A DESIGN WITH ALL-CAPS

A DESIGN WITH ALL-CAPS

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Let’s talk about the all-caps menus.

When we shared the RC design preview with you, we expected the uppercase menu would generate mixed feedback and emotions. We had seen similar reactions from early adopters and from our own internal users prior to posting about it. Rest assured that we’ve heard you, and we’ve been thinking through what should be done here. Using uppercase for the menus was not an arbitrary decision, and I think it will help the discussion to frame why we made this change.

We’ve chosen to use uppercase styling in the top menu for two main reasons: 1) to keep Visual Studio consistent with the direction of other Microsoft user experiences, and 2) to provide added structure to the top menu bar area.

On the first point, the use of uppercase text is becoming a strong signature element of styling for navigation and headings in Microsoft user interfaces. You can see it in the Azure Portal, in Zune, and in the latest Bing search results update.

On the second point, we explored designs with and without uppercase styling. In the end we determined it to be a very effective way of providing structure and emphasis to the top menu area in Visual Studio 2012.

Standard Case

Uppercase

Based on early feedback on this application of uppercase styling, we made two modifications to our design. First, we tuned the typography of the menu to better adjust to uppercase text, including increased spacing between menu items from 14px to 20px to make menu items stand out better. Secondly, we moved Quick Launch to the title bar to make more room on the menu bar, especially for cases where a user has installed add-ins that add their own top-level menus.

As with most style changes, there has been both positive and negative feedback. We realize that some of you will continue to dislike this change, and you’ve been very direct in expressing your opinions on this subject.  Our view remains that this is the right design for the Visual Studio user interface for the reasons I mentioned above. That said, we will enable you to customize the casing, and we are exploring options for how to expose that choice. We will post again once we’ve settled on a final approach to be available in RTM.

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  • Please add 7 and 1 and type the answer here:
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  • COPYINGABADDESIGNISABADIDEA.JUSTBECAUSESOMEOTHERSOFTWAREUSESABADUIDOESNOTMEANTHATVISUALSTUDIOSHOULDASWELL.

    LowerCaseLettersProvideWhiteSpaceThatMakesWordsEasierToDistinguish.  They take up less space allowing for quicker detection and use.  In addition, colors provide queues that allow for quicker reaction times.  By eliminating these fundamentals of UI design, VS2012 has become almost unusable when compared to other similar products.

  • THE MENU IS STILL NOT FIXED ALTHOUGH THE PRODUCT HAS BEEN RELEASED. IF YOU WANT TO HAVE IT STAND OUT, AS FAR BACK AS 1985 PEOPLE WERE USING ALTERNATIVE COLORS FOR THIS PURPOSE. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT MICROSOFT LOOKS INTO THIS.

    (It's unpleasant, isn't it, all those caps?)

  • "As with most style changes, there has been both positive and negative feedback."

    I wonder how much positive feedback was from the people who actually work in VS.

  • Designers have found Capitals to be less less readable.

    I have no need for the menu to take up more horizontal space.

    Your first argument is also a void since both in Bing and the Azure Portal the top bar are links not menus and they show where you are located on the web side.

    I also have to say that I totally hate the new icons.  Being visually impaired these totally black icons on gray just become invisible.

  • Where is the positive feedback? You said mixed reactions. All I see is negative. I spent 20 minutes of my time just to get rid of that horrible shouting menu. It was extremely distracting. I can't say I am a big fan of the new color scheme either though. VS 2010 actually felt "cleaner" in a number of respects.

  • Don't bullshit us.  If it wasn't an arbitrary decision, why did you move the all-caps from the tool windows in the beta, to the menu bar in the RC?  You needed to put all caps SOMEWHERE so it'd be metrofied.

  • WHAT'S WRONG WITH ALL CAPS?

    If you haven't figure it by now, you are beyond redemption.

  • All caps -- CHECK

    Monochrome - CHECK

    Don't listen to devleopers - CHECK

    Force businesses to upgrade when no upgrade is needed - CHECK

    Abandon things that the company said was the future - CHECK

    Let marketing take over and make decisions - CHECK

    etc., etc., etc.

    I am not talking about MS - those were observations of working with IBM for many years.

    In the early days of MS, billg and Paul Allen used to laugh at IBM - and rightfully so.  The irony here is that MS has become IBM.  

    The only thing you are missing is JCL -- ooops - I forgot - PowerShell.

  • Guess we've gone back in time.  Typewriters were capable of doing UPPER and lower case except for the earliest ones.  I will not be upgrading to VS2012

  • ALL CAPS.....STUPIDEST IDEA....EVER

  • STOP USING ALL UPPER CASE ! HOW DO YOU LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE SHOUT AT YOU?

  • Fire the smart PM who come up with this idea! I installed VS2012 and C# is not working. Put your energy to make sure that product is functional and rich such as adding auto indention support for C++.

  • SIMPLY HORRIBLE!

    WHY DON'T YOU ALSO USE THE CAPS TEXT AT MICROSOFT.COM WEBSITE? BY THIS I MEAN ALL THE TEXT IN IT AND ALSO MS PRODUCTS, CUSTOMERS WOULD LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111

  • This shouldn't have been the default

  • Just fire the entire design team at Microsoft that invented the METRO crap and the CAPS LOCK.

    They are just harming Microsoft.

    There are no positive and negative feedback, just negative! Microsoft behavior is just an awful abuse of their users, knowingly that we have no alternatives :-(

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