I suggest you ...

Add some color to Visual Studio 2012

Usability studies have shown that both shape and color help to distinguis visual elements in a UI. The upcoming/current beta release of Visual Studio 2011 has removed color from the toolbars and from icons in e.g. the Solution Explorer.

Please make this optional so those of us that want a more accessible and user friendly IDE can have their cake and eat it too.

13,330 votes
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    MichielMichiel shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Thomas Krueger MCTS Thomas Krueger MCTS shared a merged idea: Visual Studio 2012 need mor Color. It is increadible bad the black and white !  ·   · 
    Umar RiazUmar Riaz shared a merged idea: I hate the chrome of the new Visual studio 2012. PLEASE BRING COLORS BACK!  ·   · 
    Anonymous shared a merged idea: fix the color theme for VS2012, cause it causes too much eye strain  ·   · 
    Ray CarpenterRay Carpenter shared a merged idea: Colors, Colors, Colors!!! Visual Studio 2012 reminds me of the old Monochrome monitors days.  ·   · 
    Ifthekhar HasanIfthekhar Hasan shared a merged idea: Go back to drawing board to design look and fill of UI of VS 2012  ·   · 
    keyur shahkeyur shah shared a merged idea: Please make the developer life colorful with new VS2012. We finding ourself more busy in identifying new tool rather doing our development.  ·   · 
    AnonymousAnonymous shared a merged idea: Color in Visual Studio 2012  ·   · 
    VS11VS11 shared a merged idea: Add some color.....  ·   · 
    AnonymousAnonymous shared a merged idea: Add More Color to Visual Studio 11 RC and remove the CAPS!  ·   · 
    zerqzerq shared a merged idea: PLEASE!!!!!! Switch to a sane color scheme who ever had the idea to remove colors and contrast have him tared and feathered!!!  ·   · 
    Roman SallinRoman Sallin shared a merged idea: Use of color in Visual Studio 2011  ·   · 
    completed  ·  Visual Studio TeamAdminVisual Studio Team (Product Team, Microsoft) responded  · 

    Updated Status: 7/2/2013

    Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on this issue. Visual Studio 2013 has increased color and contrast use within the user interface while continuing to focus on giving the content you are creating and editing visual prominence. We’ve utilized the feedback you gave us to help refine our approach to color and contrast within three main areas: 1) we added color to icons and reduced line weights to improve icon scan-ability and to better communicate icon meaning and categorization; 2) we added line work and raised contrast levels to increase visual separation between screen regions; 3) we included a built-in “Blue” theme option at product first launch to better support user choice.

    In keeping with these three areas we have made many changes to the Visual Studio 2013 built-in themes. In high utilization and icon intensive areas of the product, such as common toolbar actions and code hierarchy elements, we refined the color and/or line weight of over 1,000 commonly used icons resulting in color being applied to ~80% of standard and debug toolbar icons, ~75% of code hierarchy icons, and 100% of active notifications. In both the Light and Dark themes we increased contrast levels and introduced more border line work to better highlight the edges of content areas such as input fields, tool window borders, active selection states, etc. We also introduced the ability to choose the theme that best meets your preferences and work environment needs as a part of the product first launch experience.

    Many of the changes we’ve made are subtle in nature but broad reaching in their application. As Visual Studio 2013 Preview has now shipped, we’re closing this item to give your votes back for you to use on emerging topics. We encourage you to try out the changes we’ve made and then share additional feedback you might have.

    Visual Studio UX Team

    Hi folks,

    Take a look at the VS 2012 Color Theme Editor – it is an option for creating and editing your own Visual Studio themes.


    Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM


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      • Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "Just remember when XP came out it received just as many complaints as Win7 / Win8 did on the UI, it is like you people have amnesia."

        I don't remember that. Such protests would have made no sense anyway because in both Windows XP & Vista/7 you could switch back to a classic interface style that looked identical to previous versions of Windows. The complaint here was that the old familiar interface style of VS was completely removed.

        "When Win8 was in dev preview, where were the mass protests? When VS changed the UI from the previous one, where was the mass protests?"

        Uh... they were here? You're in one right now. This particular topic was opened just weeks after the Beta build was released. The previous Developer Preview build had the VS2010 interface.

      • AnonAnon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It isn't a flamewar it is a sheer frustration that people in this thread are still complaining despite the fact that a 'solution' (although I feel unnecessary) was provided months ago. I mean what more do people want, if you read posts before me, it is nothing but the same criticism you here over and over.

        Surely you can understand why people like me have decided to react. Oh and my SQL Server remark wasn't relating to actual problems on SQL Server but that most (if not all) keywords in T-SQL are in caps.

        I just find it stupid that people are still whining about the UI and I find it worrying that this is actually the 'biggest suggestion' on here, over all the wonderful other ideas which would help enormously. Makes it seem like people prefer eye-candy over productivity

      • Phil MurrayPhil Murray commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Because the previous change in VS2010 was a positive one. The basic design was unchanged and the fact that it was written in XAML was transparent.

