Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 - is ugly as hell - by cstudio

Status : 

  Deferred<br /><br />
		The product team has reviewed this issue and has deferred it for consideration at a later time.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

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ID 753613 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 61
Opened 7/13/2012 9:38:53 AM
Access Restriction Public


New Visual Studio 2012 which can be frelly downloaded from MS website is ugy beyond comparison.
MS ofers only 2 themes "Light" and "Dark". 
Light teme is too light and dark teme is too dark. 
Where is Windows classic teme? 

I'm going back to Mirosoft visual studio 2010 which is light years ahead of VS2012.

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Posted by JohnnyXP64 on 8/24/2016 at 2:11 AM
looks like my recommendation is going to become reality! we are getting Colors back in the toolbox area!
please vote for this even more!
Posted by Beauty of Darkness on 2/20/2015 at 5:03 AM
I also hate the damn new design of VS 2012 and 2013.
Even after using it for a while I would like to switch back to the good classic icons.

The reasons for my hate I don't write, because was already written in the other comments.

For the next VS version: Please add an option to get back the classic icons.
Posted by Nick42blah on 5/12/2014 at 11:08 AM
Good lord... the color scheme is painful. Everything is washed-out grey, even with a "better" theme (with the themes extension).

If you're going to kick new developers in the face with your UI, please at least take the time to make a theme which makes VS look like 2010 (your best VS UI to-date). Better, of course, would be to not make everything look like a washed-out sea of horrid grey mess... but AT LEAST, give people the option to go back to a "good" UI. Just look at Solution Explorer... look at it. Tab back and forth between 2010 and 2013. It's painful.
Posted by Stefan-Z-Camilleri on 10/11/2013 at 4:21 PM
I guess it is a matter of taste. I personally seriously love the new dark and flat UI :) Maybe they could simply have an option for the old UI also... but I can imagine that to be hard to accomplish.

That said, UI aside, particularly VS2013, is a gem of features to work with!
Posted by Alexander Fedin on 9/16/2013 at 7:32 PM
First message was posted here on July 2012. Nothing has changed in Visual Studio UI.
These morons at MS never give up making our lives as developers harder.

Do you hear us there screaming in a pain?
Posted by Rahul Joshi 007 on 8/13/2013 at 10:32 PM
As far as vs 2012 features are concerned its great. However, when it comes to UX, i do believe that typographic interfaces are well suited for touch based app, where more importance should be given to 'CONTENT' rather than 'CHROME'. thus, the digitally authentic WP easily wins overs iOS.

However, when it comes to non touch enterprise LOB app, we need or generally have too many cockpit like toolbar, button etc, thus importance is, how quickly & easily we can operate, Thus, here importance is not only on 'CONTENT' but also on the 'CHROME' too, thus here OS X easily wins over Windows Desktop mode. where in Xcode 5 we have many visual or photo-realistic icons & at times wherever required, skeuomorphic interfaces.

Thus, importance should be given for 'CHROME' also, for non touch ENTERPRISE ONLY apps like Visual Studio, Office, Expression Studio etc.
Posted by Xar Hang on 8/4/2013 at 9:36 PM
I Hate VS 2012 and Vs 2013 GUI Too........ Don't Use It...... Microsoft Need To The End Off All Product ..... Very Bad Designer........ i thing In Visual Studio 2014 Is Come The Good GUI!!!!!
Posted by 21bottles on 7/15/2013 at 12:15 PM
We had to roll the team to support some of the WWF 4.5 stuff and I'm absolutely stunned. If it ain't broke don't fix it! All caps titles, everything black and white? Did they just have some UI guys that needed something to do and this was their idea of a joke?
Posted by eddyquick on 7/12/2013 at 4:59 PM
I agree. I put up with it thinking I would get used to it but just never did. Then I starting finding that good 2010 features are now missing from 2012. So I went back to 2010.
Posted by CSharp Programmer on 5/17/2013 at 12:50 AM
I also agree with most previous comments and encourage all of you to raise your voice and vote for
Posted by meaningless display name that is required on 5/7/2013 at 7:26 AM
Firstly , what kind of idiot created the hoops we have to jump through to post here ? "Unique display name " really?!?!?!?
Second - UI is not just horrible, it is a continuation of the downward trend of last 4 versions of the visual studio.
No - The "UI improvements" are counter intuitive. What was the point of screwing it up? What kind of programmer proudly claims responsibility for this crap?
No - I don't have 8 GB of memory to run 1 instance of this product, nor it is actually needed , if you don't know how to do it, ask VS 2005/VS 2008 developers
No - I am not connected to the internet all the time with the gigabit connection. TechNet/MSDN library were operational since early nighties all through mid 2000s . MSDN was useful. It is no longer of any use. Why did you screw it up?
Do I need 2012? Yes I do , because unlike your completely incapable UI developers(this is the kindest description I can come up with without using words moron and idiot) , c++ compiler team outdid itself every single time in last 4 releases. c++ compiler in this release rocks, I need it.
So here is the proposal for you - resurrect 2008 IDE, bind to the new c++/.Net compiler, scrap the rest of the "innovations" your marketing team so proud of, but nobody else finds useful. It will save Microsoft money and it will reduce our (developer's) stress - everybody wins
Posted by Boris2000 on 4/3/2013 at 8:26 AM
During my 15+ year career working as a Microsoft developer, I was always very keen to upgrade to the latest version of Visual Studio, be one of the early adopters, start using it as soon as it came out and help other developers with any challenges. I have been thinking about why the version of VS which I have had on my machine for almost 6 months hardly even gets used, I was even beginning to wonder whether I am getting old.

