I've been using the new hero picker UI, and for a lot of the things that I'd like to do at that screen, it's getting in the way more than it's been helping. Since the new carousel is strongly reminiscent of Cover Flow, I'll refer to it as the Cover Flow UI (CFUI).

Suggestions:

Make selecting a character with a keyboard more reliable.
While one can pick a hero by typing its name in at the CFUI, it's possible to get the character-picker selection screen in a state where typing a name won't select a character. For example, if I press CTRL to swap to Grid View, simply typing in a name won't work anymore. To make sure that one can always select a character with the keyboard, using just the keyboard, regardless of whether they're using the CFUI or Grid View, I suggest...

Have CTRL-L move keyboard focus to the character-selection filter box.
CTRL-L is the standard keyboard shortcut for "move focus to address bar" in all Web browsers on Windows; this piggybacks on user muscle memory from other programs.

Make the character-selection filter box the only way to filter by name.
The filter box and white-letter search provide confusingly similar functionality; I'd recommend getting rid of "search" for simplicity. Additionally, by removing search, there's no chance of getting an interminably-long two-second zip through all the hero cards to get from "alchemist" to "venomancer".


In a similar vein, there are a few things I'd really like in a future UI update:


Make it easier for novices to answer questions about team composition.
I play a handful of heroes tolerably well, but I don't know the rest of them very well at all. Because of this, I'd like to be able to answer questions like these, at a glance, without having to hover my mouse pointer over anything:
  • How many carries do we have on our team? (if we have two already, I'm not playing Drow or Sven.)
  • Who on our team is melee, and who's ranged? (If we have 3 melee heroes already, I'm not going Sven.)


While I appreciate the collectible-trading-card aesthetic of the character picker, it's still difficult for me to look at a character attribute icon on the right side of the card and figure out what they mean without having to hover my mouse pointer over each of them.

Make CTRL-BACKSPACE delete the previous word.

All of the text boxes in Valve games seem to support CTRL-left and CTRL-right to move the cursor forwards and backwards by words, but none of them also support CTRL-BACKSPACE. Oddly enough, the "Profile Name" text box in the Steam UI does support CTRL-BACKSPACE, and deleting words in it is fantastically pleasurable.