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.
Please make more Color the the Visual Studio 2012. We must work with that black and white Studio. Colors help to find faster items. I don't know what Microsoft think about colors? Please give me my Color back!
I hate the chrome of the new Visual studio 2012. All toolbar icons are bitonal. Just blank and while not even grey shades in them and are tiny. I am having a hard time finding toolbar buttons. It look like i am back in early 1980s with bitonal computer screens. But this one is even worse than that. PLEASE BRING COLORS BACK!
revert to a more colorful theme so that screen elements are more easily differerentiated
Please bring back the colors in Solution Explorer. I am back to reading the words instead of quickly looking at the icons.
Have the UI designers of VS 2012 lost thier mind. Guys look at the UI, it looks so medicore that it seems older version than Visual Studio 1.1. I think VS 1.1 look and fill was better than VS 2012. Look at UI 2010. It was one of the best UI look and fill. How come quality of UI design degrades so sharply. I think designers of VS 2012 have lost theirs eyes. Folks go back to drawing board please.
Why microsoft is leaving the colorfull world? Some of the MS beauti doesnot require to change. You are making developer life so difficult with new IDE color theme.(I am sorry Black and white theme as there is no color.).
The User interface of VS2012 is ungly and black and white. Icons colors,location of toolbars all looks ungly.
I know in general if you want to teach someone color and picture is the best way to teach. but after seeing UI of VS2012 its hard to teach. I am feeling like I am a color blind.
Please do not change the nature.
I would like to add my voice to the list of those asking for color, at least as an option, to be brought back to Visual Studio. I understand the usability arguments that Microsoft is making, but it seems to me that you are overlooking one very important consideration. Many of us use autohide to solve this problem. Therefore, when we go into Solution Explorer (for example), we want our focus there, and the color schemes help us more quickly find what we need. Then, as soon as we click out of there, it is hidden and therefore cannot possibly distract us. Please don’t take this option away.
RC from Beta has a minor improvement, but its not enought!
The coloring is really almost not noticable, the problem was not with the status bar coloring, but with the items in the solution explorer and the ToolBox menu, and toolbars.
even in RC the files are not easily recognised!
and the all CAPS in the menu is really like watching Clipper from 1980 all over again!
guys please reconsider, METRO Style is NOT for an IDE developing tool!
you are making our lifes ******, and eventually we will stop folowing the .NET.
PLEASE!!!!!! Switch to a sane color scheme who ever had the idea to remove colors and contrast have him tared and feathered!!!
and sent to Siberia!
this color schema is painfull to look at and debilitating..
it will reduce productivity and programmers will to live!
even cats and dogs would complain and they only see a few more cholors the monocrome...
the human eye in contrast can see as much as 10 milion colors why should we be limited to gray scale?!!
I wont be upgrading my visual studio 10 if these colors remain that a absolute iron hard fact...
If your adding a theme editor to it and this is your way of forcing the comunity to find the optimal color theme by giving them a kick in the @$$ then by all means... but i seriously hope your not expecting anyone to work like this...
that would be insanity!
Removing color from icons and symbols in Visual Studio is a step in the wrong direction. What is the use of icons and symbols? They have to make functions recognizable. The more icons you have the more they have to be well recognizable.
Another aspect: the use of color makes Visual Studio friendlier. The actual beta looks gloomy and sad
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
The color theme editor, whilst a welcome improvement, does NOT address the real problem, which is the difficulty of differentiating UI elements from each other - everything just blurs into one big mess, and it's hard to see where one element ends and the other starts.
We need a "Theme Editor" rather than a "Color Theme Editor" - with a VS2010 theme as one of the available options.
Les Arnott commented
The VS 2012 UI looks like a perfect example of HOW NOT TO DESIGN A USER interFACE. Microsoft should realize that professional developers care more about efficiency and productivity and less about fashion.
Take the childish black and white toolbar icons for example. I want to quickly identify and click on such an icon maybe hundreds of times during my working day. I do not want to pause each time, checking which monochrome squiggle I intended to click. Color is an extremely powerful aid to identification.
The CAPS registry tweak, the color theme add-on and the VSIP icon fix all help to restore an element of sanity. Let's hope Microsoft listens to the requirements of their paying customers.
Anna Metcalfe commented
@Roman I don't see how that's appropriate to the issues raised in this thread.