The simple answer is the new UI. It really makes the development painful. With controls flat, without any boundaries, you can’t tell whether what you are looking at is a static label, active control, disabled button or just an icon. With text boxes with yellow background and grey text that changes to slightly lighter when selected so you can’t tell that it is selected until you start typing and lose it… Really far from ideal, to be polite, and not something a developer would want to be using 8 hours a day.

Please, please, can we have an option which is usable? I am not saying to have the VS2010 UI back, I am all up for a change, but it needs to be a positive move, increasing productivity, not hurting eyes and causing headaches.
Posted by FreshDevCo on 3/22/2013 at 10:03 AM
I absolutely agree with all devs here. The UI is HORRENDOUS!!!! Recently updated to 2012 from 2010 and it's a big mistake. 2010 had the standard icons we all know from Ms and recognise instantly, now we have the shockingly bad crappy glyphs which are so blank and dull it's untrue. The build animation icon has simply been inverted as it has a white background round it when animating - terrible. This is not acceptable in an enterprise product. It looks like an app developed in paint and some win95 icon maker by a budding teenager discovering app dev. The breakpoints are not even circular but some distorted pixelated rubbish. Source-safe icons next to file icons are so stupidly small and pixellated too, it;s DREADFUL!!!! HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT
Posted by kornakar on 3/21/2013 at 2:03 AM
Seeing that Microsoft doesn't care about the developers anymore, I decided to give Java a try and installed Eclipse on my PC. The IDE is much better than VS2012. If the next VS is also with "modern ui", then I will be a Java developer from that day on. Sad, but true.
Posted by Zach Parton on 2/17/2013 at 11:01 AM
Its so ugly I have a hard time stopping the urge to open my veins to see some color. The theme editor has helped a bit but the glyph icons have to go before I can no longer resist the urge to spray my monitor with red.
Posted by ankit dbz on 2/4/2013 at 1:09 AM
No, its a lie that we are not resistant to change, its not that after few months VS 2012 will start to feel good. We are ready to embrace change like we embraced VS 2010.

I have used VS 2012 for sometime, and its very bad. The UI makes me feel dull and sleepy, and its bad. It feels like I am suddenly using VS 1995.

This has to be one of the stupidest things done by Microsoft. If you dont care about developers then you have no future.

I have recommended strongly to my company not to invest in VS2012.
Posted by Corby Nichols on 1/16/2013 at 1:31 PM
Status of this is Deferred, as in "We are too busy trying to go to a tiles centric design for tablets, and phones and we don't really care about desktop applications that we made all of our money on."

My Microsoft fan club meetings have been very lonely lately.
Posted by Dave Derman on 1/16/2013 at 5:55 AM
I would even go so far as to say that VS 2005/2008 looks light years better than 2012. My biggest gripe are the icons. Everything blends together in Solution Explorer so that you can't distinguish items in the solution tree. When I look at it, I have to really concentrate to figure out where projects, files, and folders are located. They all blend together. This wouldn't be an issue if all my code was in one file, but when you have a well architected application, with good separations of concerns, and code broken out into many different files, the UI almost becomes unusable.
Posted by Le Chaud Lapin on 1/5/2013 at 6:27 PM
I have an hypothesis why Microsoft might make VS2012 so ugly: planned obsolescence. It works like this:

1. Microsoft puts out a horrific-looking VS2012.
2. Developers everywhere are turned off by it.
3. Microsoft comes out with VS2013 or VS2014 and "fixes" it. If you want the fix, you need the upgrade.

