Your Visual Studio, Your Colors

Your Visual Studio, Your Colors

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Since releasing Visual Studio 2012 we have continued on our investment in the user experience space to enable you to work more efficiently and to make the Visual Studio experience engaging and productive. One of the design principles we are following is the enablement of choice and personal customization in the product, and as part of developing the new Light and Dark themes in Visual Studio we invested in broadly extending the theme-able surface area of Visual Studio. Building on this work, I’m happy to announce that we now have available a Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor extension! This extension provides you with seven new color themes to choose from as well as the ability to easily create new custom themes.

We released an early version of this extension two months ago and received great feedback, which we incorporated into this final release. One new capability we added to this final version is an easy interface for quickly finding a particular color you want to change, as well as seeing the impact of the change in a small UI snippet:

Theme Editor Editing

As noted above, the extension includes seven new sample themes to choose from or use as starting points for further customization. We’ve heard requests for a color scheme closer to Visual Studio 2010, so we have included a Blue theme that matches the 2010 color scheme as one of the choices.

Theme Editor Blue Theme

We’d love to hear your feedback on this new extension. Please share your feedback with us on the extension’s page on the gallery.

As you read this post, those of you that are fans of the Visual Studio 2010 icon collection may be asking, “what about the icons?” We currently have no plans to offer the old-style icons for Visual Studio 2012. The Visual Studio 2012 icon designs are directionally aligned with the style used across a broad range of new Microsoft products. We believe this design consistency is important, and we expect the icon styles to become familiar and comfortable over time.

We do, however, continue to look for feedback on specific new icons that lack clarity of concept or that create inefficiency in a task or flow by being difficult to distinguish. If you have such icon specific feedback, please use Connect and share it with us.

Thanks,

The Visual Studio Team

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  • So it's *more important* that the icons have what MS believes is s modern trendy look, than to have them be *more functional* to the devs using the tool.....that is utterly sad.

  • Pointless extension if there's no way to change icons.

  • "So it's *more important* that the icons have what MS believes is s modern trendy look, than to have them be *more functional* to the devs using the tool.....that is utterly sad."

    Frightening, isn't it?  What else is in store for from Microsoft in Win9?  Or VS 2014?

  • "I couldn't agree more.  Eclipse is even starting to look inviting, and that's saying something."

    That *IS* saying something. :-)

  • My students don't like the new design either, and so we're sticking with VS2010. Normally we upgrade when a new version is released just to stay current; but this is just too much and besides, VS2010 does everything we need. Also been working more and more with MonoDevelop which has this remarkable thing called color.

  • You are not going to get developers to write metro apps by shoving metro'esque design decisions into our IDE.

    You are, on the other hand, going to get us to hate it.

    1) Provide an option to fully revert VS2012 to VS2010 look feel and style, including icons, colours, menu caps and top bar.

    2) Do make sure that when you finally provide the image library, it has the pre-metro icons in it.

    3) Listen to your customers.

  • Biggest fail is the Pending Changes treeview.  Second biggest is the "show all changes" listview doesn't support mouse scroll wheel.  Close third is the horrible icons, colour scheme and shouting menu.

  • I'm sticking with VS2010 for now. I cant use VS2012 it makes my head hurt and I hate the style.

  • Please give us back our 2010 / 2008 look and icons. This one is useless and not comfortable at all if you spent some actual time working on visual studio you would know it ...

  • Just to add my 2c, agree with everyone here, can't believe the amount of time and effort MS has wasted:

    * Making a great looking, functional piece of software look awful and difficult to use.

    * Deny there is a problem despite vast negative feedback.

    * Grudgingly waste more time and effort creating an extension to somewhat resolve the issue (increasing the complexity of the VS "ecosystem").

    * Still maintain silence re. icons (apart from a single comment from Brian Harry on his blog, where he says changing the icons would be "too hard" as they are spread over multiple dlls etc.).

    I must admit I am now used to VS 2012, with the exception of the Solution Explorer icons which I hate with a passion. Despite the whole thing looking nasty and amateurish.

    Microsoft has lost a lot of goodwill as a result of this poorly executed decision, I really hope they have learnt something from it, and VS can get back on track with incremental improvements as we have experienced over the last decade or so.

  • My guess is that the MS Marketing Machine sliced off the gonads of the VS Team and told them about modern theories of "branding".

    I feel sorry for the VS Team.  I am willing to bet that they hate this as much as devs do.  Thhe major difference is that we can express our opinions without fear of reprisal.  Sadly, it appears that the VS Team has no such option to express themselves.  

  • Wouldn't it be great if the icons (and overall style) *was* consistent across Microsoft products?

    You don't need to go back to the VS2010 style, but what you have now is in no way "consistent" with *anything*. It is certainly not consistent with the UI formerly known as Metro, and implying that it is is really in itself a sad commentary on the state of UI design on the VS team.

    If you really wanted to provide a "consistent" look, then it'd take a bit more work than UPPERCASING a few arbitrary words and sucking the color out of a few icons. If you were willing to do all that work, I'd applaud it.

    But so far, you haven't. You've created something which is internally inconsistent, while *also* being inconsistent with every other modern Microsoft product.

    If you really insist on changing the UI away from something that was dull, but functional, then perhaps it's time to actually consult an UI designer.

    If you want to offer us consistency, then show us. It's not enough to create a new UI which is inconsistent with everything anyone has ever released, and then *say* that "we did this to ensure consistency".

  • Frankly, I don't care for different color schemes, as long as the icons have become and continue to stay useless for me. Colors used to help me identify the icon I need, now they have all become some grayisch blur which makes it unnecessarily hard to distinguish them.

    >We currently have no plans to offer the old-style icons for Visual Studio 2012.

    Well, what does it take to come up with a plan?

    >The Visual Studio 2012 icon designs are directionally aligned with the style used across a broad range of new Microsoft products.

    What's your point? Consistency over usability?

    >We believe this design consistency is important, and we expect the icon styles to become familiar and comfortable over time.

    I HAVE been using VS2012 for some time now, and "familiar and comfortable" simply did not happen!

    Really, what do we have to do to get colorful Icons back?

  • Let's try this with simple words...

    visual studio 2010 UI is good and pretty

    visual studio 2012 UI is bad and ugly

    You went halfway and admitted the colors were FUGLY. Now do the smart thing and give the icons back. How hard is it? (Also, i highly dislike the menus screaming at me. Maybe it's just the years of network talk that are ingrained, but ALL CAPS MEANS SCREAMING. Why is the menu angry with me?

  • From Ugly to ... still Ugly, very good job, will wait for VS 2014, we finally made it nice :)  stupid idiots

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