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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      • PatPat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There is, indeed, still an appalling lack of colour in VS2013 - especially with the Workflow designer - which, no matter what theme is applied appears to always show arrows as white on a white background (unless selected) and the activities in the same, incomprehensible, style.

      • Thang DangThang Dang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VS 2013 still has too much black and white color. It's very hard to distinguish file icons in my solution view and many other things in the IDE that confuse my eyes. The good thing with VS2012 and 2013 is it loads projects faster. You should have an option for user to choose theme they like. Metro theme should not be set as default. Metro theme is not beautiful at all. Look at Apple's products, they are so elegant.

      • blaseblase commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I feel the design of vs2012 has gone backwards too, I miss the COLORS of the Toolbox icons.
        The gray is new, but not better, please give 'us' back the colored toolbox icons.

      • chrischris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I feel the design of vs2012 has gone backwards. Please make an update that allows users to adopt previous styles from previous releases. Just because there is s new release with updated functionality doesn't mean the front end has to look so tacky (personal opinion not meant to offend). Now if I had the option to retain the look of vs2010 I would be perfectly happy. Plus I would have the added bonus of NOT having to learn where everything is all over a gain. Which I feel is another leap backwards.

      • chrischris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I feel the design of vs2012 has gone backwards. Please make anpudate that allows users to adopt previous styles from previous releases. Just because there is s new release with updated functionality doesn't mean the front end has to look so tacky (personal opinion not meant to offend). Now if I had the option to retain the look of vs2010 I would be perfectly happy. Plus I would have the added bonus of learning were everything is all over a gain. Which I feel is another leap backwards.

      • HHMHHM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Guys at Microsoft!

        WAKE UP!!!

        Still, why don't you listen to the recommendations your user make? They addressed a very sincere issue. And what where you doing? Almost nothing!!! The VS 2013 UI is still unusable, even with the blue theme and all of your default editor color themes.

        Would it been so hard to you to include a theme that the UI is similar to VS 2010???

        Very often in the last few years, it happend that Microsoft made its products not better, but worser (e.g. menus in ms office, windows more complicated, windows vista/8, banning the proven ui from VS 2005/2008, stop using colors and distinguished icons...).

        Are you wondering why other companies or products get more success than MS (apple, android...)? Then maybe you should think about dismissing/firing some of your designers and strategists. Why were MSDOS, Win 3.11 or Win-NT/2000/XP so successfull? Yes, because these products has been SIMPLE and RELIABLE and ENHANCESMENTS OF PROVEN Versions. And not some crazy idea of one of your escapist designers, incapable strategists or some much-too-young engineers who are allowed to create (better: misshape) the UI (yes, there are people outside in the real world, who dislike these xxsmall fonts).

        So please... WAKE UP!!!

      • EdwardEdward commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our company supports the government so we are always lagging the latest inovations. So I just installed VS 2012 two weeks ago. When i openned it my first reaction was "EWWWW!". Later on in the day it was "Where are my design tools like commenting, and indenting?". I eventually found out that after 20 years of using the same icons for those purposes, MS decided out of the blue to change them for apparently no reason. (Sort of like the Office Ribbon). Since I was working with already existing web apps I did not see the default web page template until today when I created a new web forms project. When I ran it I was even more shocked and horrified. I know that MS has been preaching the separation of Web page design from web page programming for many years. However I did not think that meant dispensing with web page design completely. This is really horrifying. One hopes that the VS proposed VS 2013 makes better use of color and restores our long loved icons.

      • Keith MillerKeith Miller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just "upgraded" to VS2012 after working happily with VS2008 for such a long time. I thought that maybe (after Win8) I'm just one of those people who don't like change again, but I do like change when it works and I am also prepared to give things time, but a quick google search reveals that I am not in the minority here. It's great to see that it's not just me.

        The "Blue" theme in VS2012 now seems to be better than that butt ugly blob of gray, but still I don't understand why M$ insists on imposing dumb mass ideals on technical professionals and at the same time violating just about every known UI design rule of thumb. :/

        I hardly used VS2010, but for me the UI in VS2008 was very usable. Right now I'm going cross-eyed just thinking about the next x years chained to VS2012. Eeeek.

      • theprizthepriz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't understand why Microsoft would put out a tool like this. This looks like ****. I will not upgrade to it. I will not use any new tools that won't work with 2010. Until they decide to come back to a visual windows environment, I won't use this ****. Windows 8 is a joke and there tools are just as bad. I switched to Vista when it came out, and I switched to Windows 7 when it came out. I will not even look at Windows 8 without puking. Microsoft is just going down hill.

      • Mark DMark D commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OMG - why is the file menu SHOUTING at me? In honor of your new design, my next design document will be all caps. Not! Fire someone.

      • Mark DMark D commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My concern is how this happened in the first place. Such an obvious snafu, on a major product. Some of us out in the real world would get fired if we produced a black and white app or web page. Again, I question the judgement and leadership? Common sense is apparently uncommon at MS.

      • Doug Turnure - msftDoug Turnure - msft commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @brian - I was not directly involved with the changes, but I believe there was quite a bit of rewriting that went into the colors, icons, and palettes, and that's why it's not something where you can just "snap" the 2010 colors into the IDE. It's much more involved than just a setting, and that's why you haven't seen something happen sooner.

        I like the look of the 2013 preview, but I realize people have a lot of different views about it. I liked the 2012 dark theme as well. I was not a fan of the light theme.

        For VS2012, the color themes editor provides some color augmentation. It's not a full blown 2010 theme, but it does have more color in it.

        Doug Turnure - (Former) VS PM - NOTE: I've taken a new role outside the product team. Deon Hebert (introduced in the header of the site) has taken over this site.

      • Sune RieversSune Rievers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is this closed when the issue has not been fixed for VS2012? Who cares about VS2013 at this early stage?

      • 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.

      • ThomasXThomasX commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is this marked as completed? Are you trying to save face at the expense of your customers?

      • Hans PfaffHans Pfaff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I believe indeed Microsoft reacts very sloppy on the many complaints about the ugly colors and bad contrast in VS2012.
        I myself think that the VS2012 GUI is a nightmare. It is a danger for your eyes (extreme stress). It is slavery to work with it. You destroy your eyes working with it I myself have serious difficulties working with it. I could improve my situation considerably by loading and installing a registry file from the internet. This registry file introduces smoother color gradients in almost all controls and makes the working much better. (I am alos using dark editor background colors: good for the eyes).
        But I don't want to be forced to search for hours through the internet to find someone (if I am lucky) who had the same issues and invested hours to solve a problem that Microsoft even refuses to accept. Microsoft should listen to its customers who spend a lot of money on their products.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        'Completed'? Dear god why don't you cretins at Microsoft ever actually LISTEN to your users!!!

      • brianbrian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Doug VS PM
        Have been trying VS2013 - and it isn't much better, the icons are still difficult to see? Just don't get why you can't bring back the icons everyone is familiar and happy with - Is it that difficult to get it right?

        Bottom line looks like something an engineer with no design skills has but together for a quick test program to test code - I'm I right?

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