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.

13,330 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  ·   · 

    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

    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.


    Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM


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      • John WeederJohn Weeder commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This UI looks like it fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch. The icon looks like a first grade art project gone wrong. And, why are the menu items shouting at me... EDIT!!!!!

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You definitely need to include vs 2010 theme as an option at least at SP1 of vs 2012. It is not pleasent at all to look at that all flat UI and wonder what is a button and what is a menu. Come on guys its like some old DOS/Command Line app trying to be "GUI"

      • rchutchrchutch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm afraid that we might be looking at another Microsoft "Bob". Include Office 2013 with this. Sorry, I was really looking forward to new versions, but these hurt too much.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Heh, I think Google made it on purpose - cunning trick. Welcome to Android world .NET guys!!! :)))

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        First I saw VS2012 Beta 2, I thought this was a joke, I couldn't believe most wanted 2012 product was designed to have such ugly UI. Seriously, I am shocked and not gonna use VS2012.

        Why Office 2013 looks pretty nice, while it is still designed in "Metro" style?

        I was fan of MS and its products, but this is one of the most disappointing experience in my life.

      • AzarienAzarien commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I hoped there would be some nice improvement between RC and RTM.
        I was wrong. Almost nothing changed.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The really IMBECILE user interface. It is obviously this team is chip, they don't care if the product is a hot sale or not, they get paid anyway.

      • Dan EngelmanDan Engelman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Some color icons was a start, more color icons would be better.
        Also, the themes could use some tweaking... or at least allow theme customization.

      • BenBen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I wanted to use the IDE at work because of the enhanced JS parsing / interpreting. It seemed as though the performance was vastly improved (quicker load times, faster code-suggest), but both Dark and Light themes strained my eyes. I'm back to VS2010 now.

        This is shameful

      • Jean-YvesJean-Yves commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I saw the screenshots and wanted to give it a chance. But OMG. New UI is awful. Really really unusable. 30 min usage and uninstalled version, going back to 2010. First time in my life I do such a crazy thing.
        Please do something before we move to the android or apple world...

      • Daz KuffsDaz Kuffs commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Awful. 10 minutes usage and my eyes are killing me. Back to VS2010 until they sort out this total mess. I hope heads roll at MS for this abomination. Totally distracting from the job at hand. A sea of grey and I dont have time to learn all the new icons. I have work to do.

      • SeanSean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        SQL server 2012 is powered by visual studio and now looks like the VS 2010 IDE. So can the genius responsible for the train wreck UI for VS 2012 tell me why it looks like DOS?

      • SeanSean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I really can't see myself using this version of VS at all. Loaded it yesterday and couldn't get past the disgustingly ugly UI. Not to metion all of our work computers are XP.

        Was really looking forward to this as I'm like a kid in a candy store with new software, what a huge disappointment. I will be staying with VS 2010 until the UI doesn't look like it did 20 years ago.

      • Petr DrastilPetr Drastil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I installed VS today and I wondered - how the **** is possible that this product could go to green with this UI?! Did any programmer who is programming for living tested this product at all or just nobody listened to his complaints?

        When you use VS for small project with 50 files max it could be OK but when you have solution that have approx 3.5 GB of files, trust me, you will start to really quickly hate that same grayscale look of everything in UI. Problems I found out so far.

        1) I can't distinguish what is code / database file / resources /configuration stuff / etc from just quick look at nicely colored icon.

        2) Same "brilliant" idea was made also in Intellisense - you can't easily distinguish what is method, event and property.

        3) Whet is difference between disabled and enabled buttons? You know only if you click on them.

        4) YELLING CAPITAL letters in menu are annoying and are missing undescope in inactive state for quick shortcut action.

        VS 2012 reminds me VS6 that I have to use for compiling some legacy projects and I'm doing it from console because coding in it is step back. So even if there are some nice functions I'am probably not going to use this version without massive UI rework done and do MSDN renewal when 2014 will go out if it will be good.

      • rchutchrchutch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The User interface looks exactly like user interfaces looked before people learned how to build them properly.

        Over the years, many studies have been carried out that researched how people use their computers, allowing us to learn how best to design user interfaces to make people most productive. Up until this latest round of products, MS was doing an excellent job of leading the way in terms of improving user interaction with their applications.

        This user interface throws away all of those principles in favor of a early 1980's-retro feel, when we didn't know better.

        We have a choice of two very painful "themes", black (an IBM 3270) and white (a newspaper printed on 94+ paper). Yesterday, I chose the lesser of the two evils and had a migraine within an hour.

        I would hope that this could be fixed somehow - I'm not sure how I could work for any extended period of time with such a painful user interface.

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