Feeds

Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Beta testers feel trapped in 1920s Metro movie madness

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Windows software developers have given a thumbs down to the black-and-white Metro-style Visual Studio 2011 and sent Microsoft back to the drawing board - preferably one with coloured pencils.

More than 4,000 Visual Studio users have so-far voted on Microsoft’s UserVoice poll to say the code development suite's black-and-white icons are offensive and they don’t work. The poll, used by Redmond to gather feedback on the beta release, was flagged up by Reg regular Tim Anderson.

The user interface changes have been branded hideous, a monstrosity, dismal and depressing, and respondents have demanded a complete return to colour. Criticisms go beyond purely aesthetic concerns; punters fear they'll have to learn how to use the new version from scratch because it's so dissimilar to past editions.

It’s by far the biggest single request on the survey; the second, on 913 votes, is to remove the blanket use of capital letters in the toolbox titles.

The Visual Studio 2011 beta has dumped colour in toolbox icons and programming language reference tool IntelliSense for black on a light grey background and white on dark grey background.

The Visual Studio fan leading the call for a design U-turn kicked things off with:

Usability studies have shown that both shape and color help to distinguish 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.

Others soon piled in. Michael Barb wrote of the icons while casting his vote: “Not only are they ****** to recognize but they require an extensive learning curve.”

This risks slowing down devs, which hurts productivity and output. Amplifying this point, an anonymous programmer wrote: "Going from 2010 to VS 11 Beta, it just hurts my eyes. Everything looks the same and I have to spend more mental effort organizing where things were on the screen.

"I don't mind a 'dark' or 'light' themed UI, but I'm strongly against the 'black white and gray on gray' scheme you have going right now. Seriously, I feel like I'm stuck in some 1920s film where all the color was sucked out of my life."

Another calling himself just Geoff chipped in that Microsoft is following Apple and Google off a cliff with the “color vampire nonsense” of Mac OS X. “I didn’t expect the VS team to do so as well,” he wrote.

“Color and contrast are good. No reason to go hotdog stand with the color schemes, but at this rate we're all going to be back in monochrome by 2013. Stop the madness!"

Visual Studio user Daniel Smith called for nothing less than a complete reinstatement of colour and no "half-assed roll back" of washed out colour over black and white icons.

“What I want (and I suspect a significant majority of people here want) is nothing less than a complete, pixel for pixel, restoration of the VS 2010 UI, including the useless line reduction changes,” Smith wrote.

Let's see if Microsoft is listening. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.