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
Anthony Stivers commented
I seriously doubt any of Microsoft's programmers have spent a significant amount of time in VS 11. If they have, they certainly switched from the default them to the dark theme. This is a major failure on Microsoft's part.
VS 2012 is a complete piece of ****.... just like Microsoft.
Rashid Mansoor commented
On the country I've never been more efficient with Vis Studio. I suppose it could use some colour, but I really like how compact everything is now.
VS 2012 UI is a step back. Things are difficult to find and your monocrome icons (which they are not called icons anymore) are difficult to find, see and even understand. You should have made a product that is intuitive and easy to use, you have done the opposite.
The layout of 2012 is good and I like a lot of the new features (My Work especially), but I'd really much prefer the overall skin/colour scheme of Vs2010.... it's just so much kinder on the eye.
Like many people here I'm experiencing eye strain when using the new interface. I also find it much more difficult to scan & find places to click - tabs, buttons, toolbar etc. The new style doesn't demarcate different areas strongly enough.
I appreciate the efforts to move forward, but I'd just ask we have a skin theme so that we can choose what works for us best.
When I first noticed the monocolor icons, I thought I had real problems: I had suddenly become completely color-blind to all spectrums!!! Well, that was not it; I could see colors outside my flat-screen. It had to be a hardware problem with my monitor causing it to lose all color!!! Again, that wasn't it, since other apps displayed properly. It wasn't until I noticed the terrible all-caps menus that I finally figured out that Doug Turnure was really pulling a fast one on developers. Yeah, it was an April-fools joke of the worse kind. Except, it wasn't April. The only explanation was "bath-salts" at Redmond -- the Visual Studio development team had turned into zombies.
Yeah... that's the ticket.
Ashma Doodh commented
Windows 8's Metro UI is a garbage so that doesn't mean you guys should force us ie Windows 7 users the same old garbage. One thing that really wonders me is who was responsible for designing this garbage UI?
job Thimayal commented
I am going to call CDW and return my copy of Visual Studio 2012.
The funny thing is they upgraded me for free to Visual Studio 2012 from Visual Studio 2010 because I complained about Intellisense completely missing in Visual Studio 2010 native C++. They took it out because they did not have enough time to add the feature..the same Microsoft attitude we see now.
I guess in the future, I have to wait an year or two and completely review future Visual Studio release to make sure that they did not ***** up.
job Thimayal commented
The GUI looks really bland and it is very hard to distinguish items in Solution explorer.
My question is if the app used to make all other apps follows this paradigm, shouldn't all apps in windows use this?
How about this webpage itself? How about Windows 8 ? How about every app in windows 8
This what you need to do:
Just have a simple menu in the beginning in Visual Studio 2012 for people to chose multiple themes. Themes with new monochrome. Themes with Color. Themes with Visual Studio 2010 icons.
Somebody said wait 3 months and try use this features.
We are not guinea pigs to waste our time to try see if this will work or that will work. We want options to do what we want.
If Metro Visual Studio is a problem- have them use a different GUI
Peter Crabtree commented
A color theme editor, as if that would fix things, because the problem is that we developers are so sad that we can't have a blue background.
Look, we're developers. Most of us use ugly tools with stupid colors all the time (insert some kind of Eclipse joke). Some of us care about having exactly the colors we want exactly where we want them. Most of us don't.
What we all care about is the usability advantages color brings: Being able to look down a list of files in the Solution explorer and immediately identify the icon we're looking for. Having a clear visual distinction between conceptually distinct elements of the UI.
Look, the new icons are neat in that they're more distinct in shape. That's good! And there's even a bit of color in them now. Also good!
But if you think the color theme editor is a decent response, you missed the biggest point of the suggestion:
"Usability studies have shown that [...] color help[s] to distinguish visual elements in a UI"
Notice where Michiel complains about it: Toolbars and Icons. Can I edit those in the Theme Editor? Wait, don't answer, because it doesn't matter. I'm not making my own hundreds of icons for Visual Studio.
Colors help when scanning over a great many items, help to visually group things, help to make icons more memorable, helps to make icons more obvious in their function, etc.
