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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  • 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 :-(

  • I THINK THE PROGRAM MANAGER WHO CAME UP WITH THE ALL CAPS UI DESERVES TO BE FIRED. How can he sell this kind of $hitty UI to the world and then justify what he has done is right. This is height of stupidity from microsoft.

  • I'm surprised how much this has bothered so many people, in our office of 4 coders myself include, I'm the only one who prefers upper casing, I agree it brings an added sense of structure. My work colleges on the other hand really despise it and feel that the words are being shouted at them. This really is a preference thing and while I do prefer it, I think they should have made lower case default and have an option. It's worrying how Microsoft are increasingly restricting their software.

  • i like it

  • After introducing the all-caps suppression registry key, the location of the launch box did not change.

  • I LOVE TYPING IN ALL CAPS! CAN YOU HEAR ME FROM OVER HERE?

    Fortunately there is a registry setting to turn off the retardedness.

  • DID WRITER OF THIS POST WORK FOR SOVIET COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERS AS SPEECH WRITER?

  • There is a simple test you can apply.  Print out a line of text in mixed case and a line in all upper case. Take a sheet of paper and cover the top half of each line.  Notice how much more difficult it is to read the all uppercase line.  This is because people don't look at the individual letter, they scan the shape of the line.  Using all uppercase make text harder to read.  This fact should determine your design decisions.  The explanation provided basically says that we made a decision and we are sticking to it.  Any business that takes that approach is doomed.  Case in point. I continue to use Office 2003 and refuse to upgrade because I hate the UI in the newer versions.  Every Office application is more difficult to use.  (Access performance is dismal in newer versions) Why are you screwing around with your customers?  We will vote with our pocketbooks!

  • i dont like caps

  • somehow the new menu looks foreign to me

  • The entire Internet agrees that UPPERCASE IS SHOUTING, and yet Microsoft says, "Whatever.".

  • How about you hire smarter people at Microsoft? All of the design decisions made for Visual Studio 2012 are wretched. Nothing flows or makes any sense from a design standpoint.

  • > 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.

    So 1) to be like we are, err like how we've just changed to and 2) to return structure to an area we recently removed all demarcation from.

    Sorry, buddy.  Those are absolutely arbitrary reasons.

  • STUPIDES IDEA EVER!!! I'd fire the guy who made that call with uppercase

  • THE FACT THAT I HAVE TO TURN THIS STUPID *** OFF USING A REG KEY IS A WASTE OF MY TIME.

    THIS IS ONE SUCH REASONS WHY I HATE YOU SO MUCH MICROSOFT!

    I AM TAKING MY BUSINESS TO APPLE/ANDROID :P

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