User Interface Design

There are a couple of wish list items relating to the games UI but they have no votes and sit there, languishing in the sun like discarded fast food containers. There is little point starting another or even voting on the existing ones.

Almost all discussion pertaining to this game relates to other elements but the one thing you do the most to interact with this software is use the UI, and what a terrible UI it is. I have a very powerful system but interacting with this game feels like I’m running a quad core processor, 4GB of ram with Crysis running in the background in “hurt me” mode. Venture into the UI of any other modern, AAA title and you see fast, fluid, modern design. The interfaces are rapid, reacting instantly to clicks and commands, and get you to the point of what you want done in a timely manner.

FS2020 on the other hand makes you literally fear the plane select menu as the screen turns into a juddering mess as you try to scroll the list, press multiple buttons, (why show all plane types for one plane, why not let us click the plane then select a variant, makes the list shorter and faster, no?) fight the weather and time resetting themselves, try and fail to select and ramp or gate because the map keeps bouncing around or a cloud is in the way. You can turn the clouds off but it will only reset to cloud mode when you come back so what’s the point?

Even the sound effects are terrible. Why? because they are too long. The design is clunky and slow but the sound effects make it feel even slower and more lethargic. As for the Marketplace… horrifying doesn’t begin to cover it.

The UI and the opening splash screens suggest an absence of both a UX specialist and a graphic designer, so I would respectfully ask that you hire both, spend some money, save us all from this front end monster you have created. If you have both of these on staff then I would love to know the rationale, for example, behind the big red “you have no internet connection” box that cannot be dismissed along with other logical fallacies. No answers will come, but let this be a note to future generations that we tried to make it better.


The interface was designed to be easily navigable with a console controller, and the tiled view makes it easier to view while sat some distance away viewing it on a television.

You may remember the shock people got when they switched from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and to a lesser degree 8.1. An option for a slightly less “busy” menu system, and cut down or eliminate entirely any animations/background video would be welcome.

The X-Plane aircraft chooser, itself tile based because of the thumbnails, is fine. The MSFS version just has lots of “fluff” it is embedded in.

I think over the last year or so I have looked at the hangar view maybe once or twice. Lots of streamlining could be done here.

umm no sorry, I spend no more than 5 to 10 minutes in the UI then I’m in the plane where I spend a majority of my time, there’s where “most” of my time is spent.

As for the UI I have no major issues with it and, going by the low number of votes as you say, perhaps not many others do either. Sure it could be improved and tweaked, above that the “new” UI bugs introduced since SU5 could do with fixing (fingers crossed for SU6…).

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Part of the poor performance we see in the menus is due to the “runaway” GPU usage in the background. If the background of the menu system wasn’t causing your GPU to run at 100% (a very old bug that’s been dutifully ignored from the start), the menus wouldn’t be as slow and unresponsive as they are.

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There is hardly any interaction with the plane once it is up in the air, if it’s GA then you use the stick, if it’s an airliner you fall asleep for 7 hours waiting for it to land (an exaggeration but it makes the point). The interaction part is the UI, either the main menu or other menus and it’s one particular garbage fire that needs to be extinguished.

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Umm ok, you appear to have an agenda so I’ll leave you too it :slightly_smiling_face:

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There would appear to be a skills gap at Asobo when it comes to basic UX work and design, neither is a good thing in a software development company, the 50 second lag just to let you know the game has launched, is all any of us really need to know to understand the problem.

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Totally agreed. I quite dislike the UI overall. The whole UX is rather poor IMHO. Whoever designed it wasn’t an expert and made is a consoley as possible.

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When you log your start and end points on the map window and you have some waypoints, try clicking on a waypoint to remove it in the line below the selector menus… you can’t, that’s bad design that is easy to fix but they never have. The agenda is to get better design so the UI gets out of the way, let’s the user do what they need to do efficiently and quickly and then we can all have a merry xmas.

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I’m not a fan of the UI or the UX in the sim.

While the UI is designed to help Console users, a lot of the convenience PC users are used to in an app is gone. My favourite example is the steps required to go from a cockpit camera to a cabin looking over the wing view:

Step FSX/9 etc. MSFS
1. Right-click anywhere on the screen Move your mouse to the top of the screen to make the menu icons visible.
2. Move your mouse down the context menu to the camera section, and hover over the Airplane category Click on the Camera icon
3. Look through the list of named* cameras, and click on the desired one Click on the showcase tab
4. On the tabs at the top of the camera window, click on the static (non-drone cam) tab
5. Start clicking on each camera (as they aren’t named) until you find the one you are looking for

* In FSX/9 and older cameras were given logical names and broken into sensible categories (e.g., “Left-Wing”, “Right Wing”, “Landing Gear”.) - in MSFS the showcase cameras are given sequential numbers.