        Visual Studio 2012 has a lot of positives but for a great many of us the UI is not one of them. If you either like it or don't care then great but for other people it matters. Please take that into consideration before trying to start a flame war.

        By the way I do a great deal of work in SQL Server 05/08 and have no problems there.

      • Jesse McGrewJesse McGrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Anon, the interface has been a major source of complaints ever since VS 2012 (aka VS 11) was in beta. It was probably the top complaint on the beta and the RC, which is one reason why people are so upset that Microsoft failed to fix it for the release. Perhaps you're the one who has amnesia.

      • AnonAnon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just remember when XP came out it received just as many complaints as Win7 / Win8 did on the UI, it is like you people have amnesia. The problem really is sadly the internet pseudo journalists are desperate to whine about something and fanboi's complain because well why bloody not and everyone joins in, if they told you to shoot yourself in the foot you would too.

        When Win8 was in dev preview, where were the mass protests? When VS changed the UI from the previous one, where was the mass protests? Suddenly VS is released and now people are teaming up to stop this great evil the MS created to save mankind. I have heard of 1st world problems but man this is an absolute joke, try doing work on Linux / SQL Server for a month, I guarantee you will no longer be concerned with caps or UI colours or lack of borders -.-.

        I cant believe this is a major suggestion

      • Jesse McGrewJesse McGrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No, the blue theme doesn't fix the icons or the lack of borders between UI elements. As for your claim of hypocrisy, first, if you think Win8 is a nice design then you're part of the problem; second, the complaint here is that MS focused too much on (ruining) the interface instead of leaving it alone.

      • AnonAnon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Complete hypocrisy here, the second MS focus on making the design of something nice (MS Office with Ribbon, XP, Win8 etc) people whine and complain saying MS should be focusing on the content. The second they focus on the content people want a design change.

        So many people upset because Menu headers now are in caps, really? REALLY?

        There was already theme options containing black / white, and judging by most of these comments I doubt people knew how to change it, now there is a blue option similar to VS2010.

        The white UI wasn't nice to look at but it wasn't even on my top 100 things to change, simply because there was an alternative.

        Oh and like others have mentioned over and over UPDATE 2 CONTAINS THE BLUE THEME!! Stop moaning about this now, they already 'fixed' the issue, seriously complaining still about this issue makes you look hugely incompetent

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VS2012 is hideous, ugly, indescribably bad. And the black icons, and black icons in the new data tools replacement for BIDS.... completely unusable. Every UI team in microsoft should be fired.
        Soon you'll be forcing the #@#$@#$% ribbon on us.

      • drweb86drweb86 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        i really want things in VS and Windows UI became better, because i don't want it to be as comfortable as linux now.

      • drweb86drweb86 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        i very want to notify good things in IDE... but that theme is inspiring me to write messages here instead of using it.

      • drweb86drweb86 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I hate that thing, that i cannot use Visual Studio out of the box without external patchers for icons and theme editor.

      • Rev. Joseph HausbrauRev. Joseph Hausbrau commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Whose review hinged on these lousy UI decisions?
        As a software professional, don't force me to use cartoon interfaces - that Win8 **** might be nice for the attention challenged, but they don't belong on a tool that has served us well for so long.

        To be honest, I am now exploring other IDEs and technologies - MS has been failing us dearly as of late, you really ought to get the clue and quit alienating your core users.

      • Harrison MoccioHarrison Moccio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @David Slinn: "Update 2" to Visual Studio 2012 which came out last week added a third 'Blue' palette option. This is much better now.

      • Dave SlinnDave Slinn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Harrison - using the color theme editor, choose the first option, "Blue", to make the coloring resemble VS2010.

      • Harrison MoccioHarrison Moccio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Sam I do have the latest build of VS. If you are referring to the "light" theme included in Visual Studio, this is just a huge mass of grey which looks nothing like VS2008/2010.

      • Harrison MoccioHarrison Moccio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please implement a third default theme which emulates the color palette of previous Visual Studio releases: VS2010 is an excellent start.

      • elderbenassielderbenassi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Almost 20 years ago I started developing software. I had a 286 PC with a Hercules display adapter and a monochrome white-phosphorous 12-inch monitor, running Borland Turbo C IDE under DOS.
        Five years later I got a new PC with a VGA full (read 256) colors on Borland IDE. I was absolute surprised how beautiful and productive the same Borland was under a color display.
        Today I feel the same as I went back 20 years, sitting in front of that miserable Hercules display, when I start VS 2012.
        One thing that the VS team might not realize is that regular (not Microsoft ones) software developers usually doesn't have much time to waste on "fine tune" or "create your own hundred-thousend-icon IDE theme from scratch". They usually need to work hard on profitable things to earn some money and pay the bills...

      • Ali MAli M commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Visual Studio Team,

        One question always goes in my mind any time I look at the VS 2012 UI:

        I use VS12 every day and I really comprehend how you could make such decision for the icons. I am really concern for the future of the product.

        Concerned developer …

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