control your right hand (your mouse hand).

If you find yourself playing more with your keyboard you'd want to lay it out vice versa, ensuring the right side of your brain retrieves information and the left side of your body outputs faster.

The ideal:
You want to place your UI elements effectively on your screen, so you get an effect like this:

Rather than the extra step like you see here:

If there's one thing you take away from this...
Train your brain in a similar way when playing WoW or any other game with a custom interface - it'll help you build your gaming skills up with ease. Don't suddenly swap your UI drastically because it looks shiny!


SWTOR: Strategies

Diablo III news and guides

RIFT Guides | World of Rift

Master of World of Warcraft © 2006-2016
This site and the products and services offered on this site are not associated, affiliated, endorsed, or sponsored by Activision | Blizzard, nor have they been reviewed, tested or certified by Activision | Blizzard.