As you can see the process is far simpler with the old UI for camera management. That is not to say it is all bad, I love that we can change the weather and time of day without having to go into a menu that pauses the sim, but I do miss the context menus. They are less hardware-intensive to draw, had a more sensible layout, and were more efficient to navigate.

If you want an example of poor UX design, take a look at the numerous threads that are popping up where people are unable to make marketplace transactions with no stated error, and worse the number of posts popping up where people end up being double charged because the UX design leads to a Gulf of Evaluation. - This is made worse yet by the dismissal support provided by Microsoft and partners which often leaves users out of pocket.

Yes the UI needs to console friendly. I haven’t got an issue with that, I am glad that console users are being given the opportunity to enjoy our hobby, but it would be nice if Asobo’s UI/UX dev(s) could make allowances for users to choose an optimal UI experience based on their platform.


Right-click context menus would be an excellent addition, but will never happen as MSFS is multi platform. It is too wedded to the console/controller design philosophy.

If it had never been decided to release it on console, I guarantee you it would look nothing like what we see now, and there would have been scope for some of these quality of life improvements.

Mind you, it could be worse. We could have been forced to hold a button down when confirming an action until a little white circle is filled in. Anyone who has played No Mans Sky will likely recognise that.

I can’t think of a single multi platform release that has significant UI changes for the PC version, that would favour a mouse, and keyboard for input.

But I can think of many where an original PC only release spawned a multi platform sequel that had an inferior UI because it had to be navigable with a controller. One of the worst that springs to mind is Deus Ex 2: Invisible War. A pale shadow of the original in every way except perhaps the graphics.


The strange thing is that for a few days after SU3 launched several months ago, there was a small MSFS splash screen that appeared on the desktop immediately after clicking on the MSFS icon. It would remain displayed until the first full screen “X-Box Game Studios” screen appeared. At least that would give an indication that “something was happening” behind the scenes.

But, after a few days, that splash screen stopped appearing, and I have never seen it since.


My major headache with the UI is the weight and balance screen. It’s like the person who coded the part to enter quantities has never developed a UI before. It’s not clear where to click to edit the number because the visual box is much larger than the clickable entry field. Then once you click, there is no visible cursor to let you know you are now live editing. And finally backspace and delete don’t follow normal rules.



I thought the UI would grow on me, but it’s been over a year and I still don’t like it. It’s slow and laggy. The aircraft selection screen is the one that bothers me the most…I have 170 aircraft and variants to choose from, and it takes me forever to find the plane I want. I need to be able to organize them how I want, and combine all the variants of one aircraft so the list isn’t so long.

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WOW…I agree…
We really do not know “for sure” what the GPU is doing with all those files during startup and running, but it does not feel logical. Seems that my GPU running at 90-99% during startup and my CPU running at 15% seems a bit awkward. To top that, during the running of the sim, my GPU remains about 90-97% and my CPU stays cool and relaxed running at 15-20% … and I have a lower tier 6 Core, CPU. Go Figure !

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GPU usage in the start / menu screens is insane. There’s no logical reason for this.

And the fact that some people (even with high speed connections) are unable to download updates at beyond 50 Mbits, you can potentially have someone running their RTX3090 (350W) for 12+ hours doing absolutely nothing… It’s not just wasteful in terms of electricity cost, especially if you live in a place wiht high power costs. It’s environmentally irresponsble.


I use an Nvida card and cap my frame rate to 50 in the Control Panel.
That stops the runaway fps in the menu and loading screens.

That will work for most folks. However, if you have a cockpit setup and plan to pop out windows to use for that purpose, you’ll suddenly be running single digit frame rates. This isn’t a workaround for everyone. And we SHOULDN’T have to do this to work around something they broke.

I think this is fair comment, especially when it could be argued that the MSFS UI is a step backwards from the previous FSX UI.

But with so many other, higher priority aspects of MSFS that need to be corrected, the UI is at least reasonably adequate for its tasks.

Hopefully, when & if the UI gets updated, it will be a better designed and implemented “re-design” rather than just a few crude patches…

Perhaps the best solution would be to farm it out to specialist company, let them work on it and then bring it into the game (much like they have done with Working Title).