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.
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
I want to see my VS 2010 style and colors! I work on a PC and not on a mobile phone.
Return to the Look & Feel of VS2010 at a minimum! Please don't attempt to salvage VS2012. XAML and WebApps are ugly and feel squishy - please don't ever use them with developer tools.
exactly ;D "with their own gig!!!"
I work on multiple monitors with multiple applications. What visual indicator does VS show that it's the current foreground application, i.e., that has focus? Yet another change that just makes no sense to me. If I configure Windows to run using a specific UI "skin" or mode, then I expect ALL my apps to take on that behavior visually and not just run off on their own with their own gig!!!
Charles Crary commented
Visually, a regression.
John Weeder commented
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!!!!!
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"
Please give us a 'Visual Studio 2010 Theme' for VS 2012
So what's the code name for VS2012? "Apoptosis"? :-)
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.
Heh, I think Google made it on purpose - cunning trick. Welcome to Android world .NET guys!!! :)))
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.
I decided to give it a day.
Still hate it.
I hoped there would be some nice improvement between RC and RTM.
I was wrong. Almost nothing changed.
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 Engelman commented
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.
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
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 Kuffs commented
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.