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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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TIM shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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


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  • Beauty commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I also hate the **** new design of VS 2012 and 2013.
    Even after using it for a while I would like to switch back to the good classic icons.

    The reasons for my hate I don't write, because was already written in the other comments.

    For the next VS version: Please add an option to get back the classic icons.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My company just "upgraded" to Visual Studio 2013 from BIDS. I use the term "upgraded" loosely here because the user interface is horrible. My productivity has decreased and my eyes hurt. There must be a way to bring back the colored icons and rich container boarders. It may seem trivial but for those of us who optimize our productivity by compartmentalizing visually this change to the user interface is a disaster. I wonder if a third party has created a plug in yet that will provide a classic view.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Is it that hard to add a possibility to visual studio 2013 which will allow to use 'exactly' the same icons which were used in previous versions of visual studio? What i see in visual studio 2013 now is not what i am used to for almost 10 years of work with visual studio. Is it that hard for you to understand that users of visual studio are used to use those icons? Please, add the possibility to use the 'exactly' same set of icons in VS 2013 as in previous versions and replace those new ones. If someone likes the new icons Ok, but give for the others a build-in possibility to use the old ones as well.

  • Anton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please, bring back VS2008 or VS2010 icons. Those new flat icons are so much hard to identify. Stop taunt your users

  • Volker Schefferbiz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Since 3 years I am working perfectly with VS2010 and of course I wanted to take a peek at what will be next and how to strategically modify upcoming projects. But honestly these new Icons were a total slap in the face. After a few minutes I thought "Well give it a try" ... after an hour I got nerved ... after a day I was furious.
    It's like some idiot has totally messed up everything.

    Please fix this ****!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    For the moment I can only hope that there will be no project in the near future which forces me and my team to leave VS2010.

  • Michael Elofson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To paraphrase the Sprite ad, “Fashion is e everything, usability is nothing”, obviously. Using VS 2013 feels like I am back in the 1980s using simple flat monochrome graphics. It’s esthetically unremarkable, but worst of all, it is infinitely worse than any UI since the early 1980s. VS 2008 and even VS 2010 was good so why, based on fashion, change that. Is it panic, caused by the competition with tablets and Apple and Android? If so, it definitely was the wrong move. Moreover, both of those companies have not dropped the colors anyway.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What a cretin invented such moronic Metro theme?! Adolf has reborn... And all the monkeys including websites copy this insanity! What the **** is the world coming?!!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please, bring back VS2010 icons. Those new flat icons are so much hard to identify.

  • Pissed commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "Colorization"...you people sound like Metros. Just put the old icons back, you morons.

    The issue is not just "color", fools. You're (purposely) forgetting DEPTH! Stop with the androgynous ********. We are men and women, not Metros.

  • MSdevM1 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If you MS-guys are colorblind and want to have a flat gray layout: fine. BUT make it optional.
    I have a significant loss in productivity, even though i am using it daily. But i am using 2008 also daily because i work on different servers.

  • HateVS2012 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would have to agree with most people about how ugly your new UI is. Keep alienating your customers Microsoft. You did it with Windows 8, XBox, and now Visual Studio. Google is right behind you. One day, everyone will be using Google products.

    Keep forcing idiotic ideas in your products, Microsoft.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Multiple designers don't know how to make a good looking Visual Studio interface. Why don't you ask someone's opinion before published it?

  • Anonymous22722 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    And is it all complains, which are soooooo true, or does anyone have a professional solution?
    I cannot use patches and hacks inside secure big business servers

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Without a doubt....they've gone backwards in design instead of forwards. A definite loss in productivity.

  • Joerg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I second that. I can live with the ALL CAPS MENUS. I don't see the point, but I can live with it.

    My main complaint about the VS2012/2013 GUI is the icons being hard to tell apart. It has improved with VS2013, but they are still hard to distinguish. What's wrong with colors? This is a major failure in UI design.

    My second complaint are the TFS related dialogs: "View pending changes" was completely ruined in VS2012 and repaired a bit in VS2013, but still worse than in VS2010.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    3 things: 1) Stop being bullies; 2) Start listening to your customers; and 3) Use common sense!

  • graphicsRat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Google, if you are reading this. Please develop a usable C++ IDE. I know you can. Thank you.

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