BTW if you knew me you'd already know I'm very much one to weigh things up and come to a balanced judgement on both sides of any argument. That doesn't mean I won't call out things when I think they're misguided - but it does mean I have some understanding of the human factors that may have led them to end up that way.
Anna Metcalfe, I suggest you study and put to use the book called "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross. It could help you become less dependent on what other people say. You will be more easily able to live according to this principle: "Live and let live".
You think, they will fix win8 to became consistent with VS2012?
_Some_ icons are monochrome (if search), but not _all_, like in VS2012.
Where are "consistency with win8", which MS people talking about?
"Because win8 doesn't have "all black&white" icons" ..oh it WILL ;} ..it will ;]
...it will be a joke of the age, ha ha
Why everyone is talking about "it is all for consistency with win8"?
From the start, VS2012 does NOT have consistency with win8!
Because win8 doesn't have "all black&white" icons.
There's over 111K downloads of the theme editor. I see the proliferation of Metro to MSDN and Blog content. Buttons and navigation targets the size of my mouse, barely contrasting colors selected for text, confusing layouts...
How does the primary creator of so many things cool on the web fall so far? The principles responsible for the mess are leaving or being asked to clean out their desks. A person could be forgiven for thinking the desktop has taken the hit it has over ego's and personal agenda.
And so here we are with the... the... mess.
Axel Charpentier commented
I don't understand what led MS to design this UI, consistency with MS UX Guidelines for win8 ?
Well there is no consistency between users. An Win8 RT on surface user does not expect the same UI the a Software architect or a developer!!
I am paid to use visual studio a build nice app, VS2012 makes my productivity fall dramatically. I am loosing time (and my company money) searching the right icon… we have lost all our marks and getting them back is a pain with this UI
It is not a question of taste, it a question of usabaility/accessibility and productivity.
For the first time in my career and as a head of architecture in my company, I'll not push for upgrading our dev tool …. because of an UI issue….absurde
And the worth thing is this UI issue is likely to discourage people to use all new cool features of VS2012…
Jayson Parkour commented
The VS 2012 Color Theme Editor doesn't seem to fix all the terrible icons and their lack of color. This is not a solution.
This issue still has so many votes, because it is STILL not fixed.
Anna Metcalfe commented
@exalting Your comment is offensive - misogyny has no place among developers.
Gustavo Ganna>Girls have a good taste for visual
It's very girlish - take all these scary and weird technical buttons, switches, indicators, and throw them away, or at least cover up with lacy doily. What do guys say, they understand it and use it for work? Actually, they just show off and boast!
ha ha ;}
Gustavo Ganna commented
@exalting ... naaa I don't think so. Girls have a good taste for visual. This is the end result of letting the COLORBLIND guys at Redmond work on the UI.
If you don't believe me, look at the Doug Turnure response, you can use the VS 2012 Color Theme Editor ... to change the UI's background color LOL.
With a reply like that, makes me want to throw my useless led color monitor to the middle of the street, and reconnect my old Commodore 64 ... at least I could enjoy SIXTEEN colors.
..a coders from india take over ms$ ;}
Gustavo Ganna commented
'THIS IS AN INSULT TO INTELLIGENCE!
The NEW toolbars looks like Microsoft Visual Basic 1.0 for Windows 3.1 in 1991, that’s more than TWO DECADES AGO. Instead of moving forward you are forcing us to go backwards.
This FAILED UI experiment it’s an insult to professional programmers who have invest more than 20 years coding.
Finding the ErrorProvider control now took 2 minutes easily, when we should spec a white cross inside a red circle but no ... now everything is greyscale flat.
You guys are INSULTING US, and spec that professionals do rewrite their minds and train for a new unnatural visual pattern recognizance in order to ATTEMPT to find something inside VS2012.
MS 31684 commented
Read the comments and open your eyes..please don't change good things to ugly...
MS 31684 commented
we don't need this stupid theme extensions..we are used to color codes for visual studio...why u guys r changing things which people like...thts how u wana start developer hating Microsoft or what..the visual studio 2010 has the great theme and people want to be stable in this as you guys release a new version every 2 years...insane it is..i scrictly condemn this action which puts this organization at risk of peoples hatred..
What about sales statistics? Does anybody buy this wonder of usability?