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.
Please make more Color the the Visual Studio 2012. We must work with that black and white Studio. Colors help to find faster items. I don't know what Microsoft think about colors? Please give me my Color back!
I hate the chrome of the new Visual studio 2012. All toolbar icons are bitonal. Just blank and while not even grey shades in them and are tiny. I am having a hard time finding toolbar buttons. It look like i am back in early 1980s with bitonal computer screens. But this one is even worse than that. PLEASE BRING COLORS BACK!
revert to a more colorful theme so that screen elements are more easily differerentiated
Please bring back the colors in Solution Explorer. I am back to reading the words instead of quickly looking at the icons.
Have the UI designers of VS 2012 lost thier mind. Guys look at the UI, it looks so medicore that it seems older version than Visual Studio 1.1. I think VS 1.1 look and fill was better than VS 2012. Look at UI 2010. It was one of the best UI look and fill. How come quality of UI design degrades so sharply. I think designers of VS 2012 have lost theirs eyes. Folks go back to drawing board please.
Why microsoft is leaving the colorfull world? Some of the MS beauti doesnot require to change. You are making developer life so difficult with new IDE color theme.(I am sorry Black and white theme as there is no color.).
The User interface of VS2012 is ungly and black and white. Icons colors,location of toolbars all looks ungly.
I know in general if you want to teach someone color and picture is the best way to teach. but after seeing UI of VS2012 its hard to teach. I am feeling like I am a color blind.
Please do not change the nature.
I would like to add my voice to the list of those asking for color, at least as an option, to be brought back to Visual Studio. I understand the usability arguments that Microsoft is making, but it seems to me that you are overlooking one very important consideration. Many of us use autohide to solve this problem. Therefore, when we go into Solution Explorer (for example), we want our focus there, and the color schemes help us more quickly find what we need. Then, as soon as we click out of there, it is hidden and therefore cannot possibly distract us. Please don’t take this option away.
RC from Beta has a minor improvement, but its not enought!
The coloring is really almost not noticable, the problem was not with the status bar coloring, but with the items in the solution explorer and the ToolBox menu, and toolbars.
even in RC the files are not easily recognised!
and the all CAPS in the menu is really like watching Clipper from 1980 all over again!
guys please reconsider, METRO Style is NOT for an IDE developing tool!
you are making our lifes ******, and eventually we will stop folowing the .NET.
PLEASE!!!!!! Switch to a sane color scheme who ever had the idea to remove colors and contrast have him tared and feathered!!!
and sent to Siberia!
this color schema is painfull to look at and debilitating..
it will reduce productivity and programmers will to live!
even cats and dogs would complain and they only see a few more cholors the monocrome...
the human eye in contrast can see as much as 10 milion colors why should we be limited to gray scale?!!
I wont be upgrading my visual studio 10 if these colors remain that a absolute iron hard fact...
If your adding a theme editor to it and this is your way of forcing the comunity to find the optimal color theme by giving them a kick in the @$$ then by all means... but i seriously hope your not expecting anyone to work like this...
that would be insanity!
Removing color from icons and symbols in Visual Studio is a step in the wrong direction. What is the use of icons and symbols? They have to make functions recognizable. The more icons you have the more they have to be well recognizable.
Another aspect: the use of color makes Visual Studio friendlier. The actual beta looks gloomy and sad
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
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
Jesse McGrew commented
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.
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
Igor Maksymenko commented
does microsoft ever listen to it's customers
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.
i really want things in VS and Windows UI became better, because i don't want it to be as comfortable as linux now.
i very want to notify good things in IDE... but that theme is inspiring me to write messages here instead of using it.
I hate that thing, that i cannot use Visual Studio out of the box without external patchers for icons and theme editor.
Rev. Joseph Hausbrau commented
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.
@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 Slinn commented
@Harrison - using the color theme editor, choose the first option, "Blue", to make the coloring resemble VS2010.
@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.
Sam Blowes commented
@Harrison this already exists, make sure you have all the latest updates
Please implement a third default theme which emulates the color palette of previous Visual Studio releases: VS2010 is an excellent start.
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 M commented
Dear Visual Studio Team,
One question always goes in my mind any time I look at the VS 2012 UI:
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU DECIDED TO CHOOSE THE BLACK AND WHITE ICONS?
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 …
Gustavo Ganna commented
@Anonymous ... Well maybe the UI is the first major issue ... some devs don't want to invest time trying to decrypt what means such bicolored icons.
I personally start to check the product capabilities "only if" the GUI is in some fashion ... usable ... if not (like this case) I simple close the **** out and return to a well know & productive enviroment ... almost there is no such feel of increasing stress by trying to adopt and work with those products designed by marketers.
Are you ******* kidding me? There are major issues, and the top problem people vote up is that there isn't enough ******* color?
Please you are still not listening:
a) Its not enough!
b) VS should come out of the box with a usable and workable interface
Why can't you take the feedback on-board? The tools group are becoming as bad as the Windows group at turning what should be a winning product into a lame duck with such amazing gusto and arrogance.
The comment from Anonymous April 24, 2013 2:20 p.m about says it all for a lot of us developers
As a longtime developer all I can say is wow. I've invested 25 years in learning and promoting the use of your products and managed to build a career for myself. Why? Because you had a successful business image and Exec's were comfortable with me using your products. I followed your design cues and produced applications that solved business problems i.e. we put some serious money on the table with good custom software. It looks good and it works even better.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - there's real work to do out here. Giving serious development tools a modern or metro interface treatment is not necessary. It's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. We need elegant development tools that are aligned with how we work today and are not being mocked by the entire user community as consumer oriented toys. Whatever your goals were with the desktop - it hasn't exactly been a hit.
VS2012 needs the VS2010 skin and icons. The Windows desktop needs Aero, the Start Button and the Start Menu. Why? Because we need a consistent development platform to innovate and move technology forward. Out here in the real world it takes time and by extension money to change things. You're not helping us at all by giving the development tools a consumer interface treatment. Stability is everything. I see it. My customers see it. Why don't you?
It's the most minging UI I've ever had the misfortune to have to use, but with some of the third party hacks coming online it's possible to make it usable.
Visual Studio Icon Patcher is a good start but misses all the Class View and C++ Project icons. Just release an official patch to reinstate the VS2010 coloured icons and all will be calm again in the land of the Windows developers.