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.

13,351 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.

    Thanks,
    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.

    http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/366ad100-0003-4c9a-81a8-337d4e7ace05

    thanks,
    Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM

    1209 comments

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      • TomTom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What a nasty move bring back colors into our life! Nobody want and can work properly with such a user unfriendly interface going back to 2010 as well until this is hopefully quickly fixed but based on the blog post about this problem I highly doubt that MS is giving any s..t about their customers.

      • FUNNIGALOFUNNIGALO commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I COULDN'T DISAGREE MORE, HAVING CHANGED MY WAY OF LIFE WITH THE NEW MICROSOFT DESIGNS I HAVE NO NEED FOR LOWERCASE OR COLOR IN MY LIFE, **** I EVEN CHANGED MY TV TO BLACK AND WHITE.

        NOW ALL WE NEED IS FOR THE GLORIOUS RIBBON TO BE ADDED TO VISUAL STUDIO AND MENU'S PERMANENTLY REMOVED AND THE TRANSFORMATION WOULD BE COMPLETE.

        OK OFF TO STICK MY FINGERS IN THE LIGHT SOCKET!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can appreciate that the developers want to move away from the some of the insanely over complicated UI's that some people have been turning out, and that a Clean and Simple UI have a great appeal to me, but going to monochrome is just to far, as mentioned before the monochrome icons have lost most of there at a glance recognition, the shipped colour theme of great on grey is just asking for eye strain.

        Even the relatively simple things like VB files having blue icons and C# having Green has been removed which has made at a glance identification of what language you are working in a point with out having to check file extensions and open files.
        With .Net supposedly Enshrining the "It doesn't Matter what language you write it in" principle its now made a multilingual coding environment a total pain

        so i vote yes for a Simple Clean interface, but no to the DOS Edit style

      • BasicBasic commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @The product team - Do you really feel it's acceptable to ship a product with such a glaring problem, then rely on a 3rd party tool to partially patch it?

        What about proper colours in icons?

      • ITMAGEITMAGE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey people, now Microsoft is screwing up the MSDN site as well by removing the CLASSIC view in favor of the 'grey theme'. I created a thread for this:

        http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3483906-do-not-eliminate-the-classic-view-of-msdn

        Also you might want to post over here as well:

        http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/libraryfeedback/thread/bbfb492b-4c85-4e8d-ab44-423c4050089e

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        it is very bad Design especially the icons
        i need option to retrieve the icons in VS 2010

      • Martin KirkMartin Kirk commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Icons are Black and White... all over... its f*king horrible !!!

        takes me 2x longer to identify icons

        I've used VSIP to copy file icons from VS09 to VS12... but the intellisense icons are still Fugly

        thank for this pile of ****
        idiot designer !

      • Les ArnottLes Arnott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just brought up the image editior in VS2012 for the first time. There are 3 toolbar buttons for Red, Green and Blue channels. Guess what colors are used for the buttons? Yup, black and white!

      • gerdigerdi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        in 1989
        dev1 - "In the future developers will care more about whether there is color in the editor, the icons and the case of letters then the actual functional performance of the IDE"
        dev2 - "I dont think they will be that naive ,if they have any sort of creativity they will just write their own isolated shell which should be around by then, or just tweak what they dont like, the'll just snoop the **** out of it. they'll probably learn a whole bunch about the structure of the IDE and in the process just become better developers."
        dev1:" Nah they'll probably just complain, its easier that way."
        dev2:" If anything they just be trolled by apple fanboys who spend more time on their hair then in code"
        dev1:"what is "trolled""
        dev2:"I just made that word up, its when people just complain about random stuff and spend more time complaining then working out solutions"

        2012 ... 12,261 votes later

        dev2 facepalms on his deathbed

      • radioman.ltradioman.lt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Tom it's very ON topic, but remember this is ****** world ruled by freakin fascism.. what else do you expect ;D soon there will be dark ages.. and you can write code on the stones ;}

      • ITMAGEITMAGE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @anonymous " see the proliferation of Metro to MSDN and Blog content...., barely contrasting colors selected for text, confusing layouts... "

        Absolutely on the mark. Lately I've been finding it more tiresome to view areas of MSDN because of the all the grey text. It's like they either choose grey text on a white background or grey text on a grey background which is insanely hard on the eyes. If you look though, this seems to be a trend on the web as many other sites are going this way as well. For example, the other day I was working on an iOS project and reading (well trying to read) docs over at Apple's dev site, and it was all grey too. What the fascination is with grey and reduced color and contrast, I just don't know. Maybe their 'marketing' people think the screen looks less cluttered with grey text than black? Well,,, yeahhh,, duhhh, because it's ****** to actually see! This really needs to stop. These marketards are creating a disaster for us. We write code, we read lots of docs, we generate software, that's what we do! These sites and tools need to be geared towards OUR needs, and not make some blasted fashion statement. Anyway, I'm ranting and off topic now.

      • BryanJBryanJ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How **** depressing - It is a real mess. ( I could not have made a bigger mess if I tried. )

        I just cannot believe anyone can come up with this mess and try and say they have done research. Please MS you have absolutely no experts left and if you are listening to your own experts then fire them.

        You would have done better if you had done nothing.

        TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU, I AM SICK IN THE STOMACH TO SEE THIS MESS AS I HAVE BEEN AN MS FAN SINCE THE 1990's and I am just cannot see this lasting any longer.

        I went to the Apples store for some relief and I saw their amazing screen with fantastic resolutions, fonts and icon. This is where your experts should do research.

        Finally I have spend the last 2 weeks, complaining and trying to fix the stupid mess, instead of getting on with my programming.

        My suggestion is to recall the product and re-imburse me for all the time wasted on trying to make this product useable.

      • GuyGuy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft please remove from your team all those developers that work for Sauron! The Visual studio 2012 theme is worthy of Chernobog! And please bring forth the light in the next update. I'm switchiing to Eclipse for the IDE. It's only take an hour of work to feel depressed with the new IDE theme.

      • DavidDavid commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The color theme editor, whilst a welcome improvement, does NOT address the real problem, which is the difficulty of differentiating UI elements from each other - everything just blurs into one big mess, and it's hard to see where one element ends and the other starts.

        We need a "Theme Editor" rather than a "Color Theme Editor" - with a VS2010 theme as one of the available options.

      • Les ArnottLes Arnott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The VS 2012 UI looks like a perfect example of HOW NOT TO DESIGN A USER interFACE. Microsoft should realize that professional developers care more about efficiency and productivity and less about fashion.

        Take the childish black and white toolbar icons for example. I want to quickly identify and click on such an icon maybe hundreds of times during my working day. I do not want to pause each time, checking which monochrome squiggle I intended to click. Color is an extremely powerful aid to identification.

        The CAPS registry tweak, the color theme add-on and the VSIP icon fix all help to restore an element of sanity. Let's hope Microsoft listens to the requirements of their paying customers.

      • Anna MetcalfeAnna Metcalfe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Roman I don't see how that's appropriate to the issues raised in this thread.

        BTW if you knew me you'd already know I'm very much one to weigh things up and come to a balanced judgement on both sides of any argument. That doesn't mean I won't call out things when I think they're misguided - but it does mean I have some understanding of the human factors that may have led them to end up that way.

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