Now, I know you're thinking that I am thinking that they would do this to get new revenue for VS2014. That's not the reason. The strategy would make it very difficult to develop non-Metro applications with VS2014. Normally, a lot of engineers would rebel..but with that hideous VS2012, they would be more inclined to upgrade. Perhaps Microsoft underestimated the kick-back that they would get on the black/white them.

Yes,'s a stretch, so much so that even I do not believe it. But these days, with the stunts that Microsoft keeps pulling, I wouldn't put anything past them.
Posted by dondo on 12/28/2012 at 10:53 AM
Microsoft ... you really need to listen to what these developers are saying.
Think of it this way. They are application developers who stare at Visual Studio 2012 ALL DAY LONG.

Why make it difficult and ugly ? Why ruin the loyalty that they have in Microsoft?
Posted by S Hasson on 12/19/2012 at 7:48 AM
What is going on with the UI? Truly awful... How can this be an imporovement? ..
Posted by Ionuț-Gabriel Nica on 12/11/2012 at 4:00 PM
I went further and I've already started to consider this amazingly horrible UI to be a like a serious personal offense! If it will be not be fixed soon (especially replacing the monochrome-like icons) I'm going to terminate all my relations with Microsoft only because of this. Definitely!
Posted by Jovica Milenovic on 12/11/2012 at 2:07 PM
Unfortunately I have to agree with nearly all previous commenters.
Take the VS2010 UI Design and apply it to VS2012 asap please, I get sick of this gray, white and black color combination...
Posted by Major Malfunction on 12/5/2012 at 4:40 AM
Agree with everyone here.

I've been playing with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop and find the thick line, thin line, one-color-here, two-color-there icons jarringly amateurish and downright fugly.
Posted by STEERB on 12/3/2012 at 4:27 PM
What is the matter with MS. I really don't think it takes a expert to work out that VS2012 looks terrible. Honestly what have they been doing for the last 2 years and who on earth is making the decisions.

If it was my company I would not have release the mess and until it was fix. What moden application use black icons that are scribbles for the tool bars. I have now got to study the toolbar to try and work out what scribble I need to select.

Fix the issue now, because MS is beckoning a joke.
Posted by Tim-Wheeler on 12/3/2012 at 4:32 AM
I agree.... Uuuuggllllyyy.. I also find it difficult to make sense of the icons. Maybe its just that they are different, or only 2 colours but they all seem to look the same.
Posted by Jeong-hun on 12/1/2012 at 5:28 AM
It's not Visual Studio 2012 that is ugly, it's the Metro theme. The whole Metro theme looks ugly and is ruining all Microsoft Products. Look at Office 2012, it is ugly, too.
Posted by Thierry_S on 11/26/2012 at 12:56 AM
In Windows 7, Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Personalization, you can set a Theme, including a colour for the active/foreground window (usually brighter and more colourful) whilst the other windows are usually a bit more dull/greyed.
Why does Visual Studio ignore this?
It's as if a Microsoft application built for Windows (Visual Studio) doesn't follow Windows guidelines for an integrated experience ?!
(regardless of icons, capital letters, black and white, etc... the main window, for me, should follow Windows Themes)
Posted by Melsis on 11/19/2012 at 6:35 AM
I agree with all the comments here. It is too bad UI design. Graphics cards and render technologies grow up faster but MS goes back to black & white Windows 3.1 styles. With new VS, we will not need to use color monitor :) Black & white monitors will be enough.
Posted by Unarmed1000 on 11/16/2012 at 1:54 PM
"Please, please create a VS2010 theme for those of us who dislike the new look."

VS has always been the best environment, but seriously this win8 desktop crap look needs to be reverted!!

Give me back my VS2010 look ASAP!
Posted by ak99372 on 11/8/2012 at 4:04 PM
I don't understand why MS insists on redoing the UI with every release... is that really necessary or it is just to cover up that there isn't much difference between versions and you just need different wrapping to make it look different. Ask your users who wants different UI? ... nobody wants new UI for the same tool!
Posted by sharmin2010 on 9/21/2012 at 4:57 PM
I am stunned, shocked, and much sad by seeing new VS 2012. VS 2010 is attractive, and I have great pleasure whenever I use VS 2010. I agree with others: the UI of VS 2012 looks cheap, and the dark theme is too dark and the light theme is too light. MS should release a patch for VS 2012 and convert this UI to look like VS 2010's UI. I will just use my VS 2010 whenever I can. I don't even like the new logo of VS 2012; the logo of VS 2010 is so nice. We love our VS 2010 --- make VS 2012 to be like VS 2010.
Posted by T Rex on 9/12/2012 at 2:56 AM
I must agree with all the comments here. It is very hard to find anything when switching from one window to another - there are very few visual indicators that make different elements stand out. I feel like Ive gone partially blind.
Posted by Bluey47 on 9/4/2012 at 10:46 PM
I have used every version of VS from 6.0 and always start new projects in the current version. However in my office we were just asked if we should purchase licenses of VS 2012. I am seriously thinking of saying no because of the UI design.
Posted by EmGooser on 9/4/2012 at 7:28 AM
I have to agree with olaf.schermann on his points, I couldn't have said it better. As a .net veteran from teh old 1.1 days, I am finding this UI difficult to work with. Maybe just add a theme to change the look to have more color. This black and white retro look makes me want to go back to visual studio 2010.
Posted by jmarsch on 9/3/2012 at 1:19 PM
Taste/color issues aside, I want to give some feedback as to why I feel that this UI is as miss.