So please bring back (more) color.
Brad Veenvliet commented
The new theme should be called 50 shades of grey
I've been loyal to Microsoft for years. This is the final straw. Goodbye Microsoft. In a perfect world, you would have stopped at the most stable version of XP then disappeared. Instead, I have stopped at 7 and now I shall disappear... from MS's sight at least.
Better hope I don't innovate for your competition.
Color theme editor is unusable in Express Editions.
I'm still grateful these are free but why the grit-your-teeth, God-awful color/design?
Other free IDE's don't punish me for using them....
Is this new style (especially icons) for monochrome paper-printing, with skimp of ink?
In a 21st century with paperless technologies?
MS preparing to zombie apocalypse and all-out technological degradation?
It's not about opinion. It's about usability.
Dave Black commented
The nice thing about opinion is that it is neither true nor false; it is what it is
What makes it shouting down is implying that the complaints are completely meritless and that we are stupid for having an opinion that differs.
It's possible that you're also being shouted down, but I don't think you're stupid for having an opinion that's different from mine. It's the way you're communicating rather than the content of what you're saying. It's rife with sarcasm and trivialization of the complaints that - while they might seem trivial to you - aren't factually trivial.
@Joel . I am sorry that i disagree with you . All these extras as @ITmage points out are all discernible with keyboard shortcuts if you bother to learn them, that is what is bugging me the most. Not only is there a keyboard shortcut for most tasks ( Let me point out that using keyboard shortcuts reduces the need to look around the IDE for icons at all ) but you can create your own You even know that you can create shortcuts for common tasks. "CHOICE. Give us an OPTION" the extension is there . That is whole power in this IDE. **** you can create a whole completely new version of VS through the isolated shell, yet there are only 2 issues on this forum regarding the shell.
That is whole point of a toolbox is to make it your own. You want colorful icons with lol cats learn a bit of mef and just do it. As for "Quit shouting down anyone that disagrees with you." . The last comment was not directed at anyone and i could easily say the same about everyone disagreeing with me. You disagreeing with me ... why you shouting me down? God forbid we learn anything new through debate.
What i am saying is the design is very well thought through of far beyond the appearance. The design is in the code that builds this IDE. But everyone wants everything they think they need at the convenience of a drive through.
interface looks ****, just another fail on this ****** planet..
@Joel: I agree with you completely. The editor window is only a portion of what we do. For those who think color/3-d icons are unimportant, try developing a project with a solution consisting of a couple of dozen projects and thousands of nested files within. Now go and quickly pick out the file you're looking for when there are no clearly discernible icons/colors. Or perhaps try drilling down into the architecture explorer which is also washed out with windows running into one another (no clear border). These two examples demonstrate just portion of where the problem lies. However set all that aside for a moment, and consider those of us with vision problems such as floaters. These are spots and lines in the vision path which are sometimes quite prominent. So when one looks at a flat surface, or a surface w/o contrast/color (like a blue sky, white wall) these things are all over. Same happens when there is a lack of contrast and color on the screen - the floaters are everywhere. Same happens with grey text and light blue hyperlinks - no contrast. Very annoying. Or consider people with chronic dry eyes who may have trouble focusing on something when all the objects are pale, and colors washed out. Now consider people with both of these issues and maybe you will begin to realize the problem. Try wearing a pair of glasses with spots all over them, and this doesn't even compare in depth with some people who have extreme cases of floaters. This is a real issue many of us face each and every day. It totally sucks and makes you feel like a sack of beaten potatoes left out in the sun. VS2008 and 2010 were fine and worked well for us, but VS2012 makes programming a **** on earth for those with these vision issues. So if you like VS2012 as it is, then that's fine and more power to you. However consider those of us who truly have difficulty with it (whatever that difficulty may be). All anyone here is asking for, is what Microsoft has always been about: CHOICE. Give us an OPTION. This is a real accessibility issue and I think perhaps we need to raise it to Microsoft as one. If they won't listen to reason, maybe they will listen to accessibility complaints.