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Bring Back Full-Color Icons to Visual Studio 2012

The mostly black & gray glyphs used in Visual Studio 2012 are very difficult to distinguish between. Familiar icons that we have known and used for years are now gone, and it takes (wastes!) a ton of time trying to find the right icon/command/object. Please bring back the tried-and-true, full-color icons that clearly represent each command/object and are easily identifiable.

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    TIMTIM shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    GlynGlyn shared a merged idea: Drop the circa 1987 icons in VS2012  ·   · 
    GlynGlyn shared a merged idea: Drop the circa 1991 icons in VS2012  ·   · 
    No nameNo name shared a merged idea: Retain icons from previous versions for IDE  ·   · 
    completed  ·  Visual Studio teamAdminVisual Studio team (Product Team, Microsoft) responded  · 

    Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on this issue. Visual Studio 2013 has added color in several broad reaching icon categories. We classified the icons we focused on into three sets: icons which represent common actions, icons which indicate code hierarchy, and icons that provide some kind of notification. By utilizing a systematic and broadly applicable approach to color use we are better able to effectively convey critical meaning or affiliation through color, to attract attention through color, and to improve scan-ability through color. This approach translates into color being applied to ~80% of standard toolbar and debug toolbar icons, ~75% of code hierarchy icons, and 100% of active notifications.

    Based upon the design goals outlined above and design decisions reflected in the existing scheme for each of the core icon sets we will continue to apply and extend our approach to icon colorization as we move forward. 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

    129 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Flat solid icons make more sense when you are looking at a small number of icons, for example, when you are trying to determine which image represents the women's or men's bathroom. It makes a lot less sense when you are scanning many icons and are trying to find one, a lack of color makes it all that much harder. I don't buy the argument that the color distracts the coder from what is important: the code. Rubish. When I am looking at the code I can't even see the tool bar and vice versa. Furtehr more, when you are dealing with a 16 x 16 bit space, gradient shades are extremely helpful in creating an image that is meaningful and recognizable. That's why the new icons don't just look bland and hard to locate, they also look like **** for the most part or at best inferior to the 2010 couterpart most of the time. Don;t just add more color. Icons need gradient shades too so they don't look like ****, else you'll get the 2013 interface.

      • MatMat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is "Apple-Like" behaviour.
        We know what is good for you. Point.

        Why are you not listening to your customers, which are btw. the people paying your salery.
        Just bring back the old fashioned color icons and don't forget to make an update for VS 2012.

        Adventurous ones may look here:
        http://computerbeacon.net/blog/visualstudio2010iconsandt

      • Eric CEric C commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VS2013 icons are still shite. Bring back the VS2010 ones now and sack Eric Zocher – Director of Design.

      • XeonXeon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Soooo fking bad

        just bring back the vs2010 icons you morons.

      • CarlosCarlos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        An icon is a graphic representation of an action or a command. Constantly changing the icon/image really defeats the purpose. Just imagine what would happen the government in its infinite wisdom decided to change all the stop signs on the road to blue squares instead of red octagons? Or if they changed the stop lights from Red, Yellow, Green to Azure, Lavender, and Chartreuse? While no one is going to die because Microsoft changed it's visual studio icons...it is nonetheless annoying as ****. Do you really want to annoy your customers?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Another case of designed according to impeccable theory, bites a*se in practice.

      • James StewartJames Stewart commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        To whoever decided on the B&W icons... why is the Windows 8 start screen so childishly multi-coloured? - should it not be monochrome for the exact same reasons as the VS 2012 icons are the 'trendy' black and white? Why do you watch a coloured TV screen? Why is colour everywhere good - except on VS icons? And anyway, who cares about here-today-gone-tomorrow UI trends in the design of a *tool* like Visual Studio? Does the colour and appearance of the _tools_ have to match some ephemeral fashion elsewhere? And finally, what exactly was so bad and wrong about the coloured icons in all previous versions of VS? Who complained about them? Who, given a choice, prefers the new ones?

      • GUIGUI commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Here is the next item to vote on, if the Visual Studio team in its infinite wisdom doesn't decide to close it as well for bogus reasons: http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3086061-bring-back-the-visual-in-visual-studio

        I love this approach to "listening to feedback", it's much like democracy: let people bark but happily ignore them; and when an entity becomes too vocal (like this uservoice item), shut it down.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        'Completed'? My ****! The icons are still dull and **** in VS 2013. You guys really need to wise up and start listening to your users :(

      • brrrdogbrrrdog commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While I'm sure that people appreciate a response, it's important to note that the issues were not with only the icons - separation of toolbars and windows by way of colored bars, edges, etc, was almost completely lost in 2012. Sorry, but "metro" has no place in an IDE of this scale.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wow! Great news and thanks. You may not know this scientifically, but if you travel close to the speed of light, colours start to blur and become undefined, greyish-yellowy and finally grey-black similar to Metro icons. Your design team were obviously way ahead of us!

        N'

      • exaltingexalting commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        >completed
        It's a lie. Not even one _full_-color icons was restored. All icons are maximum two-colored, dull, lean, and hardly distinguishable.
        Need VS2010 theme with classic true-color icons.

      • Brian SinickiBrian Sinicki commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Between fiddling around with third-party applications to make this thing visually functional and f-ing around with Install Shield to rebuild all of my deployment projects, this "upgrade" has been and expensive and painful disaster. Bravo Msft.

      • Cem MervenCem Merven commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am an old guy and I have been using VS more than a decade. My visual cortex is hard-wired to those "old icons" so i can almost locate things without reading and thinking. The new icon set enforce me to learn new things without any clear benefits (for me) and drag me out of my comfort zone and kill my concentration (while trying to figure out which is which) which i am very dependent when coding.

      • OllieOllie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have a very hard time using the new icons because I have to stop and really look at them to figure out what they are. They look like the icons on my Mac SE years ago. Actually I think I liked the Mac icons better. The interface is so ugly I just can't get myself to "upgrade" from VS2010.

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