The biggest problem that I have had with it is that the UI is hard to "parse". There is so little visual queuing that my eyes don't readily "register" when I have crossed from one tool window, tree, text window, etc, into another. Instead, it just looks like a chaotic jumble of text. This makes it really hard to feel like I am working at ease with the tool. I find my self searching, and re-reading, and re-parsing the content of the window constantly.

There were a lot of really cool productivity gains in VS 2012, but I feel like it was 2 steps forward and 1 step backward -- the missing visual richness means that I am losing a second here, 2 seconds there/oh, just got knocked out of The Zone over there, because it is so difficult to interact with the UI smoothly.
Posted by legalize on 9/2/2012 at 4:45 PM
Closed as Deferred? Seriously?

It's this sort of thing that makes me wonder why I even bother with Connect. Every time an important issue comes up, it just gets deferred making it seem like MS just doesn't care.

Not only is the visual theming ugly as hell but WHY ARE ALL THE MENUS SCREAMING AT ME?

Seriously, there's a reason we used mixed case in applications. This isn't 1960 with 6-bit character codes and no codes for lower case; there really isn't any excuse for this mess.
Posted by jesseli on 8/31/2012 at 12:03 PM
I normally wouldn't comment anything about the look of the product. I tried my best to adjust, I have to admit I need to use extra effort to read the icons and menus because it lack of colors , this vs2012 is so ugly to the point I can't stand it anymore and switched back to vs2010.
Posted by olaf.schermann on 8/28/2012 at 8:34 AM
I have showed several customers VS2012 and received similar feedback.

Most of the feedback was adressed to following issues:

1) Icons look different than in previos VS versions. This costs developers more time because they can no longer click "blind" and have to look carefully where the specified function is. Examples: "step into" or "save all", where you cannot recognize 2 floppy discs anymore because they are to small and in black and white.

2) Buttons don't look like buttons any longer. This also costs a lot of time to search for "hidden" buttons within text or icons.

3) Menubar in captial letters. This doesn't look attractive anymore. For the reader/developer capital letters feels like shouting loud. Some people criticized "Looks like written from a elementary school child"

4) Main icon / program icon: In direct comparison to the sexy VS2010 icon the new one looks really like designed by an elementary school child. Sorry.

I know that minimalistic style is the theme for all new applications, but that new design costs developers much more time and the sexyness gets lost. Also developers use large monitors, most of them two monitors. An application which runs on a tablet or smartphone needs minimalistic design to look clear on smaller displays. But developers do not develop on tablets. Many developers own a tablet but they develop on a Windows-Pc with a high resolution color-monitor.

Criticism hurts, but i want to feed back single issues which are object fix to avoid customer opinions like "OK, skip that ugly VS2012 and wait for the next usable version".

We ask you to fix that issues and bring Visual Studio back to where it was: the best integrated development environment on the world.

thank you.
Posted by david glance on 8/28/2012 at 12:36 AM
This really isn't an issue with personal taste - it really has been made unusable. It contravenes every shred of best practice as far as accessibility is concerned.

Products should be a pleasure to use - this is just ugly.

At some point, Microsoft is going to wake up from this period of insanity that is Metro UI, sack all of the people responsible and go back to making decent and attractive products.

Even XCode looks futuristic in comparison to this

Posted by Paul_N_II on 8/24/2012 at 5:46 AM
Working with the light theme is dismal and depressing. Microsoft what have you done?
Posted by Micke Andersson on 8/22/2012 at 1:03 PM
RTM is here, get moving on those themes. This as it stands is unusable. And reopen it, "closed deferred" isn't really an option.
Posted by Nemzagi Ferenc on 8/21/2012 at 2:21 PM
Metro style = text, lines, bars and monochromatic icons – like in Windows 2.0: hard to recognize, hard to use. Hopefully Microsoft will recover from this “Metro madness” soon.
Posted by skalooza on 8/21/2012 at 8:35 AM
I agree with all the others. It looks awful. Why was this done? Why take such huge steps back in UI design?
Posted by Michael Lee Yohe on 8/20/2012 at 10:32 PM
I'm quite surprised of the "new direction" that Microsoft is going with their user interface. UI has been Microsoft's bread and butter, the bedrock of design for modern OSes. This massive adoption of flat, colorless UI is not only unattractive, it makes things very difficult to locate menu commands because the 1-bit images lack distinction.

