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
It's not ONLY color that's needed... removing the "line work" to such an extent pretty much makes everything a muddle. The tabs at the bottom of the windows (output, debug, error) are particularly messy without line-work.
TOO MUCH chrome is bad. TOO LITTLE visual distinction makes it hard to differentiate among UI elements. You guys have gone waaaaay too far on this. It creates exactly the OPPOSITE effect from what's desired. You have to take your eyes OFF the code you're writing and look carefully at the interface elements to get your work done.
Please, please, please... fix this before release. I've got to stare at this UI every day of my life.
Stephan Tolksdorf commented
Please just give us an additional "Classic" color theme similar to the one in the VS 11 developer preview.
Richard Yung commented
I think...if add the Metro App, can use new Theme, and if add the Normal Desktop App/Web App... developers can choose classic theme or the new theme...
This is exactly what I thought when I opened the environment for the very first time. I know the idea was to have it look clean and professional, but remember most of us developers like some color in our lives! Gray make me feel like a cloudy day, I think a little sun shine brightens everyones day!
Pent Ploompuu commented
My opinion of the new UI is exactly the same as Ami Schreiber's:
"I have liked EVERY new version of Visual Studio that you guys have rolled out since the days of Visual Interdev, so this is not an issue of someone like me "resisting change"."
In fact, I was quite excited about the VS11 developer preview already, but then came the beta...
Please listen Visual Studio team. I would like the option to turn the color on as well.
Its nonsense the argument of "focus on code". When I'm coding, I never got distracted by an icon, neither 98% of developers do, I'm sure.
Following this argument, lets remove all icons then. When they are all gray, they all look the same.
Also lets remove the the code editor colors. "The 'public' keyword is distracting me because it is blue"
Phil Barila commented
The stark black on gray (or optional white on dark grey) color scheme feels "unfinished". I feel like I'm working with an alpha, not a Beta that is close enough to done that you offered a Go Live license.
Other than the color scheme, which leaves me feeling snow blind after using it a while, I like the new release. Fix the colors and I think you have a winner!
Great point about color in dialog boxes - when that's on your screen, you're not paying attention to anything else.
You're absolutely right about the helpfulness of color in finding the project type you're looking for, I also didn't realize how much it helps until using VS 11.
Joe, having to move the mouse over every item one wants to look at would be terribly inefficient. Evolution solved the eye/brain's problem of prioritizing the stuff in the center. Items in the peripheral field of view are not distracting as long as they do not move or blink. Peripheral vision is still in color.
BTW, crummy gray icons appear in Windows Explorer.
Even leaving the UI colorless until a toolbox becomes active (or maybe even a mouse hover) would be a massive improvement.
Furthermore, if you don't want to break the design decision to keep the UI from being too distracting, at least add some color to the dialogs. The "New Project" dialog, for example. Those *are* the thing the user is focusing on while they're up.
I never realized how much I used to rely on the colors to find a particular project color until trying out VS11 beta.
I've made this quick MS Paint hack to see how VS11 could look only with the colored icons from VS2010:
Jayme Edwards commented
You make a product simpler by making frequently used features take center stage while categorizing less frequently used functions away through effective interface design. Taking away colors is fine, but it's just changing the aesthetics. If you want the aesthetic to look simpler, you'd be better off removing so many lines/borders and leaving the color in.
Knowing me, knowing you, a-ha commented
Working experience: Worked for bit over two hours today with VS11Beta and my eyes are in pain, my head aches. I cannot understand this design choice. Surely if I code then I do not need to look at toolbars/menus (so better option in my opinion would be to remove them and have just editor full screen), but when I need them I NEED THEM and I WANT TO SEE CLEARLY AND STRAIGHT AWAY WHERE WHAT IS. But with the current design I'm spending considerable more time, caught myself at nearing my head closer to monitor in order to try to see what those icons represent.
NO, IT IS JUST UNUSABLE.
POOR DESIGN SKILLS, NO USER INPUT, NONE OF THE DESIGN PRINCIPLES SEEMS TO BE APPLIED WITH THE VS11BETA.
DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT WHAT MOST WORRYING IS THAT MY EYES AND HEAD SIMPLY HURT AFTER USING YOUR PRODUCT.
I like the changes on Visual Studio 11.
Solution explorer should have colored icons. With all the different types of files, colored icons really make it easier to find what you're looking for.
I can`t image how to code with it at the first sight !!! I hope you can change the UI for us ,please...
Rodrigo Aiala commented
You should make it configurable at least.
If you try installing a dark theme for visual studio 2010, you can really see why they've done this: it looks awful (the colours look far too vivid) and strains the eye.
On the other hand, because they're limited to monochrome, the icons have actually been made more distinctive: there were many icons in vs2010 that depended entirely on being mishmashes of colour that were only slightly different, and in vs11 they actually seem to me to be much more distinctive now.