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
Axel Grude commented
add userChrome.css, like a xulrunner app. support gradients and background-image / list-style image overlay and border-radius, then I will style it back to something usable.
Why VS became do-it-yourself kit? MS was sold to Ikea?
Kwan McComas commented
Is there a way to add color to the icons as well?
If Micsoft was disliked and dead, win8's UI designer and vs2012 UI designer Make a lot of force.
Typical Microsoft; some team needed to justify its existence so they cook up some bogus research data to show how this new UI will be great for developers and everybody will love it. In reality, it's just **** being shoved down customers' throats and since the people who sign corporate purchasing agreements can't tell the difference between a C++ project and the Matrix screensaver, people who have to do real work get screwed.
The art of not listening is going to be Microsoft's downfall. The sooner they start listening and correct the serious usability problems in Windows 8 and VS 2012 the better.
You have let the new boys and girls on the block try their new look and ideas - its been a failure now go back and keep your real users and customers happy!
Ben Bowen commented
The Color Theme Editor doesn't begin to address the usability issues introduced by this version of Visual Studio. Give the option to restore the window borders, return to the familiar and usable icons that we all loved in VS2010. This new version is almost unsable, even after applying the third party hacks to return some of the look and feel of VS 2010.
I HARE the look and feel ... VEEEEEERY BAD ... CHANGE IT
>Just give me a real UI or bring back VS200X!
No. ZOG decided all must become imbeciles, and that's why all will work in square-clustered monochrome indistinguishable ui.
UI Sucks commented
Fµckìnġ UI, NiceVS and "Color Theme Editor" can go to the same **** as all other fµckėd-up toolbars crâp. Just give me a real UI or bring back VS200X!
Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 released. UI issues remain unfixed.
I used to work with Visual Studio 6, 2003 and 2008 on Windows and MonoDevelop on Mac. And up to now I never had the "need" to change the UI of an IDE immediately after starting it the 1st time. But with Visual Studio 2012 before starting to code or explore any new features I spent 2 hours of customizing the UI, using the "Color Theme Editor" and the registry patch for disabling the uppercase style in the main menu bar. And up to now Iam still not satisfied.
Other comments talk about bad usability regaring to the UI I don't know if this is really the case.
but if I look at Studio 2012 it does not feel good and positive, no matter what I do to the colors.
You know I was just thinking about something. We've all been under the impression that Microsoft has changed the UI to be more inline with metro and such. However,,,, I wonder if there's another plan at work here. In not using the Windows themes, colors and icons, maybe they're trying to make VS more platform agnostic, which would mean this might be a step in making VS easier to port it to another OS. I'm probably way off base here, but hey who knows.
Just thinking out loud.
" should support the features of the given operating system. In other words - VS 2012 running on Windows 7 should support Aero and the other visual features"
When will be available service pack with restored icons?
To be more specific, I think Microsoft products running on a Microsoft operating system should support the features of the given operating system.
In other words - VS 2012 running on Windows 7 should support Aero and the other visual features.
@Chris - no problem. For me personally this is more of a “what the...” moment than hate for 2012 - VS 2012 has good bones and poor skin. It's beautiful on the inside. I personally don’t care for the new (old) look and think a return to the 2010 skin would be a better and more visually compatible solution.
Not quite sure why there's so much hate for VS 2012. Once I got it set up the way I wanted it (for example, by switching to a custom dark theme), and got used to certain feature changes (like the TFS interface), I definitely prefer it to 2010 and I find myself working just as efficiently, if not more so, than with 2010. I'm a front-end developer and the js/css support in 2012 makes it worth the switch for me. I agree that the default setup is ugly and it's well worth the time to put some customization effort into the IDE.
(By the way, I don't work for Microsoft and I'm not a salesperson. I'm just voicing my personal opinion.)
Ben Bowen commented
The color theme editor does not begin to redress the issues introduced by this UI change. Restore the UI from 2010, or at least make that an option. There is a huge population of developers that loved VS 2010 and whose productivity is negatively affected by the horrendous changes introduced by this version. This is terrible, insipid, bordering on unusable.
I don't know if this is true or not but I stumbled across this doing some research on whether or not we should actually consider switching platforms.
Microsoft, if this is true make sure you keep Aero and put the chrome back into Visual Studio i.e. give us an option for the 2010 interface. There's still quite a few business application developers out here and there's no demand for Metro apps. I recognize and appreciate what you're trying to do and I have some empathy but honestly you were warned when you asked everyone what we thought of this.
One other thing just in case someone is actually paying attention to this. Your font technology is not working well. Could we please clean this up or at the very least put an option in there to not use it. I strip it out of Win 7, pick a nice True Type font and everything looks better... well everything except your browser. Why do this?