We understand that Microsoft is attempting to reach out to a new, hip user group. However, we'd like to remind Microsoft that its bedrock developer community is often comprised of people who have been developing software for Microsoft products since the Visual Studio 6 and .NET 2002 days. Alienating developers is not a way to increase the quality and quantity of apps and applications produced. I, like many others, will continue using the venerable Visual Studio 2010 product because it is easier to use.
Posted by ITMAGE on 8/16/2012 at 9:00 AM
I agree this UI is horrendous and makes people angry when looking at it. Thousands of people commented and provided Microsoft feedback (see links below) about this since the beta, but NOTHING has changed except adding a few meaningless pixels of color. Why Microsoft felt the need to butcher the very excellent work with the VS2010 UI, is beyond reason. This will certainly drive away thousands of people, and for what? Really for what?? Do you think forcing this on us is going to make us develop for the Win8 UI? No it is not. What it is going to do is make developers (and I don't mean script kiddies but real professional devs) jump ship. Also do you think teachers are going to want to teach their students with this thing? I can say with certainty THEY WILL NOT and will elect to use other tools, which means your future is in jeopardy. And regarding this comment:

"We are looking at providing some theme editor capabilities as an extension closer to RTM"

Unless a complete VS2010 theme is provided, complete with the ORIGINAL icons and spacing, then it's not going to be of much help. This is a complete disaster and needs to be rectified immediately. Even if it takes massive changes to the code base, then so be it. We are your customers who are developing for your platforms, and so you need to keep us happy and not make us run for the sunlight every time we attempt to use it. To me this is completely unusable for more than 15mins at a time as my eyes get severly strained with either the light or dark theme. When a good leader makes an error in judgement, they change course and correct it. People then see that and so believe in their leader even further. Here you have an obvious case of a mistake and you stay the course, which tells us what? What do you think? The fact that we have to even have this conversation is ludicrous. And CLOSING this topic even further alienates us. One word to describe my feeling at this time would be complete and utter disgust. Oh and people, go to the below links and let Microsoft know how you feel about this:
Posted by gabe wells on 8/10/2012 at 3:29 PM
I have to agree. VS 2012 UI is really bad. The whole "metro"/windows 8 color choices is pretty bad, for the most part, but visual studio 2012 is the worst. I've been using it for a little while now and today it's just been bugging me everytime I look at it. I actually binged "Visual Studio 2012 ugly" and landed here. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I love moving forward with technology, I think it's great, but this direction has been really hard to take simply because of the color schemes that are coming out. I feel like we just went back to windows 95 colors. Especially in debug mode with the orange bar at the bottom of the screen against the grey background. really unsettling color choices. I will be going back to VS2010 starting... now.

Please hear your customers' complaints. There are too many alternative envrionments these days to be losing your customers to over this. Microsoft has always put out amazing product over the years but this whole metro/retro color scheme is a bad direction! The sales, or there lack of WP7 says it all.

Thanks for listening.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/26/2012 at 2:13 PM
We are looking at providing some theme editor capabilities as an extension closer to RTM.

VS UX Team
Posted by SpectreWolf on 7/22/2012 at 5:27 PM
I spent the time and jumped through all the hoops of registration for this site, just so I could agree with this post. I can only describe the look and feel of the interface of VS2012 as terrible. Visual Studio is an amazing tool, simply the best IDE out there, but I was terribly disappointed when I installed the RC and saw *this*. I understand that the trend is "retro" with an emphasis toward minimalism, but have you asked for any external opinions? I'm not talking about a contractor you pay to say it's amazing, I mean actual public opinion. I'm only one person here, but apparently I'm not the only one with this opinion.

Please, please create a VS2010 theme for those of us who dislike the new look.
Posted by kdannehl on 7/19/2012 at 2:51 PM
what a bunch of crap...Specialized Experts. Does anybody there not speak marketing?
Posted by Microsoft on 7/15/2012 at 11:40 PM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are rerouting this issue to the appropriate group within the Visual Studio Product Team for triage and resolution. These specialized experts will follow-up with your issue.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/15/2012 at 7:18 PM
Thank you for your feedback, We are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly (